Most operating systems, such as Mac OS X and Windows, come with a standard Internet browser out of the box. On OS X the standard browser is Safari, while Windows has Internet Explorer. In more recent years, however, a plethora of browser options have popped up, from Google Chrome to Mozilla Firefox. There are many people, myself included, who have always used one browser (often whichever one comes pre-installed) and would like to keep it that way. Internet Explorer has been one of the most widely used browsers for a long while because it comes as part of such a popular operating system. This article will explore some of the ways you can optimize Internet Explorer if it has been slowing down, as an alternative to trying a new browser. Because various browsers are actually very similar in several ways, many of these tips will apply to other browsers as well.
One of the first things to check if you are having browser trouble is whether you are running the latest version. This seems obvious, and in fact it is so much so that many people may not even think about it when trying to sleuth out the source of their slow speeds. If there is an upgrade to be had, get it. Companies like Microsoft are continuously working on their browsers and putting out updates, as well as fully fledged new versions, which build on the previous release to make it better by increasing speed, efficiency and functionality. If you have Windows XP, you should have Internet Explorer 8. The more recent versions of Windows support IE 9 and possibly even the newest version 10.
If you already have the latest version of the browser, another possible fix is to simply reset the Internet Explorer settings, which essentially restores original settings, giving you a fresh version of the browser. This can be done by opening Internet Explorer, clicking the Tools button, going to the Advanced tab and clicking Reset. This will give you a prompt in which you can fill in what things to delete and reset. Once the reset is done, restarting the browser will put the changes into effect.
Along the same lines as resetting the browser, disabling add-ons can potentially help or completely fix the issue(s) you are having. Sometimes browser add-ons can conflict with other functions and lead to slower computer and Internet speeds. Try disabling all add-ons and running the browser. If the problem goes away, you know it was caused by one or several add-ons. From there, you can go about figuring out exactly which add-ons you need to permanently get rid of by disabling them one by one and running the browser each time to see which add-on is causing the problem. To disable add-ons, you can use the “Manage Add-ons” feature in the Tools menu.
If none of these things help, the problem may lie within your actual computer. Things such as caching, Internet cookies and even spyware and adware can build up over time in your computer’s memory and eventually slow things down. These things can easily be searched for, found, and cleaned out with free software such as CCleaner and Spybot Search & Destroy. These programs are very user friendly and can be downloaded quickly and run easily to rid your computer of unnecessary and unwanted gunk.