Today’s sites contain video, audio, interactive elements, and stacks of images. Over time, under the weight of all that content, your browser can slow down. But it doesn’t have to be like this. With a bit of timely maintenance and tidying up, you can ensure your browsing stays speedier for longer. This advice applies across all the major desktop browsers.
Remove unused extensions
Just as too many unneeded apps will slow down your computer, too many plug-ins and extensions can do the same to your browser. They take up system resources and can even cause bugs and crashes.
In Google Chrome, the Extensions option is under the More tools heading on the main app menu. In Firefox, choose Add-ons from the main app menu. In Opera, select Extensions from the main app menu. Extensions are less common in the default browsers from Apple and Microsoft but in Safari, open up Preferences from the Safari menu and click Extensions. In Edge, click Extensions from the main app menu to see what’s installed
Clear out the cache and cookies
As you visit the web, your browser keeps a certain number of files on disk, known as the cache, to speed up your browsing experience. The next time you visit a site, the cached files are already present, so your browser only needs to download the new bits from the web. This means less time waiting, and in general, it’s going to speed up rather than slow down your browsing.
In Google Chrome, head to Settings, then pick Show advanced settings, and then Clear browsing data. In Firefox, you can find the setting under Options, then Advanced and Network. For Opera, choose Settings then Privacy & security, and click Clear browsing data. In Microsoft Edge, open Settings, then click the Choose what to clear button under Clear browsing data. The process is a little bit more involved in Safari: You need to open Preferences from the Safari menu, then click Advanced and tick the box marked Show Develop menu in menu bar. Finally, open up the Develop menu and choose Empty Caches.
Uninstall and reinstall your browser
Uninstalling and reinstalling your browser is the best approach for stopping browser slowdowns. Once you’ve gotten rid of the old version of your favorite browser, you can then grab its latest update from the web. As well as clearing up any corrupted data caches and unneeded extensions, this will also make sure that you’re running the most up-to-date version of the software, another important factor in keeping your browser running smoothly. Staying up to date is so vital in fixing bugs and blocking security threats that modern browsers typically download updates automatically. But to cover all your bases, it’s worth running the occasional update manually.
Manage your tabs
Clearing out behind-the-scenes clutter isn’t the only way to speed up your web experience. Managing your open tabs more efficiently will also help you browse faster. The more tabs you have open, the slower your browser is going to run.