Slow Browser? Simple Tips to Speed up Internet Explorer and Firefox

A lot of people complain that they have a slow computer, but in reality they are suffering from a slow browser. When it comes to speed, Internet Explorer is by far the worst. However, even Firefox can be slower than you like. Luckily, it’s easy enough to speed up Internet Explorer and Firefox. All you need to do is follow these simple tips.

Set your homepage to blank

Do you always want to see a specific page when you start browsing the web? If yes, then skip this tip. If not, then it makes sense to set your homepage to blank. This will make your browser load faster. If you use Internet Explorer, simply go to Tools – Internet Options – General tab and click on Use blank in the homepage section.

Slow Browser? Simple Tips to Speed up Internet Explorer and Firefox

Firefox users will need to click on the orange Firefox button, go to Options – General and select Show a blank page from the drop-down menu.

Slow Browser? Simple Tips to Speed up Internet Explorer and Firefox

Control the cache

Every single Web browser uses cache to store images and other Temporary Internet Files. In theory, this makes previously visited websites load faster. But in reality a bloated cache slows down browsing and takes up a lot of hard drive space. The solution is to clear the cache on a regular basis.

Here is how you can clear the cache in Internet Explorer:

    •  Open Internet Explorer and press Ctrl+Shift+Del
    •  Now check Temporary Internet Files, Cookies and History checkboxes

Slow Browser? Simple Tips to Speed up Internet Explorer and Firefox

  •  Click Delete and close the browser

If you use Firefox, then do the following:

  • 1. Click on the Firefox button and then go to Options

Slow Browser? Simple Tips to Speed up Internet Explorer and Firefox

  • Navigate to the Advanced panel and then go to the Network tab
  • Click on the Clear Now button in the Offline Storage section and then click OK

Decrease the size of your cache

Like many default settings in Windows, the Internet Explorer cache setting is not perfect. By default the cache is too large. Fortunately, it’s easy to decrease the size of browser cache to prevent bloat and speed up browsing. Here is how:

  • Click on the Tools button and go to Internet Options
  • Go to the General tab
  • Under Browsing history, click on the Settings button
  • In the window that appears, set the disk space to 50MB. In theory, you could set the cache size to as low as 8MB, but that will render the cache useless.
  • Click OK to apply the changes

Firefox has an option for you to resize the cache as well:

  • Click on the Firefox button and then click on Options
  • Go to the Advanced pane, check the Override automatic cache management and set the cache to 50MB
  • Click OK to close Options

Disable RSS feeds in Internet Explorer

Are you subscribed to any RSS feeds? If the answer is no, then you don’t need Internet Explorer’s RSS Feeds. And if you are, then you probably use a third-party feed reader and don’t need Internet Explorer’s RSS Feeds anyway. To add insult to injury, Internet Explorer’s RSS Feeds slows down your browser. Who needs a useless feature that makes your computer slow? Disabling it is very easy:

  • Go to Tools, select Internet Options and select the Content tab
  • In the Feeds and Web Slices section, click on Settings
  • Uncheck everything and click OK

Enable pipelining in Firefox

HTTP pipelining is a feature that allows the browser to send multiple requests to a single socket without waiting for the corresponding responses. Enabling it can significantly speed up page loading.

To enable pipelining, do the following:

  • Open Firefox, type about:config in the address bar and hit Enter. Click I’ll be careful, I promise! if it appears

Slow Browser? Simple Tips to Speed up Internet Explorer and Firefox

  • Enter network.http.pipelining into the filter box
  • Double-click on network.http.pipelining to set the value to true
  • Now do the same for your proxy server. Find the value and check that network.http.proxy.pipelining is set to true as well
  • Now find and double-click network.http.pipelining.maxrequests and set the number of pipelining requests to 8 and click OK. Eight is the maximum number of pipelining requests currently available
  • Return to browsing the Web and enjoy the extra speed!

These simple tips will help you speed up your browser and have a better Web experience. Please let us know in comments if you still facing any problem.


Author – Liz Cornwell. Liz Cornwell is an experienced writer who currently works for Auslogics Software. Auslogics makes software to speed up and clean up your slow computer.

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Irfan Siddiqui

Irfan Siddiqui owner of RealTimeTricks where he helps others with blogging tips, tech news, gadget tips and other great updates. Follow him on twitter via @RealTimeTricks to keep in touch with him or catch him on Facebook

8 thoughts on “Slow Browser? Simple Tips to Speed up Internet Explorer and Firefox”

  1. What about “network.http.pipelining.ssl” which has “false” value by default? Would you change this to “true” or not? Thank you.

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