Why is your browser slow? Ways to pick up speed

Anton P. | February 01, 2023

Is your browser slow and cannot keep up with your activities? Its idle performance could mean that web pages take a long time to load. Also, you might be unable to watch videos, or they automatically render low quality. However, do not be hasty to assume that your browser is the culprit here. 

Users trigger slow browser performance after skipping common maintenance steps: clearing cache or installing latest versions. Many active browser extensions and open tabs can also be the burdens dragging down your speed. 

So, let’s investigate the factors making your browser slow and solutions to laggy experiences.

Fix slow browser issues on popular browsers quickly.

What makes your browser slow?

Your browser is slow for various reasons. One obvious suspect is the internet connection, which could diminish the browsing experience. However, many factors beyond that influence browser speeds. 

For instance, a web browser requires regular maintenance. These steps include:

  • Clearing cached files and browsing data.
  • Removing unnecessary plugins. 
  • Closing the multiple tabs opened. 
  • Removing potentially malicious programs. 

Furthermore, even certain web pages can slow down your browser. Such heavy sites might require a lot of browser and system resources. Check it by opening Task Manager on Windows operating systems.. 

Social media sites can disrupt speed when loading new data to your feed. Additionally, websites featuring many elements like pop-up windows, video screens, and ads are also heavy. Such web pages can make your browser slow as they struggle to update or load data frequently. 

Which browser is the fastest? 

Some web browsers are bound to offer more in terms of performance. According to multiple reports online, these four programs battle for the title of the fastest browser: 

  • Microsoft Edge. 
  • Google Chrome. 
  • Mozilla Firefox.
  • Opera. 

Why the Tor browser is so slow is a common question to new users. This browsing application is slower than most of its counterparts. After all, it routes data through three servers around the world. 

Traditional browsers establish a direct connection between users and the web. So, the routine followed by Chrome browser is in favor of fast speeds. However, one of the greatest strengths of Tor is its ability to offer more security and anonymity online. 

Remember that even the fastest programs are not immune to common mistakes. An overdue deletion of temporary internet files could make any browser slow. Skipping Chrome updates or using outdated versions of Chrome are also possible reasons for a slow browser. 

Fixing mistakes that turn your browser slow 

Popular browsers like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Safari, and Brave can benefit from following recommendations. 

You can resolve the issues making your browser slow with these steps. If the problem persists, you can switch to a different web browser. 

For instance, more private and secure browsers might be inherently slower than others. However, considering the sheer number of threats, it might be worth it in the long run. 

Check problems with internet connections 

Browsing and download speeds heavily depend on your internet connections. For instance, Wi-Fi interferences affect network operation. Here are some of the common issues causing turning your internet and browser slow: 

  • Connected device is too far from the router. 
  • Multiple devices emitting the same signals interfere with your Wi-Fi connection. 
  • Physical obstacles like walls or objects weaken signals. 
  • Internet Service Providers (ISPs) slow browsing or bandwidth-heavy activities like online gaming. 

Therefore, it is crucial to improve wireless connections

To find out what you work with in terms of speed, run internet speed tests. They can clearly exhibit the performance you receive and whether it is the one making your browser slow.

Possible solutions include the following options: 

  • Reset your router by turning it off and waiting several minutes before turning it back online. 
  • Move routers closer to your devices and do not block them by walls or objects.
  • A Wi-Fi extender can bring stronger signals to more remote spots in your home. 
  • Pick a different Wi-Fi band to prevent interference with other gadgets.  

Stop skipping browser updates 

The reason for slow browsers might mean you have not updated them in a while. 

Here are the steps to speed up Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Edge.

Google Chrome:

  1. Open Google Chrome and click the three dots at the top right corner.
  2. Click Help.

Fix slow Google Chrome by opening three dots and clicking Help to open other settings.

  1. Select About Google Chrome.

Fix slow Google Chrome by clicking on About Google Chrome to see its current version.

  1. The browser will detect your current Chrome version.

Fix slow Google Chrome by seeing whether you need to install updates to fix speed issues.

  1. You can also set Automatically update Chrome for all users to ensure you always use the latest Chrome version.

Ensure that Google Chrome runs fast by setting automatic updates whenever new versions are released.

Mozilla Firefox:

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox and click the three dots in the top right corner.
  2. Click Settings.

Fix slow Mozilla Firefox by opening settings and Help to find out whether you need to update.

  1. In the General section, scroll down to find Firefox updates.
  2. If you need to update, you should notice options for it.

Fix slow Mozilla Firefox by installing the latest version to fix potential speed issues.

  1. You can also set Automatically install updates (recommended).

Fix slow Mozilla Firefox by setting automatic updates to ensure that you use the latest version.

Microsoft Edge:

  1. Open Microsoft Edge and click the three dots at the top right corner.
  2. Move to Help and Feedback.

Fix slow Microsoft Edge by navigating to the Help and Feedback section.

  1. Click About Microsoft Edge.

Fix slow Microsoft Edge by clicking About Microsoft Edge and seeing whether you need to update.

  1. The new window will show whether you need to update your browser.

Update your Microsoft Edge to enjoy the latest and fastest version of the browser.

Do not install too many add-ons and toolbars

Extensions and add-ons can make your browser slow. Therefore, it is crucial not to install random plugins. It also helps fight off browser fingerprinting, meaning that your software becomes more difficult to recognize. If you find add-ons that you did not install, delete them immediately. 

Follow these instructions to find and remove unwanted add-ons on Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Edge.

Google Chrome:

  1. Open Google Chrome and click on the three-dot menu.
  2. Find the More Tools section.

Manage extensions on Google Chrome by clicking More Tools on your browser.

  1. Click Extensions.

Find which Google Chrome extensions you have installed on your browser.

  1. Remove extensions you no longer need by clicking Remove.

Fix slow Google Chrome by removing unnecessary extensions from your browser.

Mozilla Firefox:

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox and click the three-dot menu.
  2. Navigate to Add-ons and themes.

Find what extensions you have installed on Mozilla Firefox by opening Add-ons and themes.

  1. Pick Extensions on the left side menu.

Open Extension on Mozilla Firefox to see what extensions you have installed.

  1. Find the extension you wish to remove.

Fix slow Mozilla Firefox by removing unnecessary browser extensions.

  1. Click the three dot button and click Remove.

Remove Mozilla Firefox extensions by clicking the Remove button.

Microsoft Edge:

  1. Open Microsoft Edge and click on the three-dot menu.
  2. Click on Extensions.

Open Extension on Microsoft Edge to see what you have installed on your browser.

  1. In the small section, pick Manage Extensions.

Click Manage Extensions to review everything you have installed on Edge.

  1. Find the add-on you wish to remove and click Remove.

Fix slow Microsoft Edge by removing unnecessary extensions.

Close tabs and reduce their number

Having too many tabs open can make your browser slow and laggy. Therefore, it is important to keep it at a minimum. If many tabs are necessary, close some of them as soon as possible. The chances are that you will immediately see speed improvements after closing unnecessary tabs. 

Clear cache and browsing data regularly 

Clearing the cache every few months can boost the slow browser experience. Essentially, your browser collects many files that become a burden over time. Thus, you will need to lift this load off its shoulders. Also, clearing cookies will help you eliminate any harmful or unnecessary ones.

Please remember that clearing the cache can trigger slower performance at first. Since your browser won’t have cached versions of websites, it will take longer to fetch them. On the plus side, you will see the most recent updates on web platforms. 

How to fix slow browsers 

To sum up, the browser slow issue does not take a lot of resources to fix. Perform the following steps, and see whether this guide fixes the problem. 

  • Check whether your internet connection is not the one making your browser slow. Do this by running speed tests and comparing browsing performance with other activities. 
  • Start fresh by resetting your browser. If all attempts prove to be fruitless, clear everything your browser has accumulated. 
  • Run malware checkups with security software. Sometimes, infections can interfere with normal internet operation. For instance, secret activities and data transfers can scoop up bandwidth leaving little for your activities.
  • Block trackers and ads online. Pop-up windows and trackers play a role in making your browser slow. We suggest enabling our Shield and preventing such content from loading. It will mean faster and healthier browsing.
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Anton P.

Anton P.

Former chef and the head of Atlas VPN blog team. He's an experienced cybersecurity expert with a background of technical content writing.

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