Why is your browser slow? Ways to pick up speed

Anton P. | June 21, 2022

Is your browser slow and cannot keep up with your activities? Its idle performance could mean that web pages take longer 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 can trigger slower browser performance by skipping common maintenance steps like clearing cache or installing the latest version. 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.

What makes your browser slow?

Your browser is slow for various reasons. One of the obvious suspects 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.
  • Detecting and 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.

Social media sites can interfere with performance due to 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.

Are some browsers faster than others?

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 do not do this and establish a direct connection between users and web entities. So, the routine followed by Google Chrome is in favor of fast speeds. However, one of the greatest strengths of Tor is its ability to offer more security and anonymity online.

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

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

Remember that even the fastest programs are not immune to common mistakes. External elements like the usage of outdated versions can make any browser slow. You will quickly feel the impact of skipping Chrome updates or using outdated versions of Chrome.

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 could diminish the normal operation of networks. Here are some of the common issues causing turning your internet and browser slow:

  • Connected device is too far from the router.
  • Many 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 follow recommendations for improving 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.
  • Consider moving routers to better locations, preferably closer to your devices and not blocked 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 your browser is slow might mean you have not updated it in a while. Outdated versions might exhibit performance issues or make your activities susceptible to security vulnerabilities.

Here are the steps to update Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Edge.

Google Chrome:

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

  1. Select About Google Chrome.

  1. The browser will detect your current Chrome version.

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

Mozilla Firefox:

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

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

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

Microsoft Edge:

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

  1. Click About Microsoft Edge.

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

  1. Click Extensions.

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

Mozilla Firefox:

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

  1. Pick Extensions on the left side menu.

  1. Find the extension you wish to remove.

  1. Click the three dot button and click Remove.

Microsoft Edge:

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

  1. In the small section, pick Manage Extensions.

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

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 components 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.

More quick tips for fixing slow browser performance

To sum up, the browser slow issue does not take a lot of resources to fix. Perform the following steps, and you should be satisfied with your browsing speed.

  • 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. Therefore, we suggest enabling our SafeBrowse 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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