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Is your Internet Browser running Slow?

Browser Add-Ons Firefox Chrome Internet Explorer
Illustration: Gordon McAlpin

Browser running slow? Excessive add-ons and plug-ins may be the culprit. And some of these additions to your browser may be installed without your knowledge. Unrelated applications such as Java will often install toolbars as part of their installation process. Only by carefully reading and unselecting the default check box will you prevent this from happening; clicking through the installation quickly will give your browser something you didn’t want.

Also, many other applications, such as Skype, want to add helper apps to all the browsers on your PC when they install. Sometimes you’d rather keep things simple and not do that.

Here’s a helpful step-by-step guide to removing extra junk from your web browser in five clicks or less. The more streamlined and add-on free your browser, the faster it will run, with less screen real estate being blocked and less frequent crashes, too.


To disable add-ons and plug-ins, click the orange Firefox banner in the upper left. Click Add-Ons to go to the Add-Ons manager. Click the Extensions tab. Click on any of the toolbars or other add-ons listed and click Disable. Next, click the Plugins tab and disable any here that you don’t want anymore. Close and relaunch your browser for a nice speed boost.

Internet Explorer

To disable add-ons, first click the Gear icon in the upper right corner. Click Internet Options. Click the Programs tab. Click Manage Add-Ons. Click each toolbar and click Disable in the lower right. Restart Internet Explorer, and then you should definitely notice a difference.

Google Chrome

Though Chrome doesn’t allow many add-ons, such as toolbars, there may still be plug-ins that you’d rather get rid of. Click the Wrench icon in the upper right corner. Click Options. Click the Under the Hood tab, then Content Settings. Scroll down to Plug-Ins and click the Disable Individual Plug-Ins link. Click Disable next to each plugin you’d like disabled. Restart Chrome and you’ll have a faster web experience.

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