Browser Troubleshooting

Slow performance and page loads

Assuming your internet connection speed is fine (check it here), sluggish browser performance and page loading can have a number of root causes.

You should already be running the latest version of your browser, but just check anyway: Help then About Google Chrome from the Chrome menu, Helpthen About Firefox from the Firefox menu, Update & Security then Windows Update in Windows Settings for Edge, or the Updates tab in the Mac App Store for Safari.

Is an extension dragging down the performance of your browser? Disabling add-ons one by one is something you can try to see if it has any effect—More tools then Extensions from the Chrome menu, Add-ons from the Firefox menu, Extensions from the Edge menu, and Preferences then Extensions from the Safari menu.

If it’s not an extension that’s slowing everything down, it might be a corrupted cache of data. You can easily blitz these temporary files and give your browser a clean fresh start, though you’ll have to log in everywhere again, so keep those passwords handy.

In Chrome, open up Settings from the menu then pick Advanced and Clear browsing data. In Firefox, you want Options from the menu then Privacy & Security and Clear Data. For Edge, it’s Settings and Choose what to clear under Clear browsing data on the menu. And finally in Safari, open the Safari menu and pick PreferencesPrivacy, and Manage Website Data.

In all cases it’s the cache and the cookies you want to focus your attention on. In Safari, the cache option is hidden—you need to go to the Advanced tab in the Preferences pane, then tick Show Develop menu in menu bar. Then open up the newly revealed Develop menu and pick Empty Caches.

If you’re still experiencing problems, uninstall and reinstall your browser—if a clean reinstall doesn’t work, something besides the browser might be affecting performance. That something could be malware, which we’ve discussed more in tip 6 below.

It’s worth mentioning that Firefox has a couple of useful extra options for resetting your browser and limiting extensions—if you pick Help then Troubleshooting Information from the menu, you can click Refresh Firefox or Restart with Add-ons Disabled to see if it makes a difference.

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