There’s nothing worse than a lagging web browser, and sadly no matter which web browser you pick they’re all susceptible to becoming a bit sluggish.
Slowness of your web browser could be a result of a wider speed issue affecting your entire machine, in which case you should try some of these solutions first.
If the slowdown is only affecting your web browser, there some tweaks you can easily perform that may help.
We’ve already explained how you can speed up browsing with Internet Explorer 11 as well as BT’s optimised version, and have also detailed how you can ramp up Google Chrome. Now, we’re going to show you techniques that should help pump some more energy into Firefox.
Firefox is an open source browser which first made its way on to the scene in 2002, and is run by Mozilla. Although newer browsers such as Chrome have come along and made an impact, Firefox is the third most popular browser worldwide.
If you’re a Firefox user and are noticing a slight decrease in performance, try some of these tips:
Tip 1: Refresh Firefox
Over time, your browser will accumulate all sorts of data and not all of it is necessary. The Refresh Firefox feature returns some parts of your browser back to their default settings.
The items that will be deleted include:
· Themes and extensions
· Download history
· Website permissions
· Download history
· Social features
· Plugin settings
· Search Engines you’ve added
· DOM storage
If you’re OK with removing these, simply type about:support in the URL bar of Firefox.
To the right you’ll see a box which says ‘Give Firefox a tune up’. Click the button below marked Refresh Firefox….
A pop-up box will appear asking you to confirm this action. Click Refresh Firefox if you’re sure you want to proceed.
Tip 2: Remove plugins
Plugins are there to enhance experience for certain content on the web, but if you don’t use them they’re just clogging up your system for no reason.
You can find plugins by going to the Settings menu at the top right and clicking Add-ons.
Along the side menu, click Plugins and read through the list, identifying any you think you no longer use.
To uninstall, search ‘control panel’ and select Uninstall a program under Programs.
Find the software you wish to remove and carry out the uninstallation process.
Be warned, this may require removing a complete software package altogether. On our list, we noticed Google Maps, which we haven’t used for ages and no longer need. We had to uninstall the whole of Google Earth to get rid of the plugin, so be absolutely sure you only uninstall software you no longer need or want.
Tip 3: Clear your history
Clearing your browser’s history not only cleans up the web pages you’ve visited but also cookies and cache data.
To clear this, go to the Settings menu and select Options.
From the side menu select Privacy and under History click Clear your recent history.
A box will appear – from the dropdown box select Everything and then tick all the boxes below, followed by the Clear Now button.
Tip 4: Pipelining
Pipelining changes the amount of requests your browser sends to a server. Normally, your browser will send a request and wait for a response, but pipelining sends multiple requests which should cut down the amount of time it takes to download a page.
Be warned, pipelining isn’t a guaranteed fix and some people have claimed mixed results, so try this tip at your own risk. Without technical confidence and knowledge, the only way you’ll be able to reverse it is by refreshing Firefox as mentioned in Tip 1.
A simple add-on has been made to do all the work for you called Pipelining Firefox, which you can download here.
Tip 5: Try the Disconnect add-on
Firefox recommends trying another add-on called Disconnect, which blocks invisible websites that track your search and browsing history. The maker claims stopping these sites could improve page loading time by up to 27%. Download Disconnect here.
Firefox also has advice on some basic and more advanced slowness solutions on the Mozilla Support website.
Do you know any other techniques for speeding up your web browser? Share them in the Comments section below.