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How to recover from a slow browse issue

Updated on February 6, 2011

How to fix a slow browse issue

A lot of us experience the issue of the internet slowing down.  The worst part is it seems to be the one thing we can’t control.  There are some simple breakpoints in treating the cause of a slow internet browser.

The main internet browser used by most is Internet Explorer, so that is the one we will focus on for now.  And make note, the instructions here may be based on a certain version of Internet Explorer or Windows and many paths may be a little different than what you see if you are using different versions that what is taught here, keep an open mind and look for what you should see then look for what may be an alternate route.

Always remember when troubleshooting the problem, use your breakpoints

Breakpoints break it down for you, from the most common or simplest to fix problem to the most rare or hardest problem to fix.  Use the breakpoints because often enough, the simplest or most common problem will be fixed in a matter of minutes.

Think about what may be causing the problem

You always want to start where you left off.  Did something happen just before the trouble began?  Is what you really need to do perform a virus scan?

Then, move on to the first step

Firstly, you’ve all heard, clear your cookies. But some don’t know how. So here’s step by step for Windows Vista using Internet Explorer 8.

Two ways to access the tool for clearing history: #1.start menu, control panel - depending on which ‘view’ you’re in, depends on what you click on next; you are given two view options for Vista; either click on ‘classic’ view, then double click Internet Options or if staying in category view, click on Network and Internet then click on Internet Options. Once you’re in your Internet Options, click on ‘Delete’ under browsing history. Make sure the first four options are selected and click delete. Close internet options. #2.Open Internet Explorer and click on ‘tools’ in the top right or top left. Click on Internet Options at the bottom and then click on ‘Delete’ under browsing history. Make sure the first four options are selected and click delete. Close internet options. Close internet.

Open Internet Explorer and check if your speed has increased before trying the next step.

Latest and Greatest

Go to Microsoft .com and download the latest browser version or updates if you do have the latest version. If slow browsing began after updating to the latest version or installing the latest updates, then uninstall the last one you did to return the browser to its previous working condition.

Go to start menu and click on control panel, uninstall programs and find the update/upgrade and then uninstall it. If you don’t see what you’re looking for in the control panel, then close it and instead, open ‘computer’ from the start menu and click on uninstall or change and then find the update/upgrade and uninstall.


Try unplugging the modem from its power for a minute and plug it back in. If your speed returns and your modem is a few years old and doing this fixes the problem more than a few times, then start looking for new modem. Unplugging the modem and it fixes your problem only means the modem is slowly failing and needs the temporary fix to get it running for a bit longer.

The stuff you add on should be taken off

If you have a lot of toolbars on the top of your window, that’s going to add to the drag of browsing. Toolbars are all those search and buttons added to the window on top. For each toolbar installed, you are being tracked and the information being sent to the company for advertising dollars and whatever else. Do yourself a favor and uninstall all the toolbars you don’t need down to one basic Yahoo, Google or Bing search toolbar unless, the additional toolbar is required for you to be able to use certain sites, like a game site and so on, so in that case, keep what you will use. If you can’t uninstall it, disable it. To disable the toolbar, click on Tools and Manage Add-ons, make sure ‘Toolbars and Extensions’ is selected on the left and then select the toolbar in the list on the right and click on disable.

The second add-on type is the actual ‘add-on’ some sites add to your browser for you to view their websites. Sometimes these add-ons can get corrupted. To find out if they are, open Internet Explorer by right clicking it from your start menu and click on browse without add-ons. If your surfing has improved, an add-on is to blame. If you’re still in Internet Explorer, click on Tools on the right and put your mouse over Manage Add-ons and then click on Enable or disable add-ons, unless you have IE8, then you will just click on manage add-ons or to open the editing of add-ons in the control panel, you click on Network and Internet then Manage browser add-ons. Make sure to check which ones are enabled in the category of “Run without permission” and other add-on categories and types, disable a handful and open a new IE browser window under normal operating procedure and if the speed returns, one of those fixed it, if not, keep going back until you find the culprit. Restore the add-ons back to enabled if they didn’t fix the problem (pen and paper will come in handy here).

Sometimes restoring or returning the browser to its original state is the bug that needs to be squashed

In your Internet Options is an Advanced tab that will give you two options for you next set of options. First I try the ‘Restore advanced settings’ button on the bottom to see if that will fix my problem. Then, if that didn’t work, I try the ‘Reset…’. After trying restore, close browsing and open a new one, if your surfing is fine, you’re done and if not try the reset. If this still does not work, then a last option would be to uninstall Internet Explorer and re-install. DO NOT uninstall without first downloading another browser program and making sure you can surf several sites so you can get back to the internet to re-install Explorer. Choose what new program you want and install it first. Go to your programs and uninstall Internet Explorer. Open your other browser program and go to and download a new Internet Explorer version.

Now we move on to more intense options

Safe mode with networking will tell you if your system is getting interference from a virus or firewall. Going into safe mode is just another “let’s see if this works” step, and if it does, then your research goes on to finding out why it worked and Firewall or virus will be your answer.

For safe mode #1: if your pc is already on, click on start and ‘Run…’ (for XP) or the windows logo button on your keyboard + the letter ‘R’ at the same time. Your open box appears and you type "msconfig". Click on the tab that says boot and click next to safe boot in the bottom left and network or networking to the right or underneath, then, click ok and restart. You will be in safe mode when the pc comes back on and just reverse for coming out of safe mode. If you surf ok while in safe mode, your issue is a virus or firewall setting and you need to run a virus scan check your firewall security settings.

For safe mode #2: if pc is off, hold down the F8 key until your selection screen appears and then select 'Safe Mode with Networking' using your arrow keys and press enter.

If you’re still having issues, perform the next step in safe mode or normal mode.

Restoring the computer to a previous state of functionality may be your next option if all else fails. System Restore can be your best friend when something goes wrong and nothing seems to be helping. You will ‘restore’ your pc back to a date it was previously known to work. The good thing about restoring in Windows is it’s not supposed to delete your files. I would save new files or pictures to a disc or online before trying the restore, if it’s an option.

In your start menu, go to all programs, then Accessories and then System Tools and then click on System Restore. You can select the recommended restore point then click next, or you can choose a different restore point (if you choose a different restore point, a screen of dates will appear and select the date and then, next). Then look over your choices and click Finish. Wait for the restore and reboot.


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    • katiem2 profile image


      7 years ago from I'm outta here

      What awesome tips to cure a slow browser. We all face this problem with a slow running system being in the marketing business. You've done a great job of explaining how to address the problems that cause a slow browser and how to recover from a slow browser.

      Thanks for the tips! :) Katie

    • rpalulis profile image


      7 years ago from NY

      These are great tips on How to recover from a slow browse issue, I just recently started using Google Crome, and so far I am very impressed.

      Great hub very useful, thanks sharing you expertise.


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