Workflow By Design - Web Browsing: Simple Tricks to Improve Browser Performance (Part 2)

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Web Browsing: Simple Tricks to Improve Browser Performance (Part 2)

By: Tris MunroOn: October 16, 2017

I hope you're browsing this on one of only a couple of tabs open in your browser. If you are, thanks for taking my advice in Part 1. Ready for a couple more tricks? Part 2 is all about the Browser, and less about your habits.

Update Your Browser

A lot of browsers have an auto-update feature, which is often enabled by default. Sometimes though, this is not the case and you will either need to enable auto-updating, or update manually. There are some very good reasons for keeping your browser up-to-date, and they do outweigh the inconvenience of time lost to an update.

First and foremost is browser security. Sometimes, hackers will find an exploit within a browser than can give them access to just about everything. All of your passwords, all of your browsing history, your whole identity can be put at risk simply by using an outdated browser. That confidential email you just sent out of your Gmail tab? Easy to intercept once a browser exploit has been found. Do you do your banking in the same browser? The list just goes on.

As soon as browser providers are aware of these exploits, they issue an update that defends you against this. Based on just this alone, running the most recent iteration of a browser is just good form. The other reason to update regularly is that when processes are found that slow overall browser performance, they are often patched in newer releases.

If you have a nice tidy cache, an up-to-date browser, and not too much open all at once; chances are you’re going to have a positive browsing experience.

Browser Extensions

Browser extensions can be very useful web browsing tools. There are several which I find to be staples of my day-to-day (The day Adblock was invented was one of the best days of my life, just on this machine alone it has blocked over 65,000!), but you know what they say about too much of a good thing...

Extensions can severely increase your browser’s memory consumption, which in turn slows your browser right down. There are several ways you can tell if extensions are your current bane, from Chrome’s integrated task manager, to actually downloading yet another add-on that can display this information for you.

My advice would be to try and keep your enabled extensions to a minimum, which is a good practice anyway if you’re in the habit of trying to avoid adware.

When all else fails, have you tried turning it off and on again?

Sometimes, it isn’t just your browser that is having a hard time. Your machine could be running several different background processes and applications that are slowing down its overall performance. In this case, restart your machine and see if it makes an improvement. A lot of times, it will.

When was the last time you did a restart?

If you’ve tried all of the above, you do still have some options. Your first is to get in touch with your IT department and let them know you’re having issues. Some issues are quite complex and require professional attention. It could just be that your machine needs a little TLC. It could also be that the website you’re trying to contact is having issues, in which case a friendly note to their support staff should see you on the right track.

The second, and somewhat less appealing option is to bite the bullet and throw out that old i486, and get a new machine!

I hope you have found these Web Browsing articles interesting, and hopefully you found a few tricks that improved your browsing speed.