For those who aren’t too comfortable with technology, changing the homepage or the search engine of the browser can be a difficult job, let alone fiddling around with settings like default browsers, tools, add-ons and browsing data. It’s the reason Microsoft was ordered to give users the option to change their default search from Bing to anything else they want as a part of setting up Internet Explorer.
A few months ago, I had a terrible time explaining to my Luddite relative, who had just switched from an old version of Firefox to Chrome, that the Omnibox is the one-stop solution for both URLs and direct search—and a whole lot of other cool stuff. I wish I had known about Auslogics Browser Care at that time.
Making Things Easy
Telling non-techies to fiddle around with the Settings tab of any software tends to give them sweaty palms, and understandably so—if you don’t know what you’re doing, the Settings tab can be quite intimidating and not user-friendly at all. But Auslogics Browser Care simplifies things by mapping them out on diagrams.
Once you install the free app, it will detect which browsers you are running and give you tabs for them in its settings pane. In my case, I have Internet Explorer, Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox installed. Click the browser you want to customize and you’re ready to start.
Auslogics shows the user a dummy of a browser window with the main elements. So at the top, there’s the URL bar and a search bar, like the older browser versions used to have. Click the URL bar and you can type in a web address to set it as your homepage. Hit the drop-down on the search bar and you’ll get a list of search engines you can set as default, such as Bing, Google, Yahoo, Wikipedia, Twitter, and so on, depending on what your browser supports. It’s really that simple.
A Little Maintenance
Once you have these two basic elements taken care of, you can run a little maintenance for your browser to keep it speedy or remove unwanted items.
Browsing data, such as cookies, cache, forms, history and passwords, can be stored in your web browser without you knowing. And it’s this private data collected by your browser that ad-makers and nefarious parties can use against you. It’s best to get rid of it once in a while, and Auslogics Browser Care makes it easy. When you click the “Clear Browsing Data” button, it will ask you which elements you want to remove, explaining what each one does.
You can also check out which toolbars and add-ons you have installed—unwittingly or on purpose, since many software packages come with these. Go through the list and click on any add-on or toolbar to see a summary of what it does. To search for more information about it, use the handy link. If it seems like something you don’t want or need, switch it off or delete it with the one-click option. This is one of the best practices if you want to speed up your browser.
Safety In Backups
Auslogics Browser Care automatically performs a system backup before taking any action. So in case anything goes wrong, you can restore things to how they were. In fact, there’s also an option to restore any browser to its default settings.
If you use Auslogics often, it’d be best to once go into the Settings -> Rescue Center. By default, it sets disk space usage at 10% and is set to delete backups older than 3 months. Using 10% of your disk space on this might be a bit much, so reduce that to 5%.
A Few Flaws
While the software worked perfectly on both Mozilla Firefox and Internet Explorer, it didn’t do anything with Google Chrome, throwing up an error that said, “Settings can’t be changed since Google Chrome is linked to your account.” When I tried it on a version of Chrome with no account linked, it was fine—but chances are that you sign into Chrome with your Google account, so it kind of defeats the purpose.
Another issue was that it can’t handle multiple browser profiles, and when you change the settings for a browser, it performs that universally across all profiles. Tsk!
Should You Get It?
Auslogics Browser Care is one of those programs that I would instantly recommend to people who aren’t too comfortable with technology. For a simple task like clearing browser cache or changing the search option, there’s no reason for you to have to rely on techie friends when there’s a cool tool like this available. And as someone who gets called about such issues from my friends and family, I’m setting up Auslogics Browser Care on their Windows PCs to make my life a little easier.
That said, I already mentioned that Auslogics Browser Care can’t handle multiple profiles and gives up on Chrome browsers linked to a Google account. Is that a dealbreaker for you?
Original image by: Yiie