Why do all browsers on my PC run so slow and how can I fix it?

Heather K August 4, 2013

I have been having constant trouble online, doesn’t matter which browser – Internet Explorer 11 is the worst – but it’s just so very slow! I’ve done a full clean-up, checked & updated everything and nothing seems to be wrong.

The one thing that did pop up on Firefox was that my Java plugin was outdated. I checked and it wasn’t and I don’t have any outdated Java installations on my computer. So I am really baffled and would love some help!

I’ve tried Firefox, Chrome, Opera and IE11.

  1. Dalsan M
    August 5, 2013 at 8:59 pm

    There are several good suggestions given, but I would like to know if this happened recently or if it has been on-going? Were there any recent changes made to your network like changing your router? You may want to see if your router settings are set for QoS (Quality of Service) as this can cause slow internet connections. You can also try changing your DNS settings to something like OpenDNS (http://www.opendns.com/opendns-ip-addresses) to see if that helps, and may give clues to what may be causing the issue. You can also open the command prompt by clicking on the Start Button and typing "cmd" (without quotes), then right-clicking on CMD and choose Run as administrator. Once in the command prompt, type "ipconfig /flushdns" (without quotes) and press enter. Restart the computer and see if this helps.

  2. Alan W
    August 5, 2013 at 6:03 am

    Go to this site: http://www.speedtest.net/ and run the test, is the result good or bad?

  3. Paul Y
    August 5, 2013 at 5:55 am

    A few points spring to mind....

    Take a look at the features offered by your anti-virus/firewall software. Some times so called, "safe browsing" extensions can slow down your internet browser because they are filtering and safe checking the content you are trying to access.

    Slow access to web pages can be further stalled by out of date adobe flash, shockwave, and other browser extensions - check that all your plug-ins and extensions are still compatible with the browser version, and also up to date (Firefox has a tool to do this for you).

    If in doubt about the speed of your internet connection with your I.S.P. try testing it via a visit to http://www.speedtest.net/ , which will measure your download and upload speeds. Should the tests record slower than expected there could be a variety of reasons; for example, your connection speed could have been capped by your I.S.P. if you previously did lots of down loading, or your local equipment (routers, switches, modems, cables) may need upgrading - they do wear out....

    If you use a wireless router make sure you have locked out any unwanted surfers (usually neighbours) who may be obtaining free internet from you and stealing your bandwidth.

    Hope this helps

  4. Susendeep D
    August 4, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    Go to control panel and check whether you have installed any network related software like network booster,internet tuneup type of software.If it's there,then try uninstalling it to see any speed improvements.

    It could be also due to a large number of addons,extensions installed into the browsers.Remove those which you won't use.

    Also,see whether any background processes is running and taking internet bandwidth like torrent,cloud syncing etc..

    If these problems also exists,then see if you use router,then try resetting it to factory mode.If still not helpful then,contact your ISP to ask whether they are throttling your connection and reasons behind it.

    Also,try updating your network device driver to latest version.

  5. dragonmouth
    August 4, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    How often, if at all, do you clean out your cookies and temporary internet files?
    How many plugins and extensions does each of your browsers have?
    How many services are automatically started on boot up? Turn off all but the essential ones.
    How many programs are automatically started on boot up? Turn off all but the essential ones.
    Do you use CCleaner? If not, download it and use it regularly to control all of the above.

  6. Hovsep A
    August 4, 2013 at 7:20 am

    try to clean boot windows, check if your browsing experience will be better
    if yes then you have a process that is slowing down browser, start to activate one process at a time and boot to find out which one is causing this perhaps it is malware.

    1) go to start type cmd, right click and choose run as administrator
    2) on the black screen type: ipconfig /flushdns
    3) reboot windows

    try this microsoft solution

  7. Bruce E
    August 4, 2013 at 3:49 am

    Since it is affecting all browsers, have you checked your connection speed? Maybe all of them are slow because your internet connection itself is what is slowing you down.

    Also, if you do visit sites that use Java applets, you should disable Java in your web browsers (via the Java applet in the Control Panel). If you don't use Java applications on your local machine as well, you should just uninstall Java in its entirety. If you don't use it, there are just too many security holes constantly being found to justify its presence on your machine.

    In checking for outdated Java installations, did you look through the Add/Remove Programs (XP) list or Programs & Features (Vista & later) to find them? Some Java updates do not actually remove some of the older installations. I can't count the number of times I have gone to work on a system to find that there are multiple older versions of Java on the same machine. Anything older than version 7 Update 25 needs to go.

    You can also run any of the browsers without any addin/plugins loaded to see if that makes a difference. If it does, there is a problem with one or more plugins for the browser that needs be (manually) tracked down and eliminated or fixed.

    • Bruce E
      August 4, 2013 at 8:18 pm

      Sorry, the second paragraph shoudl start with 'if you do NOT visit sites that use Java applets...'

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