Tech corner

How to use your internet browser to its full potential

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Whether you use Safari, Chrome, Firefox or something else entirely, there are always ways you can make sure you’re getting the most out of your internet browser of choice.

Get rid of unused extensions

In the same way that too many unnecessary apps can slow down your phone, too many plug-ins and extensions can do the same to your internet browser, taking up system resources and causing bugs and crashes. To keep everything running smoothly, it's best to run an extension audit every so often and get rid of the ones you no longer need.

Doing so is straightforward enough. In Chrome, the Extensions option can be found under the More Tools heading on the main menu; in Firefox, simply choose Add-ons from the main menu; in Safari, open Preferences and click Extensions; and in Edge, click Extensions to see what you’ve got installed.

 

Regularly clear out your cache and cookies

As you surf the web, your browser keeps a certain number of files on disk – known as the cache – to help speed up your browsing experience. The next time you visit a website, the presence of the previous cache files means your browser only needs to download any new bits of information from the web, effectively speeding up your experience.

Your browser should automatically manage this cache, but it can sometimes get unwieldy and cause the occasional bug or glitch, so it’s still handy to clear out your cache yourself occasionally and start from scratch. After a cleanup, you might notice a slight slowdown to begin with, as your browser rebuilds the cache, but it should quickly return to normal and run faster than before.

When you’re clearing your cache, most browsers let you clear cookies as well. Cookies are nuggets of data that websites keep a track of on your machine to identify who you are, where you're from, your website preferences, and other similar information. Usually these cookies are harmless and useful, but running a regular purge will help to quickly get rid of any corrupt or unnecessary ones.

 

Keep tabs on your tabs

Doing a regular spring clean behind the scenes isn't the only way to help speed up your web experience; managing how many tabs you have open more efficiently will also help you to browse faster. The more tabs you have open, the slower your browser is going to run.

Though it can be hard sometimes when you’re trying to multitask, keeping the number of open tabs down to a minimum is the best way to avoid this. If you need to keep track of several sites so you can return to them later, just save the site links to your browser's bookmarks list. You can set up a Temporary folder for this very purpose, so they don’t stick around in your history forever.

 

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