KIM KOMANDO

Make this change if your browser is slowing down to a crawl

Oct 10, 2023, 4:15 AM

Person looks stressed at laptop...

(Pexels File Photo)

(Pexels File Photo)

Quick! What’s the one app you use more than just about any other? I bet it’s your browser. It takes you everywhere online. But with countless extensions and tools, not to mention the complexity of today’s websites, we’re working them to death.

That consistently high demand on your computer’s resources can exhaust your machine, especially laptops. Say hello to shorter battery life, slower performance times, cybersecurity risks and system crashes.

Fortunately, with a few pro tweaks to your browser’s settings, you can do what you need online faster.

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Chrome needs a refresh – Here’s how

Chrome is a notorious resource hog. Yes, Google has made changes to fix that, but popping into the settings will further reduce the load on your system and keep your computer happy.

  • Manage extensions: Click the three-dot menu in the top-right corner, then Extensions > Manage Extensions. Remove or disable any unnecessary extensions.
  • Disable hardware acceleration: Click the three-dot menu in the top-right corner, then Settings > System. Toggle off Use hardware acceleration when available.
  • Content settings: Click the three-dot menu in the top-right corner, then Privacy and security > Site settings. Review and customize permissions for Cookies and site data, JavaScript, Images, and Pop-ups and redirects.

Fix Safari if you use a Mac

On a Mac, you probably use the Safari browser. You can make a couple of quick changes in Apple’s browser, too.

  • Manage extensions: Click Safari in the menu bar > Settings. Open the Extensions tab, then remove or disable anything you don’t use.
  • Site settings: From Settings, click the Websites tab. Customize settings for individual websites; you can block plugins, auto-playing media and location access.
  • Disable auto-playing media: In Settings, go to the Websites tab > Auto-Play. Choose Stop Media with Sound or Never Autoplay to conserve resources.

Congrats! Just a few minutes and you added time to your computer’s life. Don’t stop now:

Dive deeper: Check your battery’s lifespan

Your laptop battery is only equipped to handle a limited number of complete cycles or, in layman’s terms, the charging process in which your battery goes from 0% to 100% before it starts losing efficiency. If you consistently put your laptop battery through complete charge cycles, it will lose efficiency — and so will older batteries as they age.

You can’t just avoid charging your battery to cut down on the cycles you put it through, so it’s essential to check your battery’s health instead. Doing so will give you a good idea of how much more abuse your battery can take and help prompt you to make changes to preserve battery health.

Get the steps for Windows and Mac laptops here.

Keep your tech-know going

My popular podcast is called “Kim Komando Today.” It’s a solid 30 minutes of tech news, tips, and callers with tech questions like you from all over the country. Search for it wherever you get your podcasts. For your convenience, hit the link below for a recent episode.

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Check out my podcast “Kim Komando Today” on AppleGoogle PodcastsSpotify, or your favorite podcast player.

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Make this change if your browser is slowing down to a crawl