Internet Explorer is one of the most popular browsers on the internet. One of the reasons why users switch to other browsers is because IE tends to slow down after some time. This can be attributed to a lot of factors such as the presence of lot temporary internet files which is reducing the performance, unwanted cookies, corrupted IE files due to malware attack and changed default settings by software and add-ons.
Internet Explorer optimization fixes most of these issues. The logic behind doing Internet explorer optimization is to remove temporary files, cookies and reset IE to optimum settings for better performance. Call any technical support guy for IE issues, he will start the troubleshooting with the steps mentioned below. The steps mentioned below are applicable for Internet Explorer versions 7 to 11. This can also be done on IE 6 with a small change in settings.
How to do a complete Internet explorer optimization?
Open Internet Explorer Options
- Close all the open Internet Explorer windows.
- Press Windows Key + R to open Run windows. Type inetcpl.cpl and click OK
- This is going to open Internet Properties window
Delete Browsing history
- Check the options Preserve Favorites website data, Temporary Internet files and website files, Cookies and website data, History, Download History, and Tracking Protection, ActiveX Filtering and Do Not Track
- Click on Delete
An explanation for what data is going to be deleted is explained under each option. I suggest checking all the boxes. Beware, don't check the Passwords option in case if you saved passwords in IE and you don't remember it anymore. Press delete key after selecting the options.
Reset all zones to default
- Click on the Security tab on the top
- Click on the option Reset all zones to default level
If "Reset all zones to default level" is greyed out, it means the option is already selected.
Configure Privacy tab
Make sure Turn on Pop-up Blocker is turned on.
Configure the Content tab
- Click Content Tab
- Click on Clear SSL state
- Click OK on the message that says SSL cache cleared successfully
This step is going to fix issues related to problems with logging into secure websites such as your email and banking websites.
Configure Connection Tab
- Click on Connection tab
- click on LAN settings which will open a window as shown below
In most computers, "Automatically detect settings" is checked. You may keep it the same if it is already checked. However, there is one scenario where I would suggest to uncheck it. When you open IE for the first time, it takes a long time to upload the first page. The remaining pages load normally. Unchecking this option should fix it.
If checked, then uncheck "Use automatic configuration script" and "Proxy server".If these 2 options are checked without your knowledge, it might be as a result of some malware attack on your computer. Browser hijacking on IE is mainly attributed to the entries in this location.
"Use automatic configuration script" and "Proxy server" might be checked in some genuine cases. If you are using a dial-up connection, some ISP's provide a software which boasts about speeding up your internet connection. This software is known to use some scripts which can be seen in this location. A proxy server is also used when you are trying to access a secured or dedicated websites. For instance, one of my client that I worked with recently had some ipaddress written under proxy server. When I asked him if he knows what that entry is, he said that it was for logging into some military site. I left it checked.
- Click on Programs Tab
- Click Manage add-ons
Add-ons give additional functionality to your web browser for better browsing experience. At the same time, it can also destroy the browser or slow down the browser performance. Go through the list of add-ons used by the browser. You can check if the add-on is a good one, by checking the publisher name. If you find a suspicious-looking add-on, select it and click on the disable option below it. Add-on related to toolbars is known to slow down the performance of IE. Remove it if you don't use it.
You can also run IE directly without add-on using the command below.
Open Run window -> type iexplore.exe -extoff
Click on the Advanced tab
Using IE for a long period might create some changes in the setting here. It is difficult to remember which options need to be checked and unchecked.
- Select Restore advanced settings to take all the settings to default.
- Click OK and then start using IE.
If none of these methods are working, use the "Reset" button under the Advanced tab in the "Reset Internet Explorer settings". This will set your IE to the original factory settings which fix almost all complicated issues. Try this as the last step as it will reset all IE settings.
If you still find issues with IE, Read this article on how to fix corrupted Internet Explorer files.