Speed Up Internet Explorer by Identifying Slowpoke Add-Ons (Microsoft Names Names)

Last Updated Aug 9, 2010 12:08 AM EDT

If you're an Internet Explorer user, you probably already know that your browser can run slowly at times -- especially at startup and when you try to launch a new tab. The most common cause of that pokiness? Add-ons (primarily toolbars) can cause tabs to start achingly slow. Microsoft has recently given you the tools you need to dramatically improve this performance.

For a long time, Microsoft has admitted that add-ons can bog down Internet Explorer, but the company seemed reluctant to out the culprits. In a recent Internet Explorer blog post, though, they've detailed exactly which add-ons are the worst offenders.

The worst of the worst? The Winamp Toobar takes well over a second to initialize. Each and every time you fire up a new tab. Pair that with the AVG Safe Search IE Add-on (also more than a second), and you're looking at about 2.5 seconds of waiting every time you open a new tab. A half dozen of the top 50 most popular add-ons take at least a half-second to load.

So how do you know what add-ons you are currently using, and how to disable them? Just do this:

  1. Click Tools, and then click Manage Add-ons.
  2. Browse the list. You can see the time it takes each add-on to load.
  3. When you see an add-on you want to eliminate, click Disable.