Improving Performance in Internet Explorer 11

Upgrading and managing performance in IE

Although Microsoft's venerable Internet Explorer browser has long been deprecated in favor of the new Microsoft Edge browser, the Redmond-based tech giant still maintains IE—it's too deeply embedded into most corporate ecosystems to simply abandon. But even though IE's market share has significantly dwindled, many people still use it. And, as ever, it's still subject to periodic slowdowns that prove vexing to troubleshoot.

These instructions apply to Internet Explorer 11 running on any platform.

Internet Explorer 11 on laptop

How to Fix Slow Performance in IE

Because many different problems hobble browsers, follow the best-practice sequence of steps to improving their performance.

  1. Delete your temporary internet files. Internet Explorer caches web pages you visit and cookies coming from those pages. While designed to speed up browsing, if left unchecked the burgeoning folders can sometimes slow IE to a crawl or prompt other unexpected behavior. In general, the "less is more" principal works well here—keep the Internet Explorer cache small and clear it often.

  2. Disable conflicting add-ons. While legitimate toolbars and other browser helper objects are fine, some aren't so legit or their presence is questionable. Malware often appears in the form of a BHO.

  3. Reset IE's settings. Spyware and adware often change your browser Start and Search pages to point to unwanted websites. Even if you've removed the infestation responsible, you may still need to reset the web settings.

Select the Tools button, and then select Internet options. Select the Advanced tab, and then select Reset. In the Reset Internet Explorer Settings dialog box, select Reset. When Internet Explorer finishes applying default settings, select Close, and then select OK. Restart your PC to apply the changes.