Internet, Networking, & Security Browsers Improving Performance in Internet Explorer 11 Upgrading and managing performance in IE Share Pin Email Print Browsers Microsoft Chrome Safari Firefox By Mary Landesman Writer Mary Landesman is a former freelance contributor to Lifewire and a security expert. She was named as one of the women to watch in IT security. our editorial process LinkedIn Mary Landesman Updated February 10, 2020 Internet Explorer (IE), formerly Microsoft Internet Explorer (MIE), is a series of web browsers developed by Microsoft which has included as part of their Windows operating systems starting in 1995. While it was the dominant browser for many years, Microsoft Edge has now replaced it as Microsoft's default browser. Internet Explorer version 11 was the last IE release. This means that if you're on Windows 7 and have an earlier version of IE, it's time to upgrade. It also means that you should take a hard look at the other popular browsers, such as Firefox and Chrome, and consider switching. If you are on a Macintosh, the time to switch is now — you can run IE 11 on a Mac if you are willing to do the technology equivalent of standing on your head, but there doesn't seem to be a good reason given the popular alternatives. Shutterstock However, if you are on IE 11 and it is running slow, where a website may display "Page cannot be displayed" or "Cannot find server" error messages, with just a bit of housekeeping, you can resolve Internet Explorer performance issues and keep them from happening in the future. Here are some things to try. 01 of 06 Delete Temporary Internet Files and Cookies 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 cause other unexpected behavior. In general, the less is more principal works well here — keep the Internet Explorer cache small and clear it often. Here's how to clear your cache, or emptying your browser's history, in IE 11: In Internet Explorer, select the Tools button, point to Safety, and then select Delete browsing history.Choose the types of data or files you want to remove from your PC, and then select Delete. 02 of 06 Disable Add-Ons When it comes to IE, it seems everyone wants a piece of it. While legitimate toolbars and other browser helper objects (BHOs) are fine, some aren't so legit or their presence is questionable. Here's how to disable add-ons in IE 11: Open Internet Explorer, select the Tools button, and then select Manage add-ons.Under Show, select All add-ons and then select the add-on you want to turn off.Select Disable, and then Close. 03 of 06 Reset Start and Search Pages 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. Here's how to reset the start and search pages in IE 11: Close all Internet Explorer windows. 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 changes. 04 of 06 Reset Settings Sometimes, despite our best efforts, something happens that causes Internet Explorer to become unstable. Here's how to reset your setting in IE 11 (please note that this is not reversible): Close all Internet Explorer windows. 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 changes. 05 of 06 Disable AutoComplete for Passwords AutoComplete not only makes it easier for you to automatically log on to secure sites — it also makes it easier for Trojans and hackers to gain access to your personal data and login credentials. Here's how to clear the sensitive data, such as passwords stored by AutoComplete and how to disable the feature to protect yourself from compromise. Here's how to turn on or off password saving: In Internet Explorer, select the Tools button, and then select Internet options.On the Content tab, under AutoComplete, select Settings.Select the Usernames and passwords on the forms check box, and then select OK. 06 of 06 Secure Internet Explorer Annoyed by cookies and pop-ups? Internet Explorer 11 has a built-in mechanism for controlling both. Here's how to block or allow cookies in IE 11: In Internet Explorer, select the Tools button, and then select Internet options.Select the Privacy tab, and under Settings, select Advanced and choose if you want to allow, block or be prompted for first and third-party cookies. To turn the pop-up blocker on or off in IE 11: Open Internet Explorer, select the Tools button, and then select Internet options.On the Privacy tab, under Pop-up Blocker, select or clear the Turn on Pop-up Blocker checkbox, and then select OK.