Speed Up IE7

Filed under: Internet Optimization 

Internet Explorer is still the most commonly used browser on the Internet today. If this is to remain the case, the newer versions of IE should be functional, user-friendly and fast. Firefox became popular because of the useful extra functionality (like tabbed browsing) and the better performance, pages loaded faster and overall browsing performance.

In Internet Explorer 7 Microsoft has made further improvements to their Internet Explorer product. Although the software clearly takes more after Windows Vista than Windows XP, it can certainly be used on both Windows versions. IE7 security features have been added and improved, functionality has been extended and even performance has been addressed.
Unfortunately this is not a guaranteed for fast browsing. Some of the extra features in IE7 can even make browsing slower. Especially the security and new functionality can cause your internet browsing to be slower in IE7 than in IE6.

There are ways to speed up IE7 though. A few performance tweaks are actually applicable to all versions of Internet Explorer, but most are specific to IE7. With all the tips below, make sure you try them and revert back to the previous configuration if they do not work. Dependencies between add-ins, usage of specific software and your overall system configuration could result in one or more of the tips not to work in your case.

Move Internet Explorer Temp Folder

The large amount of data that is involved with internet browsing has resulted in a big role for the IE cache mechanism. Browsing history is stored in temporary files to speed up internet browsing. You can improve the access to the internet cache by moving the temporary folder location to a separate disk or partition.

IE7 - Move Temporary Internet Files

If you access the Temporary Internet Files and History the Move folder button to change the location of your temporary internet files.

  1. In IE7 select the Tools menu.
  2. Select Internet Options.
  3. In the Browsing history section, click the Settings button.

Move the folder to a separate disk or to a separate partition to speed up your system.

The advantage is that a separate disk will give you faster access to the files, since the default system disk is used a lot by Windows itself. Secondly, it will prevent fragmentation of the system disk, which benefits the overall performance of Windows.

Disable the Phishing Filter

The Phishing Filter in IE7 is another area for performance improvement. If you mainly visit sites you trust and have used a lot, you can consider disabling the Phishing Filter in IE7.

  1. In the IE7 Tools menu, select Phishing Filter.
  2. In the submenu select Turn Off Automatic Website Checking.
IE7 - Disable Phishing Filter

Note:If you are running Live OneCare, it will warn that you should turn the Phishing Filter on for increased security. But this is expected from a security product anyway. Turn the Phishing Filter on for sites you are not sure of and be careful when you enter personal or access details in all cases.

Turn Off ClearType

Depending on your computer configuration, you can consider turning off ClearType. Although this character type enhancement technology helps with the readability of text on your computer screen, it does take additional PC performance. On modern, fast PC’s the benefit should be minimal, but if you have an older system it is worth a try.

  1. In IE7, click the Tools menu and select Internet Options.
  2. Click the Advanced tab.
  3. Scroll down to the section with Multimedia options.
  4. Clear the checkbox in front of Always use ClearType for HTML.
  5. Click the OK button.
  6. Restart the Internet Explorer.
IE7 - Disable ClearType

Disable Automatic RSS Feed Checking

In IE7 Microsoft also added RSS support to allow users to use RSS feeds from their browser. Most people using RSS however use other tools for that, so your probably won’t be using it. Actually most e-mail programs are better suited for RSS reading. Both Outlook Express and Outlook have support for RSS feeds. And of course Live Mail, the successor of Outlook Express in Vista also supports RSS.
With the RSS implementation in IE7, there is a feature that automatically checks for updated RSS feeds. If you are not using IE7 to read RSS, disable it for better performance.

  1. From the IE7 Tools menu, select Internet Options.
  2. In the Internet Options dialog box, select the Content tab.
  3. In the Feeds section, click the Settings button.
  4. Clear the checkbox in front of Automatically check feeds for updates.
  5. Click OK twice.
IE7- Disable Automatic RSS Feed Checking

Increase Maximum Simultaneous Connections

From Internet Explorer version 5 onwards, Microsoft has incorporated the possibility to limit the number of simultaneous connections in the Internet Explorer. By default this value is set to 2 connections (following the HTTP recommendations in RFC2616), but this can certainly limit your internet browsing.
The good thing is that this IE limit can be changed.

Disable Reserved Bandwidth

If you have Windows automatic updates turned on, you might have noticed that the updates start downloading whenever available. There is actually a Windows setting that relates to this and that can be used to make more bandwidth available.
Windows uses a quality of service function of the network communication to reserve a maximum of 20% of your bandwidth for bandwidth prioritization. It can be disabled in the following way:

  1. Open the Run option in the Start menu.
  2. Type gpedit.msc and click OK.
  3. Open the tree as shown in the image (Computer Configuration->Administrative Templates->Network->QoS Packet Scheduler).
  4. Disable Reserved Bandwidth
  5. In the right-hand panel, double-click the Limit reservable bandwidth option.
  6. Next, change the option from Not Configured to Enabled.
  7. the Bandwidth Limit (%) value, enter zero (0).
  8. Click the OK button.
  9. Limit Bandwidth Properties
  10. Finally, close the Policy Editor.

Disable Java Add-on

Another tip that is commonly stated in IE7 performance is actually not really related to IE7 itself, but does affect the startup performance of IE7. This relates to the Sun Java add-on. You can try to disable this add-on if you are not using software that relies on it. Unfortunately this is not always easy to assess, so the simple way is to disable it and see if any applications stop working.

  1. In the Tools menu of IE7, select Manage Add-ons and then select Enable or disable Add-ons.
  2. IE7 - Disable Add-on
  3. Scroll down until you see the SSVHelper Class and then select it.
  4. In the Settings section, select the Disable radio button and then click OK.
  5. Restart IE7.

Remember that you try your most used applications after this, because there can be dependencies on this that you might not be aware of. If anything has problems, enable the add-on again to make sure it is related to this Internet Explorer add-on.


2 Comments to “Speed Up IE7”

  1. L. Snow says:

    This was a good article. I made all the changes except for JAVA and IE7 already seems to work a bit more quickly.

  2. abbes sylvie says:

    j’espére que sa va m’aider pour certains jeux …!

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