tech tips for writers / writing

Tech Tips for Writers #85: Browser Problem? Switch Browsers

Tech Tips for Writers is an (almost) weekly post on overcoming Tech Dread. I’ll cover issues that friends, both real-time and virtual, have shared. Feel free to post a comment about a question you have. I’ll cover it in a future Tip.

Q: My browser had been working fine, but lately, it freezes, takes forever to load, and acts like it hates its job (to connect me to the world). What do I do?

A: The quick answer: Switch browsers. Sometimes you load programs or system files that conflict with your current browser. Everything that had been working fine suddenly doesn’t.

That just happened to me. I have used FireFox for years. It has all my bookmarks and auto-load sites (so I don’t have to add passwords) and autofills from a dense History list. Recently, loading slowed to a crawl and locked up entirely if I had more than ten tabs open (I routinely keep twenty open. I know–that’s a lot, but I added extra RAM so I can do that without slowing things down. What’s RAM? It’s like buying a bigger desk so you can spread papers out over a wider area). I tried patiently waiting, figuring Firefox would fix the problem with an upgrade.

A week later, I gave up abrowser problemnd opened the Internet with Chrome instead. Everything popped. In nanoseconds, sites were open, twenty open tabs didn’t slow it down. Once I got all my bookmarks and autofills back, it felt like home.

OK, I got off target a bit with my story. Here’s your take-away: When the Internet doesn’t work right, switch browsers. Websites often (put that in bold and italics) run better in one browser over others. They usually tell you, but you don’t always find that message as you’re opening the site. Even now, with my new favorite Chrome browser, I sometimes open in Firefox.

I will say, I never find Internet Explorer as a better option.

What about you? What browser works best for your needs?

More tech tips for writers:

How Do I Use a ‘Read Only’ Doc?

How do I convert my picture?

My Internet Stopped Working

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She is the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer,  a columnist for TeachHUB, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, monthly contributor to Today’s Author and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. You can find her book at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning.

45 thoughts on “Tech Tips for Writers #85: Browser Problem? Switch Browsers

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  2. Like you, Firefox is my browser 99% of the time and like you, sometimes it hangs up. While I do switch to Chrome, I always go back to Firefox because of Chrome’s rumored vulnerabilities. (I never use Explorer). What are the facts on vulnerabilities?


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  4. I use Firefox even though it can be decidedly stand-offish at times, plays video clips in a series of stills and hops, and keeps refusing ‘handshakes’ if it doesn’t like the look in a URL’s eye. I persevere because Chrome is even worse, and Explorer…don’t talk to me about Explorer! I do employ Yahoo a lot, despite it being a germy little beggar, and I use C-Cleaner regularly to put all Firefox’s redundant bits and pieces in the skip. I keep telling myself I’m winning, but I don’t really believe it.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I too switched from Firefox some time ago. Chrome has other problems, but I can usually find work arounds in their Support section.
    I really wanted to support the Mozilla organization but the glitches need to be fixed.
    When I do research, I’ve discovered some government sites require Internet Explorer in order to mesh with their system, so I use it with regret and keep it updated monthly to keep the rest of my computer healthy.
    These posts are helpful. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Strangely I’ve had a lot of problems with Chrome, so you give sound advice as usual. I didn’t think about switching until I downloaded Windows 10 and it came with its own browser (Microsoft Edge). I’ve had no problems so far, but I’ll try a different browser if things start to clog up!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I find that you have to shutdown Firefox from time to time and restart it. The newer versions are memory hogs and something is wrong with their garbage collection (the process that frees unused memory) so the only way to clear a slow Firefox is to restart it. Also I often switch to Chrome when Firefox isn’t working. On the Mac I will use Safari from time to time. It all depends on how the webpage was built – sometimes the web designers optimize a page for one browser and don’t do so well on other pages. For example, products from Google look and work better on Chrome and stuff from Apple works better on Safari (surprise there, right?).

    and internet explorer is just evil, stay away from that one.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. My daughter has a Mac and swears by Chrome, Jacqui. But it doesn’t work well on my PC. I always come back to IE. Keeping things scrupulously updated helps, as well and often dumping temp files and cookies, and daily restarts. If I could afford a good one, I think I’d get a Mac. Owners seem to love them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think Firefox is more intuitive, but less reliable, at least for my work. I’ve come to think that a browser works better/worse depending upon what you do with it. The choice is a lot more personal than I used to think it was.


  9. I hate browser problems. I switch from IE to Firefox, back to IE. Then, when really fed up, I go to Chrome and tear my hair out because something goes wrong with that one within 48 hours. Then I’m back at IE wondering why I didn’t try a little harder to find out what I could do to solve the problem.O_o

    Actually Jacqui, I think some of it has to do with the system you have on your hard drive. I’ve heard that Chrome works great with Mac. I use to have Firefox and loved it, but that was before Windows 8. I think Microsoft has now made their system so that it only works well with IE.:/

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree with you, Glynis. I recently purchased a Chromebook because that is about as easy as it gets if you only need the internet. Boy is it fast! Still, you have to get used to no CAPS LOCK or delete key…


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