10 Ways to Instantly Improve Your Internet Browsing

I spend a lot of time on the internet, and I’ve become a de facto expert on getting the most out of my experience. I have accumulated some tips to improve your internet surfing; however, these tips are Chrome-exclusive and may not be compatible with other browsers.

1. More and more sites are opting to lock their website unless you turn off Adblock. For better or for worse, there are ways to go around the layover.

First, you can just block all scripts from running on a page. This is the easiest solution, but it comes with a caveat. Blocking JavaScript means that most sites will either look broken or simply not load unless you manually allow the site to run JavaScript (seen as a button on the right of your URL box) and refresh. You can, of course, manage exceptions. I prefer this method because blocking scripts means faster load times, improved privacy, and streamlined content without the frills.

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The other way to do this is to download uBlock Origin (not uBlock). Go to chrome://extensions, click on uBlock Origin’s Options. Go to 3rd-party Filters and scroll to Ads. Check the Anti-Adblock Killer by Reek. This should get rid of most overlays.

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2. If you’re a heavy Facebook user, you might want to get SocialFixer. Features include being able to filter out political content, always displaying posts on your feed by newest, and cleaning up the layout. It’s highly customizeable to fit your browsing habits.

3. You know when a tab is playing music or a video and a little speaker button pops up on the tab? Don’t you wish you could click it to automatically mute the tab? Well, now you can! Go to chrome://flags/#enable-tab-audio-muting and click enable.

4. If you’re tired of videos autoplaying the second you load a page, go to chrome://settings and then go to Advanced, Content Settings and look for Plugins. Select “Let me choose when to run plugin content.” This way, any plugin that wants to play will need you to approve it first. You can whitelist sites of your choosing.

5. If you already have Adblock and don’t want to install uBlock Origin (though you should because it’s lighter on your system resources), make sure to install Ghostery, Disconnect or Privacy Badger. Sites will load faster and will be unable to collect your browsing data.

6. To prevent Java from trying to install toolbars or other junk, open the Configure Java applet on your computer, either through a Windows OS search or through right clicking on your Java tray icon. This will open Java Control Panel. Go to Advanced and scroll all the way down to Miscellaneous. Click “Suppress sponsor offers when installing or updating Java.” Viola!

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7. If you use Skype and are sick of seeing ads in the program, go to Control Panel. Click on Network and Internet, then go to Internet Options. Go to the Security tab, then Restricted Sites, then click on the Sites button. Add the following to your restricted sites list: apps.skype.com and g.msn.com.

Similarly, if you don’t want to see ads on uTorrent, open Options in the program, go to Preferences and then click on Advanced. Turn the following flags to false:

  • bt.enable_pulse
  • gui.show_notorrents_node
  • gui.show_plus_upsell
  • offers.content_offer_autoexec
  • offers.left_rail_offer_enabled/left_rail_offer
  • offers.sponsored_torrent_offer_enabled/sponsored_torrent_offer_enabled

8. Make your tabs more responsive by going to chrome://flags/#enable-fast-unload and clicking Enable.

9. If you’re the type of person who doesn’t like to close tabs, you need to get The Great Suspender. This extension will put your tabs to sleep to reduce stress on your CPU and memory.

10. Memorize these handy Chrome keyboard shortcuts, which will save you a lot of time (and stress when you accidentally close a tab you needed!). Don’t forget to use Ctrl+Tab to rotate between tabs.

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