Disabling Add-Ons in IE8

It’s easy to lose track of how many add-ons you’re running in IE8 and how they can slow things down. An interesting experiment is to use the “-extoff” flag to disable all add-ons and see how zippy IE8 becomes.

To do this, create an icon for IE on your desktop (usually "C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe") and add “ –extoff” to the end of the command. So, if you’ve installed IE8 in the default location, the target/location would become:

"C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe" –extoff

Try surfing a few sites (you’ll be warned you’re running with extensions off). When I did this the speed increase was noticeable, suggesting that add-ons were having a reasonably significant effect on my browser speed.

To get an idea of which add-ons are slowing you down the most, go to "Tools” then “Manage Add-Ons” then, ensuring “Toolbars and Extensions” is selected, scroll right so you can see the “Load Time” column. Try removing any add-ons that a) aren’t particularly useful and b) have long load times.

Comments (7)
  1. feranm_ie8team says:

    You can also run IE in no add-ons mode: Start -> All Programs -> Accessories -> System Tools -> Internet Explorer (No Add-ons) .


    IE Outreach Team

  2. Ian Moulster says:

    Thanks IE Outreach Team – great tip, I never knew there was a no add-ons option in System Tools

  3. sarj269 says:

    WOW.  I turned them all off and couldn’t believe how much faster it was.  Most pages were loading 5-10 seconds faster.  Of course some of those addons I just can’t be without.

  4. wow, this really does make a massive difference. The difference between IE7 and IE8 is dramatic. On the same broadband connection the speed the page loads is about twice as quick with these pluggins on IE8. Thanks for the information!

  5. Chris Gudge says:

    Thanks Ian, really good tip…

  6. Jen78 says:

    Haven really use IE8 much, I suppose this will make it faster compared to IE6 and 7. Thanks for sharing the tweak!

  7. I have been using Firefox during my site developement due to the addons in ie8 slowing things down so much. Your tips work.

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