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Resetting Internet Browsers and removing Add-ons, Extensions and Plugins
This article covers simple procedures that can help solve internet browser problems caused by the use of plugins, extensions and add-ons.
While add-ons, extensions, and plugins can make web browsing better with access to great content, some can pose security, privacy, or performance risks. They can also cause internet browsing to run slow or crash or may pose a security or compatibility risk. Add-ons, extensions, and plugins can be turned off or permanently removed to help increase browsing speed or to reduce problems within the browser. Browser settings can be modified to customize browsing experience, i.e. home pages, browsing history, and zoom level to name a few. If the changes that are made do not work out, there is always the option of reverting everything back to default settings.
Plugins: A plugin is a software that manages internet content that the internet browser is not designed to process. These usually include patented formats for video, audio, online games, presentations, and more. Plugins are created and distributed by other companies--always be sure to install them from a trusted source.
Add-ons: Add-ons are apps that can be installed to add extra functions to a browser. Add-ons would be things such as: weather forecasters, price comparisons, changing the look of a browser, listening to music, or even updating a Facebook profile.
Managing Internet Explorer Browser
View Add-ons on your Internet Explorer Browser and disable or enable Add-ons
- Open the desktop, and then tap or click the Internet Explorer icon on the taskbar at the bottom of the screen
- Tap or click the Tools (gear) menu, and then tap or click Manage add-ons
- Under the "Show:" drop-down, tap or click All add-ons
- Tap or click the add-on
- Tap or click the Enable or Disable button (or right-click), and then tap or click Close.
Resetting Internet Explorer
- Close all Internet Explorer windows that are currently open
- Open Internet Explorer
- Tap or click the Tools (gear) menu, and then tap or click Internet options
- Tap or click the Advanced tab, and then tap or click Reset
- In the Reset Internet Explorer Settings dialog box, tap or click Reset
- When Internet Explorer finishes applying default settings, tap or click Close, and then tap or click OK. You'll need to restart your PC for these changes to take effect.
Managing Chrome Browser
To remove, enable or disable an Extension from Google Chrome
- In Chrome, click menu in the upper right hand corner
- Select More tools > Extensions
- Click the slide icon on the extensions to enable (blue) or disable (gray)
- On the extension you want to remove, click Remove
- A notice to remove the extension will appear. Click Remove
- In Chrome, click menu
- Select Settings
- At the bottom, click Advanced
- Under the section reset and clean up, click Restore settings to their original defaults
- In the dialog box that appears, click Reset settings
Managing Firefox Browser
To remove, enable, or disable a plugin in Firefox
- Click the menu button and choose Add-ons; the Add-ons Manager tab will open
- In the Add-ons Manager tab, select the Plugins panel
- To disable a plugin, select a plugin in the list, click the icon with 3 dots, then select Never Activate. Disabling a plugin will turn it off without uninstalling it. To re-enable it, select Always Activate.
To remove, enable, or disable an extension or theme in Firefox
- Click the menu button and choose Add-ons; The Add-ons Manager tab will open
- In the Add-ons Manager tab, select the Extensions or Appearance panel
- Click the slide icon on the extensions to enable (blue) or disable (gray). Disabling an extension or theme will turn it off without removing it.
- Click Restart now if it pops up. Your tabs will be saved and restored after the restart.
- To re-enable the add-on, find it in the list of Add-ons and click Enable, then restart Firefox if required.