If you encounter any problems while surfing the web, here are some simple solutions you can try
One of the most popular things to do on a computer is browse the internet, so knowing how to fix web browser problems is a really important skill. While there are a number of browsers available, a lot of common problems aren’t browser specific and can be fixed using similar methods, whichever browser you use. In this guide, we’ll show you how to overcome browser headaches and get on with enjoying the internet. While the following tips are aimed at Internet Explorer and Firefox users, most of our advice can also be applied to Opera, Google Chrome and Safari.
In order to make browsing the web easier, most browsers have a number of keyboard shortcuts. Accidentally pressing one of these shortcuts can be irritating if you don’t know what has been pressed. Pressing F11, for example, will cause a browser to enter full-screen mode. This is great for getting a better view of a web page, but not so great if it was stumbled upon inadvertently. Pressing F11 again will return the browser to normal. Similarly, pressing Ctrl and F will activate the find function so a specific word of phrase can be located within a web page. To close it, press Esc. Another common mishap is to accidentally enlarge the font. Pressing Ctrl and + will increase the font size, while Ctrl and – will decrease it. Pressing Ctrl and 0 will restore the font size back to normal.
Video playback issues can occur for a number of reasons, but the most common one is a missing plug-in. Watching video on sites such as BBC iPlayer or Youtube requires Adobe Flash Player plug-in to be installed. This applies for all browsers as Flash is currently the standard for online video streaming. In most instances a browser should say if it needs Flash in order to play something. Follow the instructions on screen to complete the process. If this doesn’t happen, visit the Adobe website to download Flash. For some online video additional software such as Quicktime or Silverlight may be needed. Once again, the browser should say when it needs an additional plug-in to play a video. Flash might not be the main way of playing video online for much longer. Youtube is currently trialling a new type of video player that uses the HTML5 standard. For more information visit You Tube.
Browsers come with options for blocking and limiting certain types of content. This can cause some things to stop appearing, such as images or pop-up windows. If this is the case in Firefox, go to Tools, Options and select the Content tab. The top tick-box on the left is for blocking pop-up windows, while the second indicates if images are being loaded by default or not. If the box isn’t ticked, this will cause images to stop appearing on all websites. Tick it and click OK to resolve the problem. The process is similar in Internet Explorer; click on Tools, Internet Options, select the Advanced tab and scroll down until you see Multimedia. If the box for Show pictures isn’t ticked, select it and click OK. Images should now start appearing automatically on all sites.
A common trick with software companies and some more irritating websites is to hijack a browser homepage. If you find yourself the victim of an irritating homepage change, the problem is easy to fix. In Internet Explorer, go to Tools, Internet Options and under the General tab there is an option to change the homepage. In Firefox click Tools, Options and under the General tab is an option to set the homepage. Similarly, in Chrome click the spanner icon in the top right, click Options and in the homepage section enter the correct address. In Opera, click the Opera button in the top-left and select Preferences while in Safari, click the cog in the top-right and under the General tab enter the right text in the Homepage box.
A lot of common browser issues can be resolved by clearing the cache and website cookies. These problems can include a website not displaying correctly or login options not appearing. While this may involve having to enter website passwords and usernames again when logging in, it can sometimes resolve a lot of strange browsing problems. To clear the cache and other browser files in Firefox click Tools and select Clear Recent History. The tick box list displays various options, select the ones for cache and cookies and site preferences and click Clear Now. In Internet Explorer, click Tools and select Delete Browsing History. Deselect the first option for Preserve Favourites website data, then select Temporary Internet files and Cookies. Click Delete to complete the process.
While we don’t recommend blocking ads, some people prefer not to see them. It is worth noting that a lot of reputable websites, including our own, rely on adverts to fund them. However, on some less reputable websites, adverts can either be inappropriate, offensive or irritating, so blocking them is well worth doing. With that in mind, this is how to block adverts in Firefox. Click Tools, Add-ons, and select Get Add-ons from the menu on the left. In the top right-hand corner is a search box, type in Adblock Plus and the first add-on to appear should be Adblock Plus 1.3.10. Click the Install to the right and wait for the process to complete and click the Restart now button to make the changes. When the browser restarts, an option to select a block list will be displayed, ensure EasyList (English) is selected to complete the process.
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