Browsing the internet is one of the most common computing actions every PC user performs daily.
We like everything to load quickly and can’t wait for more than a few seconds to get our results.
What if the browser keeps crashing?
It can be frustrating, especially since most mainstream browsers are stable and work smoothly.
When a browser keeps crashing, it ruins your browsing experience, but it’s easy to fix.
Browser Keeps Crashing (Causes, Fixes)
1. Restart The PC
Restarting the PC sounds like an overused cliché, touted as the best first solution to most IT problems.
It has proven an effective solution to many computer problems, though, because they aren’t serious and happen due to simple glitches.
You should try restarting your computer to see if it helps.
In addition, it doesn’t hurt to reboot your computer once in a while, especially if you keep it on for long periods.
It can give your system a clean slate by removing all the temporary issues and restarting the programs, including the web browser.
2. Try Different Websites And Browsers
Sometimes the problem isn’t the browser.
Instead, the website you’re trying to visit has issues that make it crash or not load smoothly.
Open different websites on your problematic browser and see if the problem persists.
Then, open the website on another browser to ensure the webpage doesn’t have issues.
If the website makes the other browser crash, it’s the underlying cause, and you should wait until the problem is solved.
You could also contact the website’s support team and tell them about the issue.
However, if only one of your browsers crashes, you should look for the underlying cause through the following steps.
3. Update The Browser
Regardless of the browser you’re using, you need to make sure it’s the latest version.
Old software versions can develop bugs that cause different issues, including random crashes.
New updates also provide the latest security solutions, ensuring your device stays safe.
Browsers usually update themselves whenever there’s a new update available.
If you haven’t closed your browser for a while, you may have missed these updates because they install when you close and reopen the browser.
Depending on the browser, you may need to find updates through different settings.
Here’s how to update your mainstream browsers:
A. Google Chrome
Click the three vertical lines on the top right corner and select Help.
Click About Google Chrome and check for new updates.
If you can see the Chrome is up to date message, you’re good to go.
Otherwise, click Update Google Chrome.
After selecting Relaunch, your browser will reopen with all the previously open tabs.
To update Firefox, click the horizontal lines on the top right corner and select Help.
Click About Firefox to open the About Mozilla Firefox window.
Here, you should see whether your browser is up to date.
If not, the wizard will download the update automatically.
C. Microsoft Edge
You can update Microsoft Edge by clicking the three horizontal dots on the top right corner and going to Help & Feedback.
Select About Microsoft Edge, and you’ll open a window that automatically updates the browser if it’s not updated.
4. Problematic Browser Extensions
Add-ons and extensions can improve our online experience by offering a wide range of services and features.
However, they can lead to browser instabilities if they’re incompatible with the browser or each other.
In addition, they can consume many system resources and even act as gateways for viruses to enter your device.
If your problems started after installing a specific extension, you can simply disable it and see what happens.
However, if you have many add-ons, finding the problematic extension can be complicated.
You can disable all the extensions.
This way, you can see whether extensions are behind the crashes.
If the browser runs smoothly with all extensions turned off, disable them one at a time to find the culprit.
Here’s how to disable extensions in different browsers:
For Firefox, go to Help > Troubleshoot Mode.
By enabling this mode, your extensions will be disabled.
Google Chrome doesn’t have a safe mode, so you can only use the Incognito mode to disable all add-ons.
To open the Incognito mode, right-click Chrome’s icon and choose it from the list.
The same thing applies to Microsoft Edge.
You can run it in safe mode by opening an InPrivate window.
Right-click the Microsoft Edge icon on your taskbar and select New InPrivate Window.
5. Disable Hardware Acceleration
Hardware Acceleration is a great browser feature that helps you use your hardware resources more efficiently.
When you run intensive tasks, your GPU gives some of its processing power to the CPU to help it work more smoothly.
Your browser can use this feature to load graphic-heavy pages using the GPU’s processing power instead of the CPU.
As a result, the processor can have more free resources to perform other tasks.
While it’s a useful feature, hardware acceleration can cause instabilities, leading to lags and freezes.
As a result, experts recommend enabling hardware acceleration only when you have powerful hardware and disabling it when you experience lags.
To disable hardware acceleration in Chrome, Go to Settings > System.
Move the toggle next to Use hardware acceleration when available.
In Microsoft Edge, go to Settings and click System & Performance on the left panel.
Under System, disable Use hardware acceleration when available.
In Firefox, go to Settings > General > Performance.
Disable Use recommended performance settings by unchecking the box next to it.
Now you can see Use hardware acceleration when available to disable.
6. Update Your Drivers
Outdated drivers can also cause different issues, including software crashes.
They can develop bugs and issues that mess with the normal functions of your software and operating system.
It’s always recommended to keep them updated to avoid issues with unknown causes.
The drivers that can affect the performance of your browser include network drivers and graphics card drivers.
You can update these drivers through Device Manager.
Right-click the Start button and click Device Manager.
In the new window, find the drivers, right-click them, and select Update driver.
You can also use a third-party tool to update all of your drivers because having updated drivers can ensure overall system stability and smooth performance.
7. Run A Malware Scan
System and software crashes are one of the classic signs of virus and malware infections.
They may affect your system in different ways, such as using your system resources to perform criminal acts or messing with the software settings and lowering their performance.
Running a scan is important to ensure your system isn’t infected.
Browsers have built-in anti-malware tools that can warn you when performing a dangerous activity online, compromising your system security.
Still, you can use Windows built-in anti-malware tool, Windows Defender, or any reliable third-party antivirus.
8. Reinstall Your Browser
If nothing can work to help your browser run smoothly, you can try uninstalling a reinstalling it.
Some issues don’t disappear when you restart your computer or update the browser, so you should restart the software.
However, before uninstalling your browser, you can try other things to see if it helps.
The first option is to reset the browser to give it a fresh slate and remove glitches.
For Chrome, go to Settings and select Reset and cleanup on the left panel.
By selecting Restore settings to their original defaults, you agree to reset Chrome settings, disable extensions, and remove cookies.
However, it doesn’t affect your passwords, history, and bookmarks.
To reset Firefox, go to Settings > Help > More Troubleshooting Information.
Click Refresh Firefox and then confirm your action.
Follow the on-screen prompts to finish resetting the browser and give it a fresh slate.
To reset Microsoft Edge, go to its Settings and click Reset settings on the left panel.
You’ll get a popup window showing you the data and settings removed and those not affected by the reset.
Click Reset to finish the process.
If resetting the browser doesn’t help, you can uninstall and reinstall it to get a fresh and bug-free copy.
Go to Settings > Apps > Apps & Features.
Select your browser and click Uninstall.
Note that simply uninstalling the browser doesn’t help fix its issues.
You need to clean all the files belonging to the browser.
Press the Windows Key + R to open the Run box and type in %appdata%.
Find the folder belonging to your browser and delete all its contents.
This way, you can get a fresh install of the browser, hopefully without issues that caused it to crash.
9. Close Unnecessary Tabs
If you like opening several tabs together, you’ll burden your system resources, which you can see in the Task Manager.
You’ll see how much of the RAM running several tabs occupies.
That’s because each tab and extension count as one separate iteration.
So, if you run ten tabs at a time, it’s like opening ten programs together.
If your memory can’t handle it, you’ll experience crashes.
Each tab contains a webpage with heavy content like videos and ads.
In addition, some of them may have malicious code that messes with your browser.
Try closing unnecessary tabs to ease the burden on your memory and see if it helps.
10. Close Other Programs
Another factor that can load your memory and cause crashes is other programs you’re running along with the browser.
If they’re not resource-hungry, you may not have big issues, but heavy programs can wreak havoc in your system.
Try closing these programs one at a time and see if it helps.
In addition, you may have one program open that clashes with your browser and causes software conflicts.
Closing these programs and restarting your browser can help find the culprit.
11. Check For Insufficient Or Faulty RAM
If your device doesn’t have enough memory to handle your work, you may need to upgrade it.
Sometimes it’s not possible to close other apps because you need all of them to run simultaneously.
In such cases, you should ensure your computer has enough resources to keep up with your computing demands.
If you experience crashes with other programs, it shows that your browser isn’t at fault, and you must upgrade your RAM.
However, if you already have enough memory space to handle your demanding jobs, you should rule out the possibility of faulty RAM.
Windows has a built-in tool to test RAM health, which eliminates the need for physical inspections.
Type “memory” in Cortana’s search box, and you’ll see Windows Memory Diagnostic as the first result.
Click to open it, but it has to restart the computer to start its scan.
The tool gives you two options.
You can choose to restart the computer after or before the scan.
However, the recommended action is to restart it before the scan.
Click the recommended option and wait for the tool to find issues.
After the scan, the computer will restart again and boot up to your desktop.
To see the test results, right-click the Start button and select Event viewer.
Find the Windows logs menu on the left and expand it.
Select the system and click Find on the right panel.
A “Find” popup window appears, and you should type in “memorydiagnostic.”
Click Find next.
The tool will show the test results at the bottom of the window.
If it has found issues, you should replace the RAM or take it to a technician to take proper action.
12. Check For Corrupted System Files
Your system files may get corrupted due to many reasons.
For example, if your computer runs into an issue while saving a file, it can get corrupted.
In other cases, malware infection and a physically damaged hard drive can lead to system file corruption.
Corrupted system files can cause software, including browsers, to crash.
You should check for them through the SFC tool.
The system File Checker will look for these corrupted files and fixes them.
Here’s how to run the SFC scan:
Type “cmd” in Cortana’s search box and select Run as administrator under Command Prompt.
After opening the command prompt window, type in sfc/scannow and press Enter.
Wait for the tool to do its job, which may take a while.
If your files are corrupted, it can detect and repair them.
When the tool finishes its job, it’ll show you a report on the screen.
13. Run The Troubleshooter
You can use Windows troubleshooter to find the problem if you can’t find any specific cause for your browser’s frequent crashes.
The troubleshooter runs for different system components and fixes any issues that it finds.
Go to Settings > Update & Security > Troubleshoot > Additional troubleshooters.
Here, you have different things to troubleshoot: Internet connections, Network adapters, and Incoming connections.
Select each option separately and click Run the troubleshooter.
It may take a while, so wait until the tool finds problems.
It may fix the problems automatically or suggest solutions.
14. Reset Network Settings
If you have the wrong network configurations, your browser may have difficulty connecting to the internet, leading to frequent crashes when you open the browser.
In such cases, resetting network settings can solve your issue.
It reinstalls your network adapters and resets all the network components, removing any issues that create connection problems.
Note that resetting network settings will erase all your passwords and wi-fi networks.
If you have VPNs or other networking software, they’ll be erased, and you need to reinstall them.
After saving everything you need and getting the required backups, you can start the reset process.
Go to Settings > Network & Internet.
The last option in the window that opens is Network reset.
After clicking the option, you’ll see a warning window that tells you what will be erased.
Click Reset now to confirm, and follow the on-screen prompts to finish the reset.
15. Fix Underlying Operating System Issues
If nothing helps you run your browser smoothly, your operating system may be the culprit.
It may have underlying issues that prevent the browser from working properly.
These issues may be due to an outdated OS or bugs introduced after a recent update.
In the first case, you need to update the OS.
In the second case, you should uninstall the update.
Now, go to Settings and click Update and Security.
See if there are any updates available and install them.
To uninstall a recent update, on the update window, go to View Update History > Uninstall Updates.
Click the most recent update and select Uninstall.
If uninstalling the update doesn’t work, you may want to reinstall the operating system.
It may be the only way to remove the underlying issues.