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I tend to use Chrome most of the time and it loads pretty much instantly.

But all other browsers on my system (Safari, IE and Firefox) take AGES to load. From clicking on the icon, it can take btween 2 - 5 minutes until the browser window opens.

My Win installation on this machine is about 4 years old, so generally launching is not as fast as it could be. But this is ridiculous!

A (growing) list of things I've tried:

  • I've tried un/reinstalling them and it makes no difference.

  • This has been happening for a couple of years - when I updated the IE version it made no difference.

  • I haven't enabled any proxy, as mentioned in this question.

  • I have tried disabling all add-ons / extensions, and that makes no difference.

  • I have tried making Firefox / IE my default browser - that made no difference.

  • I have also run a whole pile of anti-malware tools such as MBAM, JRT, ADWCleaner, ESET Online Scanner, and some more that I may have forgotten.

Since I first posted, @slayernoah made some good suggestions:

  • Creating a new profile in Firefox (no difference)
  • Running a portable version of Firefox (also no difference!)

I'm really curious as to why this might be. I've Googled it but don't see evidence of anyone else with this issue.

One thing that @GuitarPicker drew my attention to: it's only the first window opening that hangs. Once that is open, opening another window is almost immediate. I don't know what that means, but it seems relevant.

Any ideas?

Update

I have just used Process Monitor as suggested by @heavyd. I don't see anything obviously related going on there. But there are so very many things going on there I'm not sure I'd recognise a problem if I saw it.

I'll post them here for now, in case they offer a clue. If they turn out to be irrelevant to the problem I'll delete them later.

Images are v small on this actual post page - right click the image and select 'open image in new tab' to see in full glorious technicolor detail.

Immediately after pressing the launch icon I get entries like these:

enter image description here

Then 2 mins later, just before FF actually launches, I get these:

enter image description here

  • Run Process Monitor while you launch your other browsers. That may give some insight. – heavyd Apr 13 '15 at 15:58
  • Ta, I'll give that a go – Martin Hansen Lennox Apr 13 '15 at 16:39
  • Notice he said pre-loaded into the browsers not added to them.. once they load look in the settings add-ons / bookmarks /helpers area if you don't need /use it chuck it -- as it is likely pua/pup as mentioned above.. – linuxdev2013 Apr 13 '15 at 17:29
  • Thanks. I have done that. This situation is just happening on a single machine so I don't think this issue is related to bundled crap-ware.. it's something specific to this machine / installation. – Martin Hansen Lennox Apr 13 '15 at 17:36
  • In IE, when you disabled all add-ons, were you specifically using the Internet Explorer (No Add-Ons) start menu entry? If not, try that and see if the results are the same. Also, if you already have an IE window open, do you have the delay when opening a second one from the start menu? – GuitarPicker Apr 13 '15 at 18:43
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Since your installation of Windows dates a few years back, you may try the following:

For Firefox, try creating a new profile using:

  • Make sure firefox is closed
  • Start -> Run -> type firefox -p
  • Click Create Profile to create a brand new profile
  • Remove the old profile(s) is possible
  • Set the new profile as the default profile

For IE:

  • Open IE and press CTRL + SHIFT + DELETE
  • Select as may of the items that you can delete from the browser and try again.
  • Great suggestion. I had strong hopes that this would be the one to make a difference... but unfortunately it didn't seem to :( – Martin Hansen Lennox Apr 13 '15 at 18:33
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    To troubleshoot, try running the portable version of Firefox from a different location than the standard installation path. portableapps.com/apps/internet/firefox_portable – thilina R Apr 13 '15 at 18:37
  • Ok, I tried that, and it still takes ages to load. Would you say that means it's something outside of the program itself that's causing the hang? – Martin Hansen Lennox Apr 13 '15 at 18:50
  • It could be. Do other programs also take as long to load? You can try running resource monitor (Run-> resmon) for a while before opening one of the browsers and then while trying to open one of the browsers and see difference in resources used and which resources may be used extensively. This could give some guidance as to what may be the issue – thilina R Apr 13 '15 at 19:04
  • Other programs take about 10 secs (old machine), but nothing like the 2 min mark for these browsers. In resource monitor, there was a slight spike in CPU and Disk sections when first hitting the icon, and again when the window actually opened. There were a few entries in Disk where it appeared to be accessing cached info from the profile. But I think all of those things are to be expected? – Martin Hansen Lennox Apr 13 '15 at 19:29
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This is probably related to add-ons that are loaded into those other browsers, but not Chrome. A lot of adware gets bundled with legitimate software and installs its own bookmarks and add-ins into browsers, but since all browsers are different they have loaders for specific browsers and versions. It may be that you either installed Chrome after installing whatever sets of adware-ridden software affected the other browsers, or else those adware authors did not create a package to "infect" Chrome.

Try running through the list of add-ons and extensions are loaded into your browsers. A malware scanner like MalwareBytes might also help a little; they sometimes catch the adware and label it as PUP/PUA (Potentially Unwanted Program/Application).

  • I'm very sorry I should have mentioned that I'd disabled all add-ons and already tried a plethora of anti malware tools. I'll update the question. – Martin Hansen Lennox Apr 13 '15 at 16:33

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