Browsing tips: Slow-loading sites, Google Chrome tweak

Here's how to deal with unwanted add-ons in Firefox and Google Chrome, and fix a Chrome annoyance.

True story: I'd been getting fed up with Firefox, in part because it was acting sluggish and flaky, so I decided to give Google's Chrome browser a try. And by "try," I mean make it my primary browser for a couple weeks.

I liked Chrome well enough, but I noticed that certain Web sites (including gadget blog Gizmodo) were very slow to load. I mean, most of the page content would appear immediately, but it would take 15-20 seconds before I could actually scroll or click a link. It got frustrating in a hurry.

On a lark, I checked Chrome's list of installed extensions, expecting to find only the two I'd installed myself. But there was a third: McAfee SiteAdvisor, which must have come preinstalled on this relatively new machine I'm using.

Can you guess the outcome? After disabling the SiteAdvisor extension, Gizmodo and other sites loaded much faster. Then I went back to Firefox and disabled it there. Same result. I won't say this is totally conclusive proof, but if you've encountered slow-loading sites and you have McAfee SiteAdvisor installed (whether you know it or not), I highly recommend giving it the boot. (Then report back in the Comments below and let me know if that helps.)

Remove the 'Other Bookmarks' Folder from Google Chrome

Google Chrome has a great built-in bookmark-syncing feature, but after syncing an older PC to my primary one, I discovered something most unwanted on my Bookmarks bar: a space-hogging folder called Other Bookmarks. This curious arrival displaced several of my frequently used bookmarks.

No problem, I figured. I'll just delete the folder. But after right-clicking it, I discovered that the Delete option was grayed out. Okay, then, I'll open up Chrome's Bookmark Manager and delete it from there. Nope, no soap, the folder couldn't be deleted. Nor could it be moved to a different location, one not occupying primary real estate in my Bookmarks bar.

Hey, Google, whatever happened to "don't be evil"?

After doing some digging, I learned that lots of other users have encountered this same hassle--for which there appears to be no remedy. Happily, I found one: if you delete every bookmark and sub-folder in the Other Bookmarks folder--in other words, empty it out--it will disappear from your Bookmarks bar. It did for me, anyway. Good riddance, evil folder I never wanted!

If you've got a hassle that needs solving, send it my way. I can't promise a response, but I'll definitely read every e-mail I get--and do my best to address at least some of them in the PCWorld Hassle-Free PC blog. My 411: hasslefree@pcworld.com. You can also sign up to have the Hassle-Free PC newsletter e-mailed to you each week.

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Rick Broida

PC World (US online)
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