Eliminate Slow Browsing: Why Disabling Images in Your Browser Speeds Things Up and How to Do it

If you are looking to speed up browsing, you might want to disable the loading of images for all the webpages in your browser. I always keep images disabled in my Opera browser, and I have been doing this for more than a year now, and it’s done wonders for me. I get a faster and distraction-free browsing experience and also save on bandwidth (which is limited in my case).

Many power users who prefer speed over attractive content might want to disable images in their browser. In this post we will show you how to disable images in Chrome, Firefox and Opera.

In my experience, I have found many advantages and disadvantages to disabling images.

Advantages

As far as the speed is concerned, images eat up bandwidth, as they are much heavier than plain text. When loading a web page with images enabled, your browser will have to use more data to download the images, thus slowing down the overall page loading speed.

To give you an estimate of the differences, I opened a wikihow.com tutorial article with images both enabled and disabled and tracked how much data it used and total page loading time. When I loaded the page with images enabled, it download 1473.4 KB of data and took 9.24 seconds to load completely. With images disabled, it used just 492.2 KB of data, and the page fully loaded in 6.13 seconds. Before each test I cleaned the browser of all the data and cache to ensure the results were accurate.

Furthermore, images also take up quite a lot of space on your display and force you to scroll more to read the content, so this leads to speedier browsing as well because you need to scroll less to read the actual content. Additionally, you might also find many of the images on content-based websites more of a distraction than attraction, but of course this depends on personal preferences.

Disadvantages

As for the downside, a picture definitely speaks a thousand words, and you will be missing out on all the attractive images that make a page beautiful and more informative. You may also need to enable images for web pages where it is harder to understand the concept just with the text (like tutorials). For the websites that depend on images, you will have to enable the images before accessing them. Thankfully, you can always whitelist such websites to only allow images on them.

I am sure there are many other advantages and disadvantages to disabling images in the browser, but for people who are interested in more speed and less distractions, disabling images is a good option.

Let’s see how to disable images in your preferred browser. We will cover a few of the more popular browsers here. If your preferred browser isn’t mentioned here, let us know in the comments, and we will let you know if you can disable images in your particular browser or not.

How to Disable Images in Chrome

In Chrome click on the hamburger menu at the top-right corner and select Settings. Now scroll to the bottom and click on “show advanced settings.”

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Click on “Content settings” under “Privacy,” and then select “Do not show any images” under the “Images” section.

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This will disable images on all the websites, but you can click on the “Manage exceptions” button to whitelist websites on which you would like to see the images.

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How to Disable Images in Firefox

Firefox does have a hidden option to block images, but it doesn’t work well and only hides some of the images on a web page. In Firefox I recommend you use the Image Block add-on. It is a simple add-on that will let you enable/disable images in Firefox with a single click.

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How to Disable Images in Opera

Click on Opera Menu at the top-left corner and select “Settings.”

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Now move to the “Websites” section from the options on the left, and click on “Do not show any images” under “Images.” You can also whitelist websites using the “Manage exceptions” button below it.

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Disabling images might make your browsing a little boring with not very colorful content to feast your eyes on. However, when you get used to it you will surely enjoy the speed boost and also save on data. You can also use an extension for Chrome and Opera to enable/disable images with a single click: Block image (for Chrome) and Fast Image Blocker (For Opera). However, the built-in function works fine, and an extension isn’t required.

What do you prefer – an attractive web page with many images or a fast-loading web page with just plain text? Share with us in the comments.

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