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Typing in Yahoo! Mail could be slowed down by interference from your browser. Hopefully, you can speed it up without upgrading the entire computer!

I'm XP Home edition user with IE8. I'm not the fastest typist in the world, but Yahoo! is definitely the slowest to respond to my keystrokes and is sometimes lagging by between 3 to 5 seconds before displaying my text. Many times, it misses one or two letters consecutively. Why is this please? Going back over five years on Google on Yahoo searches, I found there to be a conspiracy of silence on this problem. The usual answers regarding speeding up one's computer are always given and nothing else. As all respondents state that this only happens using Yahoo!, it cannot be for the reasons given by the so-called experts. I should add in fairness that one Google Mail user did make a similar complaint. Can this have anything to do with the fact that if I leave Yahoo! up for an hour or so, I often come back to a frozen screen which can only be resolved by resetting it at the tower.

In this excerpt from Answercast #48, I look at some possible reasons that typing in Yahoo! Mail seems slow.

Frozen Yahoo!

It certainly is possible. Now, there are a couple of things that I want you to try.

The issue here is that - when you are typing in to your browser everything in the browser has an opportunity to act on it, including the web page itself.

Now, that may seem kind of silly, but what it means is that the web page (the Yahoo! email web page in this case) can be trying to do something with every keystroke.

  • If that web page is coded so that it tries to do a lot with every keystroke, that can slow it down.

A faster machine

That's the scenario where, yes, getting a faster machine will make it run faster. That's probably why that's such a common response.

More commonly or more often, there's something else that's interfering:

  • A program that's running;

  • Or something else that's also slowing down your machine in some respect.

Now, since you're seeing this only with Yahoo and you're not seeing this with other web pages that you're visiting, that leads me to believe that there is something specific about the way Yahoo has engineered their email web pages; the web pages that you use to read and compose your email.

Clean your browser

I would start by turning off extensions. I have an article on How to turn off browser extensions, or browser add-ons that I'll point you at.

That is probably the most significant issue. Many times, browser extensions (like I was describing earlier) will try to do something every time you type a character, for whatever their extension's purposes might be.

Getting those out of the way will at least eliminate those as a possibility.

Try a different browser

The other thing I'm going to have you try is to use a different browser. Grab a copy of either Firefox or Chrome, download those, and see if you have the same problem.

I'm expecting that you won't for either of two reasons:

  • Either, the extensions are, in fact, causing the problem and by downloading a new browser, you don't have those extensions installed in that browser yet.

  • Or there's just something about the way the Yahoo! page is crafted that happens to perform very poorly under Internet Explorer as compared to one of the other browsers.

So, those are the two directions I'm going to send you off in:

  • One, start by disabling browser add-ons or extensions;

  • Two, download and try a different browser to see if it behaves the same way.

Article C5755 - August 30, 2012 « »

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Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

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9 Comments
bedlamb
August 31, 2012 3:28 PM

Thanx for a great article, Leo.
I'd like to add another option.
AFTER trying the steps Leo gave, if you still aren't getting good response time, try using a text editor.
Leaving your email open, open Notepad, or your favorite editor. Type your letter. Copy it and paste it into your email.

Maybe try opening a GMail account. At the moment, they're the best web based email out there.

BAW30s
August 31, 2012 4:58 PM

In my experience the same problem plagues hotmail when viewed via a browser; interfacing with it through a client, such as Outlook or Outlook Express, is much less frustrating whenever practical. Unfortunately the free Yahoo account cannot easily be configured to do this in some parts of the world: explaining how to make it work would merit an article in itself.

Pete Laberge
September 1, 2012 11:56 AM

I wonder if there is not something happening in the computer itself....

Perhaps a background program is running like an anti virus, or SpyBot S&D, or something.

Perhaps the person has too many browser tabs and other programs open.... I know I often have about 12 of them open at once, along with 1/2 a dozen Wordpads and a spreadsheet or 2. I do R&D and this is how I collect my data. I will probably also have a calculator and MS Paint, and 2 or 3 File Managers (Win Explorer).

I know mine freezes up sometimes for about 15 seconds. I am running Win 7, on 1 GB of RAM, and know I need another GB. But this is a minor annoyance, and I have not gotten around to fixing it yet. I will... Patience!

bob D.
September 1, 2012 12:28 PM

1) you can adjust your typer touch to nil touch to punch the key, go to computer and find the programs that control the typer --- open and adjust so slight touch does it, also change to single click instead of double click,,,,
2) speed can be increased via top menu and click open tools -- at bottom click internet opts and clean out all on this that is excess
3) de frag at least once a week, or more often if you think machine is too slow, on mine i can set de frag to automatically op once a week, 3 a.m., so speed is fast enough for me these ways, but i would not mind de frag more often, even at end of sesson each sesson or end of day,
----- so ops are without space gaps that have to be jumped to continue sequence, i.e. not de frag leaves spaces, bigger and bigger, over time, which have to be included in ops, can not merely wish them gone, de frag wipes out the blank spaces so ops go in continuity without pause,
(no space gap means no delay, auto goes last letter to first letter next word) thus speed goes supersonic --- on some machines speed goes hypersonic, but i dont have one of those,,,,
--- the de frag has worked well for me since my second p.c. year 1995, so am all hyped up about the increases of speed via this simple tech, i do at end of session at end of day so does not interfer with my doings
4)---- giive above a try, you will like them....

Ron
September 2, 2012 9:03 AM

Way back in days of dialup, I got in habit of typing email into Wordpad then copy/ paste into yahoo mail.
I thought it was just me with slow typing on Yahoo email.
Now I have cable connection but still do majority of email in Wordpad copy/ paste.

BaliRob
September 4, 2012 9:06 PM

As being the one responsible for this post and having read the additional suggestions above, I am happy to report that, by using Chrome, I have solved all problems with using Yahoo Mail and Email programs. Perhaps BAW30's mention of "some parts of the world" had applied to me. I would add that since changing to the new Yahoo and IE8 (cannot remember which came first) Yahoo has been a 'pig' in every respect until now. I have approached them many times but without improvement. I wish that they had just told me to change my browser!! The only inconveniences I find with Chrome are that emails often require a double click to open whereas always one click on IE8; and Bookmarks finding their system, including Imported from IE and IE(1) etc., to be an abomination. Other than that the increase in speed both in typing emails and reading Yahoo News is without fault and that is praise coming from a poor bandwidth country. Also, I still love Yahoo.

BaliRob
September 5, 2012 1:07 AM

You have lost some comments Leo

cruelas
November 12, 2012 2:54 PM

I had the same problem with Yahoo--very frustrating. I've used IE and nothing else for years, often hearing the trouble-shooting tip of trying a different browser, but I assumed it wasn't worth it. After hearing/reading this Answercast today I decided to try Chrome and WHAT A DIFFERENCE it has made with my Yahoo mail and my Comcast email. I didn't think the change would be so dramatic. Thanks for the question and thanks for the answers.

I am concerned, though, about the line: "by downloading a new browser, you don't have those extensions installed in that browser yet."...yet? Ughh. I'm hoping that doesn't mean this is a short-term solution.
Well, I'm off to read the follow-up articles.

teaser
December 6, 2012 11:48 PM

As I guess, the problem of slow typing in Yahoo Mail is due to the fact that "they" use to monitor any keystroke of yours. I may be paranoiac, but it seems to me that Yahoo Mail is monitoring ANY key you press, so that a new character is not displayed until it has been sent, memorized, and then echoed back to you. Because Yahoo servers are very, very busy, this requires, sometimes, a quite long time, as seconds. So, every mail you compose is memorized in real time -but not so "real"... A copy of ALL the editing process -including, for instance, every backspace you are typing by trying to correct a phrase- is permanently kept on yahoo servers until a further verification (if neccessary). This seems to be a security deal originating back to 2001, or so.

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