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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

bug 342 - Connecting... in IE7 / IE8 takes F-O-R-E-V-E-R

Issue: #342
Affects: IE7, IE8

Update: It is well known that addon/extensions slow down IE. Disable any that are not required. In particular, MS Research is very slow and not needed.

Note: IE is still extremely slow after disabling addons, but the speed will improve.

Status: Microsoft has confirmed this will NOT be fixed in IE8 RTM

Normally the bugs posted on here deal with the content served up to the browser in HTML, CSS & JavaScript.

However Today's bug is about opening a new Tab in IE7/IE8, and the fact that it takes a V-E-R-Y long time (read:unacceptable), while "Connecting..."

Now we would be okay with the slowness if it were downloading something complex like the Digg or Slashdot, front page... but this happens opening the "about:blank" page!

For those unaware, the HTML code for the "about:blank" page is listed below.

"about:blank" HTML:


(That's it folks! No JavaScript!, No CSS!, No Head!, No Body!, Nada, Zip, Zilch!)

What is really frustrating with this, is that it seems to lock up resources while loading thus making it very hard to do anything else while the new tab is loading.

The final blow comes when you are opening the new tab, to paste in a new URL. If you paste it in reasonably quickly, it will kind of get there, but then get overwritten with "about:blank"... and IE can't load the page so you need to re-select the URL and re-paste it in to get to the site you wanted.

Usability is apparently one of the key objectives in IE8, so lets hope that this gets fixed before IE goes RTM. ;-)

Addition: By default in IE8 Beta 2, the "about:Tabs" page appears for a new tab, with a collection of additional items/options. This page is very slow also, but setting it to use "about:blank" doesn't speed things up.

Known Workarounds: None.

Related Issues: None.

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Ericlaw said...

New tab startup is primarily is slowed by add-ons. Disable them.

Anonymous said...

Quite true. Disabling addons does help but the underlying problem is with the browser. It fails to load in a reasonable time on a clean install opening a blank page - thats just plain wrong. Its no wonder people don't like using IE.

Anonymous said...

I read time and time again that people say its addons.
Answer this question then, why is my IE7 still slow waiting on "connecting" when I start it up in no-addons mode? and a delay on new tabs. I repeat when I start in no-addons mode, and just incase you havent got it when no addons are loaded.

theRealProto said...

Could it be the index.dat file? Remembering the behaviour of the IE 4 and 5, the index.dat grows the more you use Internet Explorer. So the IE takes more time scanning this file before rendering a blank page. If I'm clueless don't flame, just pointing out an old fact.

Anonymous said...

People check your antivirus program. the moment i uninstalled McAffee IE8 sped up 100%.

ark said...

This problem is still present in the released version of IE8 -- at least one one of my two machines. On the other one, it starts up just fine.

I'm running the same virus checker on both machines, so that isn't it. I tried disabling all add-ons and it didn't solve the problem, so that's not it either.

When I logged in under another account, the problem went away. Microsoft tech support concluded that the problem must therefore be that my user profile is corrupted, and I should create a new account and use that instead. I had a better idea -- I uninstalled IE8 and went back to IE7.

I am sure that there is a problem here, but no clue what it is.

The Baron said...

You can select 'Blank Page' in the tab settings on the general tab in Tools - it's a little faster

CROWN said...

IE8 is now driving me mad - I get the connecting on a tab and I can open say 5 tabs of the same page, typically the 3rd will load, while the others say connecting for hours and never connect.

I am now trying to use firefox for as much as possible, but I still need IE8 for some sites.

Anonymous said...

Not to start a flame war, but this is one of the reasons I'm using Firefox. FF has its quirks, but at least I can open a tab in less than 3 seconds.