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While the tab function is a useful tool for flipping back and forth between websites, it can also slow your computer down significantly. Many websites these days are already heavy in video, images, music and complex hypertext preprocessor (PHP) code. As a result, too many open tabs can slow their computer's performance and cause the device to freeze or force reload.

"Multiple tabs source PC, as tabs consume and control memory; they capture memory in internet browsers as well," writes Patrick Rasmussen in a blog post for SpamFighter. "It takes away cache memory from usual operations to save all the content of that webpage into memory and causes sluggish PCs. Apart from sourcing, it sometimes hangs system for no good reason and consumes a huge memory space and CPU usage can reach up to 90 percent or more."

For Safari 5.0 users in particular, Apple designed the browser to force reload all tabs instead of freezing up. But, while this process is meant to be helpful, Mac PC users can lose any unsaved information on their other open tabs if one page is taking too long to load. 

The best thing for all PC users to do is to try to limit the number of tabs you keep open at a time, especially when visiting websites that use Adobe Flash or dynamic sites that use PHP. In addition, a recent article in USA Today suggests saving interesting or important links in Safari's Reading List feature, rather than keeping it open in a tab, because the Reading List will save all your links, and tell you which ones you have and haven't read.

If your internet access is still slow, you may want to contact your local computer or laptop repair center, to have the computer checked for software troubleshooting or virus removal.

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