Optimizing Firefox, Advanced Tips

  • Are you a heavy user of firefox?
  • Do each of your browsing session consists of 5 or more open tabs?
  • Do you tend to use firefox for hours?
  • Are you a heavy user of multiple addons?

If you replied yes to all of those, I can safely say that I can definitely help you out.

Firefox is definitely a wonderful browser, just the browser which power users need, it not only makes the web more personal but gives the full power in the hands of the users .. however like a powerful horse, unless you tame it you cannot ride smoothly on it.

I had noticed that firefox consumes 1.5gb of memory on my 3gb RAM equipped laptop, I went on hunting and found out the following alarming information, solution provided along with for your ease ..

Most of the solutions requires you to write about:config in your addressbar and then filter with the given key and just double click on the key and setting the value.

  1. Firefox stores last few pages you visited in RAM, though you don’t need them they are kept in RAM hoping that somehow you will hit your back button and will be overjoyed to get the page immediately, so a flash/image heavy page will combine to around quite a huge amount, since no compression is done when storing, the jpg embedded in firefox will be stored as lossless format in your precious RAM so that firefox doesn’t have to decode the jpg again. For a 512MB ram 5 such full rendered page will be stored in your RAM.

    Solution: To get rid of this and to ask firefox to mind its own business just set browser.sessionhistory.max_total_viewers as 0 , default is -1 .. conservatively if you find this useful sometimes, keep it 2 so that your one time forward & back button hit will still give you the results immediately.

  2. Firefox stores in memory the last few closed tabs. Come on those are the tabs which I didn’t need thats why I closed, ok so firefox thought I did a mistake in closing all those tabs, no I don’t do such mistakes 10 times in a row, yes firefox somehow thought that and kept 10 tabs info, including their history and cache. So 10 tabs multiplied by their all bells & whistles, even my filled form data will be there.

    Solution: Set the browser.sessionstore.max_tabs_undo to 0 if you want to disable this feature, or if you need, this set to 1. Yes you still will have your last chance.

  3. Firefox stores session info every 10 seconds, yes that means when you are reading a single page for 3 minutes, firefox is still busy rewriting the same data every 10 seconds.

    Solution: Set browser.sessionstore.interval from 10000 (10 seconds in ms) to 60000 (60 seconds)

  4. Windows have a wonderful way of memory management, say when you minimize program A and use a different program, if A was taking quite a lot memory which is required by B, windows automatically swaps some of the A’s items in memory to disk and releases the same to be used by some other programs. Somehow firefox decided to block this wonderful feature of windows and forces windows to keep everything in memory very selfishly.

    Solution: Create a new boolean key named config.trim_on_minimize and set it to true . Notes: you won’t see automatic memory release when you minimize firefox if you set this to true, but you will feel the breeze in other resource hungry apps.

Last but not the least, keep you firefox addons to the bare minimum, you definitely don’t need all of them to stay enabled always.

If you got some more wonderful tips about optimizing firefox, do not hesitate to share in the comments boxes below. And yes definitely do not forget to share these with your friends, they definitely need the extra free memory.

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