20+ Ways to Increase Firefox Speed & Decrease Memory Usage

Since Firefox is one of the most important tools of Web designers and also other internet users, and because of big mount of Firefox memory usage, I decided to write this article and make it visual for all to be more interesting. Well, if you have a laptop and want to work with Firefox, Photoshop, Dream Weaver and….

Since Firefox is one of the most important tools of Web designers and also other internet users, and because of big mount of Firefox memory usage, I decided to write this article and make it visual for all to be more interesting. Well, if you have a laptop and want to work with Firefox, Photoshop, Dream Weaver and … as web design’s tools, you may need many memory on your computers But as we know, it costs much expensive to upgrade your hardware and for laptop owners that would be a disaster if their laptop maximum Ram support doesn’t let them to add another Ram in order to have more memory. ( I’ve also wrote another article for laptop owners: 32 Useful Tips To Improve Laptop Performance )

In this article I am going to tell you how to decrease firefox memory usage and increase firefox speed. This article of mine has two parts. So, follow each part to the end to make your Firefox Faster and Reduce your Firefox Memory Usage:

Make Firefox Faster +10 tips:

1) Firefox is usually very polite! it just send a request to server and wait to receive a response before sending another request. To set Firefox to send multi request at once follow these steps #1 to #3:

Open Firefox as a blank page or a blank tab. Type about:config in the address bar.

If you are seeing a warning page and the button I’ll be careful, I promise!

press that button to see another part. In filter bar type: network.http.pipelining to find it under preference name column.

The default value is False. So, double click on it to change it to True:

2) In the text area that is in front of filter bar, type: network.http.proxy.pipelining. and change it to True.

3) Now find network.http.pipelining.maxrequests. Right click on it and click Modify.

The default value you are going to see would be 4. So, change it to 8.

4) At the same page (about:config) Right click on a blank space and select: New –> Boolean: (now you are making a Boolean value. Through next steps you need to make some Boolean values again. I mean you should type about:config in the address bar and hit Enter then right click on a blank space and select: New –> Boolean)

name it network.http.pipelining.firstrequest and press OK.

Then set it’s value True.

5) At the same page (about:config) Right click on a blank space and select: New –> Integer: (now you are making an Integer value.

Through next steps you need to make some Boolean values again. I mean you should type about:config in the address bar and hit Enter.

Then right click on a blank space of the page and select: New –> Integer )

Name it nglayout.initialpaint.delay and press OK.

Finally set it’s value to 0:

6) Large and intricate web pages can take a while to download. Although Firefox doesn’t have any delay here but since in default it should shows you what it’s received every 0.12 seconds and this causes to increase loading the web pages. Well, to avoid this:

Just like step 5 make another Integer value name it content.notify.interval and set it’s value to 500000.

Pay attention to the value ( It is five hundred thousand and not fifty hundreds )

7) Just like #4 make another Boolean value. Then create a value called content.notify.ontimer and set it’s value to True.

8) If you haven’t moved your mouse or touched the keyboard for 0.75 seconds then Firefox enters a low frequency interrupt mode, that means its interface becomes less responsive and your web page loads faster. Reducing the content switch threshold can improve performance, then, and it only takes a moment:

Make another Integer value. Name it content.switch.threshold click OK and set it’s value to 250000 (one fourth of a second) then click OK to finish the job for now.

9) It is also possible to extend the last tip to user interface. Telling Firefox to ignore all user interface events until the current page has been downloaded, causes Firefox load web pages faster. (may this would be a little effective but it is recommended to test it for your browser and see how does it work for you):

Make an other Boolean value called content.interrupt.parsing and set it’s value to False.

10) There are many unwelcome flash on many web pages. As we know this causes slowing down browsing. So, what is the solution? there is a very simple solution. That;s just installing a Firefox extension is named Flash Block. To download or install this Firefox extension click here:

11) As you know while you are browsing Firefox stores some script and images of the web pages in a local memory cache. And they can be retrieved faster if you open the same page. If you have plenty of Ram leave Firefox running to improve the performance.

Make another Integer value and name it browser.cache.memory.capacity and set it’s value to 65536. Finally restart your browser to apply the changes and get large cache.

12) There is an other helpful Firefox extension named FasterFox. Fasterfox allows you to tweak many network and rendering settings such as simultaneous connections, pipelining, cache, DNS cache, and initial paint delay. To download or add it to your Firefox click here. But the way! to add it to your Firefox you need to sign in!

13) The last tip I’m going to write about is using anohter Firefox extension named DownThemAll. This is the description I’ve seen about it:

This is all you can desire from a download manager: it features an advanced accelerator that increases speed up to 400% and it allows you to pause and resume downloads at any time.

To download it or add it to your Firefox click here.

Decrease Firefox Memory Usage:

This is the second part of my article that is all about reducing Firefox memory usage. Well, I have tested all of these tips by myself with a Firefox 3 on a Windows OS and the result has been Great to me. Usually Firefox memory usage on a Windows OS is at least 50MB and at most 100MB and it depends on the mount of installed themes, plugins and extensions. But today you will experience working with Firefox using less than 50 percent of the early Firefox memory usage.

My Firefox memory usage is so near to the maximum reported Firefox memory usage and that is because of many installed plugins and Firefox extensions on Firefox of mine. At the end of this article I’ll show you my Firefox memory usage after applying all tips below. Easier and shorter tips are first and longer ones are at last:

1) Restart Firefox

Sometimes Firefox memory usages grows up more and more and you need to freed some memory to avoid Firefox using abnormal memory. Well, sometimes it would be useful to restart Firefox to freed some memory.

2) Clear Firefox download history

Open Firefox and then Go to:

– Tools –> Options –> Privacy

Finally just leave ‘Remember what I’ve downloaded’ unchecked and press OK.

3) Don’t open files into Firefox

Opening files into Firefox needs a lot of memory. To avoid this it is just enough to follow these steps:

– Tools –> Options –> Applications

Then set PDF files to be saved instead of being open into Firefox. Finally press OK.

4) Keep your Firefox Up to date

It is really recommended to use newer version of every Firefox extensions, Themes\skins, Plugins and … That is because of improving newer extensions, plugins and themes about using memory. Don’t forget to keep these plugins up to date forever: Adobe reader, Shockwave, Java, Flash

5) Set Firefox to use less memory upon minimize

In default almost all software need less memory when you minimize them. But to set Firefox to work like this we should follow these steps:

In the address bar type about:config and press Enter then if you’re seeing a warning message press the button I’ll be careful, I promise! (just as like as first tip at first part of this article)

Then make a Boolean value and name it config.trim_on_minimize and set it’s value to True. ( I’ve told you how to make a Boolean value here ) Finally restart Firefox.

Thus you would be able to minimize Firefox upon you need more memory. After using this tip you’ll see that Sometimes Firefox memory usage comes down to just 8MB after minimizing! But when your return it into your desktop it’s memory usage grows slowly. Therefore this tip would be really helpful to freed more than 40MB of Ram at the moment.

6) Set Firefox to have fixed size of memory usage

In default Firefox uses a percentage of memory on your computer. Therefore if you have more memory, Firefox uses more memory. To avoid this in order to having a fixed size of memory usage for Firefox:

In the address bar type about:config and press Enter then if you’re seeing a warning message press the button I’ll be careful, I promise! (just as like as first tip at first part of this article)

In the new appeared window type browser.cache.memory.enable in the filter bar and change the value to True.

Then make an Integer value and name it browser.cache.memory.capacity. ( I have told you how to make an Integer value here )To set it’s value, you should work according to the mount of Ram on your computer. So, set it’s value according to the table below:

Installed Ram: Value you should set: Comment:

256 MB 4096 also set it for less Ram

512 MB 8192

1 GB 16384 Like me!

2 GB 32768

4 GB 65536 May be for Vostro 1510 owners!

So, just double the value as Ram doubles!

NOTE: To restore the value to default change the value of browser.cache.memory.capacity to –1 ( I mean minus one ).

7) Use RamBack Plugin

This is a helpful Firefox plugin and this is the description I have read about it: ‘RAMBack will cause Firefox to issue an internal notification to free up memory that is otherwise held for performance purposes’

You can download this plugin or add it to your Firefox from here. If you are working with newer versions of Firefox, this would be the most recent version compatible with Firefox 3.0.7 that you can download it or add it to your Firefox from here

8) Use Portable Firefox

If having free memory is a critical problem for you it is recommended to use Portable Firefox and that is because of less Portable Firefox memory usage.

How have been useful to reduce Firefox memory usage?

I decreased Firefox memory usage on my computer using the tips above to freed about 35MB.

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