Firefox is undoubtedly the best browser among techies and developers and preferred over the other browsers because of the support for vast number of plugins. Firefox can become a memory hog and stops working if too many add-ons are installed and also due to few other reasons. Many of the times Firefox uses more memory due to memory leaks, faulty third party applications. Here is 6 Simple steps to reduce memory consumption in Firefox.
NB: Whenever you are editing config file, please take a back up.
1. Check Add-ons and themes:
One of the primary reasons of Firefox slowing down is due to large number of installed extensions. We are tempted to try out each and every fancy add-ons and these could slow down Firefox. Few things to take care while installing and using add-ons
- Uninstall all add-ons which are not used
- Install only the latest versions of add-on.
- Remove unnecessary scripts and themes.
You can also check Firefox memory usage by opening Firefox in safe mode by disabling all add-ons. To open in Safe mode, either you can select it from the programs menu or type firefox -safe-mode in run command.
2. Check existing memory usage:
You can check how Firefox uses memory for caching images and web pages. This setting is a hidden one and to check it type about:cache in the address bar and press enter. Under the Memory cache device heading, Maximum storage size refers to the maximum amount of memory Firefox will use for this purpose, and Storage in use refers to the current amount of memory Firefox is using for this purpose.
By default Firefox uses more memory on computers having more memory, you can change it to custom value and lower it. But lowering the cache memory makes websites take time to load.
To modify the maximum storage size, you need to open config file, for this type about:config in the address bar and right click anywhere in the file and add a new integer. In the preference name enter browser.cache.memory.capacity and type in the maximum memory size in kilo bytes.
3. Restore Memory on Minimize:
When Firefox is minimized, the memory is released and the way its released can be configured. Type about:config in the address bar and enter. In the config file, right click and select new Boolean value. Enter the name for this setting as config.trim_on_minimize and set the value as true. To remove this entry, right click on the entry and select Reset.
4. Check for latest versions of plugins:
If the installed plugins like Adobe reader, flash player etc have older version, then this could be a reason for Firefox to be slow. Make sure you have the latest versions of all the plugins installed.
5. Clear Download History:
If you download files and software from the web using Firefox, all these files are available in Firefox Download History. Large number of entries in Download History can slow down Firefox. To delete download history, go to Tools-> Clear Private Data and check the box “Download History”.
6. Restart Firefox periodically :
If you are using Firefox for long hours, then its advisable to restart Firefox periodically as Firefox memory usage increases when kept open for long hours. You can use the session restore feature in to bring back all the windows after restart.