Simple Yet Useful Tips to Improve The Speed Of Firefox

Firefox is a beautiful browser when it works. More people use it, in fact, than Internet Explorer. After some time, though, it can get pretty slow just like any other browser as it starts consuming more resources to perform basic functions. It’s a known memory hog and can slow down even the fastest computers if they don’t have the RAM necessary to quench its enormous cravings. To mitigate this, you’ll need to take a few steps that involve getting rid of any extra burdens the browser might put on your system. Let’s get started!

After a while of using Firefox, you might start filling it up – whether knowingly or unknowingly – with plugins that will take a certain amount of your computer’s memory for every tab that opens and actively uses it. Even idle, plugins use a load of memory.

Note: Don’t be confused between plugins and addons. Addons are the extension that you install manually. Plugins are added automatically to your Firefox when you install a third party software, like Skype, or Java.

Click the “Firefox” button on the top left corner of your window and click “Add Ons.” You should see a “Plugins” tab.

firefox-add-ons

Once in, you’ll be able to disable all the plugins you want by clicking the “Plugins” square. Don’t disable them all, though! Some plugins, like Flash and Adobe, are necessary to open certain elements in some websites. Scan through the list and I am sure you can find things there you might never use.

On that same screen where you go to all the “add-ons,” you can click “Extensions.” This will allow you to disable some annexes made to Firefox, such as the ever-famous Skype Click-To-Call feature. If you never use it, there’s no reason to enable it. Click-To-Call – the example used here – primarily uses your CPU in processing the parsed data from a webpage and uses your RAM to store display data for the number to pop up in a fancy clickable manner that lets you make calls through Skype. Do you really need this Firefox Extension? If you don’t use it, remove it!

If there’s an extension that are not using it regularly, but would still like to keep it in your collection, you can disable it. Disabling an extension will release some memory space since it is not executed at all, but it won’t free up your storage space. When you need it again, just reactivate it.

firefox-disable-ext

If you’re the kind of person running away from other peoples’ noses, you probably already know how to clean out everything from your browser. But for those of you who don’t have anything to hide, there’s an option that allows you to remove the junk on your browser. When Firefox starts, a bunch of junk that’s accumulated in the past might occupy its RAM space. If you’d like to reduce this as much as possible, you’ll have to get rid of things like cookies, cache, history, and site preferences. You can get rid of this by clicking the “Firefox” icon and hovering the mouse over “History.” A menu pops out showing you some options.

firefox-clear-recent-history

Choose “Clear Recent History.” The rest is pretty much self-explanatory, depending on what you want to delete. Note that you cannot undo this once you’ve done it.

The Mozilla team has worked hard to improve Firefox and shorten their release cycle to once every 1 -2 months. Each release often leads to an improvement in the performance of the browser, particulary in the memory management department. If you are already using the latest version of Firefox, you can be sure that the browser will update itself when a new update is available. If not, you can always go to “Help -> About Firefox” and it will check for the latest version and update it accordingly.

I’d be more than happy to hear what you have to say about this and I’m thrilled to answer your questions about the subject.