Methods to reduce memory usage at Firefox

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009 | In How To | Tags: ,

Mozilla Firefox browser is one of my preference web browsers, I am using Firefox browser most of the time to surf the Internet, and during my works too. I prefer Firefox browser because there are a lot of extensions/ plug-ins that absolutely help me a lot during website development and websites/ web-based applications testing. The most frequent plug-ins I am using are firebug; web developer tools; xml developer tools; FireFtp; SEO tools and so on.

For most users, Firefox browser does not use large amount of memory, however Firefox’s memory consumption is a major problem if there are a lot of enabled plug-ins have been added onto the Firefox browser. I have experienced this problem, especially using my own laptop with 512MB shared ram at home.

Normally Firefox memory usage reported by windows will as as high as 100 to 150MB, and these numbers will vary because Firefox is configured by its default setting as to use more memory on systems if there are more memory or use less memory if system has less memory available, there may be a problem, or you may just be viewing pages with large amounts of data. Below are several methods to assist on reducing the memory usage at Firefox.

1. Extensions and themes. A significant memory usage reduction is from the extensions and themes, you may be able to find updates for your extensions and themes or alternative extensions and themes that use less memory.

2. Plug-ins. This can cause Firefox to use more memory when load a webpage, and certain plug-ins might not release their memory until Firefox is closed. It is good to make sure all plug-ins is only necessary needed and upgrade the most recent version to avoid the memory usage problem. To save the maximum amount of memory usage, try to disable the plug-ins when not used at that time or block specific instances of memory usage such like Flash Player via extensions or configuration options.

3. User settings on the default values. Changing the about:config preferences by typing it on the browser address bar. The preferences may have an effect on memory consumption but may also affect performance or reduce functionality. From the news at Mozilla website, they stated each preference includes an estimate of the amount of memory that can be freed on an average of 512MB ram system by choosing the most memory friendly setting.

Methods to reduce memory usage at Firefox
~ Methods to reduce memory usage at Firefox ~

For example, search for browser.sessionhistory.max_entries and change the integer value from 50 to 10, assume you surf less than 10 websites using Firefox browser so that is not need to usage up that much of memory by default.

4. The RamBack extension that available for Firefox 3 allows user to manually free memory such as caches that is usually used to increase performance. This gives the advantage of small cache sizes without always suffering from the performance problem.

5. Virtual memory. Firefox memory usage problem still remain, that might cause by the virtual memory turned off or have a paging file that is too small. Useful tips for virtual memory at this site.

Besides there, try to type about:mozilla in the Firefox address bar, you will get an excerpt from the book of Mozilla.


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