Sunday, April 22, 2007

How to reduce firefox memory usage

For most users, Firefox doesn't use an abnormally large amount of memory. For others, however, Firefox's memory consumption is a major problem. Typical Firefox memory usage reported by Windows is around 50-100 MB, with virtual memory usage at 100-150 MB. These numbers will vary because Firefox is configured by default to use more memory on systems that have more memory available and less on systems with less.

1. System Extensions

WindowBlinds can dramatically increase memory use. To continue using WindowBlinds and Firefox without memory issues, add Firefox to WindowBlind's exclusion list.

2. Download History

Firefox can slow down or hang if the download history is allowed to accumulate. Clear the download history (you may need to exit Firefox and delete the file "downloads.rdf" from the profile folder in some cases) and change this setting to solve the problem:

Tools -> Options -> Privacy and uncheck "Remember what I've downloaded"

Reduce Firefox Memory Usage

3. Restarting Firefox

If you find that Firefox's memory usage continues to grow after long periods of being open, you may want to consider periodically restarting Firefox to bring the memory usage back to reasonable levels. The Session Manager extension allows you to close Firefox while maintaining the pages you have open.

4. Firefox Memory Cache

By default, Firefox does not use a fixed size memory cache - it uses a percentage of system memory. Setting a fixed size memory cache can often reduce memory usage - 4 or 8MB is sufficient in most instances.

a. In your Firefox address bar, enter the following text: about:config

Reduce Firefox Memory Usage

b. Scroll down to the entry titled browser.cache.memory.enable and make sure the Value is set to true. If it’s not, double-click anywhere in the browser.cache.memory.enable line and the status will change to True

Reduce Firefox Memory Usage

c. Right-click (Apple users ctrl-click) anywhere in the about:config window and select New and then Integer from the pop-up menu

Reduce Firefox Memory Usage

d. Enter browser.cache.memory.capacity in the New integer value pop-up box

Reduce Firefox Memory Usage

e. You’ll need to enter a number in the Enter integer value, but that number depends on how much memory you have (specifically, how much you want to "give" Firefox). If you have 256MB or less RAM, enter 4096 as the value. If you have 512MB of RAM, enter 6144 or 8192. If you have 128MB or less RAM, you may want to consider upgrading - memory is getting very inexpensive.

f. Confirm that the new entry has been created and the integer value is correct

g. If for any reason you wish to restore the default settings, change the browser.cache.memory.capacity integer value to -1 (that’s minus one).

5. Memory Usage Upon Minimize

This is how to reduce the memory usage when you minimize your Firefox.

a. Type about:config in Firefox address bar and press Enter

Reduce Firefox Memory Usage

b. Right click in the page and select New > Boolean

Reduce Firefox Memory Usage

c. Type config.trim_on_minimize in the box that pops up. Press Enter

Reduce Firefox Memory Usage

d. Select True and then press Enter

e. Restart Firefox.

What it will do is, when each time you minimize your Firefox, the memory usage will dramatically drop down to 10Mb but then it will slowly increase up to 50Mb. When you maximize it back, it will stay on 50Mb or maybe 70Mb.

6. Plugins

Plugins can cause Firefox to use more memory when they're used. They may not even release the memory they took until Firefox is closed. It's a good idea to make sure you're using the most recent version of every plugin.

Disable PDF Browser Plugin For Firefox
Speed Up PDF Display
Stop PDF's From Freezing Firefox
Shockwave memory usage
Flash memory usage

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