Reducing memory usage in FireFox

Learn how you can tweak your Firefox application to consume less memory and work little faster.

FireFox LogoI’m crazy about this browser right from the day of release. Firefox bought me in a change of browsing style. I really love this tool. But only concern I’ve about Firefox is its memory usage. Hope this would be the concern for other users as well as the Firefox developers. It sucks most of the memory space. I’d say Firefox is memory ravenous compared with IE.

Firefox has lot of memory leaks and that has been fixed the most in the latest release. Anyway that’s not our part Mozilla developers will take of that  If you think you can contribute better then join their team. Visit Mozilla today to find out more ways to contribute.

Now let’s optimize Firefox to use less memory and to work faster. This is the smarter way too.

Type about:config in the address bar.

  • Create a new Boolean entry config.trim_on_minimize and set it to true (This one works gr8 when ever you reduce the FireFox window. It almost saves 20 MB – 30 MB+)
  • Set browser.cache.memory.capacity to a fixed size (the default values are: for 256 MB RAM – 14336, 512 MB RAM – 22528, 1 GB RAM – 32768). This is free 22MB max.
  • Set browser.sessionhistory.max_total_viewers to 0. It can reduce around 20 MB of usage
  • Change image.animation_mode to none. It has little impact on performance.

Now go to Tools/Options.

  • Set the disk cache memory to a low value (less than 50 MB).
  • Turn off Java (If you really don’t use it).
  • Try to avoid memory hungry extension. If you decide to use some; don’t use more that 5.
  • Clear the download history now and then. Don’t let the list to accumulate. This will have impact on the performance.

Using these tips, I was able to reduce around 40 – 50 MB of memory usage. So why to wait try it today. Happy Browsing.

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24 thoughts on “Reducing memory usage in FireFox”

  1. Nice article,

    I’ve been looking for a way to free-up some of the memory firefox uses, and your tips worked perfectly.


  2. would love to reduce the memory, but I am stumbling at the first hurdle – can’t work out how to create a boolean entry.

    any advice?



  3. Michael Flessas


    I had been meaning to do something like this and you tips prompted me to do it and, I might say, with better results than what I had in mind.

    Thanks so much!

  4. Hey, it worked for me, I didn’t really expected it to work.
    But the best tip for me would be: “close unused tabs” 😉


  5. @Anon,
    Thanks for your feedback

    Thanks for the comments. Yes.. that would a useful one. But I never seen people using that.

    Thank you.

    Thanks for the link. your tip was cool.

  6. this is a very true article. My mom had all kinds of add-ons:
    1.Google toolbar
    2.Yahoo toolbar
    3. Stumbleupon

    She’s not comp-savvy. I think all of these were in the recommended list and thats why she got them. She never used any of them. Also, she complained that firefox was sucking. It crashed all the time and was slow(Gee, I wonder why…). I uninstalled all of her add-ons, and now she says Firefox works like a dream.

    You shouldn’t download any extension unless if you absolutely need it. Try not to have more than 5.

  7. Bob Jackson – Very valid points. If you’re really not sure if you need the addon, don’t install it. It might suck your memory. I also recommend to have addons not more than 5, but if you’re geeky you can extend it upto 10! BTW, Thanks for sharing your experience.

  8. hey, thanks fr this great article, it certainly works fr me with Firefox 2. I was actually trying to fix the slowness of my firefox, but wasnt sure how.

  9. Pingback: Random Links Part 2 « Mega Voltage

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