Firefox, being most of people’s favorite browser is normally fast but sometimes it needs a fine tuning to work even more faster. Here in this guide, I will explain the 5 ways to speed up Firefox in Windows.
So lets start:
1 – Reset Firefox
Reset will not delete your bookmarks, browsing history, stored passwords, cookies and web form auto-fill info but remove your current extensions, themes, tab groups and site specific preferences like download history and customizations.
So in Firefox address bar enter this:
Now you will see the Troubleshooting information page as shown in the above picture. On the right side you will see a box with a Reset button.
Click “Reset Firefox” and the task is done.
2. Clear Cache
The cache is a temporary storage space for images, scripts and web elements. While browsing the web, the browser saves frequently accessed content to your local computer so further visits to similar pages do not have to wait for everything to download again.
Instead Firefox just gets the content from the cache and then pops your favorite website on the screen.
Most of the time, the cache gets full and you have to clear it for smooth browsing. To clear the cache, on Firefox press this key combo:
Ctrl + Shift + Del
You can choose the time span to just today or to everything in the cache. For better results, I recommend using Everything and checking all the options in the Detail list.
Now let me explain what each setting does:
- Browsing & Download History
All the history present in your download window will get removed. It is important to mention that it only clears the RECORDS of the files you have downloaded not the files themselves. Moreover, this wipes the website list that autocompletes as you type in the address bar and all the files listed in the History menu (Ctrl + Shift + h).
- Form & Search Bar History
Any text typed into any web login form or search bar will get removed.
Cookies are little text files that save preferences from sites you’ve visited. For example, on Facebook or Twitter if you check “Remember me”, those sites save a small bit of text in a cookie so the next time you visit these sites, you do not have to login again. But that’s not all, Cookies are also used by various plugins, such as Adobe Flash and sometimes third party softwares, to store and track your browsing data. You must clear your cookies both as a general rule for maintenance and security.
Temporary internet files like images and media are stored in the cache. Removing the cache is essential so data can flow to your computer again.
- Active Logins
This closes any persistent authentication sessions on Firefox. If you’ve logged into a site that required HTTP authentication then clearing Active Logins, logs you out.
- Offline Website Data
Offline website data can store entire websites on your local computer so you can browse offline; as you can imagine this can slow your system down; therefore, it’s a good to erase it.
- Site Preferences
Stuff like pop-up blocker exceptions are stored here.
Make Firefox Automatically Clear the Cache
After clearing the cache you should configure Firefox so it automatically clears it for you every time you close the browser. This will keep Firefox running smoothly next time you open it.
Click the Firefox button in the upper left corner of the browser, mouse over to Options then click Options in the menu.
Click the little mask icon called Privacy then under history set the “Firefox will” setting in the drop down box to “Use custom settings” for history.
Check the “Clear history when Firefox closes”
Click the Settings button near it so you can choose what Firefox clears on exit.
Click OK and you’re done.
Now Firefox will automatically clear your cache after you close the browser.
3. Run Firefox in Safe Mode
Holding down Shift while starting Firefox opens it in Safe Mode.
If your browser runs faster in safe mode than normal mode then you know there’s an extension (add-on), theme, or plugin that must be slowing it down.
You can also Reset Firefox here.
4. Disable useless add-ons and plugins
Click the Firefox button again and choose Add-ons this time.
Plug-ins and Add-ons are small applications that consume browser resources and can slow it down badly. Some are better than others but if you find some you do not need you should disable or remove them.
If you’re worried that disabling one will break the browser just click the blue More link near the Disable button to get more information about it. In most cases, disabling a plugin won’t render the browser useless so feel free to be dauntless.
5. Advanced Performance Improvements
Firefox gives its users the ability to edit internal variables in a special configuration area. You will see a warning message when you enter this area because if you don’t know what you’re doing, you can really spoil your browser, read the warning and proceed.
In address bar type:
Increase Persistent Connections
When downloading large amounts of data such as streaming audio or HD video from Youtube, increasing your persistent connections will allow you to download more data at once.
In the filter box enter this command:
Double click the preference and change the integer value from 6 to 8.
Cranking the pipeline decreases the time it takes to load pages because Firefox has more channels to transport the data.
Change the integer value to 40.
Now you need to enable Pipelining, so far all we did was set the max requests variable but pipelining is actually off by default.
Enter this in the variable search box:
Then double click the first entry to switch the Boolean value from false to true.
Disable Tab Animations
If you want to disable animation switching between your tabs in Firefox, you can do it by typing this command in the variable search box
Double click the value to make it true or false.
Happily hoping that these tips will benefit you a lot running your Firefox smoother than before. Even though Mozilla engineers are making it better day by day, but even a perfect browser may need some maintinance and tuning.
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