Jim Westergren
A blog about me, my projects, SEO, Web Development and Personal Development.
"If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves." - Thomas A. Edison

Make Firefox run up to 4 times faster

Firefox is an excellent and already fast browser but can be made to run up to 4 times faster – I kid you not.

If you are using Internet Explorer … please change to Firefox now. Also if you are using an old version you should upgrade. Download here.

Adjust your configurations

These settings are for those that are browsing a lot, have broadband and are using many tabs. These are my recommended settings, feel of course free to adjust as you see fit for you.

Open a new tab and write about:config in the URL window.

Copy and paste the Preference Names below in the filter field and then double click on the name. Values of false will then change to true and vice versa. If it is a number field you will need to insert the new number.

browser.history_expire_days_min change to 10 (default: 90)

Number of days to keep browser history.

This helps performance by reducing the amount of information that must be kept in memory while the browser is running.

Read more.

browser.sessionhistory.max_total_viewers change to 1 (default: -1)

Limits the maximum number of pages stored in memory in such a way that they don’t have to be re-parsed when pressing Back and Forward. If you, like me, are not using the Back and Forward buttons that much but rather tabs then I see no reason for Firefox to keep a lot of memory with this.

Read more.

network.http.max-connections change to 100 (default: 30)

The total number of HTTP connections the application can make is limited by this preference.

Read more.

network.http.max-connections-per-server change to 20 (default: 15)

Same as above but per server. Should not be set higher than 20. Read more.

network.http.max-persistent-connections-per-server change to 8 (default: 6)

This preference takes values between 1 and 255 inclusive, directly corresponding to the maximum number of HTTP keep-alive connections the application can have open at once to a single server.

It is, however, considered poor etiquette to make too many connections to a server and may lead to you being banned from that server. Anything above 10 is excessive.

Read more.

network.http.pipelining change to true (default: false)

In HTTP 1.1, multiple requests can be sent before any responses are received. This is known as pipelining. Pipelining reduces network load and can reduce page loading times over high-latency connections, but not all servers support it.

Read more.

network.http.proxy.pipelining change to true (default: false)

If a proxy server is configured, this preference controls whether to attempt to use pipelining with the proxy server.

Read more.

network.http.pipelining.maxrequests change to 8 (default: 4)

This preference specifies the maximum number of requests to pipeline at once when pipelining is enabled.

Maximum is 8. Read more.

network.http.request.max-start-delay change to 0 (default: 10)

Number of seconds keep-alive connections must wait before they are allowed to exceed the maximum.

Read more.

network.prefetch-next change to false (default: true)

Link prefetching is when a webpage hints to the browser that certain pages are likely to be visited, so the browser downloads them immediately so they can be displayed immediately when the user requests it. This preference controls whether link prefetching is enabled.

Read more.

Configurations that has to be created

To create a new configuration just right click on a white space and click new.

config.trim_on_minimize as new boolean with value of true

Allow Windows to swap out memory when the program is minimized.

Read more.

nglayout.initialpaint.delay create as new integer with value of 100 (default: 250)

The number of milliseconds to wait before first displaying the page.

Lower values will make a page initially display more quickly, but will make the page take longer to finish rendering. Higher values will have the opposite effect.

Read more.

Some other configuration settings that are useful

browser.tabs.tabMinWidth change to 70 (default 100)

You also often have a lot of tabs open? This setting will decrease the minimum width of the tab so that more fits in before you need to scroll to see more tabs.

Read more.

Check for problematic extensions

Extensions can leak memory and have a negative effect on the performance of Firefox.

Block Flash

If you want you can also block flash as flash is “just evil”. Just install the FlashBlock extension. And if there is any flash that you anyway want to see just click the button and it will start.

Then, restart Firefox and experience how much faster it is.

Sources / Read more

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About the Author Jim Westergren Jim Westergren is a web entrepreneur from Sweden now living in Bolivia. He is happily married and has two lovely children. Some of his interests are web development, SEO and writing. He is the Founder and CTO of TodaysWeb and his current major project is N.nu. Read his . Follow Jim on Twitter or Google+.
  • http://mywordpress.com Lars Koudal

    Excellent, thank you very much. I also use tabbing per default, and I switch a lot. After entering your tips (only some of them), and restarting FireFox, I instantly noticed an increase in speed.

  • http://selinap.com Selinap

    How did you know that those hacks would make Firefox four times faster? How did you test it?

  • http://www.jimwestergren.com/about-me-jim-westergren/ Jim Westergren

    That’s great to hear Lars :)

    How did you know that those hacks would make Firefox four times faster? How did you test it?

    I don’t say “four times faster” but “up to 4 times faster” which is very realistic based on my own observation.

  • Jorden Lentze

    Works excellent!

    Thanks for these hacks

  • http://howtoeasy.blogspot.com/ Jake

    Didn’t know about the browser.tabs.tabMinWidth – Thanks! – Just using a few of these tips helped Firefox run faster on my computer. Is there a way to ditch to backward & forward buttons? I never use them any more and they’re taking up valuable space on my browser. ;) I love tabs!! As if you couldn’t tell..

  • http://www.jimwestergren.com/about-me-jim-westergren/ Jim Westergren

    Is there a way to ditch to backward & forward buttons?

    Sure there is! Simply right-click on Firefox’s toolbar, and choose Customize. In the dialog box, select “Use small icons”. :)

  • http://www.dotankstudios.com/ atom

    Great article, shame about the “flash is just evil” comment – oh well, I guess you can’t have it all ;-)

  • http://www.ebeautymarket.net/ Beauty

    Hey mate you did excellent work! It is really helps.. My FF crashes every 1-2 days when I open many pages. Now works fine! :-o

  • Al

    Simply awesome. Thank you for taking the time to collate these tips. My firefox browser has never felt so snappy.

    ((-:

  • http://www.deoduey.com Deo

    Thank you for the great information… I did the process now to my firefox and it works will and made it faster too…. Again, thanks for the info…

  • Alpesh

    Amazing, I cant imagine FF can be made more faster

  • http://www.drotn.com DrOTN

    Thanks a lot Jim.
    Finally, found what I was looking for :)
    By the way, ant tricks for IE ?

    Regards

  • http://www.jimwestergren.com/about-me-jim-westergren/ Jim Westergren

    @DrOTN,

    Sorry don’t know any such tricks for IE but try Google.

  • http://alnokta.arablug.org Mohamed

    Thanks for article. I hope you don’t mind if I translated some of it.

    btw:
    nglayout.initialpaint.delay change to 100 (default: 250) should be
    nglayout.initialpaint.delay create as new integer with value of 100 (default: 250)

  • http://www.jimwestergren.com/about-me-jim-westergren/ Jim Westergren

    Hi Mohamed,

    Of course you can translate it. A link back here would be nice.

    Thanks a lot for the correction.

  • http://www.linkbuildingdir.com/ Matt

    Nice job Jim,
    Thanks for this article and I wanna say why not Firefox done all of this configurations before? why they set all configurations like this.

  • http://www.jimwestergren.com/about-me-jim-westergren/ Jim Westergren

    Hi Matt,

    In the new version 3.5 of Firefox I haven’t checked what are the default configurations. One reason I believe why it has to be set is because Firefox can’t know how fast connection you have. Many of the above settings for example is only suitable to those with a high broadband connection.

  • http://www.dirsubmit.net/ Matt

    Thanks Jim, may be!

  • http://www.improvepagerank.com Clark

    Thanks! My netbook was surfing the internet slow. Found this site searching, Huge improvement!

  • Ajyashir

    Wow, awesome information, very good, my firefox now runs like thunder.. thanks, keep it the excellent job..

  • http://www.abacuswebsoft.com.sg Serene

    Hi Jim, thanks for this post. :)

  • http://anotherstoryfromme.com/ willy

    thanks for sharing
    i will try this

  • http://www.internetsearchoptimizer.in James

    Hi Jim,

    Thanks for the tricks, i applied this and its working.

    Thanks,
    James

  • http://www.embroidery-digitizing-india.in James

    Thanks for information…

    Its working for me…

    Thank you..

    Is there anything similar to IE…? Its so dull always….

  • http://www.jimwestergren.com/about-me-jim-westergren/ Jim Westergren

    Just noticed that since I upgraded Firefox I felt it was very slow and sure enough the config settings had been reset and I just did the above again and now it is fast again :)

  • http://www.sem-service.com/ Gloria

    This piece aggregates everything needed and covers the topic perfectly. There is so much information floating around on this it’s nice to see it all in one place

  • http://www.supremetrucks.net/ Tow trucks

    Thank’s

    after applying those tricks my firefox is working on very high speed.
    previously when I browse search result and try to open it in new tab sometimes firefox get hanged and work very slow.

  • http://www.exclusivetrucksonline.com Cence Alonso

    hey thanks Jim….. I tried it……great help…..

  • http://www.techkol.com Techkol

    Wow…its working,, now i can use it with slow network…thanks buddy…

  • http://www.eseyo.com Scott Griffiths

    I’ve recently given up on Firefox. It is so bloated almost as bad as IE. I’m now a happy Chrome user. Only reason to go back to Firefox is for Firebug. I’ll try your recommendations though and see if it helps.

    thanks,

    Scott.

  • Farhan

    Thanks… btw will it work for low speed network… I’m using wireless Wi-MAX connection @512kbps…

  • http://techhelpcentre.com Tech Helper

    Good guide, there is more that you can change in about:config though.
    Here is a good tutorial for speeding up Firefox, http://www.techhelpcentre.com/showthread.php?t=118553.

  • puppy

    I have the latest version of firefox (4 I think) and when I copied and pasted these:
    browser.tabs.tabMinWidth
    nglayout.initialpaint.delay

    nothing showed up… why is it that it doesn’t show for mine?

  • steve
  • http://www.Huntllc.com Blythewood

    Good tips. However browser.history_expire_days_min didn’t show up. Instead I had browser.history_expire_days.mirror Is this the same? I left it alone.

  • Ben

    Thanks for sharing this Jim… works really great!

  • Milly Man

    Are you sure that these method’s work because i went on you tube and they made my fire fox run slow :/

  • Cosmin

    I don’t usually comment on articles that I find via Google because I’m in a hurry to solve problems but yours deserves it.

    Thank you very much, my browser loads way faster now.

  • katam ganesh

    Great thank….. firefox alot of faster….

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