Jim Westergren
About me, my projects, SEO, Web Development and Personal Development since 2005
"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

27 Apr 2009

About the Author Jim Westergren Jim Westergren is a Swedish web entrepreneur currently living in Spain. He is happily married and has three lovely children. Some of his interests are web development, SEO and writing.
He is the Founder of DomainStats and N.nu. Read his .