How to Make Firefox Run Faster


Feb 11, 2006


Firefox tip:
If Firefox is too unresponsive for your tastes when it's loading a new web page, the How-To Geek weblog suggests a simple tweak to improve responsiveness.

First, enter about:config into your address bar and then add the content.switch.threshold setting (which isn't there by default). Right-click the page and select New -> Integer, name it content.switch.threshold, and give it a value of 1000000.

The catch is that Firefox will take slightly longer to load pages, but while it's loading you'll be able to scroll the already-loaded content more easily. If you like that, you may also want to tweak Firefox's rendering speed or check out some of the best Firefox config tweaks.

James Meyer has written an alternate trick where you can make Firefox run faster even without losing any of the cookies, bookmarks or extensions.

He says: In my experience, what slows down Firefox is usually some preference for some installed add-on.

To fix the problem, make a copy of the pref.js file in your profile, and then edit it. The prefs.js file can be edited using notepad and it is available in your Firefox profile folder:
C:\Documents and Settings\[user]\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\[xxx].default

Try removing lines that are related to various add-ons, and you will at some stage remove the line/lines that are causing the problem.

A method I have tried before is simply remove half of the lines, and try running Firefox with several tabs of pages with a lot of content.

When you have identified the bad half, restore the original prefs.js file and remove half of that bad half and try again.

In this way, you can identify the lines that are causing the problem and won't lose all your saved preferences.

Thank you James. As he suggested, make a backup of your Firefox Preferences file before deleting any lines.
Or even better if you want Firefox to consume 700KB of memory just use Firefox Ultimate Optimizer! :)
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