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I have observed many people suggesting to delete unused bookmarks, as tips to overcome slow start-up of firefox, is there any technical reason behind it?

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up vote 12 down vote accepted

I don't believe that bookmarks play a major role in the startup process.

Whatever you do, the startup of FF will be slow, in direct proportion to the number of add-ons. And since one of the best reasons to use FF is its wealth of add-ons, we wouldn't want to change that.

The solution is rather to never really close FF, just to get it out of the way.

I use the extension Minimize To Tray, which minimizes FF into the system tray. That way, it doesn't take valuable taskbar space, and FF is always available with a simple click on the tray icon.

Since FF 3.6, Minimize To Tray is no longer supported.
I use instead MinimizeToTray revived which works perfectly well.

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To the downvoter: If you have some useful remark to add to the discussion, please do so. Otherwise, please don't intervene. – harrymc Mar 10 '10 at 12:22
IMO, Minimize to tray isn't necessary with Win7 anymore, but I fear the downvote was from the sort of person who thinks FF can do no wrong :( – Phoshi Mar 10 '10 at 12:33
@Phoshi: If FF starts much faster on Win7, do you know why? – harrymc Mar 10 '10 at 12:38
@harry; I meant the whole taskbar thing, minimizing to tray doesn't really save taskbar space anymore - though relative to XP, precaching does seem to help a lot. – Phoshi Mar 10 '10 at 13:05
@Phoshi: OK, I understand your logic - minimizing is enough for you since FF is pinned to your taskbar. – harrymc Mar 10 '10 at 13:34

Since Firefox 3.0, Firefox now uses a database (specifically, places.sqlite) to store bookmarks. My guess is that the "delete unused bookmarks" is old information, from when Firefox used to have to read through an html file to retrieve all your bookmarks.

Some of the things you can do to speed up Firefox are:

  1. "Vacuum" your places.sqlite database. This can be easily done with the Vacuum Places extension.
  2. Defragment your harddrive
  3. Clear your cache, cookies, and history in Firefox by pressing Ctrl+Shift+Del and check the applicable options.

The first time I used the Vacuum Places extension, I saw a huge jump in performance, especially from the "AwesomeBar".

I have no experience with it, but there is also a Firefox Preloader program on SourceForge that is supposed to be able to help load Firefox faster. I can't guarantee it will help, though, as the project was last updated in 2005 (although Download Squad wrote about it in 2008, so who knows).

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+1 for "delete unused bookmarks is old info" – InfantPro'Aravind' Mar 11 '10 at 8:03
fyi: clearing your cookies will log you out of everything. – CAD bloke Sep 8 '10 at 21:22

Ccleaner has an option to 'compact databases' for Firefox and Chrome.

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