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I have already turned 'smooth scrolling' on and have downloaded a plugin called 'smooth scrolling'.

Whenever I scroll down, the browser movement is very jerky and slow. It is pretty much unusable.

However, scrolling in a div with overflow: auto (like the related questions div above the question input textarea) scrolls fine.

I am using Windows XP freshly installed with Firefox 3.5.1

Anyone have any solutions?

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5 Answers 5

up vote 10 down vote accepted

Check that you've got the right video drivers in place - last time I experienced slow scrolling (though this was across all applications) the problem was a brain-dead "default" driver.

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1  
You were right on the money! –  alex Jul 27 '09 at 23:32

See http://www.mozilla.org/unix/customizing.html Add the following to the userChrome.css

/* Improve scroll performance on slow machines on some sites. */
* {
  background-attachment: scroll !important;
}
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check your video drivers...go to device drivers and look for the "yellow exclamation" mark. You may need to uninstall and then reinstall your video drivers. The drivers may have become corrupt after a previous installation or uninstall of different software.

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Not an answer to your question, but sometimes Firefox scrolls jerky (or freezes altogether) for a short moment after loading a page, after which it scrolls fine. For me, this was once related to a huge places.sqlite database file, which stores the history and bookmarks. When entries are removed from that database (like when history expires) or maybe even when they're changed, then unused space may not be automatically released. For me, manually running the vacuum command helped a lot.

(Some instructions on running vacuum on a Mac at Firefox on Mac: Slow, slow, slow. Simular instructions apply to other operating systems.)

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smooth scrolling is actually very cpu intensive, though it seems like the video drivers were your problem, sometimes 'smooth' scrolling can actually be the opposite, especially on older computers.

If you feel firefox is slower, try disabling smooth scrolling and see if things speed up.

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Thanks for the tip +! –  alex Jul 28 '09 at 1:01

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