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I use Firefox 3.5.3 on Windows 7 RTM, I open about 20 tabs (as my home page(s)) and I have 45 add-ins that do everything from block advertisements to open Internet Explorer tabs. I have Windows 7 64-bit RTM with 8 GB of RAM (please refer to other questions/answers about how much of this is usable). What is your best suggestion for speeding it up?

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

The obvious one is to uninstall add ons that are not needed, but if you need all of them, then obviously you can't.

The are not really many things you can do other than go to about:config and tinker with various settings.

Recently, one of The Firefox developers talked about a method of clearing the SQLite database in order to speed it up slightly.

    * Open the Error Console: Tools menu/Error Console
    * In the Code text box paste this (it's a single line):


    * Press Evaluate. All the UI will freeze for a few seconds while databases are VACUUMed

In addition, if you are feeling that flash is very jumpy, there is a article on how to fix that.

 go to about:config and change browser.sessionstore.interval to a much higher amount.

Again, if you are seeing a lot of speed problems, it is probably due to just having so many addons... Even if separately the addons works well, I have noticed that you can have a big exponential increase in delays/lag when some are combined.

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+1 for the SQLite trick, worked for me. – Sasha Chedygov Aug 28 '09 at 4:55
Awesome, this made browser startup times go from 1min 49secs to 22secs I did some research and found an interesting article on lifehacker… – Matt 'Trouble' Esse Aug 28 '09 at 5:54

What kind of speed up are you looking for? Is there anything that is particularly slow?

In general, if you really want to make things go faster, the first thing I would look to do is decrease the number of add-on installed. That can make an incredible difference. If some of the add-ons are used only on occasion or for a particular purpose, consider setting up alternate profiles just for those extensions so they're not loaded for general browsing.

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Maybe some little tweaks will also help you:

  • In the address bar type about:config and the hidden settings will appear.
  • In the filter-line you can search for the following entries:
  • Set "network.http.pipelining" to "true" if you are not using a proxy.
  • Set "network.http.proxy.pipelining" to "true" if you are using a proxy.
  • Set "network.http.pipelining.maxrequests" to a number like 30. This means it will make 30 requests at once.
  • Then right-click anywhere in the config page and select New --> Integer. Name it "nglayout.initialpaint.delay" and set its value to 0. This value is the amount of time the browser waits before it acts on information it recieves.
  • Finally restart firefox.

Explanation for the "network.http.pipelining"-settings: pipelining reduces network load and can reduce page loading times over high-latency connections, but not all servers support it. Some servers may even behave incorrectly if they receive pipelined requests. Personally - until now - I had never problems with this settings.

These settings should give you more performance in opening web-sites and in browsing the Internet.

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Don't set the paint delay that low,the initial paint will be quick, but the page will be redrawn more, making it feel jerky. The total page load + draw will be longer. You'll need to experiment, but around 200 to 500ms is probably about right. – Rich Bradshaw Dec 24 '10 at 23:07
Wait... 30! 8 is the max that this can be set at. – Rich Bradshaw Dec 24 '10 at 23:09

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