Firefox has been outperforming IE in every department for years, and version 3 is speedier than ever. But tweak the right settings and you could make it faster still, more than doubling your speed in some situations, all for about five minutes work and for the cost of precisely nothing at all. Here’s what you need to do.
1. Use New HTTP Cache
In among Firefox’s under-the-hood tweaks in about:config, you’ll find a whole bunch of things that can turbo charge the browser. One of these is using the latest HTTP cache for Firefox which should improve the stability and speed of Firefox when it’s under pressure by reusing online resources and content you’ve previously visited.
Here we are going to show you how you can do it. To use this, go to about:config and type browser.cache.use_new_backend into the search box. Double-click the use_new_backend option and change the 0 to a 1 to activate the new cache, and you’re away.
2. Click-To-Play Flash Content
Many websites still use Adobe Flash player to load videos and other Flash content, including ads. This leads to taking more time to load a page even if you don’t want to see the Flash content. When set to click-to-play, Flash content will only load when you click on it, thus giving you full control. See the below instructions to set Flash content to click-to-play in Firefox.
First of all you need to click on the Firefox main menu in the top-right corner and then click on Add-ons.
Secondly, on the add-ons page click on the Plugins button on the left side and search for the Shockwave Flash plugin.
Finally, click on the drop-down menu next to it, and select Ask to Activate.
3. Faster loading
If you haven’t moved your mouse or touched the keyboard for 0.75 seconds (the content switch threshold) then Firefox enters a low frequency interrupt mode, which means its interface becomes less responsive but your page loads more quickly. Reducing the content switch threshold can improve performance, then, and it only takes a moment.
Type about:config and press Enter, right-click in the window and select New > Integer. Type content.switch.threshold, click OK, enter 250000 (a quarter of a second) and click OK to finish.
4. Use uBlock Origin Instead of Adblock
For a long time uBlock Origin has been used as a viable alternative precisely because it manages CPU and memory resources better, thereby causing less strain on Firefox and helping it run faster. It does a great job of blocking ads, too, in case that was ever in doubt. If your PC isn’t the most powerful, then there’s a good chance Adblock is slowing down your Firefox performance because it’s not all that efficient with its memory usage.
5. Free up Memory
If you are continuously using Firefox and find it slowing down, then you can free up some memory to speed it up. To do so, type about:memory in the Firefox address bar and press Enter. On the next page click on Minimize memory usage under Free memory to free up memory.
6. Enable Pipelining
Browsers are normally very polite, sending a request to a server then waiting for a response before continuing. Pipelining is a more aggressive technique that lets them send multiple requests before any responses are received, often reducing page download times. To enable it, type about:config in the address bar, double-click network.http.pipelining and network.http.proxy.pipelining so their values are set to true, then double-click network.http.pipelining.maxrequests and set this to 8.
7. Disable Firefox Animations
Similar to how you can speed up a Windows PC by disabling animations, you can also speed up Firefox by disabling its animations. To disable animations in Firefox, type about:config in the Firefox address bar and press Enter. Now type animate in the top search bar and set the value to all entries that show up as False. This should make your browsing experience faster, but you will lose all the smooth animations that make the browser look cool.
8. Refresh Firefox
If the above tweaks aren’t enough, or your Firefox browser is acting up (including crashes) due to continuous use, then refreshing Firefox could be a fix. Firefox lets you refresh it and change all its settings to default and remove all the third-party data (like add-ons). Type about:support in the Firefox address bar and hit Enter. Click on the Refresh Firefox button on the right and confirm the prompt to refresh it.