Firefox Memory Savers

In the considerably short time that Firefox has been around, it has become a very popular browser and it might just be your favorite. Some (like Mr. Gates) are still holding onto Internet Explorer, but one of the great things that Firefox does is allow you to customize your Internet experience as you’d like it to be, and not according to someone else’s terms. It lets you customize it until you have built the combination that fulfills your most explicit Internet browsing fantasies. I could go on and on about Firefox, but we already have other articles in our archives that you can go through to get the idea. The bottom line is that it has built a well deserved reputation for customization, flexibility and extensive memory usage.

Extensive memory usage, you say? Yes, you heard me right and yes, it’s not a good thing. With all of the new add ons and extensions available for free these days, most Firefox users are eating it all up. But, the more extensions and add ons we add, the more memory it uses. So, what seems like lightening fast performance at the start of a session becomes a lousy sluggish slow later on. I’m sure this rings a bell to quite a few of you (especially the power users), so we will discuss a few ways to free up some memory from the tight claw clutch of the mighty Firefox.

1. Clean Up

This is a rule. Most sensible users have been following this since the days of Windows 95. If your computer is running slow, clean it up! This holds true for Firefox as well. If you’re like my friend David and you have installed every extension you thought you “might” use someday, I’ll just go ahead and repeat the two words again: Clean Up. As much as you love having things like the Anti-Paranoia 0.3 extension installed, its not really going to serve any purpose. Do you really need a computer to remind you to not be paranoid?

To clean up all the extra fancy extensions you have, just go to Tools, Extensions. Uninstall every extension that you do not use. If there are extensions that you rarely use, it’s a good idea to disable them as well, because you can always enable them later when you want to use them.

2. Memory Savers for Firefox

In the first step, we removed extensions, so in this step, we are going to do the exact opposite. Mentioned below are a few add ons that allow you to customize a few options, which can make a difference in memory usage for your Firefox.

AniDisable: Let’s say you stop animated images in banner ads from running. You must remember that those banner ads just keep looping on and on and they can become beyond irritating. Yes, including the “hit the monkey” one. Well, with AniDisable, just do a quick right click of your mouse and you can choose to stop the animation. Or if you’re one of the curious ones, it will let you play it just once.

To install AniDisable, click here.

NoScript: This is another plug-in that gives you control over Java applets, Javascripts, flash components and other executables and plug-ins. NoScript provides a user friendly environment in which you can allow selected content from trusted sites to run and other stuff from untrustworthy or unknown sites to be blocked. It’s pretty much as simple as that. It pulls up a pop up notification when any of the above mentioned actions are being executed on a particular site. After that, it’s your choice whether you want to allow it or block it, which can be done with a quick click of the mouse. The only requirement of running this plug-in is that you have to enable JavaScript for it to function. You can do so at Tools, Options, Content, Enable JavaScript checkbox.

To install NoScript, click this link.

PDF Download: This program controls the way Firefox deals with those memory hogging PDF files. By default, Firefox opens these files itself in the browser. However, with the use of this plug-in, you can choose to save the file or open it with an external viewer instead of Firefox by default. Since Firefox doesn’t deal with these files, it doesn’t slow down the browser and you can view these files in their designated file viewer.

Install the PDF Download here.

TabBrowser: This one controls the Firefox tabs. No idea what I am talking about? Okay, let’s try again. Most people will tell you to restart your computer if you tell them it’s running slow. It’s somewhat the same thing with Firefox. When you feel that browsing is becoming slower, just shut down your Firefox, sing a short song and then start Firefox again. Just think of it as a little chocolate break that Firefox needed to revive its energy. Now, this can be a problem for people who love working with several tabs open at the same time. It can be quite a pain to open all of those 17 tabs, one by one. This is where TabBrowser kicks in. It opens the same tabs that were active at the time you shut Firefox down. Yes, all 17 (or however many you have open) of them. In this case, using the Firefox restart trick is no pain at all. Sometimes, it’s good for both you and your Firefox to take a little break!

To install TabBrowser Preferences, click this link.

To summarize, we have essentially used two actions. Delete and Add. Uninstall what clutters and what you don’t need and add what saves you memory. Go ahead, give it a spin! You are sure to notice a considerable improvement in the performance of your favorite Internet browser!

~ Yogesh Bakshi