3 Ways to Speed Up Firefox

Benchmarks for Firefox 3.5 release show the new version to be significantly faster than its predecessors, but still slower than Google Chrome.

Here are a few tips that can dramatically increase the speed of a slow Firefox 3.5:

Change maximum number of requests If you’re using a broadband connection, chances are that you can speed up Firefox by allowing it to perform multiple simultaneous requests to Web pages instead of performing one request at a time. To do this, type about:config in the URL bar (where you would normally enter a Web address) then look for the following entries, and make these changes:

  • network.http.pipelining – set this to “true”
  • network.http.proxy.pipelining – set this to “true”
  • network.http.pipelining.maxrequests – set the integer value to 20
  • network.dns.disableIPv6 – set this to “false”

Quit then re-launch Firefox after making these changes.

Reduce history Having tons of items stored in history can slow down Firefox’s launch and operation speed significantly. Navigate to Tools > Options, then click on the “Privacy” tab. The default setting is 90 days. Reducing this number to 5 or 10 days can result in a substantial performance boost.

Remove extensions and themes then re-add them, one by one Some extensions and/or themes may conflict with Firefox 3.5 or cause performance issues. You can isolate the problematic items and eliminate them permanently by uninstalling all of them then adding them back one by one to identify the culprit(s). Follow these steps, as published on MozillaZine.

  1. Click Tools > Add-ons
  2. Click on the Extensions or Themes button on the top
  3. Click on the extension or theme you want to uninstall
  4. Click Uninstall
  5. Restart Firefox

In fact, just reducing the number of extensions or themes installed can have a beneficial effect on speed.

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