Mozilla’s Firefox is one of the fastest internet browsers available. To speed up Firefox’s evolution, the developers have made several changes over the years.
Today, the browser runs faster than ever. It is currently known as Firefox Quantum. Speed-wise, Firefox Quantum has the potential to outpace Chrome – world’s most popular web browser.
All you need to do is learn a few tricks to speed up Firefox. There are, say, a dozen ways to speed up Firefox Quantum.
Let’s go one by one.
1. Smooth Scrolling Extension
Are you struggling to read long documents online? Your browser scrolling speed brings down the pace of your online activities.
In Firefox Quantum, you can speed up the scrolling speed by installing YASS extension. This smooth scrolling extension allows you to tweak the scrolling speed.
You can smoothen the scrolling by changing step size and increasing the scroll acceleration.
You may need to customize these settings to speed up Firefox using about:config
2. Free Up Memory
You may find the need to speed up Firefox if you are consistently using this browser.
Clear out your browser memory. It will allow you to speed up Firefox using about:memory.
- Type ‘about:memory’ in the address bar and hit Enter
- New tab opens
- Select ‘Minimize memory usage’
- Select ‘Free memory’
3. Disable Animations
Another way to speed up Firefox using about:config is disabling animations.
To disable animations on Firefox Quantum,
- Type ‘about:config’ in the address bar and press Enter
- New configurations tab opens
- In the top search bar, type ‘animate’
- Set values for all entries as ‘False.’
This way, you can restrict browser animations and make the experience faster.
4. Enable Private Browsing
To speed up Firefox Quantum, you can disallow the browser to keep track of website history.
Once your browsing history is cleared from Firefox’s memory, surfing through old and new websites fastens.
You can enable private browsing by,
- Click on the Firefox menu and select ‘Preferences.’
- ‘Privacy’ tab opens
- In History preferences, select ‘Never remember history.’
- Save changes and return
The browser uses up this freed memory and runs faster.
5. Auto Tab Discard
Web browsers load pages quickly when there’s a single tab open. However, your browsing needs may require you to open multiple tabs at the same time.
That’s not an issue until you forget closing the dormant tabs.
Firefox Quantum has an add-on feature that discards tabs automatically. This feature closes tabs after the specified time of inactivity.
To use Auto Tab Discard,
- Open Firefox and go to Settings
- Select Add-ons and click on it to open the menu
- Click on Extensions and search for Auto Tab Discard
In the Discarding Options menu, you can set the time (in seconds) for inactive tabs to get discarded.
You can also adjust the limit for inactive tabs. Once the inactive tabs exceed the set limit, Firefox automatically discards them.
There’s also an option of discarding tabs of inactive hostnames. You can list the hostnames by separating them with a comma.
6. Refresh Firefox
Refreshing the browser altogether is a simple way to speed up Firefox Quantum.
It is advised to refresh the browser if Firefox starts crashing continuously.
- Type about:support in Firefox address bar
- Press Enter
- Click on the Refresh Firefox tab under Troubleshooting Information
- Click again on Refresh Firefox in the prompt pop-up
Refreshing the Firefox browser changes the settings back to default. It removes third-party data such as add-ons. Naturally, this speeds up your Firefox.
7. Low-Res Mode
For Mac users, Firefox may slow down if it is running in high-resolution mode. Mac OS allows Firefox to optimize its resolution concerning the Apple Retina display. As a result, the browser takes time in loading web pages.
However, if you allow Firefox to run in low-res mode, web pages get loaded quicker.
For Mac users,
- Right-click on Firefox app icon
- Select Get Info
- Tick the option – Open in Low Resolution
Firefox Quantum opens in low-resolution mode until you untick the option.
8. Disable Accessibility Services
Accessible services such as screen readers can slow down Firefox. In some cases, bugs relating to Firefox Accessibility Services can cause the browser to crash.
To disable accessibility services,
- Go to Settings
- Select Options from the menu
- Go to Privacy & Security menu
- Check the box – Prevent accessibility services from accessing your browser
9. Boost Content Process Limit
You can change the speed of content processing to speed up Firefox. 2018 version of the browser comes with a preset high content processing limit.
For older versions of Firefox and Firefox Quantum, you can increase the content process limit as follows.
- Go to the Settings from the Firefox menu
- Select Settings and scroll down to Performance
- Untick the option – Use recommended performance settings
- Now, use the drop-down menu to boost the content process limit
- You can increase it to 7
At times, increased content process limit can result in crashes. Try using a lower value (5 or 6) if the browser keeps crashing.
10. Toggle Tracking Protection
Theory-wise, toggle tracking protection speeds up Firefox Quantum. The browser starts overloading web pages and tracking content.
To avoid excess use of browser memory, Firefox Quantum offers Tracking Protection. Go to Settings, then click on Privacy & Security and scroll down to Tracking Protection. Select the option of using tracking protection Only in separate windows.
11. Use uBlock
Instead of the standard Adblock, you can use the uBlock extension as advertisement blocking tool for Firefox Quantum.
Just download the extension on Firefox Quantum and enable it. It manages the CPU and memory resources efficiently.
12. Toggle Hardware Acceleration
To speed up Firefox, you may need to slow down or increase hardware acceleration. This way, you can allow the dedicated graphics card of your computer to support Firefox’s running performance.
- Click on the Firefox menu
- Go to Options and scroll down under the General heading
- Untick the box – Use recommended performance settings
You can untick or tick – Use hardware acceleration – box based on how the browser has been crashing.
13. Use Disconnect Addon
Some websites use multiple scripts and codes to track users activity. The tracking generally happens in the backend, where the invisible websites load and track you, causing extra loading time. Disconnect add-on in Firefox allows you to check and block these invisible trackers.
The developers of Disconnect claim that this addon increases the speed by a whopping 44%. Disconnect is an open-source application and was named the best privacy tool by New York Times in 2016.
Here’s the download link for Disconnect addon: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/disconnect/
The tips mentioned above have been tried out and verified. They’re effective depending upon the circumstances that have led your Firefox to slow down.
You can speed up Firefox using about:config and improve your browsing experience by applying a combination of the above tips.