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-   -   A guide to optimizing your Mozilla Firefox browser performance (http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/o-ss-drivers-general-software/41794-guide-optimizing-your-mozilla-firefox-browser-performance.html)

xd_1771 March 20, 2011 01:24 AM

A guide to optimizing your Mozilla Firefox browser performance
Just wrote this on overclock.net. Taking it straight from there now.

This one's for all you firefox loyalists there like me :bleh:
Just a few tips I might share to speed up firefox performance...

  • 1. Tweak the profile/cache locations
    • A. If you have a solid state drive, move your profile to it by copying & pasting the folder, and then running "firefox.exe -profilemanager" via the run dialog or search box to select the new folder as the profile.
    • B. To prevent wrecking your SSD with repeated reads/writes, move your cache to another partition/your hard drive. This might help even if you don't have an SSD but have more than one HDD. To do this: go to "about:config", right click and select "New > String", in the first dialog box type/paste this: browser.cache.disk.parent_directory, and in the second one, type in where you want the new cache folder to go. In this directory a new "Cache" folder will be created automatically. I recommend the firefox appdata folder so it's easy to find.
  • 2. Make your actual browsing experience faster & less confusing
    • Reduce the amount of icons in your main toolbar and give more space to the address bar/search bar. I recommend moving most icons to a Vertical Toolbar (which only shows up when your mouse hits left side of screen).
    • Remove the status bar (if on an older version) and use addons to move your status bar icons around/tweak addons so that their status bar icons show up in the toolbars or vertical toolbar. Your mouse does not have to move so much to go between buttons anymore, thus making your browsing experience faster.
    • Install addons like NewTabJumpStart and Tab Utilities to take advantage of some empty spaces, access links and tabs faster, etc. Use the bookmarks toolbar to store frequently visited links; be sure to sort them, i.e. with separators or in folders.
  • 3. Reduce your profile clutter and optimize
    • Go to your extensions folder (located in your profile folder). Folders and files of previously uninstalled addons may remain; delete those, but know what you're deleting and be sure it was previously uninstalled!
    • In Firefox, go to Tools > Options > Security Tab; uncheck "Block reported web sites" and "Block reported web forgeries". Do this at your own risk, but on a system protected by antivirus and if you use addons such as Web of Trust, this feature is somewhat useless. Now for the real performance boost: go to your main profile folder and delete the file "urlclassifier3.sqlite". The file may appear to be somewhat big in size. When you restart firefox, this will be recreated automatically and be much smaller - and this will speed up your browsing.
    • Go back to the main profile folder. Delete these files:
      • urlclassifier3.sqlite (Mentioned earlier)
      • webappsstore.sqlite (Stores DOM Storage data; a new file will be created on next startup)
      • XUL.mfl (contains a cache of the UI; new file created on next startup)
      • formhistory.sqlite (Removes saved URLs in your addressbar/awesomebar. Remove if you want)
      • Places.sqlite** WARNING: Backup your bookmarks first. This is a big file and removing it may result in some nice performance benefit because it clears old bookmarks/history that don't get removed over time. A new file gets formed at startup, created with the latest bookmarks backup. This will also remove any saved bookmark favicons, items that may be crucial in helping you identify sites in your bookmarks.
    • Use SpeedyFox and/or CCleaner's "Compact databases" clean option. This will perform additional optimization on your sqlite files and other files in your profile.
  • 4. Install addons that help with webpage loading and viewing
    • For blocking ads/popups an flash objects (with ability to select only which ones you need to load), use Adblock Plus and NoScript.
    • Get Fasterfox lite. This will allow you to configure things such as browser pipelining, page load/render delays, cache sizes, and web page prefetching/superfetching in RAM. This one was probably one of the most significant improvements for me.
  • 5. Update to the latest version of Firefox (Version 4)
    • The optimizations in the latest version make it much worth it over previous versions. A final release should be out in a few days; even the release candidates are very good. A few addons might be sacrificed for this, but I say it's worth it.
  • 6. Finally, customize to your heart's content!
    • Use whatever other addons to help you in your web browsing voyages. Get UI addons, appearance addons, useful feature addons... whatever you want. Take advantage of the existing huge repository of firefox addons and user base.
    • Remember, minimize your addons/get addons that combine features. Too much of a good thing can be a bad thing!

Have fun on the interwebz then! :punk:

To end this off nicely, I'll tell a little story of my own. I've been a firefox user for a few years; I've been loyal, never switching, and adhering to new versions where possible. I can tell you that with firefox 4 now out soon, it's paid off. My personal browser is snappier than others such as chrome in all respects and I get to keep the level of customization & options I had before when firefox was king. Here's what my firefox interface looks like right now; perhaps something that might inspire you:

A few tips for the firefox illiterate:
  • The default profile directory is usually in appdata by default; your firefox cache folder is in your profile directory.
  • Running "firefox.exe -profilemanager" via start menu > run (or search box) is basically launching a manager where you can manage multiple profiles to use, set profile directors, rename profiles, and create & delete them
  • about:config is like regedit in firefox, it's basically a settings repository with values. Modify at your own risk... adjust only the values you know which to adjust and that you need to adjust.
  • The status bar is on the bottom, but this is removed in firefox 4

MacJunky March 20, 2011 12:43 PM


Originally Posted by xd_1771 (Post 497415)
  • Remove the status bar

************************************************** ************************************************** ************************************************** ************************************************** ************************************************** ************************************************** ************************************************** ************************************************** ************************************************** ************************************************** ************************************************** ************************************************** ************************************************** ****************************************!!!!!!!!!
Do not even try to support that! The 3.x status bar is incredibly useful for me and the "status4ever" addon DOES NOT COMPARE!


Originally Posted by xd_1771 (Post 497415)
[*]5. Update to the latest version of Firefox (Version 4)
  • A few addons might be sacrificed for this, but I say it's worth it.

Firefox Throttle is one of the best addons ever made and not only has it not been updated, but it is also the ONLY addon of it's kind for firefox.(I am never using chrome, and I am 99% certain Opera&Safari do not have an equiv) A version exists for IE, but I am not going there.
Gayzilla also completely ruined the UI of FF4. Mozilla, die in a fire you useless shitstains! >:(
Stop changing things to coddle the retarded morons and GIVE ME MY FIREFOX BACK!

raaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaggggggggggggggggggggggggeeeeeeee eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

xd_1771 March 20, 2011 08:41 PM

If you don't want to remove the status bar... up to you. I'm just saying, to be able to keep your mouse floating around the top without having to suddenly go to the bottom is much faster, and a lot of addons with statusbar buttons also have toolbar buttons anyway that you could place on the hidden vertical toolbar.

There are ways to force addon compatibility with the newest firefox. This one seems simple and could probably work on firefox 4 anyway. I do that with a lot of my addons.

FF4's UI can still be modified and made no different from the original firefox. You could download or import an original firefox theme, and if you ever right click on the tab bar, you may notice that the "tabs on top" option can be unchecked.

MacJunky March 20, 2011 10:34 PM


Originally Posted by xd_1771 (Post 497672)
There are ways to force addon compatibility with the newest firefox. This one seems simple and could probably work on firefox 4 anyway. I do that with a lot of my addons.

Tried that both during beta stage and now with RC1, no-go.
Most of the time I do not access the addons I use; I also try to use as few as possible. My biggest problem is that even with status4ever, the URLs shown in the status bar get truncated and setting it to allow a higher char count does not work. Somewhere there is a hardcoded size limit for addons in the 'addon bar'.

Granted, with Firefox Throttle I do hover my cursor over it sometimes but my cursor is all over my screen anyway and it is not frequent enough to bother me. I fuckin love that addon though, it is pure awesome. I can see how much BW FF is using at any time, I can see how much it has used during the current session, and if I am on someone else's connection or I have someone I like over here on my shitty one I can be a courteous person and not hog the BW if I have HTTP downloads going.

It is just handy to have around, if some page is assraping my connection even though it otherwise appears to have fully loaded I can kill it or hunt for whatever the embedded shit is that is sucking up my BW and block it.(this happens when people like to put small flash based things on their site that auto-load, for example. I have no tolerance for that.)


Originally Posted by xd_1771 (Post 497672)
FF4's UI can still be modified and made no different from the original firefox.

I know, but it still just feels wrong and having to change everything on each of my machines from here on out is lame. I am also concerned that eventually they might say "that's it, this is how we want it and we want every install of firefox to be consistent for the sake of our retarded users" then reduce the available options.(think Apple)

The only only good thing about FF4 is that they seem to have at least a partial handle on that memory leak that FF has had since forever.

On2wheels July 19, 2011 02:20 PM

I think Adblock Plus is broken with Firefox 5.0, I'm going to turn off autoupdate of Firefox from now on, I have ads showing up on pages where they didn't before.

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