How to Speed Up Firefox?

The Firefox web browser is the stripped down, no frills browser only version of the Mozilla suite. Among the most notable features of Firefox is its default pop-up blocking and tabbed browsing. The Firefox web browser is extremely popular for its speed as compared to its counterparts. However, there are times when Firefox fails to function in its optimum state. The following are the steps you can take on to speed up Firefox:

  1. Utilize minimal extensions, blank homepage and default theme. You should configure your homepage to the about:blank page and utilize only the needed extensions along with the default theme.

  2. Utilize a Firefox optimized build. For Windows, you can use a Firefox 3.5.3 optimized build and a Swiftfox if you’re using Linux.

  3. Personalize content type handling by going to "Options," then "Applications" and changing these content types:

    • Configure archive files such as .rar, .zip and PDF files to "Save File."
    • Configure "mailto" to utilize your email client, such as Yahoo and Google. This option is not applicable to AOL and Windows Live users.
    • Configure "Web Feed" from "Preview in Firefox" to your preferred RSS reader.
    • Open files individually instead of from within the browser when applicable.

  4. Optimize your download options by going to "Options," then "Main" and choosing a folder for downloads. All downloads will be automatically saved to this folder. Automatically close the download window after all downloads has finished. Also, uncheck the download history option by going to "Options," then "Privacy," then "Custom Settings for History."

  5. Personalize your General Advanced Options by going to "Options," then "Advanced," then "General," then "Accessibility." Select the option "Search for text when I start typing" and deselect the option "Use smooth scrolling." Deselect "Always check to see if Firefox is the default browser on startup" and instead, set Firefox as the default web browser via the "Program Access and Defaults." You can also deselect the spell checker if you don't need it.

  6. Increase your cache by going to "Options," then "Advanced," then "Network." Increase the size of the disk cache or Offline Storage to at least 150 MB. Reduce history size by going to "Options," then "Privacy." Go to "Custom settings for History" and decrease logged history.

  7. Get rid of unused search engines by going to the drop down menu in the search box and selecting "Manage Search Engines."

  8. Do not use Live Bookmarks and clean up your Bookmark list. Firefox checks hourly for updates on Live Bookmarks, so use an RSS Reader instead and delete the Live Bookmark Latest Headlines. For cleaning up Bookmarks, you can use the Firefox extension CheckPlaces.

  9. Use extensions that enhance Firefox's performance. These extensions include the Tweak Network 1.3 and the FasterFox 3.8.1 Lite. Tweak Network lets you choose between Power or Default profiles for configuring Firefox's network settings. On the other hand, FasterFox allows you to use a custom browser profile or allows you to select from four browser presets.

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