A handful of Firefox tweaks that will double your browser speed
Firefox users take note: You need to do this. Now. As in, this instant. More savvy users are probably already familiar with editing Firefox’s configuration file but whether you’re a computer rookie or a seasoned veteran, Gnoted has issued a handful of tweaks that really get Firefox cooking. As much as we all love the fox, it can get a bit slow on occasion – especially if you’re like us and have 35 open tabs spread across four windows at any given time. By tweaking the way Firefox handles some caching functions, you can dramatically improve page load speed and even prevent Firefox from hogging your system resources while minimized. If you don’t currently have any experience playing with your configuration file, don’t be scared. Just follow the simple instructions, take your time and if you want a security blanket to squeeze, jot down each setting before you change it so you can always restore the default configuration if need be. So without further ado, hit the jump and get tweaking – just remember to restart Firefox when you’re done.
Reduce the amount of RAM Firefox uses for its cache feature
1. Type “about:config” (no quotes) in the adress bar in the browser.
2. Find “browser.sessionhistory.max_total_viewer”
3. Set it’s value to “0“;(Zero)
Increase the Speed at Which Firefox loads pages
1. Type “about:config” into the address bar and hit Enter.
(Normally the browser will make one request to a web page at a time. When you enable pipelining it will make several at once, which really speeds up page loading.)
2. Alter the entries as follows:
Set “network.http.pipelining” to “true”
Set “network.http.proxy.pipelining” to “true”
Set “network.http.pipelining.maxrequests” to some number like 10.
Set “network.http.pipelining.maxrequests” to some number like 8. (Elucidated for Sietze)
This means it will make 8 requests at once.
3. Lastly, right-click anywhere and select New-> Integer. Name it “nglayout.initialpaint.delay” and set its value to “0“;.(Zero)
This value is the amount of time the browser waits before it acts on information it receives. If you’re using a broadband connection you’ll load pages faster now.
Optionally (for even faster web browsing) here are some more options for your about:config (you might have to create some of these entries by Right Click –> New– > Interger or String
network.dns.disableIPv6: set “false”
“content.notify.backoffcount”: set “5“; (Five)
“plugin.expose_full_path”: set “true”.
“ui.submenuDelay”: set “0; (zero)
Reduce RAM usage to 10MB when Firefox is minimized:
This little hack will drop Firefox’s RAM usage down to 10 Mb when minimized:
1. Open Firefox and go to the Address Bar. Type in about:config and then press Enter.
2. Right Click in the page and select New -> Boolean.
3. In the box that pops up enter “config.trim_on_minimize”. Press Enter.
4. Now select True and then press Enter.
5. Restart Firefox.
Change or add the following preferences to the new values shown. If the preference is already set to this value then just move on the next. If the preference does not exist you should add it:
(This stops the display of placeholders while images are loading to speed up the page. Default is True)
(Disables all tab animation features to make the tab interface feel quicker. Default is True)
(This allows Firefox to automatically prefetch (load) the contents of pages linked to by the page you are viewing making it quicker for you to view the next page if you want to. To take advantage of increased speed browsing websites which use prefetch, keep this setting at the Default which is True.)
(Increases the maximum number of persistent connections per server which can help speed up loading of multimedia rich sites. Default is 6)
Can send multiple requests to a server together in order to speed up loading of webpages. This is not supported by all servers; some servers may even behave incorrectly if they receive pipelined requests. Default is False
(Sets a maximum number of multiple requests that can be pipelined to prevent overloading the server. Higher values will cause a delay before the first request completes but will make the last request complete sooner. Higher values will also cause more of a delay if a connection fails. The maximum value is 8. Default is 4)
(Disables IPv6 DNS lookups to prevent a significant delay with poorly configured IPv6 servers. Default is False)
To access the configuration interface, type about:config into the Firefox’s URL bar.
Before it lets you in, the system will ask that you acknowledge that you could make things go wrong by changing certain settings, if you don’t know what you’re doing.
Click the “I’ll be careful, I promise!” button to continue to the configuration settings.
When you open the interface, you will see a great number of adjustable options.
Although it may appear complicated, this interface is in fact very simple to use.
Stop Scanning of Downloads Against Viruses
Firefox’s default option is to scan each file that you download for viruses. It would actually be a very useful option if you didn’t have any anti-virus software already installed that performs this task. Assuming that you do have an anti-virus program installed, we will turn off this duplicate function in Firefox.
To go to this setting, you need to type the following line into the filter bar: browser.download.manager.scanWhenDone
This feature is turned on by default in Firefox. We will turn it off by double-clicking the above entry line. It will become bolded and allow you to change the Value. You need to change the Value from ‘true’ (on) to ‘false’ (off).
You will also see another entry under the changed one:
You don’t need to change it, just leave it on ‘true’.
Turn Off 4-second Countdown in Extension Installations
Annoying 4-second countdown appears by default every time when you try to install some new extension.
It is completely pointless as you will still need to click on ‘Install’ one the countdown finishes. By turning this setting off, you just won’t need to wait 4 seconds to do it.
Type the following line into the filter bar: security.dialog_enable_delay and then double-click on it to change the value.
This value is set at 2000 milliseconds by default. Change it to 0 (zero), and you will never have to wait for those 4 seconds again.
To be continued
How to Speed up Web Browsing in Firefox With about:config Settings – Pt.2
Posted in General, How-to tips & tricks | Comments Off
In today’s blog installment we will explore additional ways you can edit Firefox’s about:config settings to speed up your browsing experience.
In Firefox, pipelining is disabled by default. It just sends a request, waits for a response, and sends another request after that and so on back and forth. With pipeline turned on, Firefox sends multiple simultaneous requests to the web server, and doesn’t wait for a response. It will deal with the responses in the same order they were requested.
You can enable this feature by typing the following line in the filter bar: network.http.pipelining .
Double-click on it to edit the value and just change it from false (disabled) to true (enabled).
You will also need to modify the number of requests for the each pipeline. By typing network.http.pipelining.maxrequests into a filter bar, you will see that the default value is 4, but since pipelining was disabled, the option maxrequests wasn’t used. You will want to set this number to 8, which will enable up to 8 requests to be sent out at a time.
Changing Page Rendering Delay
Firefox’s default behavior is to wait 0.25 seconds before it begins to draw a web page. It gives data a fraction of time to load, so Firefox could have something to draw from. You will need to create a new setting if you want to change this behavior. To create a new setting, right-click on the about:config list of settings . Choose the option: ‘New’ and then ‘Integer’
You need to give your new setting a name so type the following line into the created dialog: nglayout.initialpaint.delay . It will be the name of your new preference.
Now you will need to give it a value. Integer settings are defined in numbers, so you will type 0 (zero) as a value. It will order Firefox to start rendering the page without any delay.
Modifying Page Redraw Interval
Your final tweak is to modify the interval between page redraws as Firefox is loading a web page. Default value that Firefox uses to redraw a page is 0.12 seconds. That way you start seeing the content before the page is fully loaded. However, a large number of redraws actually slow the opening of a page down. You will need to create a new integer setting again. Name it content.notify.interval and set the value to 500000. This will tell Firefox to wait 500000 micro-seconds, or half a second, before it starts redrawing a web page.
You should never set this value to be lower than 100000, as too many redraws will negatively impact Firefox’s performance.
To tell Firefox to start using this newly created setting, you need to create another one, boolean setting.
Right-click on the about:config list of settings, choose the option: ‘New’ and then ‘Boolean’.
Name it: content.notify.ontimer and give it value ‘true’, which will turn it on. It will tell Firefox to use previously created reflow interval setting.
Again, note that any of these settings will not make your Internet faster, it will just make Firefox ‘feel’ a little faster to you.