Speed Up Firefox Like Chrome

Chrome has evolved as a better browser or at least some believe so. I still prefer Firefox as primary browser and reasons are many (will be discussed some other time). Problem with Firefox is that it starts up bit slow and internal loading time is more. So, here are some tweaks to speed up Firefox like Chrome.

Hacks which you will be performing wont directly affect speed of loading webpages because it still depends on your Internet connection speed. However, starting up, loading and overall operation of Firefox will be improved.

How To Speed Up Firefox

We being with external cleaning followed by naming changes in advance settings which is called internal optimization of Firefox.

One of the reason for slow starting up of Firefox could be while restoring session when it tries to load all tabs at a time. This takes too much time and resources so, Load Firefox tabs one by one progressively.

Firefox Cleaning

First and the most important – Clean all your browsing history! This minimum cleanup for browser to be provided from time to time. Extensive browsing history is comfortable, but after a few months, it really eats up lot of disk space.

Firefox Cleanup Maintenance

Another action to take is remove unused plugins. Review the list of installed add-ons, maybe you’ll find something you no longer need.

Speed up Firefox like Chrome

Internal Firefox Optimization

OK, if you’ve got rid of the history and unnecessary plugins, we are ready to play with the advanced settings of Firefox. In order to protect against potential and unexpected problems, you should backup the configuration file- prefs.js and copy it to a safe place.

How to find this file? In various versions and system configurations can be saved in different places. Therefore, it is best to do it this way: at the same time press the Windows and R window will appear to run programs and folders. Type in %APPDATA% and click OK.

Navigate to mozilla/firefox/profiles/(folder)/ and here you will find prefs.js which stores all your Preferences. Copy it to some another directory say Desktop.

Backup Firefox Configuration

This file is kept safely because in case something goes wrong, you can always restore to same preference by copying back this configuration file.

Now you have to launch the browser and in the address bar, type about: config, and then confirm that you want to make modifications by clicking on “I’ll be careful I promise!”.

Next, you find the following entries (check them carefully so that you do not get confused!)

speed up Firefox about:config

1. network.http.max-persistent-connections-per-server – set the value to 8

Increasing the number of persistent connections will increase the speed of loading images.

2. network.http.pipelining – change to true

The change will increase the value of requests sent to the server, and thus increase the speed of loading pages from it.

3. network.http.pipelining.maxrequests – set the value to 8

Increase the value to avoid server load.

4. network.dns.disableIPv6 – change to true

This change will cause Firefox to stop logging in to servers that are misconfigured.

After making the changes, it is clear browsing history and restart your computer. The changes may not be visible immediately, but after a while you will notice a higher speed of the program.

Another thing you should try is SpeedyFox which optimizes Firefox databases and solves issues like slow response and startup time.

For x64 Users, It is recommended to use Firefox 64 Bit version – Waterfox which is far better in usability and performance. And then perform tweaks mentioned above to speed up Waterfox.

If for some reason you do not like it, or Firefox start behaving strangely, restore the file prefs.js.

Do you know other ways to speed up the Firefox like Chrome Browser? I’d love to try them out!



About the Author

Rohit Langde is Founder and Editor-in-chief of Blogsolute. Tech Blogger by Passion & Profession | Mechanical Engineer by Qualification | Introverted Geek by Choice

5 Enlightened Replies

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  1. abhi kurve says:

    Nice tips!
    Theres also an extension called “faster Fox” which automatically configures the about:config values.
    So it might work great for non geeky people.

    • Rohit Langde says:

      I see but the comments on Addon page aren’t on positive side. Faster-Fox is said to be tracking user activity. Anyways, if someone feels these steps difficult can optionally install speedy-fox mentioned in article.

  2. abhi kurve says:

    Ohh, I see.
    Firefox Preloader also helps in lowering the startup time at the cost of some RAM, but worth mentioning if someone spends a lot of time on the Internet & has considerate gigs of RAM.

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