Fix: Firefox Using too much Memory

Firefox is a free to use open source web browser developed by The Mozilla Foundation. FireFox is available for Windows, Linux, and Android and was released in November of 2004. The browser has a lot of users due to its easy to use and fast infrastructure. Sometimes, users encounter a problem in which Firefox uses too much memory and becomes sluggish compared to its previous performance. This problem persists even if there are only a couple of tabs open on the browser.

Firefox using too much memory

What Causes Firefox to Use a lot of Memory?

We investigated the matter once we received several reports from a lot of users and came up with a set of solutions that had solved the issue for a number of users. Also, we looked into the cause of the problem and devised a list of potential culprits due to which the problem might be triggered.

  • Extensions/Themes: If you have installed any extensions or custom themes on the browser it is possible that they might be using more memory due to certain modifications that come with them. Sometimes, the extensions can get installed automatically on the browser if you visit a certain site or install a certain program on your computer. These extensions might be malicious or dangerous to the integrity of your computer’s security as well.
  • Disabled Hardware Acceleration: There are often advertisements on many websites that you might visit and they play Flash Content. Flash content requires a memory draw in order to load. However, the hardware Acceleration feature inside the Firefox browser can reduce the stress on your Memory if a dedicated graphics card is installed on your system.
  • Excessive Tabs: If you open a lot of tabs and on each tab, a website is loaded it increases the memory usage. Therefore, excessive tabs increase the memory draw from the system.
  • Outdated Software:  It is possible that the version of the Firefox browser that you are using is old. In each update to the browser, the company provides important improvements and bug fixes which ensure a smoother experience for the user.

Now that you have a basic understanding of the nature of the problem we will move on towards the solutions. It is recommended that you implement these in the specific order that they are provided in.

Solution 1: Restarting the Application

If you have been using the browser for extended periods of time and a couple of tabs have been open for a while, it can increase the usage of memory. Therefore, it is recommended to completely refresh the application by restarting it. This helps reinitialize the browser and helps in decreasing memory usage.

Solution 2: Disabling Custom Extensions/Themes

If you have installed any extensions or custom themes on the browser it is possible that they might be using more memory due to certain modifications that come with them. Therefore, in this step, we are going to disable all the extensions and themes. For that:

  1. Click on the “Menu” button on the top right and select the “Addons” option from the list or press “Ctrl+Shift+A” to open it directly.
    Clicking on the “Add-ons” option from the menu.
  2. Now click on the “Extensions” option on the left side.
    Clicking on the “Extensions” option from the left side.
  3. Once the list of extensions loads, click on “Disable“.
    Clicking on the “Disable” option in front of the extension.
  4. Now click on the “Theme” option on the left side.
    Clicking on the “Theme” option.
  5. Click on “Enable” in front of the “Default Theme” option.
    Clicking on “Enable” in front of the Default theme option

Solution 3: Enabling Hardware Acceleration

Flash content requires a memory draw in order to load. However, the hardware Acceleration feature inside the Firefox browser can reduce the stress on your Memory if a dedicated graphics card is installed on your system. Therefore, in this step, we are going to be making sure that the Hardware Acceleration feature is enabled. For that:

  1. Click on the “Menu” button on the top right side and select “Options” from the list.
    Clicking on the menu button and selecting options.
  2. Click on the “General” button on the left side of the window.
    Selecting General from the left side
  3. Scroll down to the “Performance” settings heading.
  4. Uncheck the “Select Automatically” box.
    Unchecking the “Automatically Select Best Settings” box.
  5. Now make sure that the “Hardware Acceleration” box is checked.
    Checking the Hardware Acceleration Box.
  6. Use the default allocated “Content Process limit“.

Note: Only enable this option if you have a dedicated graphics card installed on your computer because this option enables the use of the dedicated graphics card to load flash content instead of the processor and memory.

Solution 4: Updating the Application

It is possible that the version of the Firefox browser that you are using is old. In each update to the browser, the company provides important improvements and bug fixes which ensure a smoother experience for the user. Therefore, in this step, we are going to be checking for updates to the browser and installing them if available. For that:

  1. Click on the “Menu” button on the top right corner and select “Options” from the list.
    Clicking on the menu button and selecting options.
  2. In the options, select “General” from the left side.
    Selecting General from the left side
  3. Scroll down to the “Firefox Updates” heading.
  4. Click on the “Check For Updates” option.
    Clicking on the “Check for Updates” option.
  5. After the browser finishes downloading the update, click on the “Restart Firefox to install the update” option.
    Clicking on the “Restart to Update” option.
Kevin Arrows
Kevin is a dynamic and self-motivated information technology professional, with a Thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. Superior record of delivering simultaneous large-scale mission critical projects on time and under budget.

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Fix: Firefox Using too much Memory

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