Although almost everyone uses Google Chrome as a daily browser, we can try out many other browsers in some scenarios or on some PCs that do not require our main accounts.
Without a doubt one of the best is Mozilla Firefox, which combines security with great freedom of personalization.
As a browser it is also quite fast (especially with the new Quantum update), but installing many extensions still tends to slow it down a bit too much.
In this guide we will show you how to optimize Firefox to navigate faster in any scenario, so as to make it really lightning especially on PCs with modern graphics cards and CPU with many cores.
How to optimize Firefox to browse faster
We have collected in these lines all the tips that can make Firefox faster, so you do not feel more need to switch to another browser.
1) Disable unused extensions
The first trick is the simplest: we disable extensions that we no longer use or consume too many resources.
To open the extension menu, click on the top right of the three horizontal rows, then click on Add–ons -> Extensions.
As a general rule we try to always have a few extensions, just so Firefox will always be fast and snappy.
2) Disable the automatic execution of plugins
Another reason why Firefox can slow down is that some external plugin starts automatically and slows down the browser.
We can adjust this behavior by clicking in the upper right corner on the three horizontal rows, then opening the Add- ons -> Plugins menu.
We identify external plugins (such as Flash or Java) so we use the side menu to select Ask before activating.
When restarting all plugins will no longer start automatically but we will have to activate them with a mouse click.
This setting improves the performance and security of Firefox.
3) Increase or decrease the cache
Another trick to optimize Firefox is to choose how much disk cache to reserve to the browser.
To adjust this parameter, click on the top right of the three horizontal lines, then click on Options -> Privacy and Security -> Cached Web content and activate the entry Do not use automatic cache management.
Within the field that will be unlocked we can choose according to the PC in possession:
– If you have at least 4 GB of RAM, we recommend using a large cache (at least 1024MB).
-If you have less than 4 GB of RAM, we recommend using a smaller cache (150 MB or less).
– If you have an SSD, we recommend setting the cache to 0 so that only RAM is used.
In this way even on slower PCs there will always be enough cache to open pages quickly.
4) Adjust the multi-process settings
With the new Firefox Quantum we can choose how many processes must be opened for Firefox, so as to decide the impact on system memory.
To adjust this parameter, click on the top right of the three horizontal lines, then click on Options ->General -> Performance.
Disable the check mark on Use default settings to unlock the most interesting items.
Let’s make sure that the item Use hardware acceleration when available is active, then in Maximum number of processes for content we can make an adjustment based on PC performance:
– If the PC has less than 4 GB of RAM, we set to 2 the number of processes;
– If the PC has more than 4 GB of RAM, we set 4 to increase the speed of Firefox at the expense of memory.
5) Optimize downloads
To optimize file downloads from the internet, go to Options -> General and in the Save file to we indicate the folder where we want to save the files in download.
6) Customize open applications
We can also choose the programs with which we will open the various files supported by the browser, so as to choose only the appropriate and fast ones.
These settings can be made by going to Options -> General and adjusting the individual items we see on the Applications tab.
In general, therefore it is always better to open the files separately, rather than within the browser at least where possible.
7) Remove unused search engines Search
Engines integrate into the bookmark bar and help you look for things faster, but still require more resources. This setting can be done by going to Options -> Search and adjusting the individual entries that we see in the Search Engines tab with one click. There are many search engines that we will hardly use, we click on them and remove them by pressing the Remove button.
8) Advanced settings
We can also use the about: config menu to change advanced settings, just type the name of the menu in the address bar and proceed.
As you can see, you have to click on a warning that warns to pay attention to the changes in this section but I can say to stay calm because at most you can reset the settings at any time.
In addition, the entries in bold can be reset using the right mouse button and pressing reset.
If any of these entries did not exist, let’s create it by right-clicking on a blank space, select New.
Those that we can modify to optimize Firefox are:
- config.trim_on_minimize : true
- browser.sessionhistory.max_total_viewers : 0
- browser.cache.disk.enable: false
- browser.cache.memory.enable: true
Create a new value of type Integer and write browser.cache.memory.capacity, value 100000.
- browser.cache.disk.parent_directory [String]: Move the cache to a disk or partition other than the one where Windows is installed, if you can.
- accessibility.typeaheadfind.enablesound [Boolean]: set to False to avoid a warning sound when searching for text when it is not found.
- alerts.totalOpenTime [Integer]: Reduce the time to show the Download message completed at 2000 (2 seconds).
- browser.bookmarks.max_backups [Integer]: Reduce the number of backup copies of favorites from 5 to 2 in order to accelerate the browser's shutdown.
- browser.download.manager.openDelay [Integer]: Do not open the download window if it is very short by setting the opening delay to 2000 (2 seconds).
- browser.sessionstore.max_tabs_undo [Integer]: Reduce the number from 10 to 4.
- browser.sessionstore.max_windows_undo [Integer]: Reduce the number from 3 to 1.
- browser.tabs.closeWindowWithLastTab [Boolean]: Change to False, so that Firefox does not accidentally close when you close the last tab.
- browser.urlbar.maxRichResults [Integer]: Reduce the maximum number of results from 12 to 6 in the address bar.
- dom.popup_maximum [Integer]: Reduce the maximum number of simultaneous popups from 20 to 3 or 5.
- security.dialog_enable_delay [Integer]: Reduce the wait delay before installing a new extension of 1000 (1 second).
Setting it to zero is not recommended due to security risks.
- dom.ipc.plugins.asyncInit: put true to improve the initialization of plugins and get Firefox to run faster.
If we want to maximize the parameters that regulate the browser’s network connections, here are the parameters to configure:
- network.dnsCacheEntries [Integer]: Increase the number of DNS cache entries from 20 to 512 by default.
- network.dnsCacheExpiration [Integer]: Increase the number of seconds that DNS entries are cached from 60 to 3600 by default.
- nglayout.initialpaint.delay: 0
- content.notify.ontimer: true
- content.notify.interval: 1000
- network.http.max-connections [Integer]: Increase the maximum number of simultaneous connections to 48 or 96.
- network .http.max-connections per server [Integer]: Increase maximum connections from 15 to 24.
- network.http.max-persistent connections per server [Integer]: Increase the maximum of persistent connections from 6 to 12.