How to Keep Mozilla Firefox from Eating Your Memory

by Christine Kane December 20th, 2011 


If you, like millions of others, use Mozilla Firefox as an alternative browser to Internet Explorer or Google Chrome, you might have noticed the insane amounts of memory that Firefox takes up after a while. But do you know why it does that or how to stop it?


Typically, high memory drains occur with Firefox because of flash elements. All those colorful animated effects that give a webpage some pizzazz also add up in multiple tabs after a period of time eventually causing Firefox to crash. The solution? Dont leave open all those tabs. It is easy to bookmark things and get back to them later. If thats not your cup of tea, you can always go into your task manager and manually kill the flash elements that are currently running. It will mess up the look of some sites, but the memory drain and consequent slowness with be stopped.

Shut It Down

Another easy way to stop the memory drain is to shut everything down. Firefox has an auto save program built in. If you find yourself frozen, simply manually shut Firefox down. When you next open it, it will offer you the opportunity to pick and choose which windows to reopen, or let you reopen all of them. If you dont want to risk losing track of what you were doing, you can manually save your browsing windows using Firefoxs session manager.


Some other issues that can slow down your browsing are themes, extensions and plugins. Mozilla Firefox can do a plethora of things for you, but every time you add on an unnecessary element, you also add on additional memory usage and slow down your computer. Uninstall any theme or plugin that is not absolutely crucial and your computer will run much faster.

On MozillaZine one user said: I was using 7 extensions for Firefox, with no theme at all and my browser would sit, three tabs open, my website, admin panel and Netvibes. 200MB utilization.Seemed a bit odd. Got rid of the extensions I didnt need and bam my computer went back to a reasonable number, 50mb.


MozillaZine has a wonderful set of resources and a problematic extensions list for Firefox. The list shows extension-specific conflicts and information. Look up the extensions and plugins you have currently loaded and see what the typical memory usage for them is and if there is a better, faster alternative.

If youre curious to learn what, specifically, is eating up your memory in Mozilla Firefox you can type about:cache?device=memory in a browser window. Once the page is loaded it will show you detailed memory usage that you can use to decide what need to be changed.

There are always improvements being made to Mozilla Firefox, but with improvements comes bugs. If your browser is running slow or freezing up, if your memory usage is unusually high, or if you just feel like knowing more about it; take the time to find out whats going on behind the scenes.

Christine Kane

This Guest post is by Christine Kane from internet service providers , she is a graduate of Communication and Journalism. She enjoys writing about a wide-variety of subjects for different blogs. She can be reached via email at: Christi.Kane00 @

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One Response to “How to Keep Mozilla Firefox from Eating Your Memory”

  1. Ryan says:

    Thanks for the helpful tips! I used to use Firefox for both browsing and web development. However, over these past few months I have migrated completely to Chrome.

    It seems like Firefox just keeps getting more and more bloated. Also, the rapid fire releases lately tend to be annoying. It seems like every time I open Firefox there is a new release that I have to install.

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