You may still remember the useful Firefox tweak that reduced memory usage when you are minimizing the Firefox web browser.
Here is another bunch of Firefox tweaks that optimize the browser for performance.
Please note that many of them don't have the effect that they had in 2006 when the article was published. While you can still save some memory applying some of these tweaks, modern PCs usually have enough memory so that saving 10 or even 50 Megabytes does not really make a huge difference anymore.
Before I started to implement the hack I went to Cnn.com and entered 10 different articles but never touched the back button, just using links. Upon opening the 10th article, Firefox was using 41Mb. I performed the hack and performed the same step by visiting the same sites with a cleared Cache, and memory usage was down to 33.7 Mb.
This value never changed even after a few minutes left idle on the final page.
Verdict: not a large saving, and you may notice a slight drop in browser rendering speed but may still be worth a shot if Firefox is using too much RAM for your liking.
Update: Mozilla removed the pipelining preferences in Firefox 54. These have no effect in the browser, and future versions of Firefox.
This next group of hacks all relate to the network.http group in about:config. Basically, these options change various network settings in Firefox to speed up the transfer of data from websites to the browser.
You will benefit the most from these tips if you are using a broadband connection. If you are on a slow dial-up connection instead, you may not see a difference at all in connection speed, or sometimes maybe even slower connections on average.
This next hack deals with the memory Firefox uses as cache. In the default setting, Firefox will adjust the cache size to fit however many pages you have open. While this is useful, if you tend to only have a few pages open at a time, you can manually reduce the setting to a specified amount at the cost of reducing performance when Firefox runs out of cache. To implement this hack, follow these steps.
You may also set the value of the preference browser.cache.memory.capacity to 0, to block Firefox from caching decoded images and chrome in memory.
This next group of hacks deal with the download manager in Firefox. For those of you that don’t use the Firefox download manager, skip this section. I don’t know about you, but I personally hate the download manager, it is annoying and generally a distraction when it pops up with its messages and warning, so, let’s do away with it. Follow these steps to tweak/destroy your manager.
All preferences should still work in recent versions of the Firefox web browser (as of January 2013).
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