Free RAM in Firefox with RAMBack

Martin Brinkmann
Jul 1, 2008
Updated • Feb 8, 2015

Many users had a problem with memory usage in Firefox 2 and although Firefox 3 was further optimized it still seems to be a problem for some users.

Something that I do not understand for instance is the problem that RAM usage of Firefox is always increasing over time but never decreases much.

If you open tabs RAM increases but should not closing tabs have the adverse effect than and free up the memory again?

While it may not be as easy as that, it is fair to say that memory usage is still an issue in today's version of Firefox.

It may not always be the browser's fault of course. If an extension has a memory leak for example, it is the extension's fault and not that of Firefox. That's why I recommend that you start Firefox in Safe Mode to make sure that this is not the case.

If you are still noticing issues with memory afterwards, you may want to try an extension like RAMBack to recover memory from time to time manually.

Firefox keeps some files in the cache for performance purposes and RAMBack will cause Firefox to run an internal routine to free up memory.

A commenter on the add-on page said that this add-on "only clears the internet memory cache of sites not currently loaded in the browser" which makes a lot of sense to me. I had troubles finding a way to find out if the add-on is as useful as it sounds.

What I can say is that the memory usage seems to be pretty stable for the same amount of tabs and websites and that it does get reduced by a bit when closing websites. The author of the add-on seems to be heavily involved with the creation of Firefox 3 and it seems that this add-on is really doing what the description says.

Before I forget it. The website of the add-on does not state it explicitly but it seems that the add-on becomes active when you press the Clear Caches button in the Tools menu. Would have probably been better if it would automatically do that every x minutes or something instead.


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  1. kaixi said on July 2, 2008 at 4:11 pm

    Hmm, it sounds interesting. I’m going to give it a try…

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