Programs like Firefox, Thunderbird or the Windows operating system tend to become slower the longer you use them. This can be partially attributed to the way these programs save and delete data. In the case of Firefox and Thunderbird, SQLite databases are used to store data. These databases grow in size over time, which in turn reduces the loading time and thus the performance of the application.
Back in 2009 I reviewed several options to optimize the SQLite database files in Firefox to improve to speed up the web browser after some time of use. The same method worked with Thunderbird as well.
Speedyfox 2.0 is a standalone program for the Windows and Macintosh operating system that can be used to run those commands more conveniently. The portable program scans your operating system for compatible programs - which at the time of writing are Mozilla Firefox and Thunderbird, Google Chrome and Skype, and displays a selection menu afterwards.
Here you can select the programs and profiles that you want to optimize. You can use the SpeedyFox > Add Custom Profile menu to add custom profiles to the cleanup. This is useful for portable profiles that are not picked up automatically, or non-default profiles.
Once you have made your selection, you can click on the optimize button to run the database optimization on all selected profiles. The progress of the optimization is displayed in a log, followed by a summary in the end. It took less than ten seconds to optimize individual profiles. On a test system, I tried the optimization on Firefox and Thunderbird.
Firefox's database was reduced to 5.59 MB from 13.5 MB, while Thunderbird's to 131 MB from 144 MB.
The developers claim that the program can boost the startup of supported programs up to three times. While I was not able to confirm that, I cannot flat out deny it either. The effect was minimal on my system, but that may have something to do with the fast SSD that I have installed.
I'd recommend to create a backup of your profile or user directory before you run the program to be on the safe side. We have previously covered SpeedyFox here on Ghacks. Back then it was only compatible with the Firefox web browser. Support for additional programs has been added in this version which just has been released.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.