Firefox starting slow? Try disabling hardware acceleration
The Firefox web browser is loading all web pages pretty fast on my system, not slower than Google Chrome for example, and also starting up just fine and in a matter of a second or so. While I have nothing to complain about, other users may not be that lucky. Some are reporting that Firefox takes a long time to load even though that should not really happen, especially since page loads just fine and fast in other web browsers.
Vishal discovered a fix for the issue, at least for some users of Firefox, by accident. He noticed that his version of Firefox took nine or ten seconds to load on startup, even with extensions, themes and plugins disabled. He does not mention if Firefox was trying to load a session though which may attribute to the loading time.
Anyway, he tried many different fixes and tweaks to find out why Firefox was starting up so slow and nothing seemed to work, until he disabled hardware acceleration in the browser's options.
A restart afterwards showed that this resolved the issue that he was facing. Now, I'm not entirely sure how the hardware acceleration feature is linked to the browser's startup, but since disabling the feature did speed up the loading of the browser, it must be in some way.
Disable hardware acceleration
To disable hardware acceleration in the Firefox web browser do the following:
- Tap on the Alt-key on the keyboard and select Tools > Options from the menu that opens up.
- Switch to Advanced > General in the new options menu.
- Locate "Use hardware acceleration when available" and uncheck the option.
- Restart Firefox.
If the feature is responsible for your browser's slow loading time, you should notice a speed boost on the next start of Firefox.
Check if your browser is using hardware acceleration
If the parameter is enabled, it does not mean that your Firefox version is indeed making use of hardware acceleration. To check up on that, enter about:support into the address bar of the browser and load it.
Navigate down to the graphics section here and locate the GPU Accelerated Windows parameter. If it reads 0/x then it is not being used. This may be a driver issue or because the graphics card is not supported. If you see a number other than zero before /x then it is enabled and used in Firefox.
There are some alternatives that you may want to explore. The first thing that you may want to do is make sure that you have the latest driver installed on your system. Visit the Nvidia or AMD graphics driver website and check the latest version available for your graphics adapter. If it is out of date, download it and install it.
I would then enable hardware acceleration again in Firefox to see if the updated driver resolved the issue that you have been facing.
It is always a good idea to update the video card driver first if you suspect issues with your browser's hardware acceleration. If that does not resolve the issues you are facing, disable hardware acceleration in the browser. It should not really make that much of a difference when you are browsing regular websites on the Internet anyway.Advertisement