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Firefox Tips

Optimise history

Open a new web browser tab and load the page about:config. Now filter for the term browser.history and locate the following three parameters:

browser.history_expire_days: The maximum days that Firefox stores websites in the history database. (default 180)

browser.history_expire_days_min: The minimum days that Firefox stores websites in the history database (default 90)

browser.history_expire_sites: Defines the maximum websites that are stored in the Firefox history. Reducing the amount from 40000 to a lower value can make an appreciable difference to the browser's speed.

Reducing both the minimum and maximum values to a lower number improves the performance of the web browser especially during startup.

There are no ideal values which means that the user needs to experiment to find the values best suited for the browsing situation. Suggested values are 7, 14, 28 or 56 days for both settings. To remove the history altogether use 0 as the value in both parameters.

Speed up menus

Again, open a new web browser tab and load the page about:config.

Make Firefox menus load faster by adding a new integer:


Set the value of this integer to zero. This removes the delay for the menu popups.

When you restart Firefox, you will see the menu load noticeably quicker.

Disable IPv6

This little tweak improves Firefox's speed as it means the browser does not have to translate between IPv4 and IPv6. Whilst IPv6 is the next-generation Internet Protocol and the successor to IPv4, it is not widely implemented. So, take advantage by turning off IPv6.

Once again, open a new web browser tab and load the page about:config.

In the address bar, type the following:


Double click on the entry. This will change the default value of 'False' to 'True'.

Increase cache size

Firefox stores images and scripts in a local memory cache. When images are loaded, they can be cached so they don't need to be decoded or uncompressed to be redisplayed. The preference browser.cache.memory.capacity controls the maximum amount of memory to use for caching decoded images and chrome (application user interface elements).

If you have plenty of RAM (in excess of 2GB), frequently leave Firefox running all of the time and return to specific sites on a regular basis, performance will be improved by increasing the cache size.

- open a new tab

- type "about:config" and accept the warning

- right click in the window, select New > Integer

- type browser.cache.memory.capacity and click OK

- enter 32768 and click OK

Restart the web browser, and enjoy a faster browsing experience.

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Last Updated Sunday, October 04 2009 @ 09:56 AM EDT

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