Firefox uses too much memory on Windows 10 [ULTIMATE GUIDE]
This can be a major problem, so today we’re going to show you how to fix it.
How do I stop Firefox from using so much memory? The easiest solution is to update Firefox to the latest version. The issue is commonly triggered by corrupted data or too much cache. If that doesn’t solve the problem, disable all the extensions and then change browser.cache.disk.capacity value.
To learn more on how you can do that, check the guide below.
How to fix Firefox’s memory issues on Windows 10
- Update Firefox to the latest version
- Start Firefox in Safe Mode
- Switch to the default theme
- Disable all extensions
- Disable specific plugins
- Hide intrusive content
- Check for Flash hardware acceleration
- Restart Firefox
- Close unnecessary tabs
- Close other applications
- Use about:memory feature
- Change Firefox settings
- Reduce memory usage when Firefox is minimized
- Change browser.sessionhistory.max_entriesvalue
- Change browser.cache.disk.capacity value
- Use Firemin
- Switch to a different browser or upgrade your RAM
Solution 1 – Update Firefox to the latest version
If you’re having memory issues in Firefox, be sure to check if you’re using the latest version. Sometimes, certain versions can have performance issues so it’s important that you download and install the latest version of Firefox.
Checking for updates in Firefox is rather simple and you can do it by following these steps:
- Click the Menu button in the top right corner and click the question mark icon at the bottom.
- Click About Firefox from the menu.
- A new window will now appear. Check if Firefox is up to date. If your version is outdated, Firefox will download the latest version automatically.
After updating Firefox to the latest version, check if memory issues still persist.
Solution 2 – Start Firefox in Safe Mode
Memory usage problems in Firefox can occur due to third-party extensions, and in order to fix the problem it’s advised that you start Firefox in Safe Mode.
In Safe Mode, Firefox uses default settings and extensions, allowing you to easily troubleshoot any problems. To start Firefox in Safe Mode, do the following:
- Click the Menu icon in the top right corner. Now, click on question mark icon and choose Restart with Add-ons Disabled.
- When the confirmation message appears, click on Start in Safe Mode.
You can also start Firefox in Safe Mode with a useful keyboard shortcut. To do so, be sure to close Firefox completely first. After that, you can start Firefox by doing the following:
- Locate Firefox shortcut on your desktop.
- Press and hold the Shift key on your keyboard and double-click the Firefox shortcut.
- If the confirmation message appears, choose the option to start Firefox in Safe Mode.
After starting Firefox in Safe Mode, check if the problem still persists. If memory problems are gone, it means that your configuration or a third-party extension is causing problems with Firefox.
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Solution 3 – Switch to the default theme
Many users like to customize Firefox with new themes. Although some themes look visually impressive, they can use too much of your memory.
To fix this problem, it’s advised you switch back to the default theme and check if your memory usage changes. To do that, follow these steps:
- Click the Menu button in the top right corner. Choose Add-ons from the menu.
- Go to the Appearance tab and make sure that Default theme is selected.
After selecting the Default theme, restart Firefox and check if everything is working properly.
Solution 4 – Disable all extensions
If you don’t use custom Firefox themes, you might want to disable third-party extensions. Extensions can often cause increased memory usage and in order to fix it, we advise you to disable all extensions.
To do that, follow these simple steps:
- Click the Menu button in the top right corner and choose Add-ons from the menu.
- Navigate to the Extensions tab. A list of all installed extensions will appear. Click the Disable button next to an extension to disable it.
- After doing that, restart Firefox.
- After Firefox starts again, check if the problem still persists. If the issue is resolved, you need to go back to the Extensions tab and enable extensions one by one. Be sure to restart Firefox after enabling each extension.
- After finding the problematic extension, disable or remove it, or download the latest version.
Solution 5 – Disable specific plugins
In addition to extensions, certain plugins can cause memory issues with Firefox. To fix the problem, you might want to try disabling certain plugins. To do that, follow these steps:
- Click the Menu button and choose Add-ons.
- Go to the Plugins tab and select Never Activate for a specific plugin. Restart Firefox.
- After Firefox restarts, check if the issue still persists. If the problem isn’t resolved, try disabling a different plug-in. After finding the plug-in causing memory issues, be sure to enable all other plug-ins except that one.
If you need to use that specific plug-in, be sure to update it to the latest version and check if that solves the problem.
Solution 6 – Hide intrusive content
Certain web content can be quite demanding on your resources and in order to prevent high memory usage you might have to hide that content.
According to users, Flash content and certain scripts can be quite demanding in terms of resources so you’ll have to disable them. To do that, you’ll need to use third-party extensions.
After disabling certain scripts and Flash content memory usage, Firefox should improve. Keep in mind that disabling certain scripts can affect how some websites work, so choose carefully which scripts you disable.
- READ ALSO: How to reduce Firefox flash game lag
Solution 7 – Check for Flash hardware acceleration
High memory usage in Firefox can occur due to Flash hardware acceleration, but you can easily fix that. To do that, you need to follow these steps:
- Open a page that has Flash video.
- Right-click the video player and choose Settings from the menu.
- Click the icon at the bottom left to open Display panel.
- Now, check Enable hardware acceleration.
After doing that, be sure to check if the issue is resolved.
Solution 8 – Restart Firefox
You can temporarily fix this problem by restarting Firefox. Some users reported that Firefox memory usage can increase if the application is running for prolonged periods of time, so be sure to try this solution.
While this is a temporary workaround, it should work for most users.
Solution 9 – Close unnecessary tabs
Each open tab increases the amount of memory Firefox uses. If you tend to have more than ten tabs open at all times, you might experience certain memory issues.
In order to improve performance and fix this problem, we strongly advise you close unnecessary tabs and keep only the ones you need open.
Solution 10 – Close other applications
Open tabs in Firefox will increase your memory usage, but other applications can also contribute to this problem. Some applications can be quite demanding on your resources and that can leave less memory available to Firefox.
If you’re having any memory issues with Firefox, we recommend that you close any demanding applications running in the background. By doing that, you’ll free your memory and improve Firefox performance.
Solution 11 – Use about:memory feature
Firefox allows you to examine your memory usage with ease. This process is rather simple and you can do it by following these steps:
- In the Firefox address bar, enter about:memory and navigate to that page.
- On this page, you can view detailed reports regarding memory usage. You can also free your memory with ease. To do that, click Minimize memory usage button in the Free memory section.
Several users reported that you can also solve this problem by using the RAMBack extension, so be sure to try that as well.
Solution 12 – Change Firefox settings
According to users, you might be able to reduce Firefox memory usage simply by changing Firefox’s settings. To do that, follow these steps:
- In the Firefox address bar, enter about:config. If you get a warning message, choose the proceed option.
- A list of options will appear. Find these specific options and change their values like so:
- browser.cache.memory.capacity to 0
- browser.cache.memory.enable to false
- browser.sessionhistory.max_total_viewers to 0
- browser.tabs.animate to disable
- browser.sessionstore.max_concurrent_tabs to 0
- After making the changes, restart Firefox and check if the problem is resolved.
In addition, you can also try changing these options:
- content.notify.backoffcount to 5
- network.dns.disableIPv6 to true
- network.http.pipelining to true
- network.http.proxy.pipelining to true
- network.http.pipelining.maxrequests to 8
- plugin.expose_full_path to true
- ui.submenuDelay to 0
- network.http.proxy pipelining to true
- security.dialog_enable_delay to 0
- browser.download.manager.scanWhenDone to false
Solution 13 – Reduce memory usage when Firefox is minimized
You can lower the memory usage in Firefox simply by changing one option. To do that, you need to do the following:
- In the Firefox address bar, enter about:config. A list of options will now appear.
- Now, you need to create a new option. To do that, right-click on the list below and choose New > Boolean.
- Enter config.trim_on_minimize as the name and click OK.
- Set its value to True and click OK to save changes.
- Restart Firefox and check if the problem is resolved.
If this solution doesn’t fix the problem, you can remove newly created option or simply disable it.
Solution 14 – Change browser.sessionhistory.max_entriesvalue
According to users, you might be able to fix the problem simply by changing the browser.sessionhistory.max_entries value. To do that, you need to do the following:
- In the Firefox address bar, enter about:config.
- When the page opens, enter browser.sessionhistory.max_entries in the search bar at the top.
- Double click browser.sessionhistory.max_entries in the list of results and change its value to 5. Click OK to save changes.
- Restart Firefox and check if the problem is resolved.
Solution 15 – Change browser.cache.disk.capacity value
According to users, you can fix this problem by changing the browser.cache.disk.capacity option. By changing this option, you can limit the amount of memory that Firefox uses.
By doing so, you’ll reduce performance but you’ll also cap the amount of memory Firefox uses. To change this value, follow these steps:
- Create a new tab and enter about:config in the address bar.
- Enter browser.cache.disk.capacity in the search bar at the top. Locate browser.cache.disk.capacity in the list of results and double-click it. Change the value to 50000 or any other value. Be sure to use the value that is lower than the default value.
After making the changes restart Firefox and check if the problem is resolved. Keep in mind that changing this value can reduce your performance and make Firefox slower.
If Firefox becomes too slow, be sure to use a higher value or revert it to default.
Solution 16 – Use Firemin
If you’re having issues with memory usage on Firefox, you might be able to solve that issue by using Firemin. This tool allows Firefox to release unused memory periodically and drastically reduce memory usage as a result.
The tool is free and simple to use and if Firefox uses too much memory, be sure to download Firemin. There’s also a portable version available so you don’t have to install the application in order to run it.
Solution 17 – Switch to a different browser or upgrade your RAM
If none of the previous solutions work, you might want to try using a different browser. Some PCs can’t handle Firefox, so be sure to try an alternative browser.
If the same issue occurs with other browsers, you might want to consider upgrading your RAM.
High memory usage in Firefox can be a big problem. This issue will affect your PC performance, but you should be able to fix it by using one of our solutions listed above.
If any of them worked for you, be sure to tell us in the comments section below. Also, if you have any more questions, don’t hesitate to drop them there, too.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in April 2017 and has been since completely revamped and updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.
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