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Freeing Memory whilst using Firefox.

Infinity
Pro
Posts: 5,627
Thanks: 155
Fixes: 2
Registered: 19-06-2011

Freeing Memory whilst using Firefox.

Discovered this...
http://www.wikihow.com/Stop-Firefox-from-Consuming-CPU-Cycles
It certainly works for me, when Firefox closes, it appears to release all memory used by Firefox, and when Firefox is open, less memory is used.

Activity Monitor shows the difference. As well as Memory Clean monitor.
After amending   about:config      far more memory became available on my iMacs.
1.20GB available, when Firefox closed down, and  when Firefox opened, one tab, 900Mb available
And I can open 76 tabs at once, and still have 300mb free, out of my basic 4GB.
There is a warning about amending   about:config     settings.
I did a search for "cache" once   about:config     was opened.
Looking for an entry called    browser.cache.disk.capacity.
OSX 10.8.4, Firefox 23.0.1

This presumably also works for Windows users, I note a thread in the Windows Forum about Firefox Memory.

7 REPLIES
RPMozley
Aspiring Pro
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Registered: 04-11-2011

Re: Freeing Memory whilst using Firefox.

To make sure that value does stick, you may have to set ...smart_size.enabled to false.
Infinity
Pro
Posts: 5,627
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Registered: 19-06-2011

Re: Freeing Memory whilst using Firefox.

Thanks.
Currently browser.cache.disk.smart_size.enabled;true
I have restarted Firefox several times since first amending, and the value has remained, as has the increase in free memory.
But thanks for the tip, I will amend the line if needs be.
Community Veteran
Posts: 4,940
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Registered: 10-06-2010

Re: Freeing Memory whilst using Firefox.

Why mess about in about:config when you could use the options dialog?
If you don't want programs using your RAM, I still recommend removing the RAM from your computer. What I mean by that is you don't really gain much by insisting all the memory remains free and unused.
Infinity
Pro
Posts: 5,627
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Registered: 19-06-2011

Re: Freeing Memory whilst using Firefox.

Thanks for your input, I may try that later, under OSX.
However, since my amendment, I am very happy with the memory management, Firefox now runs so much faster, even with many pages loaded, and other programs run faster and smoother with the extra memory now available.
I am now getting around 600Mb available for Firefox & other programs, with Firefox running with a few tabs, before it would go down to 20Mb, and slow everything down, with a few hangs.
It's not about making extra memory available per se, but in what this enables, ie faster, smoother running of many other windows at the same time.
I cannot see what improvement on this your suggestion may bring, but for my own peace of mind, I may try it out later on.
I would also welcome input from @RPM on this.
He knows a lot more about OSX and mac innards than I do, and has always been extremely helpful.
( and of course, others will state... Get more Ram !! )
But I never had a problem with memory before I started using Firefox, and I do a lot of Video editing and conversion etc.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,166
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Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Freeing Memory whilst using Firefox.

Thanks for posting this, PlusComUK!
Hope this works for me. FF has been driving me mad lately by holding onto memory and slowing down almost to a halt. I have to quit and then run Memory Clean far too often.
I intend doubling up RAM from its original max 4GB to 8GB in my old(ish) Mac Mini sometime soon, which it appears it can now take since an update a few years ago. I have to take it into an authorised dealer as Apple don't do it and I'm not too keen to open the thing up using a putty knife or similar!
Plusnet user since November 2003
Currently on Unlimited Fibre Extra and Unlimited UK & Mobile Calls
RPMozley
Aspiring Pro
Posts: 1,084
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Registered: 04-11-2011

Re: Freeing Memory whilst using Firefox.

Ah, the old putty knife technique. Done that a few times with my brother's mini (faulty logic board - couldn't fix and another instant which turned out to be a bad RAM module - replaced). First time is a bit tricky opening up, slowly working it free with a bit of force required at times but next time it's a bit easier.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,166
Thanks: 7
Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Freeing Memory whilst using Firefox.

Nearest authorised dealer says they will install RAM f.o.c. while I wait (they know it's the fiddly one), which is handy.  Wink
Plusnet user since November 2003
Currently on Unlimited Fibre Extra and Unlimited UK & Mobile Calls