Thursday, September 27, 2007


Or at least smaller.

If you use Firefox a lot and have a lot of add-ons, you've noticed that it can get kind of slow. Check your Process list under Windows Task Manager (ctrl+alt+delete then click on he Process tab)and you'll see that it takes up a lot of memory. It's using more than 300MB on my system right now.

Some people criticize Firefox for its size, but that's kind of unfair. It offers a lot of options and if you add-on a lot of them, of course it's going to get big. My 300MB at the moment includes two windows each with a half-dozen or more tabs.

In any case, here's a way you can save some memory space, at least when Firefox in minimized and possibly when it's open too. It comes from CypherHackz.

  1. In the Firefox address bar (the place where you usually type type about:config. Nothing else, no http or anything, just about:config. Then hit Enter, or click the green arrow.
  2. A page will open with a long list in it. Ignore the list, put your cursor on some white space in the page and right click. A little box will open up with a few options. Choose New. Another box will pop out from New. Choose Boolean.
  3. This will get you -- guess what -- another box. But this box has a place to type. Type in: config.trim_on_minimize then click OK.
  4. Yeah, another box. Choose True and click OK.
  5. Close Firefox and then launch it again.
Here's what should happen: Firefox will still use a lot of memory, but if you minimize the window, it will clear out a lot of space. It can drop down to 10 or 20MB.

That's a big help if you're trying to work in another program with Firefox minimized. An added benefit is that when you open up the Firefox window again, it doesn't jump back to it's original size in memory. In fact, it may stay significantly smaller for some time.