7 ways to fix Firefox with too much memory.
Many Windows and Mac users spend most of their time looking at open tabs in their web browser. It is the centerpiece of the activity, allowing you to reply to emails, play games, check social media, watch videos, and more. The possibilities are endless, but unfortunately your system resources are not.
Browsers like Mozilla Firefox can and will use the available system memory the more you use them. This can cause your computer to slow down and stop responding, especially if you cannot determine the cause. If Firefox is using too much memory during normal use, you need to try these fixes to see if they fix the problem.
All web browsers suffer from memory leak issues including Firefox and Chrome. Memory leaks usually occur when a browser with multiple tabs running remains running for an extended period of time. After a while, open tabs start to consume most of the available system resources, making your computer unable to respond.
If this happens and you think Firefox is the cause, a simple solution is to simply restart Firefox. However, closing Firefox cannot completely terminate any running Firefox processes. If you are using Windows, you need to make sure all running Firefox processes are closed in Windows Task Manager.
- To do this, right-click the taskbar and select the Task Manager option. …
- In the Task Manager window, find all running Firefox processes. To end them, right-click the entry and select the End Task option. This will close Firefox.
- If you’re on a Mac, you can force close a running Firefox window by right-clicking the Firefox icon in the Dock and choosing Exit. If Firefox does not close and becomes completely unresponsive, try the process again, choosing Force Quit instead.
Disable Firefox Extensions, Plugins, and Themes
Firefox is a highly customizable browser with various add-ons that can extend its functionality from themes to extensions (similar to how Chrome extensions work). Unfortunately, adding too many add-ons can sometimes be detrimental to your browser’s performance, especially if you’re on a low-power PC.
If you’re wondering if a Firefox theme, plugin, or extension is causing too much memory, you need to disable them. Here’s how to do it.
- To disable Firefox add-ons, open Firefox and select the hamburger menu icon in the upper right corner. From the menu, select the Add-Ins option.
- In the Add-ons menu on the left, you will see options for extensions, themes, and plugins. In extensions, select the slider next to an enabled extension to disable it. To remove it, click the three-dot menu icon next to it, then choose Remove from the menu.
- If you are using a custom Firefox theme, revert to the default theme by clicking the Enable button in the Add-ons> Themes menu. As the default Firefox theme, it offers the least chance of unnecessary memory usage.
- If you are concerned that a Firefox plugin (such as a media playback plugin) is causing problems, select the three-dot menu icon next to the plugin in Add-ons> Menu Plugins. From the menu, select the Never Activate option to disable it.
Check For Firefox Updates
Each new release of Firefox contains new features and bug fixes that can help reduce the impact of known issues, including unnecessary memory usage. If Firefox is outdated, you may be missing an important bug fix.
- To check for new Firefox updates, select the hamburger menu icon in the upper right corner. Select the Settings option from the menu.
- In the Settings menu, scroll down to the Firefox Updates section. To check for new updates, select the Check for Updates option. Firefox will check for updates, and if an update is available, it will update automatically or prompt you to install it, depending on your settings.
Use The about:memory Menu to Minimize Memory Usage
Modern browsers like Firefox are designed to minimize memory footprint, even if it doesn’t always work. If Firefox is using too much memory, you can use a hidden settings menu called about: memory to force it to quickly cut back on active memory.
- To do this, type about: memory in the address bar and press enter.
- From the list of available options in the about: memory settings menu, select the Minimize Memory Usage option. If successful, a message about the completion of memory folding will appear under the options. You can repeat this process at any time.
Switch to Firefox Safe Mode
Firefox Safe Mode is a special browser mode that helps you diagnose and fix browser problems. If you suspect a problem with a Firefox add-on or customization is causing unnecessary memory usage, switching to Safe Mode can help diagnose the problem.
- To switch to Firefox Safe Mode, select the hamburger menu icon in the upper right corner. From the menu, choose Help> Restart With Add-Ins Disabled.
- Confirm that you want to restart Firefox in Safe Mode by selecting the Restart option in the pop-up window.
- Firefox will restart, giving you the option to open Safe Mode or completely reset Firefox. Select “Start in Safe Mode” to start Safe Mode.
The Firefox window will start as usual, but all extensions, themes, and plugins will be disabled. Use your browser as usual while monitoring the use of system resources. If it is not using a lot of memory, it may indicate a problem with Firefox under normal use, and you will need to investigate it in more detail.
Change Hardware Acceleration Settings
To get the most out of your system resources, Firefox uses hardware acceleration to balance the demands of the various running tabs and services. This can cause increased demand on your system resources, which can lead to slowdowns of other running applications or crashes.
In this case, you need to change the Firefox hardware acceleration settings and, if necessary, disable it completely.
- First, open the Firefox preferences menu by selecting the hamburger menu icon> Preferences.
- In the General> Performance section of the Settings tab, clear the Use Recommended Performance Settings check box to see more options. From there, lower the content process limit value to limit the number of additional Firefox processes running and reduce memory usage in the process. Or disable hardware acceleration entirely by unchecking the Use hardware acceleration when available check box.
Reset Firefox to Default Settings
When all else fails and you can’t diagnose an issue with Firefox’s settings, add-ons, or features, you may find that resetting to defaults can help fix an issue where Firefox is using too much memory.
- To do this, open Firefox and select the hamburger menu icon> Help> Troubleshooting Information.
- From the Troubleshooting Information menu, select the Refresh Firefox option in the upper right corner.
- Firefox will warn you that this will remove all settings, add-ons, and browser settings. However, it won’t delete your bookmarks or browsing history. To confirm, select the Refresh Firefox option to start the process.
- Firefox will restart after the reset process is complete. You will see a success message allowing you to restore your previous tabs and windows. Confirm your choice, then select Let’s Go to resume using Firefox.
Using Firefox Effectively
If Firefox is using too much memory, the above fixes will fix the problem in most cases. Otherwise, you may have to consider alternative solutions such as switching to a different browser or upgrading your hardware. A slow browser might indicate other problems that might require diagnostic tools to identify and fix.
Once Firefox is working properly, you can take advantage of its many privacy-focused features. For example, you can make Firefox more secure with additional security settings, use Firefox Monitor to alert you to any privacy breaches, or you can use Firefox’s private network to stay anonymous on the Internet.
7 ways to fix Firefox with too much memory
7 ways to fix Firefox with too much memory