Firefox used to be a memory hog in the past. But its different now. The recent versions of Firefox are very much memory efficient and less memory leakage is seen in the browser. If you keep Firefox open for long periods of time, it will keep on using more memory. This is because of several reasons including more active add-ons, opened and active tabs etc.
In this article, we strive to cover how to manage memory usage of add-ons in Firefox. After going through this article we will be able to conserve memory usage of add-ons in Firefox efficiently enhancing the performance of system as a whole.
See memory usage of tabs
Sometimes we are interested to find the memory consumed by the individual tabs opened in Firefox. ‘About:memory‘ informs us with the details of memory consumption per tab. It not only tells us the total memory used by each tab, it will explicitly mention the memory used by different objects on each tab.
See memory usage of add-ons
About:addons-memory is a newly introduced add-on by Firefox that could help you find out the culprit add-on which may eat up and slow down your browser. Previously, we could use ‘about:memory’ to get information of the memory consumed, but it displayed information in a technical way. However, About:Addons-memory represents the information in numerical and graphical way.
To see the memory used by add-ons in FireFox, follow these steps:
Type about:addons-memory in the new tab and press Enter.
It will display the memory consumed by add-ons in the descending order. You can easily see the memory usage of each add-on with its name, developer and memory usage. The page does not refresh itself automatically so you need to refresh the page manually to get the latest report. This does not provide the exact details of all add-ons as the developer has said:
“Many Add-ons, especially non-JetPack ones, may include static or dynamic overlays that may add scripts, DOM or styles directly to the browser. Such things cannot be distinguished from the browser itself and hence cannot be counted towards the add-on. As a result, the actual add-on memory usage may be a lot higher than reported here!”
‘Minimize memory usage‘ button is available at the bottom of the list which could help you free some of the RAM space.
See Memory usage of Firefox browser
Restarting Firefox is the best option in case it is consuming more memory while running for longer periods of time. Memory Restart is the add-on that gives a real time analysis of Firefox memory usage. After installing Memory Restart add-on, as soon as you restart your browser, you will see a Memory Restart button next to the address bar.
Hover your cursor over the button to see the memory usage. It stays green as long as your memory consumption is below the threshold value (500 MB, by default). It minimizes the memory usage automatically when the threshold value is reached. You can change the threshold value by:
- Go to Firefox -> Add-ons.
- Click on the Options button next to Memory Restart.
- Fill in the values as per your choice.
- Check the Restart Firefox automatically to restart your browser automatically when the memory exceeds a limit.
We have covered all three types of memory monitoring techniques for Firefox i.e., tabs, add-ons and the Firefox process as a whole. Unlike Google Chrome, Firefox uses only one process for its working, so we will not be able to get very precise memory usage readings like in Google Chrome but the techniques we have discussed will be useful in managing the overall memory usage of Firefox.
Are you satisfied with your Firefox browser or do you prefer to use any other browser? Tell us in the comments below.