How to Make Firefox Faster (Big Time)

February 18, 2008 – 8:34 am by Gabe Anderson | 5 Comments

There are lots of reasons why Firefox has been steadily gaining on Internet Explorer browser market share over the past few years (37.2% as of January 2008): Along with being more stable, faster, and more user-friendly, it’s highly customizable. And I’m not just talking about add-ons.

Say hello to about:config (just type about:config in your address bar to view and edit yours).

The good news, though, is that you don’t really have to know what things like editor.singleLine.pasteNewlines mean — though if you wanted to be able to copy ‘n paste multiple lines into any Web form in Firefox, which is great for, say, doing Google Local searches with addresses you’ve copied, then you’d search your about:config for the editor.singleLine.pasteNewlines preference, double-click it, and set the value to 2:


But I digress.

Here’s how to make Firefox really scream and your Web surfing experience even faster:

  1. Download & install Firetune (thanks, Web Worker Daily)
  2. Back up your current configuration using the button in the app.
  3. Specify your combination of computer / connection speed (e.g., fast computer, fast Internet connection).
  4. Select Other optimizations and check the box to Enable some performance tweaks common to all configurations.
  5. Click Tune it! and Firetune will update your about:config settings.
  6. For an extra speed boost, visit your about:config and search for network.http.pipelining.maxrequests.
  7. Double-click network.http.pipelining.maxrequests and set the value to 30, which means that Firefox will make 30 get requests at once:

Note that Firetune makes all the same changes as outlined on this page, except the maxrequests tweak, which also helps quite a bit.

After following these simple steps, you’ll see that the difference in speed is unbelievable. Happy browsing!

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  1. 5 Responses to “How to Make Firefox Faster (Big Time)”

  2. Sadly, Firetune does not work with Mac OSX so I am stuck working with Safari until I can come up with a way to use firefox without wanting to chew my knee off waiting for it to load!

    By Matt Kopans on Feb 18, 2008

  3. Hey Matt-

    What about manually changing some of the settings outlined on this page, along with the network.http.pipelining.maxrequests change?

    By gabe on Feb 18, 2008

  4. I have made those changes. I’m not sure if it’s Firefox’s browser speed, or just the size of the program on my computer, but every action still takes forever. I’m running Mac OSX version 10.4.11 with a 533 MHz PowerPC G4 with 512mb SDRAM.

    By Matt Kopans on Mar 3, 2008

  5. Hey Matt-

    These changes usually speed up how fast Firefox can download pages, not necessarily how fast the app itself will run on your machine.

    So it sounds like you’re just dealing with a slow-loading application on an 8-year-old machine.

    By gabe on Mar 5, 2008

  6. No need to set pipeling max requests at any higher a number than 8 as this is the max read the full guide here for more..

    hope this is of use

    By tech help guy on Sep 15, 2008

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