Fixing Firefox 3.6

Recently I became very frustrated with my long time browser of choice: Firefox. Version 3.6.3 on OS X Snow Leopard became the biggest memory hog on my system. After leaving the browser open for a while my MacBook would start to grind to a halt. I’d check the Activity Monitor and see that Firefox was consuming anywhere from 500MB to 1GB of my 4GB of RAM. That was much more than any other application running at the time. Performance was dismal. I needed a fix.

Searching for a fix led me to a post titled Optimize Firefox’s memory usage by tweaking session preferences. I followed the author’s suggestions point by point and then rebooted my box to get a clean slate. After monitoring Firefox’s memory usage for a few days I was thrilled to see that it consistently only consumed 300-350MB of RAM. That’s a huge performance boost for a few simple tweaks.

Too bad those options are hidden in ‘about:config’. Hey Firefox devs, how about some performance options in the preferences pane?

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