The about:config page in Firefox allows you to do a lot of great things. You can make adjustments that will make Firefox faster, lessen history cache, or even save you some RAM. The about:config page you may not everyone feel comfortable accessing since you fear that you might misconfigure something.
That is what this guide is for, to show you all the great things you can do. Follow the tips, and you can rest assured that you’ll only experience the good stuff this page has to offer. You’ll enjoy the previously mentioned benefits and much more as well.
1. Turn Off the Delay When New Extensions are Installed
If your Internet connection is slow, this is something that’s really going to come in handy. By default, Firefox will delay before it installs the extension. This can be really annoying when you’re in a hurry.
To get rid of this type about:config in the search bar and press enter. Once you get past the warning (which you shouldn’t fear at all) look for the option that says security.dialog_enable_delay. Just change the value to zero and you’re good to go.
2. Increment the Offline Cache
Firefox only gives you 500MB when working offline, but there are times when you might need more. To increase the offline cache use the config name browser.cache.offline.capacity and the default amount will be 512000KB. Simply change the value to anything higher than that.
3. Lessen the Session History Cache
Not everyone has a fast computer, so if Firefox saves too much session history cache, it’s going to slow it down. The option that influences the number of pages Firefox saves is browser.sessionhistory.max_total_views.
The default value will be -1 (adaptable). For the best results type in less than 4, but if your computer has 4GB, it’s safe to go with 8 or more.
There’s another option you can modify that will also help your computer run faster. By changing the browser.sessionhisotry.max_entries option you can decide how many pages each tab saves in the Back/Forward history.
By default, it’s set to 50, but if you have a slow computer, it’s best that you change to 25. If your computer is still struggling, then lower it until you reach a number that helps your computer run faster.
4. Have the Search Results Open in a New Tab
By default, Firefox opens results in the tab your currently using. This is definitely an annoyance because you could need that tab open. To have the search results open in a new tab look for the browser.search.openintab option in about: config and double-click on it until it changes to True.
5. Adjust Where Your Files are Downloaded
It makes sense that Firefox saves any downloaded content to the Windows Download folder. But, if you need those files saved elsewhere you can change the location by typing browser.download.folderlist.
The default number is 1 but if you want to save it to the desktop use 0. To save the downloaded files to the same location as the preceding download, use 2.
6. Adjust the Number of Columns and Rows in the New Tab Page
Firefox makes it easy to re-visit the sites you’ve bookmarked. When you open a new tab, you’ll see those sites in a 3×3 thumbnail, but thanks to the following trick you can change the number of rows and columns.
To change the amount of rows type browser.newtabpage.rows and to adjust the amount of columns type browser.newstabpage.columns. The new number will depend on how many you want.
7. Disable Animations You Don’t Need Anymore
Turning off unnecessary animations will also help your computer run faster. Two animations that you can turn off are the following: browser.tabs.animate and browser.fullscreen.animate. Make sure to turn both of these to false.
8. Reduce or Increase the Number of Suggested Sites
When you start typing the URL, Firefox will display a series of sites it thinks you want to visit. If you want Firefox to either show you more or less, there is something you can do.
Type browser.urlbar.maxrichresults and change the keys. The default number is set to 10, but you can add the amount you want.
The about: config page in Firefox is very useful once you get past the intimidating warning. As long as you know what you’re doing, you’ll only enjoy all the great features it has to offer. What’s your favorite trick? Share your thoughts in the comments below.