One of the most popular browsers in the world, Firefox is not without its flaws. One of them is the fact that it can slow down fairly easily. Thankfully, that is a problem that can be fixed in most cases. Below are some tips on how to fix your Firefox if it’s running more slowly than usual.
Tip: Before attempting these steps, make sure that it really is your browser that is running too slowly. It may just be that you are trying to access a website that is slow in and of itself, or that you have a slow Internet connection. Test this by first trying to access a few sites like google.com or bbc.com and by testing your connection. If you are sure that it is your browser, look below.
In some cases, simply closing and restarting your Firefox may be the solution to your problem. As a first attempt, close and restart your Firefox. That means closing all windows, not just the one you are actively using. Then, restart your Firefox again and see if the problem is resolved.
Close some tabs/windows
One of the main causes of a slow-running browser like Firefox is lack of RAM. When your computer doesn’t have enough processing power to complete all its tasks, it spreads its resources and things slow down. As it’s not possible to add more RAM without physically installing some into your computer, the best solution is to instead reduce its workload.
As a first step, close programs you don’t need. You may have Word or Excel open in the background – if you aren’t actively using it, close it. The same thing goes for tabs in your browser itself. If you have too many open, Firefox won’t run smoothly. Try to keep it to three or four at a time and close the ones you don’t need anymore.
If you are using an older version of Firefox, you may also find yourself with a slow browser. Make sure that you are running the newest version whenever possible. To update, you can simply click on the burger menu at the top right corner of the browser window and click on “Help”.
You’ll see some options – select “About Firefox” and your browser will update itself if necessary. You may have to restart your browser after the update for the changes to take effect.
Clear Cache & Cookies
Over time, as your browser saves cookies, your browser history and more, it accumulates a lot of files and data – this takes up space. As space is taken up, your browser will slow down. Clearing some of this space can fix this – you can pick and choose what you want to delete.
Click on the burger menu at the top right corner and select “Options”. On the left, click on “Privacy and Security”. Then you’ll have the option to select “Clear History” under the history section. Clicking on the button will open a new window. Here you can select what you want to delete. Select cookies, cache, browsing & download history as well as form & search history.
Make sure that the time range at the top is set to “Everything”. Saved passwords, active logins, and open tabs won’t be affected, but your computer will get rid of historical data saved on your machine – that includes your website browsing history and any searches you may have performed before.
Installing too many extensions into your browser can also slow it down. If you’ve recently installed additional extensions, disable those first – one of them may be causing the problem. If that’s not the case, you may still have too many installed.
To disable them – and we recommend disabling as many as possible to speed up Firefox – click on the burger menu and select “Addons”. Next click on “Extensions” on the left. You’ll see a list with all of your extensions, and you can disable them one by one. Start with any you don’t recognise – first disable them, then remove them.
If necessary, disable all of them but don’t remove the ones you want to use. Your browser should run faster now – over time, you can re-enable the extensions you use one by one. Just keep an eye on whether or not enabling a new extension affects performance.
Tip: Often, when a browser like Firefox is running too slowly, it’s a combination of different problems that causes the problem. So, performing just one of these steps might not be enough. You may have to go through some or even all of them to get your browser back into top shape.