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how to prevent websites from updating tabs in firefox

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FF constantly takes more ram even when I'm not looking at a tab, I'm reading emails for instance. A quick look at task manager shows FF is still eating more and more RAM. Is there a way to stop websites from calling for RAM that they wont give back. I really don't want advertisers to keep asking if I clicked on there ad, especially when the tab isn't even in focus. Is there a way to put non focus tabs to sleep or something that will stop the RAM drain?

FF constantly takes more ram even when I'm not looking at a tab, I'm reading emails for instance. A quick look at task manager shows FF is still eating more and more RAM. Is there a way to stop websites from calling for RAM that they wont give back. I really don't want advertisers to keep asking if I clicked on there ad, especially when the tab isn't even in focus. Is there a way to put non focus tabs to sleep or something that will stop the RAM drain?

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Wesley Branton
  • Top 10 Contributor
589 solutions 4999 answers

This issue has been addressed a lot in the newer versions of Firefox, but unfortunately since you are running Windows XP, you won't be able to install any of them.

The issue may be related to the multiprocess feature in Firefox (sometimes called e10s) that divides Firefox tabs and the main program into multiple processes on your computer.

You can try the following to enable/disable this feature:

  1. Type about:config in the Firefox address bar
  2. Bypass the security warning
  3. Find the browser.tabs.remote.autostart preference (multiple may appear)
  4. Change the setting to false if it is currently set to true or true if it is currently set to false
  5. If you see multiple preferences listed under the search results, change them all to the same option from above
  6. Restart Firefox

Hopefully this improves the situation. If not, change the settings back to what they were before.

Obviously, running an updated version of Firefox is not ideal since it leaves you vulnerable to many well-known security flaws in Firefox 51. But unfortunately, unless you update your operating system (which often means upgrading your computer), you won't be able to move past Firefox version 52.

This issue has been addressed a lot in the newer versions of Firefox, but unfortunately since you are running Windows XP, you won't be able to install any of them. The issue may be related to the multiprocess feature in Firefox (sometimes called e10s) that divides Firefox tabs and the main program into multiple processes on your computer. You can try the following to enable/disable this feature: #Type <code>about:config</code> in the Firefox address bar #Bypass the security warning #Find the <code>browser.tabs.remote.autostart</code> preference (multiple may appear) #Change the setting to <code>false</code> if it is currently set to <code>true</code> or <code>true</code> if it is currently set to <code>false</code> #If you see multiple preferences listed under the search results, change them all to the same option from above #Restart Firefox Hopefully this improves the situation. If not, change the settings back to what they were before. Obviously, running an updated version of Firefox is not ideal since it leaves you vulnerable to many well-known security flaws in Firefox 51. But unfortunately, unless you update your operating system (which often means upgrading your computer), you won't be able to move past Firefox version 52.

Question owner

This is how my FF is set; browser.tabs.remote.autostart; default Boolean false browser.tabs.remote.autostart.2; user set Boolean true Multiprocess Windows 0/1 (Disabled by add-ons) I can't remember setting autostart.2 to true, so I'm guessing an add-on did it. I'm not able to find anything about autostart and I'm worried that it will mess with open all tabs from last time or something like that. From what I read it seems that autostart.2 is disabled when autostart is false. I'm not even sure we're talking about the same thing. Whatever is happening FF just keeps using up more and more RAM. I can't see how the multiprocess feature affects the consumption of RAM. Using up an additional amount initially is one thing but using more and more as time goes on is another. If you still think it will help and not interfere with my tabs I'll try it.

This is how my FF is set; browser.tabs.remote.autostart; default Boolean false browser.tabs.remote.autostart.2; user set Boolean true Multiprocess Windows 0/1 (Disabled by add-ons) I can't remember setting autostart.2 to true, so I'm guessing an add-on did it. I'm not able to find anything about autostart and I'm worried that it will mess with open all tabs from last time or something like that. From what I read it seems that autostart.2 is disabled when autostart is false. I'm not even sure we're talking about the same thing. Whatever is happening FF just keeps using up more and more RAM. I can't see how the multiprocess feature affects the consumption of RAM. Using up an additional amount initially is one thing but using more and more as time goes on is another. If you still think it will help and not interfere with my tabs I'll try it.
Shadow110 1072 solutions 14836 answers

See Windows Task Manager re Ram usage.

Multi-processor Can completely disable it this way in about:config : dom.ipc.processCount set to 1 browser.tabs.remote.autostart = false browser.tabs.remote.autostart.2 = false

Only move to esr if low ram and old system.

Firefox Extended Release Version : Firefox ESR does not come with the latest features but it has the latest security and stability fixes.

The last version you can update to is 52.9.0esr

If do please :

See Windows Task Manager re Ram usage. '''''Multi-processor Can completely disable it this way in about:config :''''' dom.ipc.processCount set to 1 browser.tabs.remote.autostart = false browser.tabs.remote.autostart.2 = false *http://kb.mozillazine.org/About:config Only move to esr if low ram and old system. '''''Firefox Extended Release Version :''''' Firefox ESR does not come with the latest features but it has the latest security and stability fixes. *https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/switch-to-firefox-extended-support-release-esr The last version you can update to is 52.9.0esr If do please : *https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/back-and-restore-information-firefox-profiles *https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/export-firefox-bookmarks-to-backup-or-transfer

Question owner

I have checked the settings and only had to change the one .autostart.2 to false. I still don't know what this has to do with FF slowing down over time and eventually crashing. FF rebooted acted weird for a while and settled down. The only thing that was unsettling is that some of the tabs relocated. So time will tell. If anyone knows of conversations about why FF slows and crashes I would appreciate the links. I'll mark this solved in a few days.

I have checked the settings and only had to change the one .autostart.2 to false. I still don't know what this has to do with FF slowing down over time and eventually crashing. FF rebooted acted weird for a while and settled down. The only thing that was unsettling is that some of the tabs relocated. So time will tell. If anyone knows of conversations about why FF slows and crashes I would appreciate the links. I'll mark this solved in a few days.
Tyler Downer
  • Top 25 Contributor
  • Moderator
1530 solutions 10669 answers

I'll put my standard Windows XP note here.

Windows XP is no longer supported. You should be running the latest version of Firefox 52ESR, but even that version is only receiving one more update. XP is not safe to use online. I strongly suggest you update to either Windows 7 or 10 (I recommend 10), buy a new computer, or switch to linux.

I'll put my standard Windows XP note here. Windows XP is no longer supported. You should be running the latest version of Firefox 52ESR, but even that version is only receiving one more update. XP is not safe to use online. I strongly suggest you update to either Windows 7 or 10 (I recommend 10), buy a new computer, or switch to linux.

Question owner

I was hoping someone could help me with what I've come to know as Memory Leaking, where internet sites ask for memory that they never give back. Since the problem has to do with data being shoveled through the FF browser engine I thought that Mozilla would be the ones to guide me to a solution so I could stop it. It turns out that browser.tabs.remote.autostart turned on may actually be helpful. After several Google searches I found Bill McCloskey's Blog on multiple processes and that shed some light. I still don't know the answer to my question but I think I'm flogging a dead horse right now. Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach him to fish and he eats for life. Diatribe begins here; Who is XP not safe for? If it's you, I'll reconsider my decision to keep XP. As for me I haven't had any problems using it online ( unless you consider FF slowing down to a crawl and eventually crashing ), even when I'm not actively using it. It just sits there in the back ground getting slower and slower until I have to reboot or it crashes. I've lost things that were removed from tabs since I first loaded the page. What I was keeping them open for was gone when the page reloaded, so FF crashing has done more "online damage" than the internet. I have win 10. I don't like it. There are things about the UI that I would rather not have to deal with. I started with DOS and got use to the old ways. I actually don't like XP. I'd rather be using 98 with the Windows 95 File Manager. I don't like win 10 Explore. It has junk I have no use for that I can't get rid of. I use MS Paint quite a lot. The new one has some good features that I would have added, but instead they changed everything around and I don't want to relearn it. They fixed something that wasn't broken. I understand I'll have to move in time, I just don't want to.

I was hoping someone could help me with what I've come to know as Memory Leaking, where internet sites ask for memory that they never give back. Since the problem has to do with data being shoveled through the FF browser engine I thought that Mozilla would be the ones to guide me to a solution so I could stop it. It turns out that browser.tabs.remote.autostart ''turned on'' may actually be helpful. After several Google searches I found Bill McCloskey's Blog on multiple processes and that shed some light. I still don't know the answer to my question but I think I'm flogging a dead horse right now. Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach him to fish and he eats for life. Diatribe begins here; Who is XP not safe for? If it's you, I'll reconsider my decision to keep XP. As for me I haven't had any problems using it online ( unless you consider FF slowing down to a crawl and eventually crashing ), even when I'm not actively using it. It just sits there in the back ground getting slower and slower until I have to reboot or it crashes. I've lost things that were removed from tabs since I first loaded the page. What I was keeping them open for was gone when the page reloaded, so FF crashing has done more "online damage" than the internet. I have win 10. I don't like it. There are things about the UI that I would rather not have to deal with. I started with DOS and got use to the old ways. I actually don't like XP. I'd rather be using 98 with the Windows 95 File Manager. I don't like win 10 Explore. It has junk I have no use for that I can't get rid of. I use MS Paint quite a lot. The new one has some good features that I would have added, but instead they changed everything around and I don't want to relearn it. They fixed something that wasn't broken. I understand I'll have to move in time, I just don't want to.
Shadow110 1072 solutions 14836 answers

Hi, XP is not safe for you, your friends and everyone else on the net. You put us all in danger of getting something from your messages, emails, and what ever else you use to communicate with in XP. When was the last time you gave your self a malware scan ?

Since running XP your running a low end machine compared today's systems and your pushing to open pages that your video card is just barely able to do. Little ram when everything want's ram. https://www.howtogeek.com/334594/stop-complaining-that-your-browser-uses-lots-of-ram-its-a-good-thing/ Motherboard drivers and usb controllers and eveything that goes into the Device Manager is hackable.

  • You can find ms paint in Win10 just have search for it as it is only a exe and a few dll's.
  • You can find things that can convert Win 10 Explorer to something like was in Win 7 or so,
  • You can install several programs that can change the start menu to XP or to Win7.
  • Try howtogeek.com for info and other sites as anything want can break it.
  • It is a matter of looking. Just as you can customize Firefox 57+ in more than 250million ways with userChrome.
  • https://www.howtogeek.com/334716/how-to-customize-firefoxs-user-interface-with-userchrome.css/

Ignore the fact it talks about a SSD and if not using Sessions and History or can afford to loose a little to gain some ram back and not have Firefox refresh so much can double or triple the suggest amount in this article if it is even in your version. https://www.servethehome.com/firefox-is-eating-your-ssd-here-is-how-to-fix-it/

Hi, XP is not safe for you, your friends and everyone else on the net. You put us all in danger of getting something from your messages, emails, and what ever else you use to communicate with in XP. When was the last time you gave your self a malware scan ? *https://www.malwarebytes.com/ Since running XP your running a low end machine compared today's systems and your pushing to open pages that your video card is just barely able to do. Little ram when everything want's ram. https://www.howtogeek.com/334594/stop-complaining-that-your-browser-uses-lots-of-ram-its-a-good-thing/ Motherboard drivers and usb controllers and eveything that goes into the Device Manager is hackable. *You can find ms paint in Win10 just have search for it as it is only a exe and a few dll's. *You can find things that can convert Win 10 Explorer to something like was in Win 7 or so, *You can install several programs that can change the start menu to XP or to Win7. *Try howtogeek.com for info and other sites as anything want can break it. *It is a matter of looking. Just as you can customize Firefox 57+ in more than 250million ways with userChrome. *https://www.howtogeek.com/334716/how-to-customize-firefoxs-user-interface-with-userchrome.css/ Ignore the fact it talks about a SSD and if not using Sessions and History or can afford to loose a little to gain some ram back and not have Firefox refresh so much can double or triple the suggest amount in this article if it is even in your version. https://www.servethehome.com/firefox-is-eating-your-ssd-here-is-how-to-fix-it/