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Pls.help settle on-going argument w/ my BF. I open multiple tabs; he runs multiple copies of Firefox. Which is more efficient? Is it a big difference?

Posted

It seems intuitive to me that opening multiple tabs (w/ one copy of Firefox running) should be more efficient than opening multiple copies of Firefox, but I can't find anything about this when I google it or search your site. Which is better, or does it not matter? If one is better over the other, is there a lot of difference?

f it matters, I usually have 4-6 tabs open, but sometimes 10 or so. He usually has 4-6 copies of Firefox running, w/ 1 or 2 tabs each.

I'm tired of arguing this, so I'd really like to know. Thank you!

Chosen solution

Efficiency has a lot of meanings. Firefox might need a little more memory to use multiple windows, but memory is relatively cheap and abundant on newer PCs. Perhaps more important is each person's working style.

Please note that there is a difference between opening many windows in a single session of Firefox and running multiple sessions of Firefox. In the latter scenario, you would be loading the entire executable multiple times (and to avoid conflicts loading a separate Firefox profile in each), and you would only want to do that for testing or in other special cases.

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Gingerbread Man
  • Top 25 Contributor
227 solutions 939 answers

Helpful Reply

It's a matter of personal preference.

Tabs can be organized using the Tab Groups feature, or an extension like Tab Mix Plus.

But if you prefer sorting tabs into separate windows, there's no reason to stop.

jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
2365 solutions 20923 answers

Chosen Solution

Efficiency has a lot of meanings. Firefox might need a little more memory to use multiple windows, but memory is relatively cheap and abundant on newer PCs. Perhaps more important is each person's working style.

Please note that there is a difference between opening many windows in a single session of Firefox and running multiple sessions of Firefox. In the latter scenario, you would be loading the entire executable multiple times (and to avoid conflicts loading a separate Firefox profile in each), and you would only want to do that for testing or in other special cases.

cor-el
  • Top 10 Contributor
  • Moderator
10756 solutions 96810 answers

Helpful Reply

You can see the Firefox memory usage on the about:memory page and compare the numbers.
You need to refresh that page to reflect changes to open tabs and windows.

dmo361 0 solutions 2 answers

There is another reason why running separate windows. Cor-el helped me with this one. If you run with multiple tabs, there is only one copy of Java Console available to the entire environment. In most situations, this is not an issue. However, there are some applets that require exclusive use of the console in order to run properly This cannot be done with a single window. In fact, it cannot be done with multiple windows if they all share the same profile.

However, it is possible to run multiple Firefox processes, each with its own profile/context. For details on the problem and the solution, see

https://support.mozilla.org/questions/951272#answer-410641