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Latest Firefox uses THREE TIMES as much RAM as Firefox 3.6, and is slower to boot.

Posted

My laptop has limited RAM - about 2GB. Of the browsers I've tried (Chrome, Safari, Firefox), Firefox uses the least RAM, but it still uses around 1GB of RAM to display about 10 tabs (gmail, facebook, reader, and assorted other websites) - this seems insanely high.

Thinking back, this didn't seem to be a problem "back in the day", so to speak, so I tried installing Firefox 3.6 again.

Lo and behold, with the same addons and the same tabs open, Firefox 3.6 is using 300MB of RAM where Firefox 21 used 980MB of RAM. In addition, navigation is noticeably snappier in Firefox 3.6 - probably because it doesn't have to page to disk as often (which would often lock up my computer using Firefox 21).

I thought that newer versions were supposed to improve memory performance, not triple the required memory...

My laptop has limited RAM - about 2GB. Of the browsers I've tried (Chrome, Safari, Firefox), Firefox uses the least RAM, but it still uses around 1GB of RAM to display about 10 tabs (gmail, facebook, reader, and assorted other websites) - this seems insanely high. Thinking back, this didn't seem to be a problem "back in the day", so to speak, so I tried installing Firefox 3.6 again. Lo and behold, with the same addons and the same tabs open, Firefox 3.6 is using 300MB of RAM where Firefox 21 used 980MB of RAM. In addition, navigation is noticeably snappier in Firefox 3.6 - probably because it doesn't have to page to disk as often (which would often lock up my computer using Firefox 21). I thought that newer versions were supposed to improve memory performance, not triple the required memory...

Additional System Details

Installed Plug-ins

  • Gecko default plugin
  • Displays Java applet content, or a placeholder if Java is not installed.
  • The QuickTime Plugin allows you to view a wide variety of multimedia content in web pages. For more information, visit the QuickTime Web site.
  • Plugin for Wacom tablets.
  • Allows webpages to support pressure-sensitive drawing on Wacom pen tablets.
  • Glims Plug-in for Safari
  • Unity Web Player lets you experience dazzling interactive 3D right in your browser. For more information, visit Unity .
  • 5.1.20125.0
  • Version 3.19.1.13088
  • Google Talk Plugin Video Accelerator version:0.1.44.28
  • Shockwave Flash 11.7 r700

Application

  • User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; U; Intel Mac OS X 10.7; en-US; rv:1.9.2.28) Gecko/20120306 Firefox/3.6.28

More Information

Application Basics
Name
Firefox
Version
3.6.28
Profile Directory
Show in Finder
Installed Plugins
about:plugins
Build Configuration
about:buildconfig
Extensions
Name
Version
Enabled
ID
Dictionnaire français «Moderne»
4.3
false
fr-moderne@dictionaries.addons.mozilla.org
Live HTTP headers
0.17
true
{8f8fe09b-0bd3-4470-bc1b-8cad42b8203a}
feedly
14.0.482
true
feedly@devhd
Grab Them All
0.6.6
true
grabthemall@zelazko.info
StumbleUpon
4.16
true
{AE93811A-5C9A-4d34-8462-F7B864FC4696}
Pearl Crescent Page Saver Basic
2.8
true
{c151d79e-e61b-4a90-a887-5a46d38fba99}
Download Statusbar
0.9.10
true
{D4DD63FA-01E4-46a7-B6B1-EDAB7D6AD389}
DownThemAll!
2.0.16
true
{DDC359D1-844A-42a7-9AA1-88A850A938A8}
Adblock Plus
2.0.3
true
{d10d0bf8-f5b5-c8b4-a8b2-2b9879e08c5d}
Stylish
1.2.2
true
{46551EC9-40F0-4e47-8E18-8E5CF550CFB8}
Firebug
1.7.3
true
firebug@software.joehewitt.com
Modified Preferences
Name
Value
accessibility.typeaheadfind
true
accessibility.typeaheadfind.flashBar
0
browser.places.smartBookmarksVersion
4
browser.startup.homepage
http://mail.google.com/mail/?shva=1#inbox
browser.startup.homepage_override.buildID
20130511120803
browser.startup.homepage_override.mstone
rv:1.9.2.28
dom.max_chrome_script_run_time
0
dom.mozApps.used
true
dom.w3c_touch_events.expose
false
extensions.lastAppVersion
3.6.28
network.cookie.prefsMigrated
true
places.database.lastMaintenance
1370458157
places.history.expiration.transient_current_max_pages
53688
places.history.expiration.transient_optimal_database_size
85899344
print.macosx.pagesetup-2
PD94bWwgdmVyc2lvbj0iMS4wIiBlbmNvZGluZz0iVVRGLTgiPz4KPCFET0NUWVBFIHBsaXN0IFBVQkxJQyAiLS8vQXBwbGUvL0RURCBQTElTVCAxLjAvL0VO…
privacy.cpd.cookies
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privacy.cpd.downloads
false
privacy.cpd.formdata
false
privacy.cpd.history
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privacy.cpd.sessions
false
privacy.sanitize.migrateFx3Prefs
true

andrewbontrager 0 solutions 3 answers

Admit it, Mozilla Firefox 3.6 is the best even without security patches. I've been using it ever since 2010 and have never stopped. I tried version 4.0 when it came out. It stank so I quickly moved back to 3.6.exe. Many times I have 200+ tabs open and my computer will still have 300,000 RAM to go; that's starting from about 1.4 GB available RAM. I have flash disabled and that's how it'll be. I hate the new versions taking away the status bar at the bottom and trying to be cool by integrating Facebook and Twitter right into the browser. They think they're hot snot but they're just cold boogers. I have disabled automatic updates and I have saved a copy of the Firefox 3.6.27.exe instal package, so you can't take it away, Mozilla. No sir, only 3.6 will do for me.

Admit it, Mozilla Firefox 3.6 is the best even without security patches. I've been using it ever since 2010 and have never stopped. I tried version 4.0 when it came out. It stank so I quickly moved back to 3.6.exe. Many times I have 200+ tabs open and my computer will still have 300,000 RAM to go; that's starting from about 1.4 GB available RAM. I have flash disabled and that's how it'll be. I hate the new versions taking away the status bar at the bottom and trying to be cool by integrating Facebook and Twitter right into the browser. They think they're hot snot but they're just cold boogers. I have disabled automatic updates and I have saved a copy of the Firefox 3.6.27.exe instal package, so you can't take it away, Mozilla. No sir, only 3.6 will do for me.
Tyler Downer
  • Top 25 Contributor
  • Moderator
1538 solutions 10731 answers

No, 3.6 is not the best, it is slow, uses more resources than Firefox 22, and is horribly insecure. I'd rather you use another browser than continue to use Firefox 3.6

No, 3.6 is not the best, it is slow, uses more resources than Firefox 22, and is horribly insecure. I'd rather you use another browser than continue to use Firefox 3.6
kobe 441 solutions 5048 answers

i'm sure Mozilla has improved on Firefox Memory usage. see below

i'm sure Mozilla has improved on Firefox Memory usage. see below

Modified by kobe

Question owner

Frankly, this is not the case. On my system, Firefox 3.6 uses less than half the RAM, and browses noticeably faster (and without constant system lockups while reading the page file, as Firefox 22 constantly runs my system out of RAM).

This may be true for other people, but on my computer, 3.6 uses *far* less resources, and browses slightly faster.

Nobody on this thread has been able to shed any light on this matter.

Frankly, this is not the case. On my system, Firefox 3.6 uses less than half the RAM, and browses noticeably faster (and without constant system lockups while reading the page file, as Firefox 22 constantly runs my system out of RAM). This may be true for other people, but on my computer, 3.6 uses *far* less resources, and browses slightly faster. Nobody on this thread has been able to shed any light on this matter.

Question owner

Man, I wish it used 180MB of RAM - that seems pretty reasonable. I'm lucky if Firefox 22 uses less than 900MB of RAM.

Man, I wish it used 180MB of RAM - that seems pretty reasonable. I'm lucky if Firefox 22 uses less than 900MB of RAM.

Question owner

Anyway, if you can point me to some way I can make Firefox 22 use as little RAM and be as fast as Firefox 3.6, I would be sincerely delighted.

I like the changes in the newer Firefoxes - but paying a 300% RAM premium for tabs on top and pinned tabs is insane.

Anyway, if you can point me to some way I can make Firefox 22 use as little RAM and be as fast as Firefox 3.6, I would be sincerely delighted. I like the changes in the newer Firefoxes - but paying a 300% RAM premium for tabs on top and pinned tabs is insane.
Tyler Downer
  • Top 25 Contributor
  • Moderator
1538 solutions 10731 answers

Hello,

The Reset Firefox feature can fix many issues by restoring Firefox to its factory default state while saving your essential information. Note: This will cause you to lose any Extensions, Open websites, and some Preferences.

To Reset Firefox do the following:

  1. Go to Firefox > Help > Troubleshooting Information.
  2. Click the "Reset Firefox" button.
  3. Firefox will close and reset. After Firefox is done, it will show a window with the information that is imported. Click Finish.
  4. Firefox will open with all factory defaults applied.

Further information can be found in the Refresh Firefox - reset add-ons and settings article.

Did this fix your problems? Please report back to us!

Thank you.

Hello, The Reset Firefox feature can fix many issues by restoring Firefox to its factory default state while saving your essential information. Note: ''This will cause you to lose any Extensions, Open websites, and some Preferences.'' To Reset Firefox do the following: #Go to Firefox > Help > Troubleshooting Information. #Click the "Reset Firefox" button. #Firefox will close and reset. After Firefox is done, it will show a window with the information that is imported. Click Finish. #Firefox will open with all factory defaults applied. Further information can be found in the [[Reset Firefox – easily fix most problems]] article. Did this fix your problems? Please report back to us! Thank you.

Question owner

Tried that before . No joy. Also tried new profiles.

With the same system, and same extensions, Firefox 3.6 uses about 200-300MB of RAM, Firefox 22 uses about 900-1200MB of RAM.

Nobody has been able to offer an explanation or a solution - simply the assertion that 22 is better than 3.6 in every way. While I'm sure that's true for them (else why say it), it is not true for me, and hence not really to the point.

Tried that before . No joy. Also tried new profiles. With the same system, and same extensions, Firefox 3.6 uses about 200-300MB of RAM, Firefox 22 uses about 900-1200MB of RAM. Nobody has been able to offer an explanation or a solution - simply the assertion that 22 is better than 3.6 in every way. While I'm sure that's true for them (else why say it), it is not true for me, and hence not really to the point.
Tyler Downer
  • Top 25 Contributor
  • Moderator
1538 solutions 10731 answers

Have you made sure windows is updated? Have you updated your graphics driver? Have you updated all your addons and plugins? Is the high memory usage actually causing a problem (if you have spare memory, let Firefox use it to increase Firefox's performance).

Have you made sure windows is updated? Have you updated your graphics driver? Have you updated all your addons and plugins? Is the high memory usage actually causing a problem (if you have spare memory, let Firefox use it to increase Firefox's performance).

Question owner

It's OS X. It's up to date. Graphics drivers are part of the OS, so they're also up to date, but I frankly don't see why they would impact RAM usage. Yes, the high memory is a problem - the computer is constantly paging and very, very slow when Firefox 22 is open.

Keep in mind that the system is exactly the same, but 3.6 doesn't have the problem, so it's not a system problem. It's a v22 problem.

It's OS X. It's up to date. Graphics drivers are part of the OS, so they're also up to date, but I frankly don't see why they would impact RAM usage. Yes, the high memory is a problem - the computer is constantly paging and very, very slow when Firefox 22 is open. Keep in mind that the system is exactly the same, but 3.6 doesn't have the problem, so it's not a system problem. It's a v22 problem.
John99 971 solutions 13138 answers

Clutching at straws and I know these are not direct comparisons with Fx3.6 but have you tried

  1. Running in safe mode with all plugins disabled ?
  2. Using the buttons in about:memory to release memory ?
  1. With an almost out of the box Firefox configuration you could expect lower memory usage
    • Whatever the result it is at least a start on troubleshooting
    • Someone on OS X 10.8 had an odd problem recently, but does not seem to have followed up I think he gave upon Firefox
      Firefox 21.0 on OS X 10.8.4 still has a memory leak that occurs with no Add ons, 1 tab and leads to 3GB of memory usage in 10 minutes. /questions/962986
  2. See Firefox uses too much memory or CPU resources - How to fix_memory-troubleshooting-tools
    • If the button does release memory it may at least speed things up by preventing paging.
    • for those knowledgeable about such matters the details in about:memory my help. It may even indicate a particular website or extension is correlated with the problem.
Clutching at straws and I know these are not direct comparisons with Fx3.6 but have you tried # Running in safe mode with all plugins disabled ? # Using the buttons in about:memory to release memory ? # With an almost out of the box Firefox configuration you could expect lower memory usage #* Whatever the result it is at least a start on troubleshooting #* Someone on OS X 10.8 had an odd problem recently, but does not seem to have followed up I think he gave upon Firefox <br /> ''Firefox 21.0 on OS X 10.8.4 still has a memory leak that occurs with no Add ons, 1 tab and leads to 3GB of memory usage in 10 minutes.'' [/questions/962986] # See [[Firefox uses too much memory (RAM) - How to fix#w_memory-troubleshooting-tools]]_memory-troubleshooting-tools #* If the button does release memory it may at least speed things up by preventing paging. #* for those knowledgeable about such matters the details in about:memory my help. It may even indicate a particular website or extension is correlated with the problem.
andrewbontrager 0 solutions 3 answers

Tylerdowner, Regarding your assertion that FF 3.6 is slower and uses more resources than FF 22, could you point me to a study or comparison of these two systems, running side by side? I might be interested in upgrading if your assertions are actually true. Security isn't an issue at this point. Oh, by the way, I'm running Windows XP; #22 version will have to be compatible. At this point I ddon't plan to upgrade my operating system even after April 14 2014, the current cut-off date. Microsoft just wants more money; that's the biggest reason they want to push us off XP. I plan to run this system into the ground before buying another.

Tylerdowner, Regarding your assertion that FF 3.6 is slower and uses more resources than FF 22, could you point me to a study or comparison of these two systems, running side by side? I might be interested in upgrading if your assertions are actually true. Security isn't an issue at this point. Oh, by the way, I'm running Windows XP; #22 version will have to be compatible. At this point I ddon't plan to upgrade my operating system even after April 14 2014, the current cut-off date. Microsoft just wants more money; that's the biggest reason they want to push us off XP. I plan to run this system into the ground before buying another.
John99 971 solutions 13138 answers

I am sure Tyler will be confident about his facts. Data regarding recent versions comparisons can be found here.

I believe Tyler is on Holiday at the moment so you may not get a quick response.

I am sure Tyler will be confident about his facts. Data regarding recent versions comparisons can be found here. * https://areweslimyet.com/ * and a site where you may follow some of the developments <br /> https://blog.mozilla.org/nnethercote/ I believe Tyler is on Holiday at the moment so you may not get a quick response.
Noah_SUMO
  • Moderator
98 solutions 613 answers

Hey charles

Just wanted to back up your findings that the last couple of versions Firefox on OSX have had high memory usage issues. You definitely aren't the only one experiencing this as I found a few guys last month also going thru this.

I've found a Firefox memory dev who's really interested in figuring out what's going on here. To help him, he'll need you to copy and paste some info from about:memory (type that in your address bar and press enter). Highlight all the text on the page, right-click > Copy then paste it here. Or send a copy to mozsupport@gmail.com b/c the formatting of the info you copy may break and become unreadable when you post it here. Thanks.

The memory dev would like a copy of your about:memory data when you 1st start Firefox before you start surfing around to other sites. Then another copy of your data when you see that your memory has reached what you consider to be too high. Be sure to close the about:memory tab after the 1st copy so when you open it the 2nd time the results are updated.

Hey charles Just wanted to back up your findings that the last couple of versions Firefox on OSX have had high memory usage issues. You definitely aren't the only one experiencing this as I found a few guys last month also going thru this. I've found a Firefox memory dev who's really interested in figuring out what's going on here. To help him, he'll need you to copy and paste some info from '''about:memory''' (type that in your address bar and press enter). Highlight all the text on the page, right-click > Copy then paste it here. Or send a copy to mozsupport@gmail.com b/c the formatting of the info you copy may break and become unreadable when you post it here. Thanks. The memory dev would like a copy of your about:memory data when you 1st start Firefox before you start surfing around to other sites. Then another copy of your data when you see that your memory has reached what you consider to be too high. Be sure to close the about:memory tab after the 1st copy so when you open it the 2nd time the results are updated.
John99 971 solutions 13138 answers

Noah, are you still looking for information and examples of this ?

Possibly related thread: firefox uses too much memory (MacBook Pro 3.1 with 4GB RAM and a 250GB SSD. ) /questions/960876

Noah, are you still looking for information and examples of this ? Possibly related thread: ''firefox uses too much memory'' (MacBook Pro 3.1 with 4GB RAM and a 250GB SSD. ) [/questions/960876]
andrewbontrager 0 solutions 3 answers

I am still waiting on specific data comparisons between Firefox 3.6 and later versions. When I open my Firefox up with 10 blank tabs, the system reports that Firefox 3.6 uses 55 mb of ram. I'm curious what the later versions use? I have checked out the web sites that give comparisons, listed in the previous comment, but the data isn't easy to understand and isn't accessible, I feel. I repeat, if you can show me that FF 3.6 actually uses more ram and is actually slower than more "modern" versions I would consider upgrading, even with their nod to the social media addicts. Otherwise forget it.

I am still waiting on specific data comparisons between Firefox 3.6 and later versions. When I open my Firefox up with 10 blank tabs, the system reports that Firefox 3.6 uses 55 mb of ram. I'm curious what the later versions use? I have checked out the web sites that give comparisons, listed in the previous comment, but the data isn't easy to understand and isn't accessible, I feel. I repeat, if you can show me that FF 3.6 actually uses more ram and is actually slower than more "modern" versions I would consider upgrading, even with their nod to the social media addicts. Otherwise forget it.
Noah_SUMO
  • Moderator
98 solutions 613 answers

There's no such memory comparisons that I know of. If there's any update on Firefox fixing a memory leak bug for OSX, I'll add a post here to let you know.

So for now, I'll close this thread to avoid other people using your thread to post "me too" responses. It doesn't help solve the problem and I can't see any of the addon info, OS version or Firefox version. When you create your own thread, some of this info is automatically copied and shown to us.

Anyone else who has this problem please open your thread using this link:
https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/new

There's no such memory comparisons that I know of. If there's any update on Firefox fixing a memory leak bug for OSX, I'll add a post here to let you know. So for now, I'll close this thread to avoid other people using your thread to post "me too" responses. It doesn't help solve the problem and I can't see any of the addon info, OS version or Firefox version. When you create your own thread, some of this info is automatically copied and shown to us. Anyone else who has this problem please open your thread using this link: <br> https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/new
Tyler Downer
  • Top 25 Contributor
  • Moderator
1538 solutions 10731 answers

Memory usage can't be fairly compared from one computer to another, as there are far too many environmental variables. You should upgrade to Firefox 22 purely for security and modern web reasons. And it is faster and less resource intensive.

Memory usage can't be fairly compared from one computer to another, as there are far too many environmental variables. You should upgrade to Firefox 22 purely for security and modern web reasons. And it is faster and less resource intensive.