Firefox uses too many CPU resources - How to fix
At times, Firefox may require significant CPU resources in order to download, process, and display web content. If you are experiencing periods of sustained high CPU usage while using Firefox, this article presents some options for you to review.
- The CPU (Central Processing Unit) is the "brain" of the computer. When the CPU is being heavily used, the overall performance of the computer can be impacted.
- Depending on your operating system, you can review and monitor CPU usage through specific tools. On Windows, the Performance tab of the Windows Task Manager displays the rate of CPU consumption.
Table of Contents
- 1 Updating to the latest version
- 2 Extensions and themes
- 3 Plugins
- 4 Checking Firefox hardware acceleration
- 5 Corrupt content-prefs.sqlite file
Updating to the latest version
The latest Firefox version includes improvements about CPU usage. Update to the latest version.
Extensions and themes
Disabling CPU consuming extensions and themes
Extensions and themes can cause Firefox to use more CPU than it normally would.
To determine if an extension or theme is causing Firefox to use too much CPU, start Firefox in its Safe Mode and observing its CPU usage. In Safe Mode, extensions and themes are disabled, so if you notice a significant improvement, you can try disabling or uninstalling extensions.
- For more information on starting Firefox in Safe Mode and on how to find which extension or theme is causing your problem, see Troubleshoot extensions, themes and hardware acceleration issues to solve common Firefox problems.
Hiding intrusive content
Many web pages have content you don't need, such as ads, but which still use CPU resources to display its contents (see the plugin section below). Some extensions allow you to hide bothering content:
- Adblock Plus allows you to hide ads on websites.
- Flashblock allows you to selectively enable and disable Flash content on websites.
- NoScript allows you to selectively enable and disable all scripts running on websites.
Plugins to display special types of content can consume large amounts of CPU, especially older versions.
Updating your plugins
To check to see if you have the latest versions of all your plugins, go to our Plugin Check page.
Disabling CPU consuming plugins
You can test to see whether one of your plugins is causing Firefox to use too much CPU by selectively disabling some of them:
At the top of the Firefox window, click on the buttonOn the menu bar, click on the menuAt the top of the Firefox window, click on the , and then click menu . The Add-ons Manager tab will open. Click the menu button and choose . The Add-ons Manager tab will open.
- In the Add-ons Manager tab, select the panel.
- Click on a plugin in the list to select it, then select to disable it.
- Repeat for some of the plugins in your list.
After disabling some of your plugins, close and restart Firefox, and observe its CPU usage. If you don't see an improvement, you can enable those plugins again and try with a different set.
If you do see an improvement in Firefox's CPU usage after disabling a certain plugin, you may leave it disabled. If its use is widespread on Internet, try to find an alternative lighter plugin.
Checking Flash hardware acceleration
For certain plugins that play videos such as Flash, the content rendering in full screen can be accelerated by hardware. It eases CPU usage.
- Navigate to a page that shows a Flash video.
- Right-clickHold down the Ctrl key while you click on the video player and click in the context menu. The Adobe Flash Player Settings screen will open.
- Click on the icon at the bottom-left of the Adobe Flash Player Settings window to open the Display panel.
- Check Enable hardware acceleration is selected.
- Click to close the Adobe Flash Player Settings Window.
Checking Firefox hardware acceleration
Firefox hardware acceleration eases CPU usage.
Corrupt content-prefs.sqlite file
Firefox stores your data in various files in your profile folder. The file used for saving individual website settings might be corrupt. If you delete that file, your zoom level settings will be reset, but it should decrease CPU usage.
At the top of the Firefox window, click on the button, go over to the menuOn the menu bar, click on the menuAt the top of the Firefox window, click on the and select menu . The Troubleshooting Information tab will open.Click the menu button , click help and select . The Troubleshooting Information tab will open.
- Under the Application Basics section, click on filesfolder will open. . A window with your profile
At the top of the Firefox window, click on the button and then select At the top of the Firefox window, click on the menu and then select On the menu bar, click on the menu and select At the top of the Firefox window, click on the . menu and select
Click the menu button and then click ExitQuit .
- In your profile folder, delete the file content-prefs.sqlite. It will be recreated next time you open Firefox.
Based on information from Firefox CPU usage (mozillaZine KB)