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The Net Takeaway: Firefox 1.5 eats memory...

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Firefox 1.5 eats memory... · 03/19/2006 05:19 PM, Tech

But there are some ways to reduce that.

You know, if it weren’t such a problem, there wouldn’t be another UPDATE*4… (3/19/2006): Mozillazine posts the one and only Memory thread which collects a lot of tips and such. No information on how to fix it, but all the collected wisdom around cases which seem to exacerbate the situation.

UPDATE UPDATE UPDATE (2/17/2006): Lead engineer for Firefox Ben Goodger posts about his pov on the leaks. He’s a smart guy, but the evidence doesn’t support his claims. That is, he blames it on the “Back-Forward cache that retains the rendered document for the last few session history entries. ” Unfortunately, that’s easily disproven, as Ben provides a setting to turn off this feature… and readers report continued memory growth. So, still an issue.

UPDATE UPDATE (2/5/2006): If you are are using 1.5.0.1 (how many decimals do they need?), you may see some improvement. More details from this post by Jesse Ruderman.

UPDATE (1/9/2006): After reading these, see ones I missed at some other great posts linked below… Now, back to your originally scheduled posting.

  1. I know we are all using tons of extensions. Some of them are worse than others. Try removing some extensions to see which you use are eating space. Hint: if it does something with every request, its probably an issue.
  2. We all use FasterFox (Oh, you aren’t? You probably should). Besides the fact that DNSStuff.com blocks you if it detects it on some of the more tweaked configs, there are many settings it had by default which are profligate, esp. with memory. (BTW, I could have used the word prodigal there as well, another good one to throw around pretentiously.) I went custom and did the following:

Oh, and every once in a while, check for updates. Extensions often get bugs fixed and sometimes that reduces memory usage. Tools|Extensions|Check for Updates button.

How bad does the memory usage get? If you are running Windows Task Manager, make sure to View|Select columns and add “virtual memory size” to the processes tab. That’s frightening. Even more frightening is to really dig in with the free Process Explorerer by Sysinternals. Free and really lets you solve process issues. Lots more info than you need… but when you need it, its the best there is.

Another recent find which has made my life much better:
PureText. This makes a hotkey to “edit:paste-special as text” in any app. This is very helpful for Outlook and other RTF panes which really, really want to keep all the formatting they can, when you really, really want it to keep your formatting. Its free and wonderful. I highly recommend it.

UPDATE, Cont: So, still want more, eh?
Check out http://forums.mozillazine.org/viewtopic.php?t=354828 and http://labnol.blogspot.com/2006/01/solutions-to-common-firefox-15.html

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