I am still using Mozilla Firefox, mainly because this is what I’ve been using since the dawn of time. But I have to admit that – especially when running on a lower end laptop, Firefox can be frustratingly slow.
But in today’s article, we’re going to try and tackle this problem and tell you what can be done to make Firefox run faster, especially on lower end laptops. Because there are some options for you to keep Firefox running faster and without giving you headaches.
There are a lot of things that you can try to make Firefox run faster, actually. Some might have no effect, or it could be that just one of these recommended fixes will make your internet browser get a massive performance boost. I will share with you the fixes that I usually use with great success, some of them apparently unlikely culprits for the performance issues.
1. Update all your drivers (for free)
You are hopefully not avoiding this step, because this is what usually helps me a lot whenever performance issues are involved, Firefox included.
Yes, I know that most websites try to push a paid software to manage your driver updates, but the truth is that it can be easily done manually, for free, if you have Windows 10. And I highly recommend you to do this ASAP!
Simply launch your Device Manager (click the search icon and type “Device Manager” then click it), then expand all the categories there and right click each of them and select “Update driver”:
This will take a while, as you will have a ton of things to go through, but fortunately most of them won’t require an update. But those that will be updated will 100% help improve the performance of your laptop in general, including Firefox.
2. Upgrade GPU Drivers
If you don’t want to go through all of those update (although you should), at least update the drivers for your graphics card – no matter if it’s integrated or dedicated.
New updates pop up constantly, so make sure that you have the latest installed for the added performance benefits.
3. Diable add-ons
Although many of them are useful, having many add-ons installed will slow down Firefox, especially on laptops that already have little ram or an older processor to run with. But even 1 add-on can totally ruin your experience and slow down Mozilla Firefox tremendously.
On a laptop that I was troubleshooting there was a single add-on installed: an adblock add-on which in theory was supposed to make everything faster by blocking ads. But I was surprised to find out that, after uninstalling it, Firefox started running smoothly and nice.
So go through all your add-ons and disable them all, then re-enable them one by one to see if there’s a particular one (or more) that’s causing the performance issues of your internet browser.
4. Reduce the number of tabs open
On my desktop computer, I have over 100 tabs open at the same time on Firefox and there are no problems because my computer can handle them. But a lower end laptop might have trouble running even 10 tabs.
So, as difficult as this might be, you will have to close them and try to work with a maximum of 3 tabs in order to improve performance.
5. Turn on Firefox’s hardware acceleration
This is usually turned on by default and can only work if your laptop has a dedicated graphics card. But do check out to see if it’s indeed working (and if it is, make sure that your GPU drivers are up to date, as recommended already).
In order to enable this, click the Firefox hamburger menu (three parallel lines) in the upper right corner of your browser’s window, then click Options. In the General panel, scroll down to Performance and uncheck the “Use recommended performance settings”.
Make sure that the “Use hardware acceleration when available” and use a value from the list. 8 is default, by I found out that getting it all the way down to 4 strangely speeds up Firefox instead of slowing it down. Try both values and see what works best for you.
6. Disable accessibility services
Accessibility services are intended to make your life easier when browsing with Firefox, but the truth is that you generally don’t need them. Of course, if you do need screen readers or braille functionality, do not deactivate this!
But if you don’t, you should as they could cause performance issues. And it’s easy to turn them off!
First, click the Firefox hamburger menu (three parallel lines) in the upper right corner of your browser’s window, then click Options. Click the Privacy & Security category in the left sidebar, then scroll down to Permissions. Tick the box near “Prevent accessibility services from accessing your browser” and you’re all set!
7. Minimize memory usage
This is a more advanced trick, but it does work some magic if none of the recommended fixes above work.
Simply write about:memory in a new Firefox tab (instead of an url) and click the “Minimize memory usage” button under “Free memory”:
This will have to be done regularly, though as it is not a permanent fix.
And these would be the recommended fixes for you try in order to speed up Firefox on lower end laptops. Of course, this will speed up Firefox on every system, but if you’re already running a high spec one, you probably don’t have any problems to complain of in the first place.
If you manage to find a different solution to make Firefox run faster, don’t hesitate to let us know by commenting below.