FIREFOX high memory on large number of tabs/windows solution

Write tutorials here
There are more tutorials here
Forum rules
Please don't add support questions to tutorials,start your own thread in the appropriate sub-forum instead. Before you post please read this
Level 2
Level 2
Posts: 75
Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2011 3:06 pm

FIREFOX high memory on large number of tabs/windows solution

Postby JaguarNight » Mon Oct 29, 2012 4:44 pm

For those FF user that suffer high memory usage when using a lot of windows/tabs
there is a TooManyTabs FF add-on that solves the problem...

My example: I use about 10 FF windows and 100-150 tabs open all the time,
very heavy usage, basically I have many websites preloaded in FF so that
I don't have to cycle through them which takes a lot of time...
The memory load on FF is about 1Gb, the problem is not that FF slows down,
the problem is that when returning from hibernate it takes over 10-15 minutes
to get restore FF so that it could function normally, with 1000Gb converting
from hybernate file back to ram with 1-2mbs disk read time it takes about 10-15 minutes :-(

Anyway, first I tried NeverCrash ( SaveMemory) add-on which basically did not do anything for me
( no memory usage reduction on tab pause ) then I installed TooManyTabs and configured it
with 10 row ( displayed 1 per win ) and sent my tabs to those
rows and basically the memory usage came down from 1Gb to about 150-300mb for
10 windows with about 150 tabs... now return from hibernate takes about 1-3 minutes vs 10-15min...
and if I need to look at one of those website i just click on the tab it bam it gets loaded with fresh content...

BTW, I did some tests for FF memory consumption ( version 11 )
- a new first FF window takes about 90mb of ram
- each new tab in same window takes about 5-10mb of ram on average
- each new window after the first one, does not seem to add any more ram usage
beside 5-10 for the first tab in that window ( for a generic tab I used )
- it takes about about 35mb to go from to per tab
- it give back only about 10mb when you go back from yahoo to google ( both ram
and disk cache enabled ), which basically regains about 1/3 of 35mb, tells me
that FF is not good at memory clean up

I also did research on 2 other browsers: Opera and Chromium...
which both sucked compared to FF when I loaded them up with about 50 tabs,
Opera got stuck with 40% cpu usage while Chromium kept loading those 50 processes
each about 50-60mb per tab/process !!! unbelievable crap both for Opera and Chromium,
FF is definitely managing memory well with 100+ tabs but only about 30% efficient
on memory cleanup... however after return from hibernate the memory usage is minimal
probably because it cleans itself up in the process...

BTW other FF hacks in about:config did nothing to improve memory management...

Bottom line if you are heavy FF user: many FF windows and many tabs in each window
- use "TooManyTabs" add-on, the only one that does the job...Learn how to use it and
will do the job for you. It basically creates virtual tabs by using background bookmarks,
thus unless a tab ( website ) is loaded it ain't using any ram at all...


Return to “Tutorials”