Speed Up Firefox 2/3

About: I am a guy who lives in California. During my spare time, I like to see if somebody posts a decent instructable that I would like to try. I also love to play xbox 360.

This instructable will teach you how to speed up Firefox 2 or 3.
Stuff you will need: 1. Firefox 2/3
2. Internet (You probably have it if you can read this)

*UPDATE* I have put in what the things mean for all of you non-nerd speakers.

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Step 1: Getting There!

1. Open Firefox (I don't think I need to tell you how to do that)
2. Go to the URL
3. Clear it and type in, "about:config"
4. Press enter!

Step 2: Speeding It Up!!!

1. Find the "Filter Bar" (NOT THE URL BAR)
2. Put in "network.http.pipelining"
3. Change it to true (double click on it)

Pipelining reduces page loading times. So if you put it to true it will make the page load faster. Most websites support pipelining.

Step 3: Speed It Up!!!

1. Find the "Filter Bar" again
2. This time put in "network.http.pipelining.maxrequests"
3. Change it to 8

This is also pipelining. By setting the number to 8 instead of 32, Firefox will only send a max of 8 retries to the server. Firefox should receive the site by 8 tries. 32 is kind of unnecessary, Firefox doesn't need that many tries. Actually, if you think about it not even Internet Explorer needs that many tries.

Step 4: Speed It Up!!!

1. Find the "Filter Bar" once again
2. Put in "network.http.proxy.pipelining"
3. Change it to true

More pipelineing.

Step 5: Speed It Up!!!

1. Same
2. Put in "network.dns.disableIPv6"
3. Change it to true

IPv6 was created by Mozilla to fix the IPv4 problem (the exhaustion of all possible IP addresses.) So by making it true the problem is fixed.

Step 6: Speed It Up!!!

NOTE: This one does not exist by default. You must do this correctly or Firefox will act strangely.
1. Right click anywhere on the white part (CTRL + Click for Apple users)
2. Right click -> New -> Boolean
3. Name it "content.interrupt.parsing"
4. Click true

This controls whether the application will interrupt parsing a page to respond to UI events.

Step 7: Speed It Up!!!

1. New -> Integer OK
2. Enter "content.max.tokenizing.time" OK
3. Enter "2250000" OK

Instead of waiting until a page has completely downloaded to display it to the user, Mozilla applications will periodically render what has been received to that point. This controls the maximum amount of time the application will be unresponsive while rendering pages.

Step 8: Speed It Up!!!

From this point on I am using my other computer because I'm at my Grandma's house for the whole day today. =D

1. New -> Integer OK
2. Enter "content.notify.interval" OK
3. Enter "750000" OK

This tells Firefox how many times to reflow.

Step 9: Speed It Up!!!

1. New -> Boolean
2. Enter "content.notify.ontimer" OK
3. Click True OK

This is pretty much the same as content.notify.interval only that this one has "more power" than the other one.

Step 10: Speed It Up!!!

1. New -> Integer
2. Enter "content.notify.backoffcount" OK
3. Enter "5" OK

This one tells Firefox the maximum times it should reflow by timer.

Step 11: Speed It Up!!!

1. New -> Integer
2. Enter "content.switch.threshold" Ok
3. Enter "750000" OK

You can interact with a loading page when content.interrupt.parsing is set to true. When a page is loading, the application has two modes: a high and a low frequency interrupt mode. The high mode interrupts the parser more frequently to allow for greater UI responsiveness during page load. The low mode interrupts the parser less frequently to allow for quicker page load. The application enters high frequency interrupt mode when the user moves the mouse or types on the keyboard and switches back to low frequency mode when the user has had no activity for a certain amount of time. This controls that amount of time.

Step 12: Speed It Up!!!

1. New -> Integer
2. Enter "ui.submenuDelay" OK
3. Enter "0" OK

Firefox render web pages as they are received - they display what's been received of a page before the entire page has been downloaded. Since the start of most web page normally doesn't have anything good to display, Mozilla applications will wait a short interval before first rendering a page. This controls that interval.

Step 13: Speed It Up!!!

1. New -> Boolean
2. Enter "plugin.expose_full_path" OK
3. Click true

This shows full path to plugins in about:plugins.

Step 14: Speed It Up!!!

1. New -> Integer
2. Enter "browser.cache.memory.capacity"
3. Enter "65536"

When a page is loaded, it can be cached so it doesn't need to be rerendered to be redisplayed. This controls the maximum amount of memory to use for caching decoded images and chrome.

Step 15: Optional

NOTE: This will only work on Firefox 3 because it has the best looks. Firefox 2 themes don't look as nice.
1. Go to "https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/browse/type:2"
This is the Firefox theme page thingy
2. Search for one you like
3. Download it
4. Tools -> Add-On -> Themes -> (the theme you just chose) -> use theme

Thanks for looking at my instructable!!!

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    26 Discussions


    9 years ago on Step 3

    my network.http.pipelining.maxrequests was set to 4 by default, do you suggest I turn it up to 8?

    1 reply

    9 years ago on Introduction

    can these changes be undone if not satisfied with it? As in...can I delete the created integers and booleans?

    4 replies

    How would I go about doing that? When I right click the ones i added it only allows me to reset, not delete them


    Yes but I dont want to reset something that wasnt there in the first place. I want it removed. I thought you knew what you were doing

    Evil Metroid302

    10 years ago on Step 12

    Uh oh... The instructions said to put in "nglayout.initialpaint.delay", so I did. But, the picture say to put in "ui.submenuDelay". Which one is correct? And if the one I put in is wrong, how do I get rid of it? Please answer ASAP, I don't want to totally mess up FireFox.

    2 replies
    mrmoneybagssEvil Metroid302

    Reply 10 years ago on Step 12

    sorry sorry sorry the picture is the right one to reverse the one you messed up just set the number back to it's default


    10 years ago on Step 15

    I did everything that you suggest, except the last optional point. If all turns out well, i will remember you. If it go badly, I will remember you and all your genealogy. ;) Thanks, a hug.

    3 replies

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Nice comment Rimar. "If all turns out well, i will remember you." te he he... ;) Hope all goes well.


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    All goes perfect for now. Thank you, FireFox goes a little faster with your recipe. It's normal to see flames behind the monitor? (Todo va perfecto por ahora. Muchas gracias, FireFox va un poco más rápido con tu receta. ¿Es normal ver llamas detrás del monitor?)


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    i don't think that seeing fire behind your monitor is normal...
    check to see if a fire is burning behind it.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    greatly increased the DL speed for youtube and works well with instructables. I am on fiber optic with NTT in Japan and should pull in 120Mbs. Unfortunately, it is never what is said. If I go to the server that I'm on and my wireless could support it could probably do that. I also use downloadhelper along with this for multi-packet retrieval for downloads and that seem to help well. Now if someone has any information on multi-packeting HPs, that would be cool or even cracking open another pipeline to leach off of. Props to you for all your hard work.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    step 16 If that doesn't work

    Give up. Download Opera. ;)


    10 years ago on Introduction

    It'd be nice, if instead of just "alter this portion of your Config" you actually said WHY, or what it does... for each option. for those that DON'T speak boolean binary natively.

    2 replies

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    sweet :-) Pipelining : settings in this area will greatly depend on your TYPE of internet connection. Satalite, cable, dsl and dialup will all be optimized at differrent levels(DSL and lower bandwidth cable should be pretty close though) some internet connected networks REQUIRE IPv6, rare, but they exsist, so this is full of win. browser.cache.memory.capacity This is a BIG one... especially if you have lots of ram, and visit the same pages over and over again. Thanks for the update.