Firefox memory leak & How to fix Memory leaks in Firefox

According to recent tests, it has been found that Chrome, on average, uses around 952MB of storage for every 10 tabs. At the same time, Firefox stands at 955 MB of memory. These numbers are almost the same, so no matter which one of these browsers you utilize, you will ultimately find similar results.

That’s why today, we will briefly discuss Firefox’s high memory leakage and the ways through which you can fix it. So, without further delay, let’s get into it!    

Firefox Memory Leak Explained

The term “memory” refers to the available RAM on your computer, whereas “leak” implies that the memory is temporarily lost or destroyed.

Keep in mind that this leakage is not permanent and is mainly caused by defects in the system’s software, specifically a browser. Over time, Firefox will consume a ridiculous amount of RAM, which piles up over time, making your device less responsive or even crash.

If you find it takes a lot of memory without returning it to the system, then there is a high chance that your device is prone to memory impairment.

Reasons for firefox memory leak

  • Ø  Laggy themes or even extensions
  • Ø  Utilizing multiple tabs at once
  • Ø  Wrong hardware acceleration settings
  • Ø  Corrupt files
  • Ø  Lack of built-in RAM
  • Ø  Using an outdated version

Below are some of the effective ways to fix these issues.

Ways to Firefox Memory Leakage on Windows, Mac, or Linux

1) Disable any disused extension or theme

One of the common reasons why you face leakage-related issues is because you have a variety of extensions or preferred themes that are running in the background, consuming the system resources.

  • STEP 1: First of all, click on the three dots at the top right corner of your Firefox browser and select the “Add-on” option present below.
Steps to disable firefox extension
select firefox addon to disable
  •  STEP 2: Now move to the “Extension” tab and disable each accessory separately by clicking on the right button. If they aren’t in use for quite some time, try to remove them permanently.
firefox add-on disable
  • STEP 3: Similarly, hover over to the “Theme” option, which is located right next to Extensions, and dispose of your enabled them by clicking on the “Three dots” button.
disable it from theme

2) Update to the latest version of Mozilla Firefox

Sometimes the current version of Firefox that you are using may be outdated, resulting in many complications, one of which is high memory usage.

  • STEP 1: Again, open the “Customization and Control bar” (three dots), then scroll down. After that, click the “Help” tab and then “About Firefox.
update firefox
select about firefox
  • STEP 2: Now check whether your Firefox browser is up-to-date or not. If it isn’t, make sure to update it soon as you can.

3) Change the memory settings manually

If the above methods didn’t work out, you need to change or minimize the memory usage in Firefox manually. To do this, simply follow these steps,

  • STEP 1: Firstly, open the link bar at the top of the main menu, then type about: memory and hit Enter. This will take you to a new configuration window.
configure memory settings
  • STEP 2: After that, you will find an option termed “Free Memory.” Simply click on “Minimize Memory Usage,” which is located below. This will ultimately lead you to a confirmation message. Now restart Firefox, and you’re good to go!
update optimum memory setting for firefox

4) Alter the Hardware acceleration setup

By default, Mozilla Firefox uses recommended performance settings for each tab, resulting in optimal and speedier connection within the desired web page.

However, these types of settings do consume system resources, making your system leak memory. To combat this, you need to enable hardware acceleration and change the content limit.

  • STEP 1: Again, open the official Firefox menu and go to “Options.” Now look for the term “Hardware” in the search bar present at the top.
set hardware acceleration
step to check firefox memory
  • STEP 2: Under the performance section, uncheck the recommended settings. This will make the hardware acceleration setup visible.
remove default recommendations
  • STEP 3: Spontaneously, enable the “Hardware acceleration settings” by clicking the box right next to it. Also, change the content process limit to either “1” or “2” for optimal results.
increase content process limit

5) Adjust the config settings within Mozilla

Another method that is quite useful in terms of memory leaks is changing the config value within the preferences section.

However, keep in mind that tailoring any of these settings may hinder your overall performance on Firefox. So, do it only if other methods aren’t working for you.

  • STEP 1: To accomplish this, type about:config in the URL bar within Firefox and press Enter. If you see any warning window, then simply select “I accept the risk!”
adjust config setting in firefox
this might void your warranty
  • STEP 2: Now, in the config screen, scroll down until you see a preference known as a browser.tabs.remote.autostart. Its value will be fixed to “True” by default.

So, change this by double-clicking the whole line. When you are done, restart the browser and note your memory usage.

configure browser.tabs.remote.autostart

6) Altogether remove the content-pref file

Sometimes, one of the vital application files is corrupted due to unknown reasons, which can significantly hinder Firefox’s performance.

If your Mozilla browser is running slower than usual and utilizing higher storage, it’s ideal to delete that file permanently.

Although, ensure that you don’t remove any other document as it will make you lose essential settings, leading you to install Firefox all over again.

  • STEP 1: First things first, open the URL bar on Firefox and type in about:support, which will bring you to a troubleshooting page.
update content-pref about:support
  • STEP 2: At this moment, open the “Profile Folder” that is located below the Application basics. You will notice a new folder right before your screen.
update profile folder
  • STEP 3: Scroll down to find a file named content-prefs.sqlite and delete it. If you face a hard time removing it, then make sure to end “Mozilla Firefox” from the task manager completely and then perform the desired action.
content prefs in firefox

7) Try to run Mozilla in Safe mode

If any of the above methods aren’t really working for you, your best bet is to use this utility in Safe mode. It is worth noting that you won’t be able to use any add-ons or other advanced settings under this option.

  • STEP 1: Finally, open the Control settings>Help and then select the “Restart with add-ons Disabled” button located below.
run firefox in safe mode
restart with  add-ons disabled
  • STEP 2: Select the respective “Start in Safe Mode” choice in the concurrent window. Now, wait for some moments till your Firefox restarts in safe mode.
start in safe mode and refresh firefox

Firefox memory leak 2022 alternative

In my personal opinion, Firefox is an application that is quite prone to memory leaks. After having it open for several hours, it can easily take upwards of 1GB of RAM.

Additionally, even if you implement all of the above methods, there is no guarantee that your memory leak will be resolved entirely. So, what should you do in this regard? Well, the wise decision is simply to change the current browser to a newer one. One of which is Microsoft Edge.

Edge is constantly improving its standard with some pretty cool features such as reading mode. On top of that, it’s memory-efficient so that you won’t be disappointed in the long run!

Final Words

So, this was my how-to guide on the best possible ways to fix Firefox memory leakage in 2021. Applying most of them will grant you freedom from high memory usage. If you’re still confused and unsure about your decision, then a system restart will do the trick.

When you restart your system, it’s throwing all processes out and starting from scratch, which means that your Ram gets emptied. And as your system robot, things get back to normal!

This is also one of the many reasons why restarting from time to time is pretty beneficial to your computer.

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About Haris Khan

Haris is an undergrad student who is enthusiastic about writing, especially writing about tech-related stuff. His main goal is to provide friendly as well as easily digestible content for his viewers.

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