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Firefox Browser Usage and Support Forum

3.6.10 update solves a lot of my speed issues

 9:52 am on Oct 2, 2010 (gmt 0)

after religiously supporting firefox throughout it's early years, i recently switched to chrome because since v3 firefox has gotten slower and slower. 10 seconds or more to load, memory leaks and several seconds to shut down. i still use it for dev, because of the addons, but use chrome for everyday browsing and most testing.

however update 3.6.10 has really speeded up the browser on my machine (vista). 4 seconds or less to load and generally feels much more responsive. it's a joy a use again. tabs load quickly, menus load quickly.

i have the following addons installed: lastpass, xmarks, webdev, colorzilla, firebug. but i don't think the previous speed problems were down to these, because at one time or another i've disabled/uninstalled all in the quest for speed.

anyway, if you've gone off firefox as i did it's worth giving it another go after this latest update.




 7:19 am on Oct 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

I've been using SRware Iron for a bit now. It's a fork of Chromium. It was so much faster than FF that I rarely even open FF any more. I guess I'll have to give FF another chance?

Robert Charlton

 6:31 am on Oct 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

I've been holding off updating for quite a while and have just been using FF to run special extensions... including Live HTTP Headers, User Agent Switcher, SearchStatus, and ViewSourceWith (necessary to make the browser usable, IMO). If it will run these, I might just go ahead and upgrade.

bill - You have suggested a complete FF uninstall and reinstall in the past. Is that necessary with the "modern" versions?

I really don't want to figure out how to install the Java and Flash in FF again.


 6:50 am on Oct 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

I have only used the complete uninstall and re-install method when FF has bogged down to a level when it becomes unusable, or when functionality of some sort has been compromised. It's still not bad advice when you are running into difficulty, but I don't think it's needed for each incremental upgrade in most cases.

I originally got the advice from jdmorgan I believe.

Robert Charlton

 7:38 am on Oct 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

This makes it a lot easier. Thanks.


 2:07 pm on Oct 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

Yes, it's a good idea to do the uninstall/reinstall whenever there's a major version update or whenever you are having problems with Firefox in general. By NOT selecting "Remove personalizations" in the uninstall options, you can keep all of your add-ons, themes, bookmarks, etc.

The "automatic update" feature introduced with Firefox/3.5 is certainly a time-saver and a convenience improvement. However, there are some cases where the only fix is to export your personalizations, uninstall Firefox, completely delete your old Firefox profile (or copy it to a different location as a back-up), and then start anew.

Many persistent problems have resulted from updating errors and/or add-on bugs -- in some cases introduced many months or even years ago. I noted a sizable increase of problems when Firefox switched over from using plain-text data storage to using SQL databases... I think that the first few database-driven versions had several bad bugs. Problems with the databases tend to make the Firefox start-up and shut-down operations take far too long.

Firefox itself is not solely to blame for all problems. Many times, the real problem is with a buggy add-on -- or one that was designed for optimum performance with an earlier Firefox version. A good way to test this is to start Firefox in "Safe mode" without any add-ons, themes, or "personas," and see if your performance problems and/or crashes go away.

But sometimes, it's just a good idea to forgo the "automatic update" and start over.

Note that Firefox/3.6.11 was released last night.


Robert Charlton

 7:16 pm on Oct 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

Thanks Jim. In my case, I'd be going from v3.0.1.3, where I started seeing so many complaints about the next version that I thought I'd just stay with it and use FF as a supplemental browser. I've updated Plug-Ins, but have held off on the rest, probably not great practice, but I have strong resistance to being in perpetual beta.

I gather from what you say that it's hard to assess the situation without knowing the whole updating sequence and accumulation of possibly hidden incompatibilities. I've had apparently zero problems thus far.


 7:29 pm on Oct 20, 2010 (gmt 0)

The only problem I had with FF was going from 1x to 2x. Everything else has gone swimmingly with updates to present. I do run three extensions but so far all of those have updated in near real time with FF.

Still my browser of choice with IE8 second. Opera and Safari loaded on a different machine which I use for test purposes. Both are capable. But I do like what I like. :)

Aside: IE9 beta on my Vista laptop sucks. Wish I hadn't tried it out... Getting if OFF has proved to be difficult.


 6:39 pm on Oct 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

...10 seconds or more to load

I had assumed this was due to the fact I had 100+ tabs open! But now with just 4 tabs there is very little difference in the initial load time - before the FF main window even appears!?

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