Firefox tip: turn off accessibility services to improve performance
Firefox users who experience performance issues while using the Firefox web browser on desktop and Android systems can improve performance by disabling the browser’s accessibility services.
A bug open to [email protected] four days ago suggests that Firefox’s accessibility service has a memory leak that causes performance degradation, especially on heavy web pages.
To make matters worse, Mozilla removed options to control desktop browser’s accessibility settings from preferences some time ago. While it’s always possible to disable them using about: config, it’s probably not something most users are familiar with or feel comfortable using.
Reports suggest that some users have successfully reduced the memory usage of Firefox web browser after disabling the service; others, on the other hand, reported that changing the setting had no impact on memory usage. It may be a good idea to test this on the local system to see if the local Firefox installation is affected by the problem.
Note: Accessibility services may be required for assistive software, extensions, and other tools. These may stop working if the feature is disabled in the Firefox web browser.
It is not known how widespread the bug is and if it is related to anything else; this would explain why disabling the service only works for some Firefox users and not for all. Mozilla is investigating the problem.
Find out if accessibility services are turned on
To find out if Firefox’s accessibility services are turned on, follow these steps:
- Load about: support in the browser’s address bar.
- Scroll down to the Accessibility section near the end of the page.
- If you see False Enabled, the service is disabled. If you see true, the service is enabled.
Turn off accessibility services
If you are using the desktop version of the Firefox web browser, or Firefox Nightly for Android, follow these steps to turn off browser accessibility services:
- Load about: config in the browser’s address bar.
- Continue when the warning page appears.
- Use the search box to find accessibility.
- Change the preference value to 1 (the default is 0). On the desktop, double-click on the line and modify it.
- Restart Firefox.
The setting disables the force functionality in the Firefox web browser. You can reset it to its default value of 0 at any time to restore functionality.
On Android, disabling the text sizing feature in settings has a similar effect.
Now you: have you tried the fix? What was the result?