How to reduce CPU usage in Firefox
You may find that Firefox is using more system resources than it should. While you should expect this during downloads or complex background processes, if you notice constant and high resource usage while using Firefox, you should take a closer look.
Fortunately, there are several ways to fix this problem by changing some settings in Firefox. Let’s take a look at the seven most effective methods.
Try these quick fixes first
Before moving on to more complex solutions, there are a few basic troubleshooting steps you should take. Here’s what you should try first:
Restart Firefox, as this should resolve most issues. Make sure to save any work first.
Check and make sure you are using the latest version of Firefox. Open the browser menu and head to Help> About Firefox. There you can check if Firefox is up to date or if an update is available.
Restart your computer. After restarting, launch Firefox again and check if the CPU usage has changed.
Close some tabs. Firefox must store a web page in memory for each open tab. If you often have a large number of tabs running, it will increase CPU usage. Try managing your tabs using bookmarks or a browser extension.
How to reduce Firefox CPU usage
There are a number of ways you can try to reduce Firefox’s CPU usage, here are a few you can try:
1. Refresh Firefox
Refreshing Firefox can help you resolve many issues by resetting the browser to its default state while retaining information such as passwords or bookmarks.
To refresh Firefox, go to about: support and click Refresh Firefox.
2. Start Firefox in troubleshooting mode
If you have installed multiple themes or extensions in Firefox, these may cause the browser to use more resources.
To find out if an extension or theme is causing high CPU usage, you should start Firefox in troubleshoot mode and look for the differences. Here’s how to start Firefox in Troubleshooting mode:
Open the browser menu in Firefox.
Go to Help> Troubleshooting mode.
In the pop-up window, click Restart.
Firefox will restart without your extensions, themes, and configurations. This will allow you to see if Firefox is running using fewer resources. If so, one of your extensions or themes is probably the cause of the problem.
3. Activate Firefox strict mode
Firefox has 3 levels of tracking protection: Standard, Custom, and Strict. By default, the standard is selected, but you might want to switch to Strict since this mode blocks more cookies, trackers or content on the sites.
This should increase your browser’s speed and reduce its CPU usage. Here’s how you can increase your tracking protection level using Strict mode:
Open the Firefox menu and navigate to Settings.
In the left menu, select Privacy and Security.
Head to the Improved tracking protection heading and select Strict.
The downside of using Firefox Strict Mode is that its increased protection can affect some websites and their content.
4. Enable hardware acceleration
By enabling Firefox’s hardware acceleration feature, you tell the browser to use your computer’s GP instead of the CPU. This is especially useful when your computer is handling items with high graphics intensity.
Follow these steps to enable hardware acceleration in your browser:
Open the Firefox menu and head to Settings.
In the left menu, select General.
Scroll to Performance and uncheck Use recommended performance settings.
To verify Use hardware acceleration if available.
To note: The effectiveness of the hardware acceleration feature depends on your GPU. If your computer has an older or weaker GPU, it might not give you the results you expect.
5. Use Firefox tools
Firefox Task Manager is a tool that you can use to find information about running tabs and extensions. To access it, open the browser menu and go to More tools> Task manager.
Here you will be able to see each tab and extension, and the amount of CPU it is using. If you notice that an extension or tab is using your processor excessively, you can easily close it.
Firefox also has a built-in feature that you can use to reduce your high CPU usage problem. All you have to do is navigate to about: memory and click Minimize memory usage.
6. Change the content process limit
In Firefox, you can choose between content processes. The advantage of having more content processes is that it improves performance when handling a large number of tabs, but it uses more memory.
Here’s how to set a new content processing limit in Firefox and reduce its memory usage:
Open the Firefox menu and head to Settings.
To select General and scroll to Performance.
Uncheck Use recommended performance settings.
Use the drop-down menu next to Content processing limit to set a new lower number of available content processes.
To note: According to Mozzila, if your computer has more than 8 GB of RAM, you may benefit from a higher content processing limit.
7. Delete your saved profile file
Firefox keeps your browsing data in your profile folder. This folder contains information about every change you make in the browser and any saved details such as passwords.
While this looks good, it could also cause you issues like high CPU usage if any of the files get corrupted. The only solution to this is to remove the content-prefs.sqlite to file. Here’s how to do it:
Open the Firefox menu and navigate to Help> More troubleshooting information.
In the Application basics heading, locate Profile folder and click on the Open file button next to it.
Permanently delete the content-prefs.sqlite to file.
If you can’t open Firefox, you can still find and delete your profile folder.
hurry Windows key + R throw a To run dialogue.
Type % APPDATA% Mozilla Firefox Profiles and press Enter.
Double click on the profile you want to open. If there is only one profile, it should have fault as part of its name.
Locate and permanently remove the content-prefs.sqlite to file.
Bring Firefox’s CPU usage back to normal
Hope you can now open more tabs or use other apps without your computer slowing down.
If you’ve tried everything on our list and are still experiencing high CPU usage without having a large number of tabs or apps running, it might be time to upgrade your computer.
If you are planning to overclock your PC, you must check out these tools.
About the Author