Although speedy Google Chrome is now my browser of choice, using a second browser is unavoidable – like when you need to login to more than one Gmail, Twitter or other accounts with multiple usernames; or to test your blog or website style changes.
I love the open source community that is Firefox and the robust selection of add-ons, so I looked for ways to speed up Firefox and avoid the dreaded spinning pinwheel (I use a Mac). Here are two tips that helped.
Reset Firefox – Firefox can become bloated over time causing it to slow down or crash. Trouble shooting each issue – like testing which add-ons might be the culprit – takes time. Before testing, try the Reset Firefox feature.
From the “Help” menu, choose “Troubleshooting Information” and click on “Reset Firefox.” Firefox will clean up your old data while preserving bookmarks and saved passwords. Make a note of your add-ons as these will be removed. Check out the Mozilla Support page for more details on resetting Firefox.
(Tip: Use 1Password or LastPass to manage your passwords and delete them from your browser, and remember to go to Preferences > Security and uncheck “Remember Passwords for Sites”).
This one step, resetting Firefox, largely solved the spinning pinwheel problem for me. But that’s probably because I don’t have lots of add-ons — which leads to the second tip.
Keep Add-ons to a minimum – This is a no-brainer. Add-ons can slow down the browser but some are more troublesome. To find out which, disable all add-ons and restart Firefox. If the speed problem is solved, then you’ll need to enable one add-on at a time to determine which are the culprits.
These two speed enhancing practices have allowed me to continue using Firefox and I’ve even learned to like it again.
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