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firefoxIf you’ve ever used Firefox you’ll appreciate the fact that it’s incredibly easy to use and intuitive right out of the box.  This is perhaps one of the key reasons why it now owns 21.5% of the worldwide browser market share, and Internet Explorer is having its worst month yet.

Frankly speaking, as Internet speeds continue to increase, the loading times of webpages are becoming increasingly less of an issue.  The time saved simply by having a better, more user friendly and clear interface outweighs most gains garnered from a browser which simply loads faster.

Here are 5 excellent tips to make browsing even smoother and faster on Firefox.

1. How to save time by automatically loading the next page


Autopager is a Firefox extension which automatically loads up the next page of a series of web pages and displays it at the bottom of the screen, when you scroll to the end of the page.

For example, if you were to load up a Google Search, and you were unhappy with the page one results, you previously had to click on a link to take you to page 2 of the results.  With Autopager, all you do is scroll down – saving you the extra click.  Google’s page 2 results would now be appended at the bottom of the page 1 results.  Keep scrolling downwards and you’d see page 3, 4 and so on.

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By default AutoPager works with a ton of sites, including the New York Times, Digg, and, of course, Google. If you want to add your own custom autopaging to unsupported sites, the site wizard feature makes it easy to so.  This extension is a true time saver.

2. How to use keyboard shortcuts to get instant results

Firefox comes with a whole range of keyboard shortcuts so you can really speed things up if you’re a power user. Mozilla lots of different shortcuts on their support page, and here are 5 cool keyboard tricks which would come in handy for all Firefox keyboard newbies:

  • Back/Forward Navigation: Alt Left Arrow / Alt Right Arrow
  • Complete .com Address : Ctrl+Enter (When you’re in the URL bar)
  • Zoom In / Out: Ctrl + / Ctrl –
  • Bookmark all tabs: Ctrl Shift D
  • Undo closed tab: Ctrl Shift  T

MakeUseOf now gives away a printable Firefox chet sheet 10 Essential Cheat Sheets To Download 10 Essential Cheat Sheets To Download Read More nicely summarizing the “need to know” shortcuts. Apart from Firefox, there are cheat sheets for Gmail, Windows, Mac OS X and several other.

3. How to NOT get bogged down by 404s


Your favorite website down? Rather than visiting it later, or hitting the refresh button incessantly, you can try installing ErrorZilla, a firefox extension which will add Try Again, Google Cache, Coralize, Wayback, Ping, Trace, and Whois buttons, when a website isn’t found or a web server is down.

Think of it as a much more useful 404 error page where rather than just telling you the page doesn’t exist – it allows you to search and visit cached versions of the page.

4. How to load up web pages faster


Fasterfox is an extension which dips under the hood to tweak many network and rendering settings such as simultaneous connections, pipelining, cache, DNS cache, and initial paint delay.

Previously, these were tweaks which you had to manually adjust – but now they work right out of the box once you use this handy extension.

5. How to download files faster

firefox download manager plugin

Originally skeptical when I first tried this out, I have been completely blown away by how effective this software is. DownloadThemAll is a free extension which acts as a download manager (meaning you can pause and resume downloads), and download files faster by having them simultaneously download.  This is quite possibly my favorite extension out of all five.

So there you have it, 5 speedy tips which will helpfully make your browsing on Firefox an even faster, more powerful experience. If you liked these tips, don’t forget to check out our useful Firefox manual!

What time saving browsing tips for Firefox do you have?  I’d love to hear about them in the comments!

Photo credit: LaiHiu

  1. kushtrimi
    November 24, 2009 at 2:14 pm

    My friend Thank You very much for this tips !!!!!!!!!

  2. raj
    November 21, 2009 at 5:42 am

    it was a very useful article

  3. docspike
    October 19, 2009 at 1:55 am

    Fasterfox is awesome!

  4. Amazooo
    August 6, 2009 at 1:28 am

    Firefox now update to 3.5.2.
    I see it more much changes.
    I think we don't have to make it up more faster.

  5. albüm indir
    July 9, 2009 at 2:11 pm

    I am grateful to you for this great content:)

  6. Karma
    June 15, 2009 at 3:25 am

    Due to all these useful extension, firefox has been able to beat other popular web browsers.

  7. V.C
    June 6, 2009 at 12:11 am

    It might useful with the older version.
    I'm looking for some ways to optimize Firefox 3.0.10
    I changed something in about:config and now it seem to be slower.

  8. Julian
    February 21, 2009 at 1:53 am

    wow....this is what I've been looking for...
    finally can make my firefox faster......
    great....nice post

  9. Brian
    February 20, 2009 at 3:10 pm

    Your list was okay until you hit upon Fasterfox.

  10. Chhokanu
    February 20, 2009 at 12:29 am

    Also for .net address press SHIFT+ENTER and for .org CTRL+SHIFT+ENTER.

  11. MysLykeMeeh
    February 19, 2009 at 11:01 am

    Very helpful...

  12. Photo Sharing
    February 19, 2009 at 8:57 am

    Ctrl + Enter (in address bar) - autocomplete .com
    Shift + Enter (in address bar) - autocomplete .net
    Ctrl + Shift + Enter.... .org

  13. spellathon
    February 19, 2009 at 7:57 am

    Yeah, I have been using DTA for a while and its great, never used Faster Fox, might give it a try as I have experiencing slow browsing for some days. Thanks for the tips.

  14. VoteAudrey
    February 19, 2009 at 7:41 am

    Good stuff--must say I was clueless to most of those :)

  15. Erik
    February 19, 2009 at 5:51 am

    Thanks James, very useful article. Can’t have enough speed!!

  16. Johannes
    February 19, 2009 at 4:51 am

    @Tim: I don't like mouse gestures as I had to move my hand to the mouse for using them (too much work, I'm not at the gym!)

    The use of Fasterfox is... well... reducing the initial display delay will make you feel faster, but usually it does not speed up the first display of content but further delay it a bit because firefox needs to render an incomplete page. The defaults should work well for most people. It is useful if you are on a slow line which will slow down even more if you open as many connections as firefox does on default (worked well for me on a 64kBit/s connection, the fastest you get in less populated areas of Germany, thanks to greedy Telekom, you may know its part "T-Mobile", oh I really like them...).

    The Firefox cheat sheet is great (all of the cheat sheets are!), as are the three extensions mentioned in the article.

  17. Dan
    February 19, 2009 at 12:38 am

    I can't install this..

    Firefox could not install the file at

    because: Invalid file hash (possible download corruption)

  18. Splendid Kid
    February 19, 2009 at 12:33 am

    I have just made some tweakings in my Firefox config. I just loved too the downthemall addon. It makes me enjoy downloading.

  19. Dave
    February 18, 2009 at 11:21 pm

    Twitter is the Internet toilet for micro-blogging diarrhea

  20. Yogindernath
    February 18, 2009 at 11:00 pm

    Amazing tips...........

  21. Peter
    February 18, 2009 at 9:56 pm

    The best way to speed up Firefox is to switch to Google Chrome. I love everything about Firefox except its speed. Chrome is way faster, so I put up with the current lack of extensions like an ad blocker etc. Mozilla really need to address the speed issue with Firefox and they need to do it now.

    • makka
      February 19, 2009 at 10:52 am

      Firefox isn't that slow. Maybe you should get off your old 56k modem? ;-) (or maybe your firewall is crazy)

  22. Laura
    February 18, 2009 at 9:19 pm

    I also love CoolPreviews by CoolIris. It allows you to preview websites without having to open an additional tab and is a super efficient way to browse the internet!

  23. Tim
    February 18, 2009 at 9:50 am

    "2. How to use keyboard shortcuts to get instant results" There's a way even faster than using keyboard shortcuts. Just install a Firefox-Add-On for mouse-gestures (i.e. All-in-One Gestures) and then you're able to control Firefox nearly completely with your mouse only.

  24. Amir
    February 18, 2009 at 7:25 am

    automatically loading the next page.
    GooglmonkyR is a script for the job.

  25. Simon Slangen
    February 17, 2009 at 2:38 pm

    Thanks James, very useful article. Can't have enough speed! :-D

  26. Chris
    February 17, 2009 at 1:27 pm

    I love DTA! It makes things so much faster. Try it with an Ubuntu .iso

  27. Zoopaman
    February 17, 2009 at 1:20 pm

    There's another unpublished tip that might come in handy - you can press the APOSTROPHE ( ' ) key for a links-only search (just like Ctrl+F but for links)


    • SteveW
      February 17, 2009 at 3:32 pm

      Thanks, yesterday that search box came up, & I was wondering how I did it!

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