Firefox has a plethora of extensions and themes available that enhances its capabilities and appearance. They get all the attention all the time.
Let’s today shift the focus slightly towards a few external Firefox tools that can be used to optimize Firefox:
SpeedyFox is a cool little Firefox tool which lets you optimize Firefox for speed. Firefox stores a lot of information in an sqlite database, which grows over time.
SpeedyFox takes care of any database fragmentation and thus makes Firefox zippier. You might not see a difference if you try SpeedyFox on a fresh Firefox install, it works great after you have been using Firefox for some time. Just close Firefox, run SpeedyFox and point it to the profile you want to optimize.
The optimization may take some time depending upon how much data SpeedyFox has to work with. Also don’t forget to check out The ultimate guide to speeding up Firefox 3.5
This simple Firefox tool lets you create custom Firefox installers which you can use to deploy Firefox’s preconfigured settings and add-ons. It unpacks the original Firefox setup, lets you add your own extensions, themes, preferences and then repacks to give you a silent installation package.
Although this Firefox tool was designed a long time back for a now obsolete version of Firefox, it worked pretty well for me. Download and fire it up, choose a new project and point the application to Firefox Setup that you downloaded from the web. It will extract the files, detect your Firefox profiles and show you the files that it will add to the silent installation package.
By default it adds your preferences and bookmarks, if you want to add themes and extensions you will have to download the .jar and .xpi files and add them to the files to be added to the installer. Once everything is done, it will create a file sfirefox.exe which is your new silent installation customized package. You might want to go through the readme file for some advanced tinkering.
Firefox can remember the login details for your favorite websites. All these details are encrypted and then stored in Firefox’s profile database. FirePasswordViewer lets you view these details for any Firefox profile you point it to. You can use it to get back passwords you might have forgotten and some other purposes (use your imagination here).
The Firefox tool will not work if you have enabled and set the Master Password. So it might be a good idea to set your Firefox Master password to protect yourself from such hacks. It can be set via the Security tab inside Tools > Options in Firefox.
Just when you thought setting the master password protected all the sensitive sign-on information, we present FireMaster. FireMaster can be used to recover the master password in case you forget it. However, like always, there are inherent limitations as with any password recovery tool – FireMaster uses a combination of dictionary and brute force attacks so it would take a very long time to recover any moderately strong password. All the more reason to use strong passwords. Refer FireMaster page for usage tips.
Do you know of some other tools you can use with Firefox for similar purposes? You can tell us all about them in the comments.