How To Reduce Firefox 3 Load Time On Windows

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firefox 3 load time Mozilla’s newest browser version, Firefox 3, enjoyed huge support when it launched, breaking a world record in the process. Over 8 million people, all over the world, combined to download Firefox 3, showing the potential of open source software to eclipse it’s mainstream rivals, mostly Internet Explorer.

With improved browsing features, Firefox 3’s performance over it’s earlier version Firefox 2 was plain to see. However, there was one issue that many users were starting to notice; the increased loading time when launching the browser.

This article will explain how to shorten the Firefox 3 load time, using free tools and your Windows command line.

Step One

Firstly, we will need to download a compression tool that will pack and reduce the size of your Firefox executable. This tool is called UPX (The Ultimate Packer for eXecutables).

Once downloaded, extract the file upx.exe and copy it to your Firefox installation directory (typically C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox).

firefox 3 load faster

Step Two

Close Firefox if you have it running. You will now need to open a command prompt window and change its path to the installation directory mentioned above. For those who are unfamiliar with the command prompt, there is help in a small file named Open Command Prompt Shell Extension. This will allow you to open a command window from the folder in Windows Explorer (see screenshot below).

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Step Three

With the command prompt open and path changed, copy and paste the following script into your command prompt:

for %v in (*.exe *.dll components\*.dll plugins\*.dll) do upx “C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\%v”

This command will execute the file packer which will compress your Firefox executable. Once it has finished, close all open browser windows and applications and re-launch Firefox. You should now notice an decrease in load time when starting your browser.

This tweak may be affected by any future updates to the browser but can be re-applied using the steps detailed above. Should you wish to reverse the process, you simply need to use the following script:

for %v in (*.exe *.dll components\*.dll plugins\*.dll) do upx “C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\%v”

There are a few other tweaks you can employ to speed the launch of Firefox, namely uninstalling any unused Firefox Addons and changing your home page to a blank page using about:blank

Hopefully this tweak will allow you to improve load times on whatever computer you use. If you have any further tips on how to improve your Firefox load time, please leave a comment below.

Firefox photo from Flod

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Comments (31)
  • Jack skelly

    Firefox used to take 1 to 1.5 minutes to load. I have XP and found that adding more ram took care of alot of problems. Firefox now loads in about 15 seconds.

  • Pradeep

    This one worked fine.
    I do not know the reasoning behind this.
    But, it made Firefox load faster.

    Don’t go by theories, go by conviction.

  • uu63

    Most Antivirus-checking takes longer with UPX.
    We can only benefit from UPX speed in Linux and BSD (and Mac?).

    So i’ll advise a nice tradeoff using only
    compact /c /s:”%ProgramFiles%\Mozilla Firefox” *.exe *.dll

    Dont forget to contig or defrag afterwards. (NTFS is a cruel joke…at our expense)

  • Dejan

    I know it doesn’t make sense to compress the file.
    But it works for me. Firefox is much faster now.

  • William White

    Your instructions are vague for non geeks. They should be in a list. example
    1. do this
    2 do that etc.

    You lost me at step 2
    You may be a great geek but you English skills are sorely lacking. Just look at the comments and you can see this to be true.

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This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.
Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.