Do you use Firefox? Most of our readers do and we all know that 10 open tabs can be highly problematic for our system memory. There have been times I have seen my Firefox get close to 1.5 gigs of memory. That is just unacceptable!
So what do you do? Do you stop using Firefox? Absolutely not! Will you use Internet Explorer? It is just as big of a resource hog and it causes system crashes as well (well it depends on what version you are using).
I have found a much needed extension to control and reduce the memory usage in Firefox called Memory Fox. You can grab the installer over here.
So to start, I took a look at my 4 open tabs in Firefox. They are using 256 Megs of memory. No big deal right. But a few hours from now that can balloon up to 4 times what it is. You can see my task manager open below with the Firefox process at the top hogging up my resources.
And that is on a good day! What about my Vista machine at home that ONLY runs Firefox? Take a look at the 1.4 gigs of used memory below. Sheeesh! Apps should not be allowed to do that!!
So head on over and install Memory Fox from the above link. You will need to check the checkbox next to the big green button that says Let me install this experimental add on. Once you click this checkbox you will be able to click on the big green button and download the extension.
You will be prompted to restart your browser as usual. When your browser comes back up go to the tools menu and you will see a new entry towards the bottom for Memory Fox. You will have one option to activate Memory Fox or deactivate Memory Fox. I think those options are pretty self explanatory right?
So what did I do? I think I did what any other IT dude would do – I opened 25 tabs in FireFox with a whopping 1.2 gigabytes of memory in use right off the bat. Then I activated Memory Fox like so”¦
and presto changeo – memory usage in Firefox dropped down to under 10 megs. It did jump back up to around 90 megs but the process from Memory Fox kicked in and dropped it back down to about 40 megs. And this is where we have been all day. I have not seen any other negative effects and it has indeed speeded up my web browsing. Other tasks on my computer also have more resources due to FireFox being tamed.
For those of you wondering what is behind this magic let us look to the author’s website:
Memory Fox focuses on two ( 2 ) types of memory usage and with flushing for memory recovery. When resource requirements ( Stack and Heap ) have been reached, according to the user’s preset option settings, the memory will be flushed and recovered from Fragmented Orphaned Ram memories.
Below are the two types supported for recovery.
I was unable to find my preset option but I know that it is 50 megs because that is when Memory Fox kicks in and reduces the memory utilization. All in all this is an amazing free utility and should be built into Firefox for sure!