5 Must-Have Firefox Addons for Faster Web Browsing

Joel Lee 29-04-2016

In a lot of ways, Firefox is just an average browser Which Browser Is Best? Edge vs. Chrome vs. Opera vs. Firefox The browser you're using right now may not be the best one for you. The browser arena changes so frequently that your conclusions from comparisons made last year may be completely wrong this year. Read More . It isn’t terrible but neither is it top notch. It’s dependable but ultimately unremarkable. It gets the job done but that’s about it — and if that’s all you want out a web browser, great! Don’t let us sway you away.


This does present a problem though: Firefox’s speed and performance can sometimes suffer. And while there are a few web browsing efficiency tips Browse Faster and Better With These 5 Simple Solutions I have found various easy ways that give me the opportunity to rest my hands. These methods allow me to browse super fast, which is crucial for a web worker, and are efficient overall. Read More that you can use to smooth it out a bit, you’ll probably want to kick it up a few more notches, especially if your computer is on the older side.

Here are a few addons that can help. Yes, we know that too many addons can slow down your browser 5 Little-Known Factors That Could Affect Your Browser Speed There are few computer-related issues that are more irritating than a slow browser. If your browsing is being held back, check these five things to get it back up to speed. Read More , and the irony isn’t lost on us. Still, if you’re judicious about how many you install, you’ll find that these can actually be very effective.

1. Auto Unload Tab

If you’re like me and you tend to open up dozens of different tabs that you intend to visit later on in the day, then you’re probably well-acquainted with the fact that these tabs can slow Firefox to a crawl 3 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Install Lots Of Browser Extensions [Opinion] We all love our browsers, and we all love the extensions that you can install with them. We love browser extensions because they allow us to do what we want our browser to do that... Read More because of all the CPU and RAM that they use up in the background.

Frustrating, to say the least.



That’s why you need to start using Auto Unload Tab right away. Its main feature is the ability to “unload” tabs, which frees them from RAM and makes them stop using CPU cycles (e.g. no more background JavaScript execution, etc). Not only does this speed up your browsing, but also reduces battery usage on laptops.

Notable features include:

  • Automatically unload tabs after X minutes of inactivity.
  • Protect certain tabs from being unloaded.
  • Decide whether pinned tabs are unloaded as well.
  • Manually unload tabs with a single click.
  • Blacklist and whitelist for certain websites.

2. Flashblock [No Longer Available]

If you’ve tried everything and Firefox is still unbearably slow for you How To Keep Firefox From Getting Unbearably Slow I don’t like Firefox. I think it is a monolithic, huge, heavy browser, and its XPI-based architecture feels slow and dated. Firefox is more flexible than other browsers like Chrome but it also gradually slows... Read More , then you should consider the possibility that Flash is slowing you down. Though Flash usage across the web is on the decline, it’s still around — mostly in the form of videos and ads, which can require a lot of CPU.



The Flashblock plugin auto-detects Flash objects and disables them, preventing them from loading in the first place. It then replaces those objects with placeholders to show you that something was blocked and allow you to manually enable them on a case-by-case basis.

Flashblock allows you to whitelist certain sites if necessary.

3. Image Block

Flash objects aren’t the only web elements that can take a while to load. These days, file sizes for web images are getting bigger and bigger, which means they take longer to download and process — and for Firefox, that also means a delay in the entire page-loading procedure.



Image Block disables the loading of all images while browsing new pages. You’d be surprised how much faster the web actually is once images are out of the picture! And yes, this addon actually blocks those images — it doesn’t just hide them.

If you ever need images, you can just toggle the feature by clicking the Image Block icon in the toolbar. Extremely simple to use. The only downside is that you can’t customize it with blacklists or whitelists, but even so it’s still worth using.

4. Speed Tweaks [No Longer Available]

We’ve been recommending Speed Tweaks as a way to speed up Firefox 5 Things to Do When Firefox Runs Slow (But Other Browsers Run Fast) If Firefox feels slow compared to other web browsers, try these tips to see if you can boost its speed and restore its performance. Read More for a few years now, though back then it was known as Speedyfox. The concept of it is simple: Firefox lets you tweak all kinds of settings through the about:config page but Speed Tweaks makes the whole process easier.



For example, pipelining is a feature that’s disabled by default when you first install Firefox, but it’s often recommended that you enable it to speed up page loading. Not only does Speed Tweaks let you enable it without opening about:config, it also recommends which values to use.

Other settings you can change through Speed Tweaks include prefetching, proxy connections, IPv4 fallbacks, caching, and more. Do give it a try. There’s a good chance that you’ll immediately benefit from it.

5. BetterFox [No Longer Available]

BetterFox has one single promise to deliver on: it will make your web browsing experience 15% faster. It’s hard to know how exactly BetterFox can quantify the web browsing experience like that, but the idea is there — use this addon and Firefox will be faster.


But does it hold up to that promise? A bit, though the description is slightly misleading. BetterFox offers five features that can make Google searches more efficient:

  • Auto Scroll automatically loads the next page of results as you scroll down, so you don’t have to manually click between pages. It also provides a quick-jump button to navigate between pages.
  • Floating Search Panel that follows you even as you scroll down the page, so you don’t have to scroll all the way back up to re-search.
  • Back to Top button in case you need to scroll back up.
  • X button in the search form for instantly clearing queries.
  • Favicons in the search results to help you identify sites faster and avoid potential imposters.

Got Any More Firefox Tips?

If Firefox is still slow after using these addons, there are a few more things you should try What Can You Do To Speed Up Your Browser? If you’re like me and you spend a huge portion of your day browsing the web then you understand how frustrating it is to have a slow, bloated browser that seems to be on its... Read More : regularly clearing your cache, trimming excessive bookmarks How To Make Your Firefox Browser Start Up Faster Read More , switching your DNS servers, and tweaking a few other settings Firefox Too Slow? Optimise Your Browser With These Tricks Read More that aren’t touched by the aforementioned Speed Tweaks.

Otherwise, you may want to change browsers or wait patiently for new web technologies to become mainstream, such as Google’s AMP web pages Google Is About to Make Mobile Browsing Up to 85% Faster Google is rolling out a new standard that's going to improve mobile browsing speeds. Here's how it affects you and why you should care. Read More and MIT’s Polaris web framework MIT's Polaris Will Make the Entire Web Over 30% Faster MIT has developed a new technology that's going to speed up the entire Web by at least 30%. Here's how it works and how it compares to Google AMP and Facebook Instant Articles. Read More , both of which promise to drastically speed up the entire web.

Did these addons work for you? What other tips and tricks have you used to boost the speed of Firefox? We’d love to hear from you. Share with us down in the comments!

Image Credit: Red Fox by Carl Day via Shutterstock

Related topics: Browser Extensions, Mozilla Firefox.

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  1. BetterFox Issues
    July 5, 2016 at 11:28 pm

    Do Not Use BetterFox! It is a scam and posts review box on Google Homepage even when uninstalled. VERY UNHAPPY!

  2. Anonymous
    April 30, 2016 at 1:18 am

    It is ironic that in order to speed up Firefox, you recommend downloading more add-ons. FF without any add-ons is pretty snappy and has a relatively low memory footprint. When users start installing add-ons is when FF starts slowing down. The first 5 or 10 probably have very little effect but as users keep installing more and more add-ons and extensions, FF starts bogging down and taking up more and more memory. My suggestion would be to only keep active add-ons that are absolutely, positively necessary and disable the rest. The irony here is that users consider all add-ons they have installed as absolutely, positively necessary, otherwise they would not have installed them.

    • Anonymous
      April 30, 2016 at 11:12 pm

      I Still Do Not Have This Information For FF, But I Have Found Yet Another Extension For ( Most ? ) CHROME Clones That Will Solve That Problem With Relative Ease.



  3. Go-Konzo
    April 29, 2016 at 10:56 pm

    Firegesture. It's THE best addon for fast browsing. for me, it makes firefox (Palemoon actually) the best web experience. (also "context search" and "add to search bar" extensions)

    • Joel Lee
      May 9, 2016 at 2:35 am

      That's a good one! I'm personally not a fan of mouse gestures but they can come in handy if you learn to use them well (or so I hear). Thanks Go-Konzo. :)