Firefox memory leak (8)
Jan 11, 2006
I've been noticing recently that Firefox takes up several hundred MBs in the Windows Task Manager after I've opened and closed a bunch of tabs. This is a bad thing. So I looked it up.
This site says to go to "about:config", create a new integer called "browser.cache.memory.capacity", and set it equal to "16384". The problem is that this did nothing. Apparently, it only works in older versions of Firefox.
This site says to go to "about:config", create a new boolean value called "config.trim_on_minimize", and set it equal to "true". Whenever you minimize Firefox, the memory usage will go down considerably. Mozilla knows about the problem and agrees with this solution. I tried it and it worked. #technology
Definetely works. 44mb down to 2 with a minimize. Outstanding
Thank you for this, it was just what I was looking for.
42 mb down to 1.6 when minimized, and up to only 18 when back in use for a while.
I open a lot of tabs. 164 MB down to 6.6 MB.
Firefox memory leak workaround
Uh, Mozilla set that preference to its default value for a reason. If you set that to true, Windows will probably page most of Mozilla to disk when minimized. This means that when you go to restore the window, it will take forever to draw anything. You're certainly welcome to do whatever you want to your own browser, but I wouldn't recommend this for anyone. In addition, it's wrong to characterize this as a fix for a "memory leak" since paging memory to disk does not really reclaim it.
I think I read somewhere that this "problem" isn't really a problem. It was intended to act that way for a reason. That's fine. I just know that there's a way to fix the symptom, and this frees up memory or something like that. Good enough for me.
It probably is paging it off to disk, and I've noticed a delay of a couple seconds redrawing the window if I have about a dozen tabs open. However, I'm obviously not in great need of a lot of the information that is no longer in RAM, since it is perfectly responsive after those couple seconds, and using 50 MB less RAM. I tend to think of a memory leak as something that fills up my RAM with information I don't need (making the space unavailable to useful things), so for me, this qualifies.
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