I’ve received several reports – or rather complaints – of excessive
slow downs in recent versions of Firefox.
I don’t have a cause, but my assistant may have stumbled onto a
A simple solution that uses a tool that I’ve discussed here before: CCleaner.
I’ll simply quote my assistant Mark:
For a long time, Firefox was acting extremely sluggish. Not responding often popped up or I’d be typing and it would freeze for a while. Other times, it would not register a few characters that I typed and then go on with the rest. I tried all the standard stuff: I cleared my browser cache, disabled all my add-ons, trimmed down my favorites. Nothing worked. I even thought of asking Leo. My God, has it come to that?
Had he asked me (no, he didn’t ), I wouldn’t have been much help. Firefox for me has been a fine and speedy browser.
But Mark wasn’t alone. We often get questions that boil down to the same thing: a very slow Firefox.
A potential solution
So today, I tried something different. I ran CCleaner and this time, I cleaned nearly everything except filled form info, site preferences, and cookies. As a result, Firefox runs as snappy as Chrome for me now. I’m not sure which information was slowing me down: maybe a combination of a couple things, but I suspect that it might have been the browsing history as there was so much stuff in it.
So, let me walk you through what Mark did.
Download and install CCleaner, if you haven’t already and run it.
Click the Applications tab and Firefox should be near the top. Make sure that the items shown above are checked: the Cache, Internet History, Download History, Session, and Compact Databases. You can also select Saved Passwords as I have here (I use LastPass for that function).
Select any other CCleaner cleaning options that you might like for other applications in the Applications tab and anything that you might like in the Windows tab. Or, alternately, disable everything else so CCleaner only works on Firefox.
You’ll need to close Firefox if it’s running and also Thunderbird because they share some underlying technology.
Click Analyze to see what CCleaner would clean, if you’re interested.
Click Run Cleaner to actually have CCleaner do its work.
With luck, you’ll now have a snappy Firefox as well.
If that didn’t help
The advice that I typically give people is to check your add-ons. More correctly, disable add-ons to Firefox to see if that makes a difference.
Often it does, as it’s one of the add-ons that is actually at the root of the problem.
When it does, you can then try selectively re-enabling add-ons to see which one is at fault.