December 3, 2004

Firefox Minimizing Bug

In a post back a couple of months ago I wrote about a problem I was having with Firefox, where if it had been minimized for a long time it would take forever to wake back up. I wondered if I was the only one having the problem, or if there was a bug report hidden somewhere in the maze that is Bugzilla. Well today I got my answer, thanks to Brian Livingston’s newsletter. I finally found that bug report. It’s Bug #76831, Slow startup after long periods of inactivity. There are over 400 comments, and the consensus still seems to be that nobody knows quite what is causing it, but it has something to do with memory management. Brian’s newsletter has one solution, and I’m giving it a try right now. We’ll see if it helps:

Fortunately, there’s a hidden setting that can accomplish the restoration of Firefox windows much more quickly:

Step 1. Use about:config to create a new, Boolean value. Type or paste the following string into the dialog box that appears:

config.trim_on_minimize

Step 2. Click OK to close the dialog box. Change the value from “true” to “false” and restart Firefox.

This doesn’t piggishly retain all of the RAM that Firefox has claimed. If Windows needs more RAM to devote to another application, Windows can take it. What the setting does is prevent Firefox from giving up most of its RAM until the memory is actually required elsewhere.

Filed under The Computer Vet Weblog

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