Why The Hell Does Firefox (Still) Eat Up So Much Memory?

Posted March 1, 2011 7:00 am by with 11 comments

Currently I’m running the Firefox 4 Beta 12 browser on both my netbook with XP and desktop with Win7 64-bit. On both systems, Firefox still has the same memory-releasing problem it has had for years. As such, I find it mandatory to run Memory Fox.

Why do I continue to deal with Fx even though it’s a memory-muncher?

Because it’s the best browser that exists. Fx never has a problem with any site I go to whether new, old or anywhere in between. It also has the best add-ons, period.

To those that would say "Use Chrome!" No. I’ve already been down that road. Chromies sing the praises of how great that browser is, but in reality it’s the absolute worst power user’s browser. Bookmark management is beyond horrible, the extensions available are half-assed compared to Fx’s add-on directory, profile management is a joke, and the list goes on and on.

For you Chromies out there, you can have your browser because I won’t touch it. I’ve had my rounds with both Chrome and Chromium, I gave the browser a fair shot, and um.. no.

Is it Fx’s fault alone that it eats up so much memory?

Not entirely.

The browser blows up in memory use beyond belief whenever you run into your friend and mine, Flash. I have noticed that when I’m not viewing Flash-heavy sites that Fx 4 does at least remain civilized in terms of how much memory it uses. It also has a much easier time releasing memory.

Video sites in particular like YouTube is where Fx really starts getting chunked up. Granted, Memory Fox keeps things in check, but the fact I have to use that just to avoid browser restarts is beyond dumb.

Is it true that if you use a Flash blocker that Fx runs a whole lot lighter on resources? Yes.

How do you know when Memory Fox is doing its job?

Via Task Manager:

image

It’s really cool Memory Fox works as well as it goes, but like I said, the fact I have to use it makes no sense. This is 2011, the internet has some good tenure under its belt and Fx should be able to release memory on its own after closing a tab, yet that doesn’t happen.

Why, Firefox? Why?

In the meantime, if you’re a Fx user, it’s pretty much mandatory that you need Memory Fox. Get it here.

UPDATE: For those of you posting comments stating the Memory Fox add-on doesn’t exist in Firefox Add-On directory, that’s because the new revision is under review and that the download is temporarily (keyword) inactive, as stated in big huge disgusting letters on the browsermemory.com home page. The add-on will get back into the directory soon enough. Calm down.

11 responses to Why The Hell Does Firefox (Still) Eat Up So Much Memory?

  1. jdeb March 1st, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    The answer may be memory leaks. I have uninstalled some extensions and plug ins and no themes seem to help. Memory Fox is a must like you said. I did help myself a little recently by checking my plug-ins with this tool http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/plugincheck/

    I agree about Chrome it is fast but bookmarking is a pain.

        Reply

    • James Jacobs March 2nd, 2011 at 6:42 am

      I love firefox why? Because I’m used to it. If I change browser its like changing my nokia celphone to a sony ericsson celphone, a totally different features.

          Reply

  2. David Risley March 1st, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    Firefox is dead to me these days… for everything except when I need to use Firebug for web dev, since I like it better in FF.

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    • Kidd March 1st, 2011 at 6:52 pm

      What is your browser of choice?

          Reply

  3. Streetballin08 March 1st, 2011 at 6:25 pm

    I thought I was alone. I thought I was crazy. Almost everyone I know uses Chrome, but it just never sat well with me. I tried using it time and time again, but I would just get annoyed after a few days and go back to Firefox. Thanks for the reminder about memory fox. I completely forgot about it and now I’m off to go download it!

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  4. Aaron Fournier March 2nd, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    Firefox is my favorite browser for the reasons you mentioned above, but I have found myself using Chromium has my primary browser because how light it feels while browsing. Also (and probably the main reason), is that Firefox doesn’t handle Google Docs very well. Namely presentation and I use that a lot.

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  5. Jkc054 March 3rd, 2011 at 12:49 am

    I tried the link that Rick posted for Memory Fox and found this “We’re sorry, but we can’t find what you’re looking for”when I tried to download ver 5.6, 5.7 is not available either. WTF?

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    • KenH March 3rd, 2011 at 12:04 pm

      Same here. Plus a search for ‘Memory Fox’ at Mozilla Add-ons yields 0 results.

          Reply

  6. Rfcdvc45 March 3rd, 2011 at 7:33 am

    Rich,

    I agree with you on most of this, and use FF as my primary browser. But, how can you say that Firefox never has a problem with any site you go to? I’ve experienced many sites that just don’t render properly with FF. A quick click with the IEview extension usually solves this, but it is by no means an uncommon occurrence.

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  7. Mary C. March 4th, 2011 at 9:59 am

    chrome is a guzzler. It doesn’t have basic tools that are essential for workign on internet. It doesn’t have good copy tools such as plain text copy. It doesn’t load and worst of all it sends up balloons of pop-ups warning you that it doesn’t load therefore impeding the process of loading. If it wins in the hacking contest as unhackable, it’s because youecan never get a page to load. there is no real way to stop the horrible flash and it doesn’t begin to live up to the claims of Google. It conflicts with other programs if you’re woprking in graphics or photogrpahy/ Has no memepry for reloading multiple windows and tabs, no real bookmarks and if you want to reopen anything from history, you have to search through endless piles of links. There’s no session manager of any kind or recovery to reopen past sessions. In this sense, it’s a total loss.

    Chrome can never find google. And trying to open gmail on chrome can take forever. It’s total disconnect.
    It’s best for primitive browsing on nternet. that’s all, just so long as you don’t expect a page to load under a minute or two minutes. 5tabs on 1 chrome window eat more cpu than 19windows and 95 tabs in FF. that is pretty sad.and getting endless pop-ups to remind you how imcompetent it is or that it just crashed again is incredibly irritating. about 7.8 on Richter Scale of Aggravation.

        Reply

    • Kidd March 4th, 2011 at 3:24 pm

      If nothing else, Chrome is fast. Yes, it’s a memory hog, which is a good reason to get more RAM or not use it on an older machine.

          Reply

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