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  1. #1
    Senior Coder missing-score's Avatar
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    Serious memory usage in Firefox

    Ive been having an issue with Firefox 1.5+ versions of firefox where:

    • Firefox is always using a fair bit of memory, regardless of how many tabs I have open
    • Sometimes the memory/processor usage jumps incredibly high for no appearent reason


    At the time of writing the memory usage is 63MB... thats not too bad I dont think, I have 3 tabs open. This is lower than usual but I have only just opened up firefox.

    Firefox has crashed (well, gone into not-responding) twice today, each time with a memory usage of nearly 300MB. The second time round it was constantly using about 95% of my processor time (AMD 64 3200+, 2.0GhZ -> very fast).

    In the past I have had it go into using 700+ MB of memory, at which time my whole computer started to slow down.

    Is this just affecting me, or is it a known problem or what? Any information would be appreciated.

  • #2
    Regular Coder kewlceo's Avatar
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    It's not uncommon for people to shutdown and restart Firefox to reclaim memory, so you aren't alone in experiencing the memory leak. I don't remember ever having high processory usage because of the 'fox though.

    Here's a great trick for reclaiming memory without rebooting:
    • Open Firefox and go to the Address Bar. Type in about:config and then press Enter.
    • Right-click in the page and select New -> Boolean.
    • In the box that pops up enter config.trim_on_minimize. Press Enter.
    • Now select True and then press Enter.
    • Restart Firefox.

    Now instead of restarting Firefox, all you have to do is minimize it to reclaim memory.
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  • #3
    Senior Coder missing-score's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kewlceo
    It's not uncommon for people to shutdown and restart Firefox to reclaim memory, so you aren't alone in experiencing the memory leak. I don't remember ever having high processory usage because of the 'fox though.

    Here's a great trick for reclaiming memory without rebooting:
    • Open Firefox and go to the Address Bar. Type in about:config and then press Enter.
    • Right-click in the page and select New -> Boolean.
    • In the box that pops up enter config.trim_on_minimize. Press Enter.
    • Now select True and then press Enter.
    • Restart Firefox.

    Now instead of restarting Firefox, all you have to do is minimize it to reclaim memory.
    Doesn't that mean that it will take longer to load up when I maximize it again, or is it just a fix to free up unused memory? Thanks for your input though
    Edit: The thing is, I'm quite happy for firefox to use 100-300 MB of RAM if it needs it, I have a GB and can easily add more if thats the issue... Its just that I'm only getting this kind of memory usage when firefox is close to crashing. For example, at the present moment I have about 100 tabs open in 3 windows and its using 200MB of memory... which I'm fine with. The crashes and high memory (and very occasionally high processor) only seem to happen sometimes, and ive usually got hardly anything open when they do.

  • #4
    Regular Coder kewlceo's Avatar
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    There's no lag time at all.

    Crashes in Firefox seem to happen more often with multiple windows rather than tabs. I always have a ton of tabs open, but seldom more than one window. Rarely do I get a crash, but when it happens it's usually related to following a link that I shouldn't have. Fortunately, with SessionSaver I can either restore my previous session or dump it.

    How many extensions do you have installed? Perhaps one of them (assuming you have any) is responsible?
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  • #5
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    I've heard of people having memory leak issues with Firefox but I haven't experienced them myself.
    OracleGuy

  • #6
    Senior Coder JamieR's Avatar
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    I've seen problems with it but not really experienced it much myself...once I had about 14 tabs open and memory use only peaked at 109mb. My main pc has 2 gigs of ram, and the highest I've seen FF use on there is about 70mb.

  • #7
    Senior Coder missing-score's Avatar
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    After doing some research I found out that IETab, appearently, has some memory leak issues. I haven't tried to fix it but I have downloaded the latest version of all my (7) extensions. I wasn't aware any needed updating.

    Honestly, I would rather have to deal with 1-2 crashes a day than sacrifice my extensions or multi-window browsing so it might just be something I have to deal with.

    What this "session saver" that you mentioned?

  • #8
    Regular Coder kewlceo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by missing-score
    What this "session saver" that you mentioned?
    Sessionsaver

    SessionSaver restores your browser -exactly- as you left it, every startup, every time. Not even a crash will phase it. Windows, tabs, even things you were typing -- they're all saved. Use the menu to add + remove sessions; right, shift, or middle-clicking will delete. "Simple mode" for peace of mind, or "Expert mode" for advanced flexibility. Just Click. Install. Rad.
    I really like the "snapback" feature. If you inadvertantly close a tab, you can restore it exactly as it was (including any text you have typed, etc).
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  • #9
    Senior Coder JamieR's Avatar
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    Hmm I've got IETab and I've never have any (well I don't think I have) problem with it...I have the latest version.
    Last edited by JamieR; 04-27-2006 at 12:09 AM.

  • #10
    Regular Coder kewlceo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by weazel
    Hmm I've got IETab and I've never have any (well I don't think I have) problem with it...I have the latest version.
    Same experience here. In fact, I have 24 extensions and they all seem well-behaved, though of course they do run up the memory useage.
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  • #11
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    I rarely crash and have IETab, too. Same problem as someone mentioned, when I click on some link and only with certain sites. Haven't taken the time to figure that out yet. I've also heard IETab has a leak problem and most problems with IE like this occur due to extensions and not FF itself.

    300MB! I've gotten half way there before but that's all. There are some articles out by Asa Dotson and others at Mozillazine about all this.

  • #12
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    i dropped IETab and saw a huge reduction. I also disabled prefetching in fasterfox, and switched to TabMixPlus for tab-power.

  • #13
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    I have never noticed any problems, but even if I did, they would have to be a big deal for me to come back to IE.

  • #14
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    I've seen Firefox consume huge amounts of memory, but even more commonly huge amounts of CPU doing nothing. But it only ever happens if I've visited a page that uses a plugin (Flash, Quicktime and noninteractive movieplayers). Haven't happened since I got rid of Flash and Quicktime.
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  • #15
    Supreme Overlord Spookster's Avatar
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    I've never had memory issues with FF. I also use Linux so I don't have an O/S that is eating up most of the resources either. Anyways I just opened up 14 tabs and the memory went from 57Mb's to 95Mb's.

    http://www.designqueue.com/photos/firefoxmemory.png

    I'd say that's pretty great considering IE eats up like 30Mb's per window.
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