spring cleaning for firefox


It's not quite Spring yet, but with the release of Firefox 3.6, now would be a great time to give your browser a good cleaning.

First, make sure you're on the latest Firefox. In the Help menu, select Check for updates... and apply any updates offered.

Next, let's look at your extensions. Go to Tools -> Add-ons... and select the "Extensions" tab. Scroll through your list of extensions and if you see one that you're not using regularly, go ahead and click the Disable button. This won't remove the add-on, it'll just stop it loading up when you start Firefox. You can always re-enable it if you decide you need it back. Next, look and see if you have any extensions that you disabled in the past that you probably won't be using again. Let's remove those. Simply click the Uninstall button.

Go ahead and restart Firefox at this point. You might already notice a big speed-up in Firefox's start-up time.

Now that we've taken care of extensions, let's look at your plug-ins. Plug-in vendors are notorious for adding plug-ins to Firefox without asking you so you might have a few there you don't need or want. To check, go to Tools -> Add-ons again. This time, select the "Plug-ins" tab. Scroll through that list. In my experience the only plug-ins that are really useful are Flash and Silverlight. (and the "Mozilla Default Plug-in"). Unless you know you need it, go ahead and disable any other plug-ins in the list. This will probably help Firefox perform better and certainly keep you safer. You can always re-enable the plug-in if you find that you need it later.

Go ahead and restart Firefox so these plug-ins get unloaded from your browser.

One final clean-up I like to do is to "vacuum" my history and bookmarks database. There is an extension called Vacuum Places that makes this really easy. Once you install the extension and restart Firefox, you should see a button in your statusbar that will trigger the clean-up. You should only have to do this once (and you can then disable or uninstall the add-on) because Firefox 3.6 now does its own periodic cleaning. This will just give you a jump so you don't have to wait on Firefox to do it automatically.

With those simple steps, you'll probably have a much faster, more stable, and overall happier Firefox.


I always disable Adobe Acrobat, we really don't want this automatic loading stuff. It's not safe terrible anymore.

So I take it that you don't do Windows Asa? :)

You could always just uninstall Adobe Acrobat from your machine altogether and get an alternative PDF viewer like Foxit, or just use OpenOffice.org.

I keep disabling windows media player, M$ drm and many other unwanted plugins from M$ but as soon as my wife runs win messenger they get all enabled again WITHOUT MY PERMISSION!

Can mozilla do something about it?

If I say disable can it stay DISABLED?

How about removing them FOREVER?

Any option to do that and stay like that?

"Mozilla Default Plug-in", so where can I get information on that? What it is for and what it does?

Daniel, here's an explanation of the Mozilla Default Plug-in. http://ilias.ca/blog/2005/09/the-mozilla-default-plug-in/

- A

"First, make sure you're on the latest Firefox."

An Open Letter to Mozilla: RE Ubuntu

Summary: "Mozilla needs to make an official repository for Ubuntu."

Please :)

And what about language pack?

And what about the fact that some language pack previously disabled can be enabled upon upgrading Firefox?

I notice that you've got the Plugin Check banner on your site but unfortunately the Plugin Check in my experience is not reliable.

For example, Adobe issued a press release saying there is a vulnerability in Flash and recommending users install, however the Plugin Check page says my currently-installed version of Flash,, is "Up to date". For the average user relying on this page, they will be misinformed - thinking they're safe when they aren't. Why isn't the Plugin Check page actually kept up to date?

For those who are on Mac OS X 10.6, you can gain more than 20% in startup by use of per file compression on the filesystem.

Download http://web.me.com/brkirch/brkirchs_Software/afsctool/afsctool.html

Drop it in to your /bin or home directory, and simply use the command in terminal:

$ afsctool -c /Applications/Firefox.app/

See bug https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=514083

Just run this command every time a new release version of Firefox comes out - as the compression is lost when the app updates.

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