Why is Firefox so slow?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Mdv2, Dec 18, 2012.

  1. Mdv2 macrumors regular

    Feb 26, 2008
    I've been using Firefox for years and refuse to abandon it as I am very fond of the initiative. Flash and Mac has never really been a good combination. I can't understand why Mac's still run crazy hot (or is it just mine?) when Youtube videos are loaded. Not just that, but sites like www.uefa.com and www.transfermarkt.de load irritatingly slow - even when a Flash blocker is used.

    It takes Firefox 9 seconds to load www.transfermarkt.de whereas Safari does the job in just 4(!) seconds.

    Another reason why I will continue to use Firefox is the multirow bookmark bar, which I really love, but these issues with Flash and slowness are rather annoying.

    Is it just me or do you all have these issues?
  2. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5


    Jun 6, 2003
    Solon, OH
    I use Chrome mostly these days. That being said, I do keep Firefox around. I have not had general slowness issues with Firefox, even back in the day when I tested Nightly builds. ;)

    That being said, the most common causes of slow Firefox are:
    1. Corrupted profile
    2. Overloaded profile (too many add-ons)
    3. Add-on load failures
    4. Corrupted history (this happened to me, was a real pain in the rear to correct)
  3. sidewinder macrumors 68020


    Dec 10, 2008
    Northern California
    Try the latest Aurora build.....it loaded that page in 4 second on my Mac.

  4. Sital macrumors 68000


    May 31, 2012
    New England
    I'm on Firefox 17 and it loaded that site in about 4 seconds.
  5. durruti macrumors regular


    Mar 26, 2004
    Firefox seventeen?

  6. hkim1983 macrumors 6502

    Feb 5, 2009
    17.0.1 is the most current public version.
  7. dakwar macrumors 6502

    Nov 2, 2010
    Damn. 17 already.
  8. Mdv2 thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 26, 2008
    Thanks for the input, guys. Could it be the relatively old processor? I have a late 2008 Macbook Unibody (2 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 8GB 1067 DDR3, 256GB SSD)
  9. Mdv2 thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 26, 2008
    I guess it could be something like this. I just booted Firefox in safe-mode and the website mentioned previously did load in 4 seconds. I'll switch off add-ons one after another to see what's the culprit.

    By the way, what files should I copy to the profile folder for a clean install? I know the files for passwords and bookmarks, but what about add-on settings and general preferences?
  10. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5


    Jun 6, 2003
    Solon, OH
    Add-on settings (along with the add-ons themselves) live in the extensions folder inside your profile. General preferences are stored in the prefs.js file. The various other files in there contain cookies and a whole bunch of other profile-specific stuff.
  11. Isamilis macrumors 6502a

    Apr 3, 2012
    I am not sure if this is related to your questions. I have mid-2009 MacBook pro which runs hot during watching YouTube, regardless using safari or Firefox. This is also true when watching movies. When I buy the new MacBook air 2012 both YouTube and movie watching is much cooler. It's just a little bit warm. My guess is this may be related to processor (c2duo vs ivy).
  12. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5


    Jun 6, 2003
    Solon, OH
    In answer to your question:
    The Ivy Bridge CPUs do run cooler than the Core 2 Duos did for the same work load. You must also consider other factors, though, like the amount of RAM in each system, to make a decisive determination.
  13. Buduls macrumors newbie

    Oct 21, 2011
    I don't know how fast or slow each browser is in daily use (I guess it does not matter that much, speed is not that noticeable) but when I tried to load a page with lots of animated gif images, Safari was the slowest, beachballed and choppy to scroll through the page, Chrome did not beachball but scrolling was not smooth (more like jumping than scrolling) and Firefox with Opera both were very smooth. It was on 2009 mbpro.

    (The page in question was http://gizmodo.com/5967396/whats-yo..._source=gizmodo_twitter&utm_medium=socialflow with Show All comments)
  14. bryan.cfii macrumors member

    May 13, 2011
    Iowa City, IA
    www.transfermarkt.de in FF 20 only took 5-6sec for me

    Not sure why, but I don't experience these slow downs like people so often do with FF. I do clean my system out a lot though...


    I often go through browsers for my department at school and test the latest and greatest. At least twice a month I go through and test multiple versions of Firefox, Safari, Chrome, and Opera. Other more obscure browsers I leave alone unless they pop up as something that is prevalent on the network.

    I've been using Firefox 20a1 and next to Chrome Canary 26.0.1378.0 and the nightly Webkit for Safari I personally don't see all that much difference. I've even done tests on my coworkers where I've covered the navigation bars at the top of the screen with paper to see if people could guess by perceived screen speed which browser they were looking at by load times. Webkit browsers when they are on, they are on and do get guessed correctly, but just as often Firefox and Opera can fool them almost 50% of the time on certain sites. They are all fast. It just depends.

    Chrome is obviously more web compliant when it comes to the html5 support hands down. It runs sites smooth and always scores extremely high on just about any test I throw at it. A person can't argue that, but lightning fast COMPARED to Firefox, no. I see Chrome hang on sites that Firefox doesn't and vise versa. Webkit is good on some sites and not on others. It just depends.

    Chrome is responsive and sold, and so is Safari. Safari just feels smooth on the mac... but I don't see these hangs, unresponsiveness, or crashes in Firefox on a daily basis. About all I get annoyed about is the yahoo news videos that don't always play for some reason. I really don't see how Firefox is any uglier than say Safari either.

    I can't use Chrome because it's just too rudimentary when it comes to bookmarks and searching. I do a lot of research and I need more control over what I see, what I get, and how I can organize it.
    Chrome just can't do it. I've discussed my issues in Chromes forums and I'm not the only person who has gone around and around with Chromes developers.
    Talk about people who don't care.
    They are so arrogant that they just flat out tell the thousands of people asking for a feature they don't care and won't implement it.

    Safari at least makes and attempt to not only delineate what search results your looking at, but it also tries to organize to an extent. It's not too bad, but lacks a little. Bookmarks are better than Chrome, but still no Keywords or anything.
    Chromes search engine search is an okay substitute for keywords, but not the same when you get into it and use it.
    My issues with Chrome that keep me in Firefox:

    Proxy (independent of the OS)
    search bar result prioritization.
    search bar exclusion of certain things.
    Bookmark organization and Keywords
    Download organization
    Printing (Chrome's gotten better, but still not there).
    Memory usage (Chrome spreads out its memory usage over many processes and routinely uses cumulatively more than FF).
    Chrome doesn't always dump all the memory used like people say, but is good about it mostly.
    CPU usage (little bit higher usage and thus kills off about 35 minutes on a full battery charge on my MBP w/flashblock).

    My tests have consistently shown Safari to be about the best on battery consumption on a portable. For me, Firefox comes in on average 12 minutes under Safari's battery life. Opera is similar to Firefox on battery. Chrome is always last.

    If a student comes into me and says I need advise, I want battery life to get me through the day, I tell them Safari, FF or Opera. If they say they are worried about browser crashes, I tell them to try Chrome as long as they don't expect too much in the way of customizing. Plenty of add ons though I think.

    I personally still use Firefox.
  15. buddyspencer macrumors 6502

    Oct 4, 2005
    Firefox = no Trackpad gestures! So a no go for me.

    +1 for Safari
  16. ShabbyClick macrumors newbie

    Oct 11, 2012
    Slow MacbookPro.

    Hello everyone,
    I was looking at this forum and am following an advise on it, attaching screen shots of my activity monitor.
    If someone has a minute to look at it that would be very helpful.
    Thank you very much.

    Attached Files:

  17. Mdv2 thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 26, 2008
    Having finished my thesis, I finally had time to figure out the real bottleneck. Switching on and off the various addons showed that Ghostery is the real problem. I have now switched to BetterPrivacy and the response issues are solved.

    Another problem you may be able to help me with is Flash. I am not sure if Youtube supports HTML5 support for Firefox 18, but CPU and especially memory consumption are substantially lower when using Safari in comparison to Firefox, resulting in a lower fan speed.

    I have read many times that this is because Flash and Mac don't go together well, but frankly speaking, I am little bit fed up with this excuse. It just needs to work well or is it just me experiencing this?
  18. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5


    Jun 6, 2003
    Solon, OH
    Alas, I can't provide a whole lot of insight since I actively take steps to block Flash whenever I can.
  19. ShabbyClick macrumors newbie

    Oct 11, 2012
    thank you for responding. Being new to forum's of any kind I didn't update the status. not cool. anyway: what helped me with this issue is installing SpeedyFox. I am not sure how but it does what it promises. Another thing i found is that i rebooted my modem hard way, suspecting internet theft. Mainly because it would throw me out every few hours. That fixed it, and works fine from then on. Knock on wood.
    But thanks again.

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