Tabbed Browsing Speed Increase with Firefox 55+

Tabbed Browsing Speed Increase with Firefox 55+

Firefox 55 bring Tabbed Browsing Speed Boost

Last updated: July 31, 2017

Tabbed Browsing is SlowSince the invention of tabs or multi-page browsing, I’ve fallen victim to using my browser to park my open pages and websites that I find interesting and of great interest to come back to and address. This completely goes against my time management methods I use – Getting Things Done or GTD for short. I love David Allen and his approach to being a ninja with todo items. If I can’t do something with a piece of information within 2 minutes, then I park or file it for later action. They place I tend to “file” these future todos unfortunately are often left in my Firefox open tabs. This may sound to the average browser as familiar but they likely do not have several windows open with more than 20 tabs open in each window! And if you use many tabs while researching, working, studying – you too will find tabbed browsing speed becomes a real annoyance.

Tabbed Browsing Speed

What’s the issue with tabbed browsing speed? The simple answer is that it is very costly. Tabbed browsing is slow and a resource hog. Currently, I use 100% of my ram or system memory on my MacBook which has a standard 8gb. Firefox doesn’t handle tabs well and this creates a lag in EVERYTHING I DO on my laptop. Why? Because tabbed browsing is costly in terms of memory and processing power from my computer which often slows to a crawl and gets hot from being used at 100% capacity.

If you recall some time ago, the late Steve Jobs took it upon Apple to change the way users interact online by no longer shipping Adobe Flash with their MacBook Air. I shunned his decision at first since I knew I would have to download and load it myself. Yet what he did was critical to get others thinking about power and laptop memory usage. Some would say that Adobe Flash was a beast, a memory hog. The same can be said over 8 years later with tabbed browsing.

Let’s face it – no one uses just one tab. If you click on a link, many times it launches a new browser window or tab. When most people close their browsers these days, they do as I’ve done for year by leaving tabs open so they reopen when the browser is launched. And that’s the second tabbed browsing speed issue.

Macbook Memory from Tabbed BrowsingWhenever you launch Firefox, it looks to the previous session stored. That includes all open websites and tabs you had when the browser closed or computer was rebooted. And the time it takes my to reopen my browser? Minutes. It takes me so long to get my browser launched that I click to open and then restore my previous session. I even use an application to help store all opened sites in case Firefox loses memory and forgets the last opened tabs. Once I click restore, I walk away, get a cup of coffee or order my coffee while working remote at Starbucks. But even when I return, my computer is often still hung WAITING for Firefox to reload.

I don’t seem to have the same issue using my iPad Firefox browser. While not as slow as my laptop, it’s also not completely a laptop (wait till September 2017 for the new iOS11 for a better iPad Pro experience). You would expect once the browser loads all tabs (over 75 on average for me) that my machine would calm down and operate efficiently and that’s where it also fails.

What’s wrong with Firefox Tabbed Browsing Speed?

1) Takes minutes to load several tabs.
2) Once open, it uses considerable memory.
3) Computer slows down because Firefox uses system resources.
4) User waits for the Firefox to do common tasks.
5) Costs the user time and money waiting!

Good News!
The new Firefox 55 will solve these issues. As reported here, you can see the results firsthand by Firefox.

Comparison – loading 1691 tabs in Firefox

Recently, Mozilla’s Dietrich Ayala tested how Firefox 55 handles 1691 open tabs. He launched the same profile in multiple versions versions of Firefox: Firefox 20, 30, 40, 50-54 and the latest version coming in August 2017: Firefox 55. Here’s the results he experience on his MacBook:

Firefox Tabbed Browsing Speed Boost Startup

The startup time – time to open firefox tabs – was reduced from over 8 minutes to just 15 seconds to open (but not load) all 1691 tabs.

Memory usage also benefits from Firefox’s tabbed browsing speed increase.

Tabbed Browsing Speed Memory Usage

It takes memory usage from over 2gb to under 500mb (75% less resources used). What remains to be seen when using the new version is how it responds when you revisit each page in your tabbed viewing. Regardless, the benefits are substantial and welcomed.

My MacBook says thank you Firefox! With the release of Firefox 55, this changes once and for all. Mozilla finally addressed the Elephant in the Room. Firefox will release the update in a new version in August 2017. If you can’t wait, you can always try the new beta version here.

Currently Firefox 55 is the current Beta and will officially be released and ship on August 8, 2017. Welcome to the tabbed browsing speed like never seen before.

Next Steps:

2) Return to tabbed browsing if you gave up on this practice.
3) Continue to bookmark those tabs you really don’t need.

Now, you can enjoy the newfound time gained from a major update to an old program. Thank you Mozilla for listening and responding after years of protest, outrage and complaining from loyal tab users like me and some readers here!

Ok. Back to work and enjoying my tabbed browsing speed increase. Enjoy!

Dave Geipel

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Firefox 55+ Speedier Tab Loading
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