FireFox slow to load? Auto-updates can drag you down!
The past few weeks, as I’ve further customized my FireFox installations at home and work, I’ve noticed one thing—FireFox has gotten slower and slower at work. My home computer is a monster that calculates the meaning of life in sheer moments; however, my office computer is a poor, dying Precision 670 that rattles and whimpers when VS2008 pegs the CPUs at 100%.
The other day, I started troubleshooting the slowdown.
- I removed all the “had to have” plugins to see if that was the problem. Nope.
- I disabled all of the plugins. Nope.
- I accepted that it was going to be slower than IE8 and just never closed it. Yep.
Okay, but that’s no way to live. There had to be an answer and there is!
I stumbled across this today, but it appears that the issue lies not with the computer (well, not totally), but a great deal with our slow network and the “auto update” feature of Firefox.
By turning off the auto-updates, Firefox once again starts blazing fast.
Now, the trade-off, of course, is REMEMBERING and dealing with updating my add-ons myself. I wish Firefox only checked once a week, once a day, SOMETHING—not everytime the browser opens.
Is there a way to set that? Maybe.
If you browse to about:config in Firefox, you’re presented with the various settings. From there, filter with ‘update’.
There are a few preferences that may help :
- app.update.interval – I’m assuming this is FireFox’s update interval (the first option shown above). It defaults to 86400 (assuming seconds, so that’s be 24 hours or once a day).
- browser.search.updateinterval – Assuming this is the third option shown above, updating the search engines available in FireFox. It defaults to 6, which… 6 seconds? Hmm.
- extensions.update.interval – Finally, the interval of the extensions, but it defaults to 86400 as well, or once a day. If that’s the case, I’d assume Firefox would be slow (at max) once, not every time.
So, a bit more information, but no definate answer.