Optimizing Firefox Speed

There are several ways to make Firefox run faster. It’s all done by tweaking. I’ll be giving you a list of different tweaks, which will all count for something. Please note that I’ve done all of this on Windows XP Professional OS, and it may have different effects on other OSs.

This is the most popular way to make Firefox’s pages load faster, and no doubt you’ll come across this when you Google how to make Firefox faster.


  1. In the Firefox browser, type about:config.
  2. You’ll get something asking you to be careful. Click the thing which is I’ll be careful, I promise!
  3. You’ll find a filter bar. Type network.http.pipelining under the preference name column.
  4. You’ll normally find the default value of this to be false. Double click it and change it to True.

Effect: For most (at least the ones I’ve all seen) websites, you’ll notice a http:// before the address. This is for something called the HTTP 1.1 , a protocol, this is so that you can send numerous requests before your computer actually receives them. It’s also known as pipelining. Pipelining can reduce page loading times over connections, but not all servers support it, which is why it will have no effect for some websites. For this to work, you need pipelining to be enabled.

2. In the filter bar, type network.http.proxy.pipelining  and its value to True.

Effect: Pipelining does not work when you are using a proxy. This is why you need to change this value to True, so that it is enabled if you are using a proxy.

3. Now type in network.http.pipelining.maxrequests. Right click and go to Modify. The default value is 4, change it to 8.

Effect: This determines the maximum requests your computer can send out at once. 8 is the maximum, so don’t change it to 100000 thinking you can send that much requests out.

4. Go to the normal about:config page, right click in the blank space and choose New/Boolean. Name this network.http.pipelining.firstrequest and accept. Then set its value to true.

Effect: This tweak isn’t normally recommended, but it hasn’t screwed my FF up in any way. It’s meant to aid in making your page load faster.

5. Now this time, right click and choose New/Integer . Name it nglayout.initialpaint.delay then accept. Then set its value to 0.

Effect: The initialpaint.delay is the length of time (in milliseconds) after the server response before the browser begins to paint, or create, the page.

6. Make another Boolean and call it content.notify.ontimer and set its value to true.

Effect: Normally, a page would load when each part of it has fully been downloaded. Instead with this, it will make FF display whatever has been downloaded and thus, reducing page load time.

7. Again, create a Boolean value and call it content.interrupt.parsing and set the value to False.

 Effect: This determines whether an application will “interrupt” a page being parsed so that it can react to the UI. Setting to false is so that the parsing cannot be interrupted, and the app will be unresponsive until all parsing has been completed.

There is another tweak for Windows XP and Vista users (except Windows XP Home Edition). This can be used for Internet Explorer and Firefox, or any other web browsing program. You’ll find this commonly over the internet.

  1. Go to Start
  2. Go to Run
  3. Type in gpedit.msc
  4. Expand the Local Computer Policy branch.
  5. Expand the Administrative Templates branch.
  6. Expand the Network branch.
  7. Open up the QoS Packet Scheduler.
  8. Double click the limit reservable bandwidth setting.
  9. Check the enabled item.

10. Change the limit to 0.

11. Close and restart your computer. 

This has your computer connect to your Internet faster as it has no limits to how fast you can connect to it.



Any questions, suggestions or comments, please leave one!


-Guide was requested by Seb aKa Sandi

Posted on July 8, 2009, in Advice, Computers, News and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. You have to be careful when you use some of these. They can have adverse effects on certain sites. But for the most part, they really do work.

  2. it’s working in Firefox 3.5…??

  3. I wonder if there exists a firefox extension to do this all for you? ;0

    • Daveeeeeeeeee

      Well there are two Firefox extensions I’d recommend, but they don’t do this for you.

      There’s an extension named FasterFox. It lets you modify/tweak networkr and rendering settings (pipelining, DNS cache, initial paint delay, simultaneous connections).

      The other extension I’d recommend would be DownThemAll. It’s really unbelievable and it works. It claims to have a download accelerator that increases downloading speed up to 400%, you can also pause and resume downloads at any time. Though I haven’t actually tested to see if it actually is 400% faster, I can garuntee that it is a hell of a lot faster.

  4. For me, Fasterfox didn’t help. It caused more problems then it solved in a way. It was better to use some of the optimizing tricks. Dave, can you explain what each one does or how each one improves FF, that way it’s easier to pick and choose.

    DTA = amazing. Just be careful that you use it correctly, because it sometimes can pick the wrong thing to download and you end up downloading an html file instead of the .exe you wanted

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