The Firefox Memory Leak

I have been a long advocate of Firefox ever since they introduced the philosophy of “tabs” ten years ago (a version 2.0 release).  Recently my system was having speed problems so I took a look at my RAM usage and noticed that Firefox eating RAM like a termite in tooth pick factory. I jumped on the net and quickly found countless mentions of folks having the same problem.  What’s really amazing is that the memory leaks have been occurring since version 17. Currently we are up to version 29 so this problem is significant.

Currently the only fast solution is to force Firefox to dump the ram by telling the software to restart. The top used plugin for this need is called “Memory Restart (version 1.18)” what’s great (I like to stay positive on non fixable problems) about this plugin is that it restarts Firefox but does not delete your opened tabs. After installing a green round button is placed to the left of your URL bar.  When the memory exceeds (500MB) the button turns red which silently signals you to click it.  Upon click the browser flickers and boom your back to the original ram usage which for me is under 200MB. Another great solution to see what’s bleeding off memory via FireFox is a plugin called “About:Addons-Memory” that creates a local URL called about:addons-memory that provides a small report on your add-ons and what memory they are using.

I hope these solutions help those who are looking for a band aid on this problem.

If It was not for Firebug Chrome would be my new go to browser.

I also want to mention that I removed all plugins and extensions and the problem is still persists.  If you were like me and figured out the problem let me know what you did I’d love to hear how you pulled it off.

UPDATE: The FireFox Memory Leak Sent Me Packing

This memory leak issue has shifted me away from FireFox and in to Chrome.  This shift occurred mid summer 2014.  I have not looked back.  I have grown accustom to Chromes developer tools window which is almost identical to FireBug.  The only reason I go back is for using firebug on css controls on mouseovers (hover).  I find it difficult to detect hover control in Chrome’s developer tools.  I think I’ll research how to do it with Chrome so that I can leave FireFox for good.  Sorry FireFox.

Wow! It looks like I’m not the only with this mindset.   It appears that in 2009 there was a significant change in demand for Chrome vs. Firefox

FireFox Vs Chrome