How To Make Your Browser Use Less Memory

Published in: HowTo

Modern browsers are ruthlessly fast, feature rich, extendable and memory hungry. There was a time when Firefox’s huge collection of browser extensions was its major selling point but soon it turned out to be the bane of its existence. Firefox not only poorly handled memory hungry extensions (including annoying restarts after extension install and upgrades) but FF had its own problem with memory leakage. Firefox’s memory leaking and usage problem were pretty bad, to say the least.

firefox-memory-leak

In came chrome to rescue us with a browser that promises to be fast and lean with a zen-like minimalistic UI.

But soon Chrome started to have problems of its own. You see one of the many selling points for Chrome was how it handles its tabs and extensions into its own sandboxed container. This makes the browser safer and less prone to browser-wide crash because of some guilty website/plugin-in or extension. But this also makes the browser use a lot more memory than single-process browsers, like the Firefox of the past. As a matter of fact, Google (or rather chromium) openly admits this problem and supports the trade-off as being a good thing.

Mozilla is working on its own multi-process solution, but it probably won’t be ready soon.

So we are back to square one when it comes to browser memory usage. It probably doesn’t bother some of you. Memories are cheap and most modern computers come with tons of memories to spare but it also results in applications being ok with consuming vasts amount of memory for no good reasons at all. I have had Chrome/Firefox instances consuming 2-3GB of memory and I don’t even use that many tabs.

So for those of you who are not OK with your browsers using tons of memory here is what you can do:

 

Feel free to share your experience with browser memory usage and how you deal with it.


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