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Performance trouble with Firefox? Check your add-ons!

For several months (like, since the beginning of this year and maybe even earlier), I’ve experienced terrible performance in Firefox. Start up time was okay, even getting better after some releases, page rendering was fine too… but something was really wrong about the general software responsiveness. Since I was running GPU computations on the computer where it started occurring, I put the blame on that and basically got used to live with it. To the point where, when I stopped running GPU computations, I didn’t really worry about the performances being still terrible. Kind of sort of thought this was a hopeless case, I guess.

Today, because Fx nightly was having trouble with Flash 11.3 and the plugin-container, I gave a try at Aurora… which disabled an extension, or actually a theme, Classic Compact. Tough, I really prefer my compact UI, but… the performance issue was no more! Long story short, if you’re unhappy with the performance of your Firefox, try disabling your theme (or more generally, your add-ons) and see if it improves things. With this theme enabled, all interactions with Fx were dramatically slow, to the point where I regularly used Opera and Iron (Chrome without Google) to save some time. Now, performance is almost similar to Opera and Iron…

Posted in Firefox.

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