Firefox 3 – Still Hogging Memory

I have been remaining mum on the Firefox 3 memory issues, because every time I mention it, I get chastised for sharing my thoughts. So when I read this article this morning from another blogger, who is complaining about this issue, I thought I would share his thoughts with you. These are his opinions, not mine. :-)

Andrew Smith in his article states, along with a task manager shot which shows firefox.exe using a whopping 357MB of memory:

As the screen shot here illustrates, the program still seizes huge chunks of memory and CPU, even with just a handful of tabs open to reasonably basic Web sites.

This is obviously a program malfunction. If I restart the program and open these exact same tabs again, the memory usage will drop by more than half, but it will gradually rise again. In an hour, it will be right back in the same spot.

These numbers are entirely unacceptable. A browser shouldn’t need half that much memory or computing power.

Please note this is what Andrew is saying and not me. I have no opinion on this problem. I just checked my memory usage for firefox.exe and its at 174MB, which makes me ecstatic.

Comments welcome.

PS Do not give me the song and dance about going back to IE or switching to Opera. It is not going to happen! :-)


Article Written by

I have been writing for Lockergnome for eight years.

  • ro11z

    if he was running just basic FF3 WITHOUT add-ons he would have no problems its the Addons that rocket the Ram usage. i myself have been running FF3 in basic form for ages and its never gone over 75-100MB but once i added a few Addons that graduly moved up & now im averaging around 175MB. is its a FACT Addons are the cause of the RaM usage.

  • Ron Schenone

    Good point.

  • Tom

    It is still much better than I.E. will ever be.

  • Gerry Vrbensky

    FF is now my 2nd favourite browser, IE is now no 1. After installing only a couple of plugins I noticed FF was slower to load. IE is about 400% faster during startup. I updated to FF3 hoping that the speed would pickup, if anything I believe it’s worse. I monitored the memory usage and it’s way past exceptable levels it’s now become a pig. Another disappointment is that FF still can not access a number of sites, I still have to use IE.

  • Gavin

    I have only a few addon’s installed and they are doing basic things like “searchbar autosizer”. I notice the memory jumps eventually to 360 meg. I don’t know why it does this.

    I also notice that sometimes when playing video it starts to eat up cpu resources. At that point I have to restart firefox to watch the video.

    I’ve noticed this even in FF2 and have just learned to deal with it.

  • Gautham

    Is 175MB normal for FF3?

  • E2001

    It seems to me that if you’re having memory problems because of add-ons, then maybe you should consider that the add-on might be to blame. But I’m no expert, since I obviously don’t have this problem.

  • Tad

    I have one old 800mhz laptop I try to keep functioning. Upgrading to FF3 slowed this machine to the point it was unusable. I went back to FF2 and all is well!

  • Raymond Combs

    I don’t know where you are getting these numbers! I’m running FF3 (with 11 add-ons), and after 2 hours of being used I’m using 60 meg!

  • Raymond Combs

    FF3: Forgot to mention, XP Pro (3) 3 gig memory home brew computer. Anti-Vir AV and stock XP firewall. Getting ready to install Comodo FW. I’ll see if that makes any difference.

  • Ron Schenone

    Hello Raymond,
    It is difficult to explain. I have six add-ons and right now I am at 154MB after a little more than an hour of use. :-(

    I’m wondering if it is the add-ons themseleves, not the amount, that causes the problem.

    I have AdBlock plus, Forcast Fox, FEBE [which is new and seemed to have no affect], WOT [also new and seemed to have no affect], Smileyxtra and RamBack

  • shawn J

    LMFAO you guys havent seen nothing, my firefox was just over 800mb with 2 tabs open,that had nothing intensive running, Firefox is garbage, but its the best in the heap of trash to choose from. Also I have plenty ram, but it wants to access my harddrive for memory when it reaches 600-800mb, thats why I even notice this problem. The addons have nothing to do with it, My pc runs HD movies and newer games, runs at 1920×1200 constantly, addons dont add but like 10mb apeice if that

    This is a far and few between- intermittent problem, so blame the webpages if your a fangirl, but firefox doesnt let my streaming movies hog memory (which I would like) why would it let a basic site hog it?

  • Ron Schenone

    Hi Shawn J,
    That is incredible! Thanks for sharing your experience with us.