Make Firefox2 faster, easy customizations

27Mar08

Lately i had to make firefox allow more simultanious downloads than it can (default value is 3). In that point i want to note that firefox can allow
These are some quick tweaks you can add to firefox browser.

First of all open a tab on your Firefox browser. In the address bar type:

about:config and press enter. You ll see something like this…

about-config

As you can see there are tons of options you can change.

To edit a preference, double-click on the name and you’ll be prompted for the new value. If you double-click on an entry that has a Boolean value, it’ll just switch from true to false or vice versa; double-click again to revert to the original setting. Not all changes take effect immediately, so if you want to be absolutely certain a given change is in effect, be sure to close and reopen Firefox after making a change.

If you want to quickly find a value you want to change you can use the filter. Type in example http.network
about-c

You can keep a log of everything you change, or make backups. If you tweak something now and notice bizarre activity in a week, you’ll want to be able to track back to what was altered and undo it. Firefox does show which about:config changes have been set manually, but this isn’t always the most accurate way to find out what you changed.

To make a backup of your preferences in Firefox, just make a copy of the file prefs.js, which is kept in your Firefox profile folder. If you mess something up, you can always copy this file back in. (Be sure to shut down Firefox before making a copy of prefs.js or moving a copy back into the profile folder!)

In Windows XP, the profile folder is
\Documents and Settings\<username>\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\<profile ID>.default\

In Windows Vista, this folder is
\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\<profile ID>.default\

Note that Application Data and AppData are hidden folders by default, so they may not show up unless you force Explorer to show hidden objects. (Open the Control Panel, double-click Folder Options, select the View tab, select “Show hidden files and folders” and click OK.)

In Mac OS X, the profile folder is
<username>/Library/Application Support/Firefox/Profiles/<profile ID>.default/

and in Linux it’s
~/.mozilla/firefox/<profile ID>.default/

Now let’s go to the actual tweaks. Here a list i made for you with some tweak i found very useful.

Session restore

You will find your self closing a tab and removing all session temp values that you have changed. In most cases you will log out from a forum or even lose some changes you made in your blog. you can end all that by changing a value in the firefox config.
* Key: browser.startup.page
* Modified Value: 3
* Default: 1 (open your specified homepages)

Tab width before scrolling kicks in

Often found my self on very annoying situation where many tabs have been opened and have to scroll to find one. Very very annoying. Change that.
To disable tab scrolling entirely, set the value to 0.
* Key: browser.tabs.tabMinWidth
* Modified Value: 75 (fit in more tabs before overflow enables scroll)
* Alternate Modified Value: 0 (disable scroll entirely)
* Default: 100

Tab close buttons

Disable the tab closing buttons.
* Key: browser.tabs.closeButtons
* Modified Value: 3 (revert to Firefox 1.5 behavior)
* Alternate Modified Value: 2 (don’t display any close tab buttons)
* Default: 1 (display close buttons on all tabs)

Fetch only what you click

Firefox has this wacky little feature that downloads pages from links it thinks you may click on pages you view, like the top result on a page of Google results. This means you use up bandwidth and CPU cycles and store history for web pages you may not have ever viewed.
* Key: network.prefetch-next
* Modified Value: false

Speed up firefox for browsing pages

* Key: network.http.pipelining
* Modified Value: true
* Default Value: false

* Key: network.http.proxy.pipelining
* Modified Value: true
* Default Value: false

* Key: network.http.pipelining.maxrequests
* Modified Value: 30
* Default Value: false

Change scrollbar behavior

Make your scrollbar to point exactly to the point you click.
* Key: ui.scrollToClick
* Modified Value: true
* Default Value: false

Get case-sensitive, in-page searches

* Key: accessibility.typeaheadfind.casesensitive
* Modified Value: 1 (to case-sesitive searchs)
* Default Value: 0

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