Firefox is a great browser but if you are power user and end up with many extensions and plugins loaded you can end up with a very large and growing memory footprint.
One day I got fed up and began to look for the cure and it led me from site to site in my quest to find a cure for this “memory leak” in Firefox. What I was able to glean from the information I collected was that the leak was not in Firefox itself, it was in the Flash plugin for Firefox. You see I use Firefox with a lot of tabs, and every one of those flashy banners loaded in those tabs take up memory and processor cycles.
The problem is that Firefox does not release the memory once the flash plugin no longer needs the memory for the flash object you were playing. Is it a bug in Firefox? Not really. Firefox is allocating the memory that the Flash plugin needs and the Flash player is using the memory it is given, it just isn’t communicating with Firefox to tell it is done with the memory. So the solution? The solution for now is to get a plug-in like flashblock. It doesn’t cure the problem but because you choose what flash plays you decide how much your memory will grow. The ultimate solution is for the good coders of Firefox and Flash to get together and work on the communication between two very important players on the web.
So what did I accomplish on my own machine? I regularly see memory usage at over 100Meg after a full day of work on a highly modded Firefox. Of course your mileage will vary and I am sure there are actual memory leaks in Firefox but this solution has worked for everyone I have recommended it to. Let me know it works for you.
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