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April 14, 2017

Firefox to add new controls to help users fine-tune their browser’s performance

by John_A

Why it matters to you

Firefox is implementing new performance options that will allow users to tailor the software to their system, even if it’s less powerful.

Firefox will soon give users more controls to ensure that they’re getting the best possible performance out of the web browser. Engineers at Mozilla are hard at work perfecting the new features, and the company has shared some early details about what’s in the works.

Users will be able to tailor the software to their system by choosing whether or not the browser’s interface uses animated transitions, and opting in or out of using page prefetching to preload links on the current page. They’ll also be able to limit how many content processes Firefox runs at any given time, according to a report from Liliputing.

Less-hands-on users will be able to use the Optimize Firefox button to deliver improvements automatically. This option will disable all currently installed extensions, allowing the user to pick and choose which ones to reactivate, while keeping an eye on their effect on performance.

These new performance features should allow a wider range of Firefox users to enjoy the optimal browsing experience on their hardware. While many people use the browser on systems that have more than enough horsepower to handle anything the web throws at them, there’s another sector of the user base that is still working with older, less powerful PCs.

For Firefox to compete with the likes of Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge, Mozilla needs to be able to offer fast, stable web browsing across a broad swathe of computers. Allowing users to modify their performance settings negates the need for a one-size-fits-all approach.

There’s currently little indication of when these new performance controls might join the stable branch of Firefox, as development apparently only started last week. However, we’re sure to see these features put through their paces in prerelease builds before they’re ready for the public version of the browser.

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