Friday, September 18, 2015

How to have tons of Firefox tabs open without Firefox crashing or hanging

Update 2016-02-14:  Overall, Firefox is not any more stable or usable with Auto Unload Tab enabled.  It still crashes on an annoyingly routine basis, usually after a 6-7 days of continuous use with a few dozen tabs open.  So Auto Unload Tab is not the "magic bullet" for these problems.

Exactly how anyone can "routinely" have "hundreds" of tabs open at one time is rather beyond me.

Original post below:

If you're like me, you probably hear about people who "routinely" have "hundreds" of Firefox tabs open.

Apparently these are the 1% of the internet, as 99% of users don't do this.  I am obviously not the 99% here.

I don't know about you, but if I get more than about 40 or so, FF starts to hate me.  It starts to hang for up to 60 seconds at a time every 3 minutes, or crashes, or puts up garbled windows, simply doesn't display some information, or otherwise makes my life miserable.

Restarting it helps - sometimes - because FF doesn't reload all the tabs on restart.  But this is obviously not a convenient workaround.

So ever wonder how these wizards manage to have "hundreds" of tabs open? I sure did.

Since this is Firefox, the 'duh' answer is an add-on - such as the "Auto Unload Tab" add-on.  This extension* can be configured to automatically unload inactive tabs after a little while, freeing up your valuable memory and CPU cycles.

There are other extensions for this, but many are discontinued or experimental  Caveat emptor!

I only just installed it, so who knows how well it works.  Hopefully well enough.

(* or is it a plug-in?  Or an add-on?  Who knows any more...)

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