speed up firefox

speed up firefox

forevergeek.com has a useful guide on speeding up firefox for broadband users. basically after getting to the hidden config settings you set the browser to request more data that it usually does.

1.Type “about:config” into the address bar and hit return. Scroll down and look for the following entries:

network.http.pipelining network.http.proxy.pipelining network.http.pipelining.maxrequests

Normally the browser will make one request to a web page at a time. When you enable pipelining it will make several at once, which really speeds up page loading.

2. Alter the entries as follows:

Set “network.http.pipelining” to “true”

Set “network.http.proxy.pipelining” to “true”

Set “network.http.pipelining.maxrequests” to some number like 30. This means it will make 30 requests at once.

3. Lastly right-click anywhere and select New-> Integer. Name it “nglayout.initialpaint.delay” and set its value to “0”. This value is the amount of time the browser waits before it acts on information it receives.

If you’re using a broadband connection you’ll load pages MUCH faster now!


  1. natural born hacker says:

    Sweet, it does speed up firefox a good deal, thx, and keep up the good work.

  2. shaund says:

    Oh yea! Much faster! nice job

  3. Yeah, you’ll also start raping the servers…

  4. Da'Frogg says:

    Works with Mozilla as well as Firefox. Great tweaks!

  5. I think I’m in love. Reminds me of using my cable modem many years ago.

    PS: Is “Hack a Day” male or female?

  6. Rob says:

    …some sites will ban you for doing this. You are basically making about a million connectiong to a server which will eventually make it crash.

    Yeah, but whatever. Have fun.

  7. Mighty Pete says:

    Good Hack !
    Setting “network.http.pipelining.maxrequests”

    to 15 works just fine BTW and would be a little easier on the servers.

  8. Groxx says:

    Woah. Outstanding! I LOVE IT!!!
    Yet another reason to use Firefox over IE :)

    Now. I’ve got some SERIOUS surfing to do…

  9. scott says:

    Wonder if there is anything similiar for Safari. Would be nice to have a good strong connection for once.

  10. matt says:

    Just an FYI, Internet Explorer actually already does this. However, i believe it does only 4 by default. There are tons of hacks for IE that explain how to increase the number of files you can download from 4 to xx.

    Dont get me wrong though, im frefox all the way… Just thought I would bring in a little bit of clarity :)

  11. Joost Schuur says:

    There’s some comments here by one of the Mozilla members on why this is not such a good idea:


  12. Pedro says:

    very cool… thanks very much!!

  13. michael Martin says:

    Sweet.. I need this for omniweb!

  14. docca says:

    excuse me, but there’s an extension that does this (and more) that’s been out for quite a while… it’s called “Tweak Network Settings” and can be installed from your Extensions menu.

  15. Alan says:

    So how does one remove an item? I added the “nglayout.initialpaint.delay” but wish to remove it but there is no obvious way to do so.

  16. d1663m says:

    4 ought to be plenty for maxrequests. If the server is doing its job and keep-alive is working all around, four connections ought to get you what you need without killing a server with TCP connection set-up and break-down.

  17. Alex says:

    This is awesome!

  18. fdisk says:

    Alan – right click on nglayout.initialpaint.delay and choose reset. That will clear out the integer and basically make that key dormant.

  19. Matt says:

    This is totally against RFCs… The web RFCs state that you can only request 2 pages/links/downloads at a time. Anything more then that and it’s against RFCs and may get you banned from some websites!

  20. Copertop says:

    This is a good hack but it will rape servers… AND when i did it tomy firefox… for some reason all my bookmarks stopped working… i can’t import any and none show up. It messed with my sage bookmarks too for RSS… any one wanna help? email me at jofd@techie.com

  21. DAVIDLI says:


    I mean, look suppose you set it to 10 connections at a time. Now you will have 9 connections more whenever you browse. I mean, if you browse 3 windows at a time, you connection just get’s hit with 27 more connections.

    But if you are the server and you get let’s say about 20 hit’s per minute. Then that would be 20*9=180 more connections. This is why servers sometimes limit connections to a maximum of 2 per ip. So I all want to say is: sux2u

  22. jason says:

    it didetn speed up any thing for me

  23. jd says:

    This seems not to be possible to do with portable firefox… if I am correct… Anyone?

  24. Chad cloman says:

    The default value for the rendering delay (nglayout.initialpaint.delay) is only a quarter of a second, and setting it to zero can actually slow things down because the browser may have to undo work that it already did. See the following page for details:


  25. nickbird says:

    nifty but i feel guilty now because instead of just poking the server with a stick im poking the server with like a hundred sticks and then throwing rocks at them and whipping them yelling “FASTER FASTER!” but hey

  26. coris says:

    best hack ever!

  27. why? says:

    Well, first of all this doesn’t work. And by doesn’t work I mean it actually slows Firefox down considerably. Second of all, anyone who says it does work would probably also be cured of any aches and pains by ingesting a placebo tablet. Thirdly, bombarding web servers is just plain stupid. What’s the point of a fast browser if the entire internet has slowed down due to being flooded by too many browser requests? Firefox is a good product… leave it alone.

  28. Jeff Cunningham says:

    Very cool. Now if I could just find a hack for Firefox that would cause it to use the readline/Emacs key combinations in the edit URL box like Mozilla does, instead of Windows key combinations, I’d be REALLY happy. (like C-d to delete forward, C-k to delete to end of line, C-a to go to beginning of line, etc).


  29. Jeff Cunningham says:

    After reading the Mozilla notes on nglayout.initialpaint.delay I set mine in Firefox back to the default 250. And it is definitely faster, so the people above who aren’t noticing a speed increase must have some other bottleneck than their browser.

    By the way – it also works in Mozilla (same engine).


  30. ryan says:

    I accidently crashed my friends site with this…

  31. Dr. apocalypse says:

    after changing my settings i am unable to return to “about:blank”. i’ve done this on two identical computers and the same thing happened on each one. any suggestions?

  32. karmic surfer says:

    works as described. as for bombing servers with requests, is this a modern version of Hardin’s “tragedy of the commons”- a social trap in which a few can benefit by selfishness but the whole thing collapses when everyone follows the same selfish logic? Stay tuned…

  33. robuc1 says:

    well, i followed your directions, but you lost me at “right click anywhere”. i have a powerbook g4 1.5 ghz, no right clicker and no way to find a “new integer” :(

  34. andy says:

    i just used this for OSX. and when i hide ff it and reloud it later it white and if i drag the mouse over it the picture comes back half the time. im not sure these are related. but it sure seems that way. it works great besides this. anyone else have these problems?

  35. andy says:

    update on my last post. it seems that it only does this if i have the tabs button open. and even though i use thunderbird but i was at aol and it happened without using hide button. i exited tabs and tried again. almost no whiteness. but there was still some. email me at fleebailey33@yahoo.com if u got any help

  36. andy says:

    the person who posted before me must not be familiar with OSX. control click acts like right click. thought id add that

  37. Nate says:

    Well, you would be raping servers… if Firefox didn’t limits the maxrequests to 8. Setting it higher doesn’t do diddly.

    There’s actually a lot more of those hidden settings, as well as some settings to speed up rendering (such as not bothering with the “broken image” icon on image load).

    Another way to do the same thing:

    Go to your profile directory (C:Docs and SettingsuserApp Data(hidden)MozillaFirefoxprofilerandomcrap)
    there should be a file there, prefs.js
    New text file “user.js”
    edit it.
    format is

    user_pref(“Pref.name.here”, value);

    value can be true, false, a number, or a string in quotes.

    This is the one I use: http://www.funygroup.org/user.js . Play around with it. Just copy it to that path, open it in notepad to edit.

  38. ymm says:

    Hahaha. You guys have all been OWNED.

  39. flamesbeneath says:

    Although this does do the “server rape”, it’s still fun to mess around and see how fast it’ll screw a server or screw your connection. I’ve got the saddest wi-fi connection, and if too much data is sent too fast it’ll disconnect. I’ve been messing around to see which setting is the max for my crap-nection to the net. It does pass time…

  40. iceman says:

    awesome, works a charm…just want to know what nglayout.initialpaint.delay actually does!!

  41. iceman says:

    This is wicked! its speeds up browsing loads…just wanted to know what the nglayout.initialpaint.delay actually does?!

  42. iceman says:

    This is wicked! its speeds up browsing loads…just wanted to know what the nglayout.initialpaint.delay actually does?!

  43. unkman says:

    this does cause you to constantly hammer sites you are trying to connect to.. this will one get you banned from sites with paranoid admins. also will decrease your speed with the amount of requests going out and if your speed is just slow get cable or dsl!

  44. neut says:

    Hey, dont set nglayout.initialpaint.delay to Zero – it is possibly not interprated as precisely 0, but if it is or is or is too small a value – the ‘nglayout.initialpaint’ methods will thrash the CPU’s attention as data trickles in.
    Set it to a value insignificant to the user like 50 -150 (milliseconds), but not insignificant to the CPU.
    When tweaking in general – try to hit the kneepoint in the changing returns, not flat extremes.
    In this case if a paint.delay value of 0 was interprated literaly, the paint thread/s would choke up cpu time for the entire duration of loading data.

  45. Tim says:

    Hmm, it made my firefox really slow, if i jsut reset all the changed settings, will it be alright again?

  46. Don says:

    The settings given above slowed my dsl connection down to a crawl.

    I set network.http.pipelining.maxrequests to 5 and I set nglayout.initialpaint.delay to 100. Now I am seeing a major speed increase.

    Thanks docca for the “Tweak Network Settings” extension info.

  47. eh says:

    initial paint set to 100 i would guess is supose to make it longer….
    maxrequest set to 5, would set it just a litttleeee faster, since i believe default is 4

  48. Trevor says:

    this slowed my connection down considerably

  49. fixedgear says:

    Seems to be working great for me. Comcast cable, near Philly, PA.

  50. fixedgear says:

    seems to be working fine here, thanks. comcast cable, near philly, pa.

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