Firefox Quantum Eats RAM Like Chrome

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Aaron Kili

Aaron Kili is a Linux and F.O.S.S enthusiast, an upcoming Linux SysAdmin, web developer, and currently a content creator for TecMint who loves working with computers and strongly believes in sharing knowledge.

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40 Responses

  1. noName says:

    you know that you can limit the number of multi-process in settings ?

  2. PeeJay says:

    I am the sort of user that loves tabs and I leave them up for far too long. I have not noticed any memory issues with Quantum but have not examined it as you have. I like the new speed of Firefox, feel sure its memory use has improved and have started to replace Chrome with it even on Android devices.

    On a 12 Yr old laptop with only 2Gb RAM I have zRam installed and this seems to keep Firefox memory use efficient. I also use a PC and laptop with 8Gb and they do fine, though sometimes didn’t pre-Quantum. I’m a fan!

    • Aaron Kili says:


      Okay, many thanks for sharing your experience with us. If this is happening to my laptop because of other reasons(such as memory leak) then i will try to find out.

  3. Ron says:

    I do no realize the same effects as you are experiencing, using Fedora 64 & 32 on 3 different machines.

    • Aaron Kili says:


      What are your system specifications? You should note that my previous updates have not been like this, this has been specific to Quantum, and many long time Firefox users have also complained about Quantum’s memory usage.

  4. Both Web browsers are horrendous for eating up RAM like it was going out of style. I upgraded my main PC to 16 GB, and right now, with running ONLY Firefox, gedit, shutter, and three terminal sessions, I am at 788 MB free.

    So it looks like my next machine or motherboard will have to have at least double that amount (i.e., 32 GB) and if I can afford it, I will go up to 64 GB. I got the extra RAM to allow me to run virtual machines in Oracle VirtualBox but that’s so hard to do, especially Windows 10 in a VM. Just because of my web-browsers.

    Oh, and Chrome on Linux? Forget it. It brings my system (quad-core and lscpu reports (Intel(R) Core(TM) i3-4150 CPU @ 3.50GHz), but nonetheless to an absolute crawl, to the point I can’t even use even a one-tab session of Chrome. What the h??? is going on here?

    • Aaron Kili says:


      Firefox’s memory consumption was good before the Quantum update. And we have all known Chrome for being greedy of RAM. But Firefox Quantum and Chrome are now more or less the same, in terms of memory usage.

  5. dale says:

    do we have a decent linux alternative?

  6. John Bijnens says:

    I have 63 tabs open in FireFox 57.0.4 (64bits) running on Linux Mint 18.3 with kernel 4.14.13 on a Dell laptop with 8 GB RAM and it consumes 340 MB.

    There are two things I have done which are not default behavior and that is adding following settings in about:config.

    network.http.pipelining       true
    network.http.pipelining.ssl true
    layers.acceleration.force-enabled  true

    In the past (months ago) I noticed a continuous increase in RAM usage probably caused by a memory leak. I haven’t seen while using Quantum.

  7. R.H. Hartman says:

    Fortunately, RHEL and CentOS are stuck at Firefox 52 ESR.

    Windows 64-bit users can swap Firefox for Waterfox, which will be Firefox 56 ESR equivalent.

    Both versions are fast enough and, more importantly, support all the original extensions, like TabMixPlus, which has no replacement.

  8. Martins Almeida says:

    I have a modern desktop computer with 8 GB of RAM. I don’t notice any performance degradation due to the new version of Firefox Quantum. It may have an impact on older machines for sure. Nothing new with this situation, it has been happening since the beginning of the personal computers, new software may mean new hardware.

    • Aaron Kili says:


      That is true, but all other previous updates have not had such an effect, i mean necessitating for new hardware(as you have suggested). This is the first time it is really happening, and by the way many Firefox lovers are complaining about Quantum.

  9. Jorma says:

    Interesting article. I was confused about the last conjecture though — Isn’t chrome and its subprocesses using less RES memory than firefox? I personally don’t care about memory usage, but it just seems odd that the numbers on screen don’t match with the conclusion. Keep up the good work.

    • Aaron Kili says:


      I suppose we have used the wrong screen shot for the conclusion section, because when you look at it carefully, the output shows processes sorted by CPU usage not memory usage.

      We will correct this as soon as possible. Thanks for the heads up.

      • Aaron Kili says:


        We have put the right image for the comparison of memory usage between Quantum and Chrome section. Once again, thanks for the great concern and for the feedback as well.

  10. swon says:

    Thank you for the article!

    I’m so disappointed with Firefox since this Quantum version. As you, I’ve always preferred Firefox, specially at work, in which I have at least a dozen tabs open, sometimes tens.

    Since the Quantum version, I end up my day closing the browser because it becomes unresponsive, my pc apps starts hanging up and getting slow.

    Have you submitted already your test results to Mozilla?

    • Aaron Kili says:


      Quantum is frustrating my efforts at work too, i have always like Firefox but this latest version seems to be problematic. I need to understand how to deliver my findings in the appropriate manner, but i will do that as soon as possible.

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