Tip & How-To about Mozilla Firefox

Speed Up Firefox loading times by defrag of the places.sqlite

Having database store your browsing data has one drawback, you have to optimize the database from time to time to get rid of old, deleted data, re-index the columns etc.Otherwise you keep all the junk data mixed in with your real data.

Over a period of time your places.sqlite database will fill with data of your browsing history this will cause the loading of Firefox to become sluggish even on fast PC's it almost appears to freeze and make you wanna go back to IE8 or to Chrome it don't use this Tip and stay with Mozilla.

There are several solutions the easiest is to rename the places.sqlite file to places.sqlite.bak and if you need to open this file and save any of your history links you can use Nirsoft's excellent MozillaHistoryView you will have to select the Application Data folder manually in order to edit this file this one has almost 8,000 entries and is over 3MB in size.

If you want to do this automatically there is an XPI add-on called Vaccum Places that you can set to do this for you I prefer removing the file every month of so and using the viewer to save any websites that you might need

To activate the sqlite defragmentation goto the tools and click the last entry Vacuum places.sqlite and you will receive confirmation in the lower right hand corner of the desktop you will see a marked improvement in the cold start of firefox, you can set this to automatically do this after a specified number of starts I find 30 to be a good number.

Remember this will not remove entries but place them in order to make firefox faster so if you use the Nirsoft viewer you will still have the same number of entries just in a better order.

You can also set the history to only keep a few days history, 90 days is the default which is too long you can get away with 20 or so quite easily use the settings in the Firefox browser to do this.

You will notice a huge speed up on the loading of your Firefox from several minutes to a few seconds using a combination of the Vacuum XPI and reduced browsing history settings.

If you want to compress this sqlite database and remove a possible bug caused by Google toolbar bloating the dB then use this free software you will have to unzip the archive into you own profiles folder and then browse for the places.sqlite file create a backup prior to doing this

You will need to find the default Firefox profile and make a backup copy of the places.sqlite file access this using the following command from the run prompt


Happy Faster Firefox-ing you can reduce your database down by about 10% removing all the Google toolbar entries using this compression from RECENTX and speed up your Firefox loading time I used this then uninstalled the google toolbar didn't use it anyhow.

There are also 4 more XPI add-ons that will do this however I prefer the Vacuum Improved one

The SQLite Optimiser XPI as well as the Vacuum function has the added indexing function which also speeds up the loading times the result should look like this.

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