Memory management has always been a problem for PC browsers. As long as users open dozens of tabs at the same time, even the best browsers will become like a poorly optimized application. Similar problems with Firefox are more serious and have been around for a long time. Now, Mozilla is finally starting to solve an 8-year-old bug that presents a performance-related solution to “automatically unload (discard/hibernate) longly unused tabs to free resources / when running out of memory.”
But the problem now is that these tabs may be doing something useful, such as playing music in the background with Spotify or Pandora. So Mozilla created the following order to determine which tabs to close when RAM is low:
- first tabs that are not playing audio and not pinned
- Pinned tabs not playing audio
- tabs playing audio
The improved program will first appear in the Firefox 67 nightly. If you want to enable or disable it in advance, you can control it by changing the value of browser.tabs.unloadOnLowMemory in the preference about:config.