One of the common woes of using Firefox is the continuous increase in the total physical memory used. If you open more than six websites in different tabs of Firefox, then it will start to turn into a sizable memory hog. This is especially true of websites that have video or animation content. Of course, the newer systems having a large bank of physical memory are not much affected by this, but relatively older systems can become unresponsive from the extra burden on the system resources. We have previously discussed various workarounds like Memory Fox to alleviate this problem. Now there is a new extension called UnloadTab that handles this issue from a different angle – by unloading all the unused tabs.
After installing the UnloadTab in the Firefox web browser, it adds new menu items in the tab right-click context-menu (the menu that appears when you right-click on a tab). You can just right-click on a tab and choose to unload that tab or unload other tabs by selecting Unload tab or Unload other tabs respectively. When a tab is unloaded, it frees up the memory taken up to render the web page in that tab.
In order to reload an unloaded tab, all you have to do is switch back to that tab and the web page in that tab is quickly loaded all over again. If you have a tab that you do not want to be unloaded in any case then you can right-click on that tab and choose Keep address loaded. This will prevent that tab (or rather that web page) from being unloaded.
In the options for the UnloadTab extension, you can choose if you want to automatically unload the inactive tabs after a specified period of time (by default it is 10 minutes). You can also specify a list of websites that need to be kept loaded at all times.
Conclusion: The Firefox extension UnloadTab can be very useful for someone with a relatively older PC and who still wants to keep multiple sites opened in various tabs. Using this extension, you can keep the tabs open but sites unloaded to reduce the Firefox memory consumption.
You can get the UnloadTab extension for Firefox from https://addons.mozilla.org/en-us/firefox/addon/unloadtab/.