Even though Firefox has improved over the past few years and has managed to fix some of the memory leaks that infested its earlier versions, it still continues to consume more memory than any other web browser in the present times. It stands no competition from the web browsers like Google Chrome when it comes to minimizing system resource usage. While the Mozilla developers continue to work on the memory optimization, you can reduce the Firefox memory usage yourself using the free Firemin application for Windows. Firemin runs in the background, monitors the Firefox.exe process and frees up as much memory taken up by Firefox as it can.
Firemin is available only for Windows and supports all the versions of Windows – from Windows XP to Windows 8.1. It is a portable application so you do not have to install anything on your system. Just extract the firemin.exe file from the downloaded archive to any folder and run it from there. As soon as you launch it, it places an icon in the Windows notification area and starts monitoring the Firefox.exe process in the background.
You can right-click on this system tray icon to open the Firemin settings window, where you can select the time interval trigger at which Firemin starts freeing up Firefox memory. If you set a shorter internal then it will consume more processing power, but if you set a longer time interval then it will not optimize Firefox memory usage that well. You can leave this time interval setting to the default value 250 for optimal results.
Other than this, you can also choose to run Firemin automatically at Windows startup, make it run Firefox as soon as Firemin is launched or run Firefox in Safe mode automatically and more.
If you want to optimize the performance Firefox browser, then Firemin has this feature too. You can access optimization feature from the Firemin system tray right-click menu by selecting Optimize Firefox. This lets you optimize the SQLite databases that Firefox uses by freeing up the unused space inside them. You are shown a warning about what is going to happen before it works on the databases.
Without modifying the default settings for Firemin, I observed that it reduces the Firefox memory consumption drastically and brings it down to around 6 MB from a hefty memory usage of 236 MB in a few seconds. The following picture shows the memory usage, as observed in the Task Manager, before and after using Firemin in my 64-bit Windows 8.1 PC with Firefox 29.0.1 installed.
Conclusion: Firemin is a small portable tool for Windows that can reduce the memory consumption of Firefox drastically. It also has some other features, like cleaning up the SQLite databases used by Firefox, that can make Firefox a little bit faster.
You can download Firemin from http://www.rizonesoft.com/freeware/firemin.html.