Review of Firefox Light, a slimmed down version of Firefox browser

Now-a-days browsers are packed with a lot of new features that help us improve our browsing experience. But because of so many features we have to sacrifice on the performance or memory utilization. I was amazed when I looked at the amount of RAM some of these browsers consume, to have all these features running. I for one don’t use most of these features. I don’t want to sacrifice on performance or stability.

Firefox Light browser

Firefox Light

I came across this browser with a low foot print, Firefox Light. Well, as the name suggests it’s a third-party, light, stripped-down version of Firefox. Firefox Light has removed lots of features, and is basically a slim down version of the original Firefox. When I initially started using Firefox I loved it because of its low footprint and stability. But over the years with various builds, it has become very slow and bloated, not to mention that the memory consumption has increased drastically.

When it comes to other popular browser like Google Chrome, well it’s the same story, instead of one instance, it creates multiple processes which are supposed to improve the performance, but I have not found any difference.  Chrome creates separate instances because it runs different items in each process. For the browser itself, then for plugins & renders. I had like 25 different processes for Chrome after opening 5 tabs.

But I found that Firefox Light works very well when it comes to usage and memory consumption. According to the developer, he has removed a couple of items like:

  • Crash report
  • Skia Graphic engine
  • WebM
  • Opus Codec
  • WebRTC (enables web browsers with Real-Time Communications capabilities via simple JavaScript APIs)
  • Javascript Debugger
  • GamepadAPI
  • Intl object  for the ECMAScript Internationalization API
  • Web app Sync
  • Health report
  • Firefox Devtools with the Social API
  • DirectShow
  • And a lot more.

For those you can’t get the Flash plugin to work, you need to just copy the NPSWF32.dll to the plugin folder.

  • Close Firefox Light
  • Install the Flash Player and go to the install directory
  • Copy NPSWF32.dll paste it into Light\browser\plugins or to the Profile folder.

I admit that some of these features are used regularly, but for those who don’t, and wish to improve the performance and optimize the memory usage, can give this browser a go. This can co-exist with the full version of Firefox. If you’re going to test you don’t have to remove the existing install of Firefox.

Firefox Light download

To conclude so far I have tested, and it works just fine. I feel like there is a performance boost, and it’s not taking a lot of memory, like the original Firefox does. You can also download and install the add-ons without any problem. The developer offers both 32-bit and 64-bit version. Firefox Light version looks like a good alternative browser and is available here.

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Shyam aka “Captain Jack” is a Microsoft MVP alumnus and a Windows Enthusiast with an interest in Advanced Windows troubleshooting. Suggestions made and opinions expressed by him here are his personal one's and not of his current employers. He blogs at captaindbg.com.