Many Firefox users complain that the browser slows down over
time. It sometimes takes too long to load, and its once-zippy
performance can feel sluggish. The free Firefox add-on Vacuum
Places Improved promises to solve at least part of that problem by
compressing an important database used by Firefox.
The database targeted by the add-on is Places, which stores
information about bookmarks, history, the address bar (commonly
called the Awesome Bar), and more in Firefox 3 and greater. The
more you use Firefox, the more information is in the Places
database, and the more fragmented it becomes. Vacuum Places
Improved defragments that database, and claims that by doing so, it
speeds up your Firefox browsing, and especially the speed with
which you can search through your history and Favorites using the
Vacuum Places Improved is exceptionally easy to use. Install it,
and whenever you want to “vacuum” your Places database, click the
small icon of vacuum cleaner at the bottom right of a Firefox
screen. You can also have the program do the cleaning
How much of a performance increase will you see? Until you try
the add-on, there’s no way to know. Some people have found
substantial speed increases, but not everyone has. In my testing,
Firefox felt zippier after using it, although not substantially so.
But others have reported sizable speed increases, including faster
program startup. Given that it’s free, anyone who uses Firefox 3.5
or above should give Vacuum Places Improved a try.
Note: This link takes you to the vendor’s site, where you
can automatically install the file into your Firefox browser.