How to Make Firefox Faster: Downgrade Flash, Firefox 3.5 beta 4

5 05 2009

There’s two steps that I’ve discovered to take care of Firefox’s recent ability to crash at exactly the wrong moment, as well as the problem of all my Flash videos being slow and laggy. One is an upgrade, the other is a downgrade.

As these sort of things go, this is only relevant for today (May 5, 2009) and will rapidly become out of date as versions are upgraded, betas are finished, and URLs change. YMMV.

This order works the best, on Mac OSX:

  • Download the Adobe Flash Uninstaller: here
  • Upgrade to Firefox 3.5 beta, whatever is latest: http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/all-beta.html
  • Download Flash 9: here
    • If you’re on PowerPC (which my Powerbook is), you’ll have to open the .dmg and copy the two files to /Library/Internet Plug-Ins/
    • If you’re on Intel, run the installer app.
  • It probably doesn’t hurt to run Disk Utility – Repair Permissions, as other guides for this suggested, but this is just Mac voodoo or snake oil. Can’t hurt, though.

Your Firefox should now be shiny and new, and your Flash videos, especially on Vimeo in HD, will hopefully be less stuttery.

Enjoy!

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