Here is a handy Firefox add-on which disables actions in background tabs and hence saves system resources and makes Firefox more responsive. This add-on, Suspend background tabs, is created by Wladimir Palant. Mr. Palant is known for Adblock Plus for Firefox – the most popular browser add-on ever.
If you have opened many tabs, the memory and network consumption by background tabs will be significant and may affect performance of your active tab as well. To solve this problem, Suspend background tabs add-on suspends certain actions in the background tabs. According to the developer, “Currently this extension will only suspend periodical actions happening in background tabs, these will only be resumed when the tab becomes active again. Lengthy downloads in background tabs are unaffected by the current version, as are videos or Flash”.
How to use?
Install the add-on from here which installs without restarting the Firefox. To change default setting, move to Add-on manager page (On Windows, CTRL + SHIFT + A) and open “Options” page of this add-on. If you don’t want to suspend actions in pinned app tabs, select the checkbox for that.
Moreover, Firefox team is working on projects like Snappy and MemShrink with the goal to minimize memory leakage caused by add-ons and background tabs. One important feature landing soon in Firefox is Tabs on Demand.