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If you hadn’t noticed yet, Firefox 4 now runs in 64-bit mode by default (at least on Mac anyway). I’ve noticed that Firefox uses up almost double the ram in 64-bit mode compared to when running in 32-bit mode. Also, some plugins (like Silverlight) are not yet compatible with the 64-bit mode of Firefox.
Update: running in 32-bit mode will also help with a known problem with Java MIME types not being recognized correctly.
Here’s how to run Firefox 4 in 32-bit mode (by default) on Mac OS X:
- Using Finder, navigate to your Applications folder and locate the Firefox app.
- Command+Click (or Right-Click if you have a 2+ button mouse) and go to: “Get Info”.
- Check the box that says: “Open in 32-bit Mode” and close the Firefox Info box.
- Quit and then Relaunch Firefox.
It’s as easy as that!
Note that 64-bit Firefox does run faster than 32-bit Firefox, but you probably wont notice that much of a difference, and you will reap the benefit of less memory usage, which can be crucial if your system is always low on RAM.
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