Disable Plugin-Container in Firefox

Plugin-container is a Firefox process designed to 'out-source' the plugins used by the browser. Firefox' model is based on the use of plugins to add functionality, however this goes along with a chance of instability due to a malfunctioning plugin - this would cause the whole browser to collapse since the plugins were all included in one central Firefox process. With the implementation of the plugin-container, the plugins are seperated from the browser process, making it more stable. Now if a plugin crashes, Firefox remains unharmed.
It is known however that this feature causes serious performance issues with many users, that's why it might be a good idea to test what happens if you deactivate plugin-container (the plugins are not disabled that way, they are just stitched to the main process again).
To do so, open Firefox and direct the URL line to about:config. This is the internal configuration of Firefox, be sure to take the warning that will be shown seriously.
In the search bar on top, enter dom.ipc. A few boolean entries will be shown whose name begins with dom.ipc.plugins (on Firefox 9 there are two, while there are five on some older versions).
Set all of them to false to disable plugin-container:

If this results in performance improvement for you, leave the settings as they are, if there is none however, it is recommendable to switch them back to improve Firefox' stability.

5 thoughts on “Disable Plugin-Container in Firefox”

  1. Everyone says this works but everytime I try it I am asked to enter a numeric value. I don’t know how to set it to false. Any other ideas?

    • Which version of Firefox are you using? I just retried with version 11 and I get all the variables shown in the screenshot.

  2. FF 20 (worst update ever!)

    Laptop with dual core Intel cpu running at 2.66GHz per core was using 60-75% of one core and 40-55% of the other prior to disabling this resource pig. Fan running on high for extended periods is what attracted my attention to the issue.

    After disabling it, the usage is more like 35-50% and 25-40%. That’s an improvement from 100-130% to 60-90% ==> ~40% net.

    Original settings were:

    default boolean true
    default boolean true
    default boolean false
    default integer 0
    default integer 45
    default integer 45
    default integer 1

    Reset dom.ipc.plugins.enabled and dom.ipc.plugins.flash.subprocess.crashreporter.enabled to false.

    Thanks for the post.


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