Automatically Restart Firefox After A User Specified Time

Time Restart is a new Firefox addon which can automatically restart Firefox after a set amount of time (in minutes) that you define. You can also configure how many seconds in advance you want to be warned before an automatic restart. There are two main uses for such an addon:

1. If Firefox becomes sluggish or freezes after hours of browsing it can help to restart it – such performance issues may be due to memory leaks from an extension or from opening dozens of tabs with multimedia (especially Flash) content.
2. As a reminder that you have wasted enough time on Twitter etc and need to get down to some real work instead ;-)

Judging by reviews on the addon’s download page, the first issue is the most common cause for installing it. Note: although Firefox was the runaway winner in our recent tests of browser memory usage, some users still face problems caused by misbehaving addons and plugins.

Although Time Restart may alleviate such issues, a better long term solution would be to follow our tweaking guide to speed up Firefox.

Time Restart Addon – Download and install from Mozilla Addons here.

The Time Restart icon appears next to the address bar (white before the advance warning time is reached, red afterwards) and, if the add-on bar is displayed, a countdown timer displays the time left until the next restart – black before the advance warning time is reached, red afterwards:

timerestart1

Top row – before advance warning period.
Bottom row – during warning period.

Options – to configure the times and other options:

Press the Firefox menu button then Add-ons (or click ‘Tools’ on the Menu Bar then Add-ons) to open the Firefox Add-ons window. Press the ‘Options’ button for Time Restart to open its Preferences as shown below:

timerestart2

Here you can set the number of minutes before a restart is required, how many seconds warning to give and the text colors of the add-on bar countdown timer. There are also options to not restart Firefox automatically (i.e. just display the warning/counter) and to disable the confirmation prompt which is displayed if restarting manually (by pressing the Time Restart icon).

Tip: if you have Firefox configured to ‘show your windows and tabs from last time’ when it starts – to gain any benefit in memory usage/performance from Time Restart, ensure that ‘Don’t load tabs until selected’ is ticked in the main Firefox Options \ Tabs panel.

Conclusion

Time Restart is a simple but effective add-on that may help users who suffer from a lack of RAM or Firefox slowing down over time.

I would prefer it to offer an optional confirmation prompt if set to restart automatically (in case you are in the middle of a game or writing a comment etc) but the countdown timer and icon do at least offer some warning – and you can always disable automatic restarts.