Preventive Browser Maintenance

The following basic maintenance will ensure premium performance for your browser, when implemented at the close of your online session.

Compact your Mail folders frequently in order to release unused space to other applications. Compacting compresses the files, thus taking up less HDD space. Compacting should be done when messages have been moved or deleted.
In Mail & Newsgroups, click:   File | Compact Folders.

There is a setting in Edit | Preferences | Mail & Newsgroups | Offline & Disk Space "Compact folders when it will save over ____ KB". Your Mail client will automatically prompt you to Compact folders when it reaches this size.

The Thunderbird setting for this option is in Tools | Options | Advanced | Offline & Disk Space.

The Trash folder should be emptied frequently.

Keep your Inbox to a reasonable size, as it isn't intended for archiving mail. Create an archive folder in your Default Mail Account. Move messages to this folder when the Inbox starts growing to a disproportionate size. You risk losing all your Mail if allowing the Inbox to become too large.

To create a Folder:
Click on:   File | New | Folder
Type in the name you wish to use
The Folder will appear in the left pane of the Mail window

Next you can create subfolders for the newly created archive folder, if you wish.

If you have several hundred messages you wish to move to the archive folder, I would suggest moving the messages in reasonable increments and not all at one time. The Mail component could choke, causing the program to crash, if you try to move too many messages at the same time.

Before attempting to move messages from the Inbox to an archive folder, back up your Profile. If for any reason you make an error, you will have a current back up of your entire Profile.

The easiest way to move messages from one folder to another:
Highlight the messages you wish to move, by holding down the Shift key, or hold down the Ctrl key if the messages are scattered.
Right click the highlighted messages
Click on:    Move to | Mail Account | your archive folder
Your messages will be moved.

If you prefer, you can select Copy to | Mail Account | your archive folder
Copying the messages will create one extra step. Once you copy the messages from the Inbox to the archive folder, then you will need to delete the files you copied from the Inbox.

Once you have either moved or copied the files from the Inbox to your archive folder, compact the folders. If you have storage medium other than a floppy drive, i.e., a Zip Drive, or CD/DVD Burner, then back up to the storage medium on a regular basis.

See my guideline for Archiving, and Accessing Mail on CD

With the browser, and Quick Launch closed:
Open Windows Explorer and navigate to the *.slt (salted) folder
See:   Profiles Folder Location   for your OS.

Firefox and Thunderbird salted folders begin with the salted characters and end with the Profile Name: xxxxxxxx.profilename

Delete these Netscape, Mozilla, and SeaMonkey files:
history.dat - this is the database of all visited web pages
XUL.mfl - contains pre compiled chrome and JavaScript cache for faster loading

Delete this entire folder:
Cache - temporary internet files

Delete this Firefox file:
history.dat - this is the database of all visited web pages

Your browser will rebuild these files, and folder, when next opened.
Do this for each Profile.

Backing Up Your Profiles - Very Important!
Back up your Profiles Folder frequently, and certainly when any additions, deletions, or edits are made. Windows XP users should pay special attention, as the prefs.js file can become corrupt after a crash, or perhaps for no reason at all. This can result in the loss of Mail, and Mail settings. Mail can be easily recovered by replacing the corrupt prefs.js file with your current back up. Otherwise if no prefs.js back up is available it becomes a more complicated procedure.

Before backing up the Profiles folder, compact your Mail folders, and delete the history.dat, and XUL.mfl files, and Cache folder, from the *.slt (salted) folder.

To back up your Profile:
Close the browser and Quick Launch
Open Windows Explorer
Create a back up folder on your root directory, which would be C: for most users. Name the folder whatever you wish

Navigate to your Profiles folder:

Netscape 7:
  < path >\Application Data\Mozilla\Profiles
Netscape 8:
  < path >\Application Data\Netscape\NSB\Profiles
  < path >\Application Data\Mozilla\Profiles\
  < path >\Application Data\Thunderbird\Profiles

Right click the Profiles folder
Click on "Copy"

Navigate to the back up folder and right click the folder
Click on "Paste"
Now you have a current back up of your Profile.

Also maintain the Download Manager, by frequently deleting the list of files that you have downloaded. To clear the list of files:

Click on   Tools | Download Manager
Press Ctrl+A
Click on   "Remove from List"

Another option is to delete the downloads.rdf file which will clear the list of downloaded files. Ensure that the browser and Quick Launch are closed before deleting the downloads.rdf file. The file is located here:
< path >\Application Data\Mozilla\Profiles\profilename\*.slt

Since that file affects performance, as the log file grows larger, the workaround I use, is to make the downloads.rdf file "Read-only". Close the browser and Quick Launch. Open the *.slt folder and scroll down to the downloads.rdf file. Right click the file and select "Properties". In the "Attributes" section, insert a tick in the square beside "Read only".

See Bug #132755 for further information.

Netscape 8 can be configured in Options | Tools | Privacy to clear the Downloads list on exit of the browser.

The Firefox Download history can be configured in Tools | Options | Advanced | Private Data. Download history can be automatically deleted, along with other data, on closing Firefox.

Windows maintenance - but also important for error free browser performance:

Do a "Find" for *.tmp and delete all files found
Start | Find | Files or Folder

Empty the Recycle Bin frequently
Do a thorough ScanDisk frequently
Defrag at your discretion


Back to Top

Return to Netscape & Mozilla Solutions

Thank you for viewing my page, you are visitor number

Since 04/15/04