Pale Moon – Custom Built & Optimized Firefox Browser


The Pale Moon Project

Mozilla Firefox is a very good and stable browser and I love it because of the many available extensions/addons/plugins that provide lots of extended features. However, Mozilla Firefox when used (with a lot of extensions installed) on Windows Operating System, tend to slow down and tend to crash more often. I think its because Ubuntu like other Linux flavors get a Firefox version that’s optimized for the system. If you’re a Mozilla Firefox user who’s looking for a custom-built Firefox browser that would perform 25% better and faster on Windows Operating System, then you should try out Pale Moon.

The Pale Moon project is a custom-built, optimized Firefox browser designed specifically for the Windows Operating System. Although it is built on Firefox, it doesn’t have all the features or functions that Firefox has because some features have been disabled to maximize the speed and efficiency of Pale Moon.

Features:

  • Highly optimized for current processors
  • 100% Firefox sourced: As safe as the browser that has seen years of development.
  • Uses slightly less memory because of disabled redundant and optional code
  • Significant speed increases for page drawing and script processing
  • Support for SVG and Canvas, downloadable fonts, WOFF and some HTML5
  • Support for Firefox extensions, themes and personas
  • Support for OOPP (Out-of-process plugin execution)
  • Able to use existing Firefox profiles, bookmarks and settings with this migration tool

System Requirements:

  • Windows 2000/XP/2003/Vista/Seven, 32-bit or 64-bit (64-bit O.S.es are not natively supported, but the browser will run fine on them)
  • A modern processor with SSE2 support like a Pentium IV or Athlon 64 or later (see list of supported processors) Standard Pale Moon will NOT run on Athlon XP processors! Please GO HERE if you are running on an Athlon XP or Athlon MP processor machine.
  • 64 MB of RAM (128 MB or more recommended)
  • At least 50 MB of free (uncompressed) disk space

I’ve tried Pale Moon for about a week now and I can say that it really is faster and performs better than a regular Mozilla Firefox build on a Windows Operating System. I’ve compared the boot time for each version and Pale Moon definitely boots up faster than Firefox. One particular test that I did was to load up several flash intensive websites like NBA.com, CNN.com, YouTube and Hulu on both Firefox and Pale Moon, and then checked the memory usage for each browser. As you can see from the screenshots below, Pale Moon uses less resources than Firefox.

The Pale Moon Project

Another important thing to mention is that almost all Firefox extensions/addons/plugins can be installed and will work on Pale Moon. I installed the exact extensions/addons/plugins that I have on Firefox and everything worked fine. I also noticed that the whole time I was using Pale Moon, the browser has never crashed. I tried and tested it by doing the same stuff I do on Firefox – logging in to my WordPress dashboard, web browsing, watching online videos, etc.

Pale Moon is an open source project so it is FREE to download/use. If you want to be updated with the latest Pale Moon developments and news, you can follow it on Twitter – @palemoonbrowser.

Click here to download Pale Moon.

IMPORTANT: Some users who tried it report that uninstalling Pale Moon can delete your existing Mozilla Firefox profile (stored bookmarks, passwords, sessions, etc.). To make sure you won’t lose your profile you can back it up by installing either the FEBE (Firefox Environment Backup Extension) or the MozBackup Firefox addon.

UPDATE: As pointed out by one of our readers, only older versions of Pale Moon caused issues with the Mozilla Firefox profile as Pale Moon 3.6.6 and later versions no longer share profiles with Firefox. If you’re running a version earlier than 3.6.6, you can use the Profile Migration Tool to migrate your profile.

Anyone else tried or are using the Pale Moon web browser? From your experience, is it faster and does it perform better than Firefox? Please share your thoughts.

Owner and editor of JaypeeOnline. Self-proclaimed geek. New media writer and consultant. WordPress advocate. Loves blogging, gadgets, video games and sports. You can follow him on Google+, Facebook or Twitter.

8 Comments

  1. RT

    March 18, 2011 at 7:08 PM

    Was using FirefoxPortable, downloaded Pale Moon Portable. Migration was a breeze (just copied the Profile from a folder to the other), and all settings & extensions were carried over successfully.

    I haven’t tried a custom build for ages, and I’ve gotta say this one comes with an appreciatable speed gain, especially on my venerable workstation.

  2. tipsntricks

    February 25, 2011 at 5:10 AM

    I badly need this new version because my PC doesn’t have enough memory to handle lots of add ons.

  3. JP Habaradas

    February 23, 2011 at 1:15 AM

    @neo – I understand what you’re saying. However, users have different preferences so it’s inevitable to see several deritaves of Firefox and other web browsers. But yeah, it would be nice if these parties worked together to make Firefox much better. :D

  4. neo

    February 23, 2011 at 1:10 AM

    making forks just make the opensource community scattered. the beauty can be appreciated when guy 2 dont like the coding scheme of guy 1, to build better browser. the bad – 2 builds for the same product. then it will branch, branch, branch. there are too many firefox derivatives.

    firefox has that “safe mode” browser, why didnt the palemoon integrate the product there instead? lol. saves resources.

    same goes to RockMelt. its a google chrome derivative with integrated search, facebook, and twitter connections.

    oh, every one wants to have a name on the web.

  5. JP Habaradas

    February 22, 2011 at 7:30 PM

    @Jhay – I guess only the Windows version is the “bloated” version of Firefox as the Linux versions are optimized and work/perform much better. I hope Mozilla addresses this issue on future releases of Firefox.

  6. Jhay

    February 22, 2011 at 7:27 PM

    Interesting, though the fact that Pale Moon was conceived just goes to show how bloated Firefox is now and it’s suffering because of it.

    Looking at the specs, Pale Moon runs on almost every version of Windows as the regular Firefox build does. It may be picky on processors but the two browsers share essentially the same system base. So my guess is that the Pale Moon guys are doing something the Firefox guys are not – making a better browser.

  7. JP Habaradas

    February 22, 2011 at 6:40 PM

    @Azza – Thanks for pointing that out. I missed that part when I first read through their website. I’ve updated the post and included the right information. :)

  8. Azza

    February 22, 2011 at 6:39 PM

    Just one remark: “Some users who tried it report that uninstalling Pale Moon can delete your existing Mozilla Firefox profile”
    That might have been true for older versions of Pale Moon, when it still shared its profile with Firefox, but those days are long past :) since 3.6.6 it keeps everything neatly to itself! And you can install and uninstall with ease and without danger.

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