Learn how to enable the hardware acceleration on Mozilla Firefox

Mozilla Firefox isn't the most used browser, however is used by a significant part of people, which makes it quite important. There's an interesting problem with the hardware acceleration in this browser as it comes disabled by default. 

It seems, since 2012, there's a security-related issue with WebGL, a potential security risk, a faulty implementation that does not properly support dual-GPU systems. You can find more information about these discussions here:

If you want to continue anyway in order to improve the performance of Firefox on your PC, then follow these steps.

1. Access browser advanced preferences

To access the advanced preferences of Firefox, you need to type the about:config address in the address bar and navigate to it. Most of the times, especially when it's the first time you launch this area, you will see a warning:

Firefox Caution Configuration

You need to click on Accept the risk and continue. You may as well uncheck the given option so it won't appear after accessing the configuration again.

2. Turn on Accelerated Compositing Layers

ACL or Accelerated Compositing Layers goes about the point to take advantage of the GPU when available to accelerate the rendering of web content. Making better use of the available graphics hardware of the device, delegating the work that is required to composite the final view of a webpage from all the layers that it contains, which means for you as a final user, that you will have a better user experience and rendering performance. To understand how this works, you need to know how a web page is actually rendered by Gecko or WebKit. Hardware acceleration is enabled by default on Google Chrome for example:

Google Chrome Hardware Acceleration Enabled

However, in Mozilla Firefox it isn't. To enable Accelerated compositing in Firefox, search for the layers.acceleration.force-enabled property, and set it to true:

Firefox Enable Layers Acceleration

And that's everything, you just need to restart the firefox browser and try its new speed. Personally, it really optimizes many aspects graphically because I found that the browser, especially when working with a lot of tabs opened, the browser will respond way better than before.

Happy coding ❤️!

Senior Software Engineer at Software Medico. Interested in programming since he was 14 years old, Carlos is a self-taught programmer and founder and author of most of the articles at Our Code World.