Fixing jerky scrolling in Firefox

Fedora did a lovely job of updating me to the latest version (v. 20) of Firefox. One problem I found, was that scrolling on certain pages was quite jerky. Performance was worse (or more likely) on pages with a frameset, and pages which were long. Pages with many images made this problem worse.

It turns out that the workaround is to disable hardware acceleration:


After you’ve unchecked this box, restart Firefox, and scrolling is now considerably smoother.

Hopefully this helped you out. Most likely there is some driver issue or deficiency with the X drivers. I’m using an excellent Thinkpad X201. I’ve also had at least two cases of X freezing while I was manipulating a Firefox window, so perhaps this is related, and hopefully this won’t happen to me anymore.

Happy hacking,



13 thoughts on “Fixing jerky scrolling in Firefox

  1. Thank you…thank you!!! for this tip. Searching for….days…for a fix it myself to the jerky scrolling in OE – via Firefox – Self-deliverance seemed my only option when, following some unknown path to your link – found this. Voila!!! It worked! Pamela

  2. Just thought I’d share what I encountered regarding jerky scrolling in Firefox, and fixing it. I may be atypical though, so YMMV. I have three Firefox windows open, with about 70 tabs in total. The first windows is a general purpose windows, and each additional window is dedicated to a project. After a recent upgrade I noticed that scrolling was jerky – I tried the settings above – no joy. Tried a few other things too with no joy. I noticed in Task Manager that Firefox was consuming a lot of CPU. With a bit of trial and error I found that facebook was the cause. I moved this to Chrom and my CPU returned to normal, and so also returned my smooth scrolling.

    Hope that helps someone.

  3. James.. I think it worked. What did this do? Did it free up memory? CPU? It seems to be worse on busy sites just like you said. Anyway, thank you..

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