Mike McBride

Revision KDE 4.4 (2009-11-24)

Performance Settings

KDE, is used on a wide variety of computers by a wide variety of users. Under the category of performance, this dialog allows each user to adjust options which may make the computer that Konqueror is installed on feel more responsive.

Konqueror instances

The first section of this dialog is labeled Minimize Memory Usage and has three options which determine maximum number of instances of Konqueror that can be open on one machine at any one time.


Do not confuse Konqueror instances, with Konqueror windows or tabs. The number of Konqueror instances is determined by KDE not by the user. You can think of instances as the hidden data of your Konqueror windows and tabs. One Konqueror instance can contain the data for multiple windows or tabs. Your choice on the following radio buttons does not limit the number of windows you can open at one time, but rather, how many instances of Konqueror you can have open.

The reason the choices you make in this dialog box are important is evident when something goes wrong and Konqueror is forced to close an instance. All Konqueror windows associated with a Konqueror instance must be closed immediatly (without time to save data or bookmark locations). Therefore, the more instances you can have open at one time, the less likely a problem in one instance will affect all of your work. Each instance requires more memory which can be a problem on systems with less system memory.

Your options are:


There are no restraints. Any number of Konqueror instances can be open at any one time. The advantage of this option is if any Konqueror instance crashes the remaining will be unaffected. The disadvantage is that each Konqueror instance uses more memory.

For file browsing only (recommended)

If this option is selected, you can have as many as you want Konqueror instances open that are browsing the web, but only one instance of Konqueror for file management.

Always (use with care)

If this option is selected, you can only have one instance of Konqueror running at any one time. This saves system memory, but if your Konqueror window crashes, all your browsing windows close immediatly without warning. This should only be used for seriously memory limited systems.


The subsection labeled Preloading also makes a tradeoff between memory and performance.

Preloading refers to loading an instance of Konqueror into memory before a user asks to start Konqueror. The positive effect of this is that when a user asks KDE to load Konqueror the window appears instantly because most of the application has been preloaded. The negative effect is that this instance of Konqueror uses memory that could be used by other programs. By default, when a user closes Konqueror, KDE does not close the instance. This means that the next time a user wants Konqueror loaded, it is nearly instantaneous again.

The spinbox labeled Maximum number of instances kept preloaded: can be used to adjust the maximum number of preloaded instances. This option does not affect instances when they are loaded. It also does not limit the number of instances that can be used by active windows. It only affects the number of preloaded instances.

The check box labeled Preload an instance after KDE startup does just what it says. It tells KDE to preload one instance of Konqueror at the startup of KDE.


This does extend the startup time for KDE.

The final check box labeled Always try to have at least one preloaded instance signals to KDE that you always want KDE to have one preloaded, but not used, instance of Konqueror available. This option will actually decrease performance on some machines (especially those with limited physical memory).