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Jerky scrolling, unresponsive

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Scrolling has become unresponsive (at times a few seconds) and, when it finally scrolls, it does so with a jerk. This happens especially on websites as Rakuten and eBay when there are lots of small images and lots of open tabs. Page loading too is slow.

Please note that I have sufficient throughput as we regularly stream 2 XHD (1080p) movies simoultaneously flawlessly. I experience the problem on my Sony Vaio VPCSA (6GB RAM) running Win7. everything is updated.

Troubleshooting: Deselected hardware acceleration: no improvement. FF in safemode: very slight improvement (but maybe this was only my wishful perception). Disable Add-Ons: I could not test. The tabs "Services", "Appearance" and "Extensions" show this message: "You don't have any add-ons of this type installed" while I do have quite a few extensions installed. The "Plug-ins" tab regularly shows all the correct plug-ins that are installed.

Please advise how to restore smooth and fast scrolling.


All Replies (20)

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Start Firefox in Safe Mode {web Link} by holding down the <Shift>
key, and then starting Firefox. Is the problem still there?

Type about:preferences#advanced<enter> in the address bar. Check the Scroll settings.

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Hi FredMcD,

Merry Christmas and thanks for answering. In my original help request I wrote: "FF in safemode: very slight improvement (but maybe this was only my wishful perception)"

Yes. The problems is still there.

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Start your Computer in safe mode with networking. Then start Firefox. Try Safe web sites. Is the problem still there?

Starting The Computer In Safe Mode;
Free Online Encyclopedia

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Create a new profile as a test to check if your current profile is causing the problem.

See "Creating a profile":

If the new profile works then you can transfer files from a previously used profile to the new profile, but be cautious not to copy corrupted files to avoid carrying over problems.

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FredMcD said

Try Safe web sites. Is the problem still there?

If eBay, Rakuten and similar websites are considered not safe then I cannot use FF.


I need tech support to help me browse those websites, but without experiencing jerkyness and unresponsiveness.

FF becomes unresponsive when I open more than 6 or 7 tabs. This does not happen with IE.

Pls, can you help me fix this problem. It really makes the browser not usable. I don't want to switch to IE but I will have to if I cannot fix this problem.

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ascanio1 said

If eBay, Rakuten and similar websites are considered not safe then I cannot use FF.

I did not say these were not safe. They are secured sites, yes?

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I have always used eBay and Rakuten, they are not porn, they are online sell/buy websites. I guess that they are secure... I don't know what you mean by secured.

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After the site is loaded, look at the right side of the address bar. Do you see a padlock? That means the site / connection is secure.

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I checked and they have the little padlock so, yes, they are secured sites. But I thought that eBay was famous... anyway, I tested with IE, and IE works fine. The problem is that I want to stay with FF as I hate MS... I will test Chrome tomorrow but if you have solutions to fix FF I would prefer to stay with FF...

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Do you have nvidia's network access manager or forceware network manager software installed? Disable / remove it.

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No, I can't see that Nvidia programme.

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I am still hoping and waiting for someone to help me or follow up to these messages.

My problem is not resolved. Please read all the thread, carefully, as I tried many solutions...

The only VERY SMALL improvement was creating a new profile but still remains jerky and unresponsive when pages like Amazon, eBay and other that display lots of images are opened in numerous tabs.

PLEASE HELP! I don't want to dis-install Firefox and revert to IE !!!

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Type about:preferences#advanced<Enter> in the address bar.

Under Advanced, Select General. Look for and turn off Use Hardware Acceleration.

Restart Firefox. Is there any problems?

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Thanks for your time and for suggesting the hardware acceleration. Unfortunately no improvement.

Please, can you suggest any other solution not already listed here? I'm desperate to solve this problem or I'll have to leave FF...


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Boot the computer in Windows Safe Mode with network support (press F8 on the boot screen) to see if that has effect.

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Same problem and here a solution:

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@ Riksoft, I tried all those before asking this question.

@ cor-el I don't experience jerkiness and unresponsiveness with the same websites (eBay, Amazon) when I use Chrome and IE work, so it's not Windows.

I'm really frustrated and baffled why FF won't scroll smoothly when I open many tabs!

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@ascanio1: Do you use smooth scrolling? If yes, read on -


  1. The "solution_2" might work but also might not. Since it depends on the type of hardware you have. And even if it works, in my experience it is still a bit laggy. So I suggest you use the first option.
  2. Also Firefox will be issuing a fix for the lagging scroll in v46, see here.

So again, you can just disable the smooth scroll (solution_1) for now and enable it after the release of version 46 (released in April).

SOLUTION 1 Disable smooth scrolling -

  • Preferences -> Advanced -> Use smooth scrolling (uncheck the check-box).
  • You can also enable Use hardware acceleration when available now (as this has no effect on normal scroll).

SOLUTION 2 If you like smooth scrolling and dont want to disable it, first check if your Firefox windows are accelerated -

  • press <Alt>,
  • choose from the menu: Help -> Troubleshooting Information. Find the following - GPU Accelerated Windows (see attached image).

The "GPU Accelerated Windows" will show either "0/1 ****" or "1/1 ****". The first one means that acceleration is disabled. You have to update your GPU drivers to the latest version to enable this.

  • Use this guide to do so.
  • Then enable Use hardware acceleration when available option if you disabled it (restart the browser after this).
  • Check again the "GPU Accelerated Windows". It should now show "1/1 ****"

Hope this helps! If you run into trouble dont hesitate to ask.

Modified by Krow

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About " GPU Accelerated Windows" On the same PC V39 was perfect while v40+ is like a dead. From V46a it starts to work properly again. So the problem it's not a matter of drivers but a software problem.

There is a sort of basic wrong thinking here...

Scenario: I'm happy with hardware X with linux Y and Firefox in a company with 100 PCs. The day after Firefox upgrade itself from v39 to 40 and starts working like a tired snail. Should I change 100 PCs because of a bunch of of wrong line of code in Firefox? In such scenario I prefer to change browser than 100 PCs.

That's why a product should always take care of pre-existing situations.

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Riksoft said

About " GPU Accelerated Windows" On the same PC V39 was perfect while v40+ is like a dead. From V46a it starts to work properly again. So the problem it's not a matter of drivers but a software problem.

Actually it works well on an Intell GPU with occasional lagging.

But on my AMD machine, not so much. The only reason I didnt notice it so much is because I wasnt using smooth scroll.

Also, if the "GPU Accelerated Windows" is disabled, you can force enable it - about:config -> layers.acceleration.force-enabled But this option might make things worse and even crash the browser. Or might actually help.

Modified by Krow

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