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Firefox freezes randomly when interacting with forms and opening new windows

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So, for about a month or so now I have been experiencing random freezing in Firefox on my home PC running Windows 7 (I know it's outdated, it's by choice). I'm pretty certain it started after a specific update, but at this point can't tell which one.

Here's the behavior itself:

Firefox completely freezes and soon after the window turns white and a 'Firefox stopped responding' dialog pops up. After I close Firefox, I am able to restart it normally. However, at restart, it says 'Oops, there was a problem restoring your session' but then successfully restores the session if I click the button or select the option from the History menu (however, this does not always pop up - see the 'what I tried section').

When it happens:

1) When interacting with input forms such as login and password forms. Seemingly happens more often with forms that have previous input saved for them, but I'm not sure.

2) When opening new windows (notably NOT new tabs) such as when opening a private browsing window, bookmarks window, download history window or when using the picture-in-picture option on Youtube.

How frequently it happens:

The frequency appears to be random and not specific to any website. It most often seems to hapen after about an hour of browsing, but can also happen immediately at restart or go longer without freezing. Interestingly, disabling Ublock Origins seems to dramatically decrease the frequency of freezing, but does not eliminate it completely.

What I've tried so far:

1) Looking for problematic extensions. Running in safe mode seems to prevent the issue, so I started disabling extensions one by one. Ultimately though, even with all extensions disabled outside of safe mode, the issue persists. As noted above, it seems to freeze less often when Ublock Origins is disabled.

2) Tracking memory and CPU usage. Nothing abnormal there - I have 16 GB of memory and Firefox rarely goes over 5.

3) Refreshing Firefox. This did nothing except cause the 'Oops, there was a problem restoring your session' tab to first start appearing. Before the refresh that didn't used to happen at restart.

4) Disabling hardware acceleration. No effect.

5) Removing bookmarks. I had a very large number of bookmarks saved so I deleted a bunch of them. No effect.

6) Deleting the places database. No effect.

7) Deleting the session restore files. This has been the most interesting option. Deleting the session restore files DID stop the freezing... until it came back again in a couple of days. Interestingly, when it first came back it was not accompanied by the 'Oops, there was a problem restoring your session' message at first, but eventually that started appearing too. This gave me the thought today that perhaps this is caused by a website somehow 'corruping' the session data. I was going to delete the session restore files again and start looking for the offending website, but puzzlingly, this time deleting the files did not stop the freezing.

Modified by nlkonovalenko

All Replies (6)

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hello nlkonovalenko,

i think you did a great job at all the tests you have done to figure out this quirk. I can say that your issue seems to be pretty rare. So i dont think it is an issue with the browser itself but an issue that the browser is experiencing from the o.s.

And while I have no idea of what is the cause of your issue, there are some extra things you can try to further test the issue, "before" i suggest to downgrade your FF browser back to the version that proved functional for you.

1) See if windows default browser is set to FF. Its possible that another browser is fighting for control of that form. 2) See if the forms you are downloading have an extension that are set to be opened by another default application. For example, if the extension is PDF, then a pdf application may be fighting for control of the document being opened by FF 3) Double check your virtual mem/page file and ensure it is not off or set too low 4) Temporarily disable your anti-virus and firewall and any other apps in windows that are running. Then retry downloading the form 5) When webpages are downloaded, they are usually go into the Temporary Folder on the C drive. So clear out/clean out the files in it. If the problematic file exists, then it could hinder the re-downloading of the file. 5) Reinstall your Fire Fox and retry. 6) Finally, revert to your former functional version and move on with life.

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You can try to disable hardware acceleration in Firefox.

Close and restart Firefox after modifying the setting for changes to take effect.

You can check if there is an update for your graphics display driver and check for hardware acceleration related issues.

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~dbben ·´¯`·...¸>-)))º>

Hi! Thanks for the reply. It took me some time to get around to trying out the proposed solutions, but I have. Perplexingly, none worked! Even a clean reinstall of Firefox has not resolved the issue.

So far the only clue is that Firefox does not freeze when running in Safe Mode - I tested this by using it in safe mode only for three days so I'm certain at this point. However, in normal mode even if I disable ALL add-ons and turn off hardware acceleration, the freezing still happens. Other than those two points, what else is different between normal mode and safe mode?

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Hello Nik,

If the issue does not present itself in safemode, then you have discovered 50% of the problem.

So the next step is to try to make Windows Normal Mode clean again, per se. I say "clean" because over time people install this & that to try out, to play with, to prevent a problem and or to solve a problem. But ultimately, the app could be faulty, corrupted or be in conflict for another application.

While explaining what all windows in safe mode accomplishes, it's easier to say that your windows in normal mode could have something running that probably should not be

My suggestion is to disable all startups that are launching when the desktop launches. You can see and disable them via msconfig

By temporarily disabling all the startups, you will have normal-mode behave a bit more like safe-mode. (If there is a mouse or keyboard driver in the startup, i think they are safe to leave them alone)

Afterwards restart windows and retry FF

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~dbben ·´¯`·...¸>-)))º>

Hey, thanks for the reply! I guess I didn't describe my situation quite clearly enough. When I mentioned safe mode I mean Firefox's safe mode, not Windows' safe mode. And I thought that Firefox's safe mode only disables extensions and hardware acceleration, but apparently it also changes something else and that something else is likely the cause of the freezing.

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Thanks for the clarification.

50% of the time when FireFox become unstable and unreliable results from people installing software like BitDefender, and other applications on their o.s.,.

So the best way to drill down what the inflictions are, is to temporarily disable all those possibilities that are within our reach, ie within your control.

My problem solving methodology would include analyzing if FireFox in normal mode works ok while in Windows Safemode.

However, it is your machine. So maybe you can execute a "Refresh" of FireFox. This methodology resets FireFox to its initial state.

But for safety sake, back up your bookmarks and passwords first or the entire profile folder for the "just in case" scenario.  :-)