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FF won't shut down cleanly


Firefox doesn't shut down cleanly. It never has. It often only does a "top kill" which leaves the bottom running. It won't start again until you kill the entire process. I have to open Task Manager, hunt around for the remnant of the application ("firefox.exe"), and kill it.

How can I get FF to shut down cleanly?

Additional System Details

This happened

A few times a week

This started when...

FF has always had this problem

Installed Plug-ins

  • Shockwave Flash 10.1 r82
  • Winamp Application Detector
  • NPRuntime Script Plug-in Library for Java(TM) Deploy
  • Adobe PDF Plug-In For Firefox and Netscape "9.3.4"
  • RealPlayer(tm) LiveConnect-Enabled Plug-In
  • RealJukebox Netscape Plugin
  • Default Plug-in
  • Next Generation Java Plug-in 1.6.0_21 for Mozilla browsers
  • Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) plug-in for Mozilla browsers
  • RealPlayer(tm) HTML5VideoShim Plug-In
  • DRM Netscape Network Object
  • Npdsplay dll
  • DRM Store Netscape Plugin


  • User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv: Gecko/20100914 Firefox/3.6.10 ( .NET CLR 3.5.30729)

More Information

It makes no difference which FF version or which PC I use.

Helper7677 165 solutions 1653 answers

Sounds like it is hanging when you exit and later try to restart Firefox.

You need to update your plugins. It is important to keep them updated due to continuing security fixes and improvements in those plug-ins:

  1. Check your plugin versions: http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/plugincheck/
    • Note: plugin check page does not have information on all plugin versions
  2. Update Shockwave Flash

Question owner

It doesn't shut down cleanly. It's _NOT_ hanging. There's a difference.

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10738 solutions 96600 answers

You shouldn't take article titles that strictly. You can't include everything in a title. Hanging means that the Firefox process doesn't end completely and that the process is still active and visible in the Task Manager on the processes tab.

You can try to disable the Windows Presentation Foundation plug-in (Tools > Add-ons > Plugins). If you have the Java Console and the Java Quick Starter extensions (Tools > Add-ons > Extensions) then you can try to disable those as well.

See Troubleshoot extensions, themes and hardware acceleration issues to solve common Firefox problems and Troubleshoot issues with plugins like Flash or Java to fix common Firefox problems

Question owner

Thanks, but this simply screams "bad design". I shouldn't have to disable plug-ins or java every time I shut down Firefox. That is just a non-starter.

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3194 solutions 24384 answers

The only way you are going to determine what is causing that problem is to do a little troubleshooting, by trying the probable solutions offered in this forum. The suggestion that cor-el made was to disable those plugins and see which one is causing that "hang"; do them one at a time to help figure out which is causing that problem. Also, Firefox needs a restart for disabling some extensions, so waiting to disable them immediately before closing Firefox may not work.

How is it a "bad design" if you install a plugin that doesn't work properly with Firefox and that plugin causes the Firefox to hang and not close completely?

Helper7677 165 solutions 1653 answers

"If you have time to whine and complain about something then you have the time to do something about it." - Anthony J. D'Angelo

Helpful Reply

It strikes me as pure laziness to keep offering this same mickey-mouse solution to a chronic Firefox problem. Java, for example, is an integral part of Firefox and FF should be properly engineered and checked to see it's not choking on Java (or any other process). To say that I can always run FF without Java if my FF isn't working properly is simply laziness. If Task Manager can shut down FF, then FF can implement a similar, efficient shut-down. It's a bad design issue, not an end user issue. And worse, it's a design issue that's been bugging FF users for years because FF support keeps offering this same bogus remedy: "Uninstall all your plugins and try again." It's time to come up with something different.

Modified by JJJoseph

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3194 solutions 24384 answers

None of us here at Mozilla Support are developers, we're all users like you, who volunteer our time to help other Firefox users. We can't fix Java and we can't fix Firefox, but at least with Mozilla we have a voice with the developers via Bugzilla.

Java is not an integral part of Firefox, it is a plugin made by a different company. The Java extensions that cor-el mentioned aren't even necessary for Java to work in Firefox; the Quick Starter is just that, it opens Java a little faster when it is called for - but IMO it is flawed and causes problems for some users. The Java Console extension is really only useful for people who need to troubleshoot Java problems, AFAIK. IMO, that extension doesn't belong in the Java Runtime Environment (as it used to be called), it belongs in a "developer package" instead.

Harleystroker2 0 solutions 1 answers

Helpful Reply

I also was having this problem and after searching for a week I came across a posting that recommended downloading SUPERANTISPYWARE, it is a free download and as strange as it seems this WORKED!! I could not get FireFox or Google Chrome to end no matter what I tried, I could not even use the Task Manager to close them and when I tired of waiting and tried to shutdown the computer it would hang waiting for the programs to allow a shutdown and I would finally give up and shut of the power,


I hope this works for others also.

tictoc 0 solutions 1 answers

Here is a quick fix for Ubuntu and Linux users, until Firefox can fix this problem...

(Something similar can be implemented in Windows, but I don't do Windows.)

For Ubuntu/Linux, you are going to create a custom launcher which kills firefox, then waits a second, then opens a new firefox. This custom launcher will replace all your standard Firefox icons for starting Firefox program.

1. Right click on top panel in Ubuntu (or any GNU/linux) > choose "Add to Panel"

2. Choose "Custom Application Launcher"

3. Add following information:

Name: Whatever you want, e.g. Stop and Start Firefox

Command: sh -c "pkill firefox; wait; firefox %u"

Comment: Stop Firefox, Wait, then start Firefox again.

This command will "kill firefox, wait till done, then open firefox".

Now, use your new custom launcher every time you want to use Firefox.

After this, you can choose another favorite icon for your new custom launcher by right clicking on it, choosing Properties, then click on icon image to change it.