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when I clear history script:chrome://browser/content/sanitize.js:136 hangs, what is this?

  • 52 replies
  • 3209 have this problem
  • Last reply by Walrus

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When I "clear recent history" it hangs and "script:chrome://browser/content/sanitize.js:136" comes up and I have to stop the script to continue. This started within the last week.

All Replies (20)

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Sounds like an issue with a plugin: that script block deals with the plugin history clean-up. Can you recall which plugins you installed or updated during that week?

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I seem to have figured this out. Close out of Firefox and delete downloads.sqlite in your profile directory. Firefox will create a new one the next time it starts. I can now clear my recent history without the browser hanging and that error message.

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On Windows, the file path is: %APPDATA%\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\%PROFILENAME%\downloads.sqlite

I renamed the file, but it did not work.

What I did was uncheck all of the checkboxes in "Clear Recent History..." By one checkbox at a time, I cleared each item. When I reached the "Cookies" item, I got the unresponsive script/JavaScript error, so I left that unchecked and cleared the rest of the items. After I cleared everything else, I returned to the "Cookies" item, and I was able to clear it now.


"A script on this page may be busy, or it may have stopped responding. You can stop the script now, or you can continue to see if the script will complete.

Script: chrome://browser/content/sanitize.js:136"

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My solution did work at first, but the browser started hanging again, so here I am again.

dawpa2000: I tried your solution and it does work, but it's not reasonable that we should have to disable deleting cookies in order to restore basic browser functionality. I hope that Firefox will release a fix for this.

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I also experienced this Warning: Unresponsive Script error script:chrome://browser/content/sanitize.js:136 every time I did the following:

Tools >> Clear Recent History >> Time Range to Clear: Everything, Check All Boxes Listed under Details >> Clear Now

First I tried the following:

Tools >> Add-ons >> Plugins >> Disable all plug-ins listed.

Upon closing and relaunching the browser the error was gone, but this was not the ideal solution to use my browser without plug-ins, so to fix, I went here: to check for plug-ins that were out of date, and updated the following plug-ins: Adobe Acrobat, Quicktime, and Java. After installing all of the updates and re-enabling all of my plug-ins, the error is gone.

Modified by dp_dp

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All my plug-ins are uptodate and it's still hanging. Any other solutions out there?

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Which items are check-marked in Delete browsing, search and download history on Firefox ?

Try to select one at a time to see which selection is causing the problem. Then you can try to remove the related file.


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It's the cookies. I did try that but it's a recurring problem; also I shouldn't have to delete the cookies manually everytime it hangs. It's only started since I switched to 4.0 too.

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The problem seems to be with a script within the actual firefox default theme extension: C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\extensions\{972ce4c6-7e08-4474-a285-3208198ce6fd}. I'm a complete novice here though and changing the theme to a different one doesn't work.

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Is anyone else here using Mouse Gestures Redox? I uninstalled it (dev build from their site because it was never updated for FF4) and erased its entries from the prefs.js file. A pleasant side effect seems to be that clearing recent history no longer causes the browser to hang! This is the only solution that has consistently worked for me so far.

Edit: If you don't have this extension installed, it might benefit you to close Firefox and move or delete the prefs.js file. Firefox will generate a new one when you restart the browser and you'll have to reset your interface settings, but it just might fix this problem.

Modified by alexvanderschmaz

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I have the answer. I compared Firefox profile directories on two different computers--one has the script problem and the other doesn't. The following files were in the profile directory of the problem install but not in the other.

  • bookmarks.html.sbsd.bak
  • credentials
  • downloads.sqlite
  • febeUserDefinedBuData.json
  • feedbar.cache
  • feedbar.sqlite
  • hostperm.1
  • localstore-safe.rdf
  • persdict.dat
  • search.rdf
  • sessionstore.bak
  • urlclassifier2.sqlite
  • urlclassifier3.txt
  • user.js

I closed Firefox, removed them from the folder (backed them up in another location in case I needed them later), and reopened the browser. Clearing history now occurs at lightning speed and no more script error!

I'm not sure which file was causing the error, and some of those may have been leftover from previous addons, so your mileage may vary. If anyone is able to identify the specific problem file, please post and let us know.

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I have this problem with the foxit reader plugin for mozilla. I have disabled this plugin and the problem is gone.

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Check your chrome.manifest and binary.manifest files. Both are located in C:/Program Files/Mozilla Firefox. I opened mine with Notepad and saw this:

chrome.manifest: manifest components/binary.manifest□
binary.manifest: binary-component xpcomsample.dll□binary-component browsercomps.dll□

Those little squares shouldn't be there. Delete the squares when Firefox is closed so that the contents of the files now looks like this:

chrome.manifest: manifest components/binary.manifest
binary.manifest: binary-component xpcomsample.dllbinary-component browsercomps.dll

I have submitted this solution to bugzilla as there's already an open ticket for this bug. Still waiting on confirmation from others that this works but it appears to. Please try this and post here if it solves your problem.

Modified by berty

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That worked for me :) Cheers berty

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Unfortunately, I got the error again tonight, even though the fix seemed to work so well at first. This is truly perplexing. >:O

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This may be related to Flash cookies (LSO) that Firefox tries to clear via the Flash plugin.

Do you see any extra plugin-container processes appearing in the Task Manager if you use Clear Recent History to clear the cookies?

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Yeah cor-el they do for me. Before I used Clear Recent History to clear the cookies I only had the one plugin-container process running, then when I cleared history a further 5 more plugin-container processes appeared before the script error message came up.

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cor-el: same thing happens to me. I had one plugin-container process running, then cleared history and went up 11 instances. Unbelievable.

If you go into about:config, you can find dom.ipc.plugins.enabled and set it to false, which will limit plugin-container to just one instance and turn off crash protection (I think). Not sure if this might help the sanitize.js error.

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Ok, I *think* the issue is now resolved. It was either the outdated Java plugin or a Citrix plugin. I updated my Java plugin, and deleted the Citrix plugin. All is well now.

Solution to resolve my issue: Went here: clicked on the ones I needed to be updated. For the Citrix ICA plugin, it said "research". A lot of people use Citrix, so hopefully it will be a plugin supported by Firefox, but I don't need it, and hence, I removed it. After updating the Java plugin, I cleared history, and all is well. So, it was either the Java plugin or the Citrix plugin. Hope this helps! More info of similar solution here:

Recommendations for Firefox bug slayers: I recommend to have the Plugin Check webpage actually part of Firefox (either automatically when users update Firefox, and/or as part of the help menu.) I did not realize there was a plugin check webpage officially supported by Firefox and from my research, it seems that a lot of other users are having the same issue. It's funny how Clear Private Data is linked to plugins, even when these plugins are not activated. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE have the Plugin Check webpage as part of your Help Menu. It will save you guys a lot of time, effort, and headaches for the Bugzilla team. Thank-you Marco Bonardo and dp_dp. Kudos.

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I don't have either Java or Citrix plugins so unfortunately i can't apply that possible fix. I've already updated my plugins as well and keep checking them daily in the hope some kind of update might come through to put a stop to this.

Not sure about anyone else but i've only got Shockwave Flash, DivX and Quicktime Plugins running now and i'm still getting the sanitize.js error. Although which plugins i have are probably irrelevant if it's a problem with the plugin-container or with firefox in some way.

I've tried turning off the crash protection for plugin-container as well berty and i'm still getting the issue, i've had that on and off before because it used to crash my whole computer whenever it started more than one process.

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