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After 5 Releases, Why Doesn't Mozilla Care About Memory Leaks?

  • 37 replies
  • 500 have this problem
  • Last reply by RonnieBoy

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I'm baffled as to why this is still a problem. After a few hours of use, my memory usage while using Firefox 5.0 is at 1.5GB. I've followed every FAQ, disabled every extension, done everything to stop the memory leaks when using this browser and I'm growing very tired.

I have a Core i7 MacBook Pro with 4GB RAM and Firefox still manages to bring it to it knees. I've been a devoted Firefox user since 2002-3 and I've just about lost my faith in this browser.

Chrome is a featureless, ugly, dinky browser that I hate to use, but it leaves Firefox in its dust performance-wise. Where is the happy medium? I don't get it.

My favorite answer is always, "disable your extensions." Here are the problems with that:

1. Without extensions, Firefox is nothing. I might as well use Chrome. 2. It never seems to help, and when it does a little, it is difficult to figure out which extensions are doing the most damage. Why doesn't Firefox provide a way to look at which extensions are using the most memory? 3. Firefox should lay that smack down on extensions that could potentially leak memory, and yet, nothing. It should at least steal memory back when it gets out of control, regardless of what extension is using it. 4. Mozilla recommends some extensions that are supposed to help reduce memory usage, but none of them work on OS X.

I'm exhausted. I shouldn't have to restart my browser a million times day to get anything done. Where are the real solutions? How do years go by with problems like this still getting worse? Firefox 5 was supposed to be better at handling memory, but it's only gotten worse for me.

When will the madness end? We don't want new features, we want performance! I've always loved this browser, but is it really a surprise that Chrome is taking over?

To sum it up, if your browser is slower than Internet Explorer, you need to hurry up and fix the problem or pack it up and go home.

All Replies (20)

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My sentiments exactly!! I have all the exact same complaints and concerns, and I've also tried the solutions provided at no avail.

This the only beef I have with FireFox, but it's a bad one and I've been shopping around for a better browser. Chrome is the best alternative I've found, but it still isn't quite at parity yet.

Please fix this issue or at least make an attempt at it to let your users know it's somewhat of a future priority.

Attached a screen shot of memory usage after 1 hour, and this is the new FF 5 update.

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FF is only using 350M and you are complaining?!? That would be a dream for me. My usage is always between 1.5 and 2.0 GiB all the time. I usually restart it 1-2 times per day. Chromium memory usage seems even worse, with a similar number of tabs open. I really hope that there is something that can be done about this!

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Same issues here. In addition, Firefox is making it difficult to do other tasks... for instance, I was copying information for purchases from the internet to an Excel spreadsheet... and Firefox used up so much of the system that Excel had to notify me that it couldn't do anything else. Took a look at the Task Manager, and sure enough, Firefox was hogging all the memory. VERY unhappy with Firefox 5. (Also with 4, but that's another story...)

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They have fixed memory leak in FireFox 5. Upgrade now.

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Are you sure they updated it? Link? I have version 5.0 installed on OSX and there do not appear to be any updates available.

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They did nothing to fix the memory leak. Just finished shutting it down after it consuming 1.475 GB of RAM even with only 3 pages open - three pages that only took up 120-140 MB under 3.6.18. There is no excuse for FF4 and FF5 to be using this much memory. None.

EDIT: According to the solution is to head into about:config and set image.mem.min_discard_timeout_ms from its default of 120,000ms (2 minutes) to 10,000ms. Probably won't know if it actually works for a few more hours, of course.

EDIT 2: Nope. Didn't help in the least. Took only an hour and a half of normal use to get to over 700MB. Even closing all tabs but a local HTML list of URLs (nothing fancy, just a list with header tags to give 'em categories) and waiting a while didn't cause the memory to go back down. Back on 3.6.18 and it's using 45MB for that list page I just mentioned and for this edit page - was using twice that on a fresh load of FF5.

Modified by JDGumby

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This is getting embarrassing. I can't even have FF open for one day anymore, even back on 3.6. Funny. 3.5 would glom too much memory, but *nothing* like 3.6, 4, and 5.

I have to close my browser to use other programs... on a machine with 4 gigs.

Embarrassing. Too bad all the other browsers stink, too.

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Let's take a look at my memory usage throughout the day today:

7:30 AM: 364MB

8:00 AM: 602MB

12:00 PM: 1.3GB

Force quit

3:40 PM: 969MB

Force quit

5:30 PM: 1.16 GB

6:10 PM: 1.71GB Are you kidding me?

6:20 PM: 1.90GB after I dared to open ten tabs. Big mistake

6:21 PM: 1.92GB after I closed the tabs. What???

6:26 PM: 1.82, how does it go down while watching 720p youtube videos and MLB Gameday at the same time?

Force quit. I can't inflict any more pain on myself tonight.

Modified by powerdoesntrun

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I have 6 gigs of RAM. Solves this problem. Doesn't solve the random crashes or page rendering problem.

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I have a similar problem, close to a GB of memory use with a limited number of tabs open. It really slows down my system. I find myself opening up Chrome more often, I'm sure I'm not alone.

This should probably be a top priority for the Firefox team. Does anyone know of official reactions on this issue?

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Try MemoryFox add-on. Reduces memory leaks

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Memoryfox is windows-only. besides, another extension should not be needed.this is a problem mozilla should fix.

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So true! Just redid my install of W7x64+SP1. Got everything up and running, which is really nothing cause the only thing this PC does is Hulu, crackle, etc. Duel core 4GB Mem. Install FF5 with NO addons (so yea FF sucks cause it can't even manage tabs properly without addons, or stop popups, or....). Anyway, only "about:home" open, FF5 uses 54MB Memory, just to test I let is sit overnight, never installing flash, or even touching the PC, in 1 hour it was up to 100MBs, then by the morning, hehe 853+, and a MB per 10 mins after that. It's a shame, FF blames the addons, but none are installed. FF depends on addons so make FF a real browser. Gona try Opera 11.50, it supports most of the addons I use and does stuff by default as well. Plus Opera has an official USB installation option during setup so its portable out of the box, updatable, officially supported, etc etc. Shame the only thing for me, keeping FF5 on my other PCs is I have a million tabs and addons, and by far BARTAB, or max_tabsessions=0 is the best one that no other browser seems to support. Call me crazy but FF just pushing the blame to others, then just copies Chromes new version per week model.

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Mozilla, PLEASE move your Giant BUTs and do something about this FOX

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Agreed "Without extensions, Firefox is nothing." For some reason Mozilla doesn't seem to understand it's users at least I don't think so. There has been no new feature added since FF3 that I care about.

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Having Firefox 5 open for 4-5 hrs of moderate usage does not consume much RAM for me.. 600MB-700MB but considering all my tabs, 8 enabled extensions including Echofon and Tab Grouping at work that's really not much.. Carefully choose your add-ons and use memory add-ons if that doesn't help

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Not one person who posted in this thread, including the "owner" who was prompted to, even bothered posting a list of extensions that they are using. Agreed, that Firefox verges upon being useless without extensions, but one wrong extension or the wrong combination of extensions, can cause massive memory consumption issues.

Biotch all you want about "how bad" Firefox is with memory usage, but until you take "ownership" of the fact that you installed those extensions and made the choice of which combination of extensions that you installed, you're not going to be any closer to a resolution of this problem on your PC!

I am curious how many of you are using Firebug? And are you aware that even the developer of Firebug knows it causes memory problems, and recommends that it remain disabled until you actually need to use it?

What strikes me about this thread and many others, is words like "devoted", "faithful", "loyal" and other such pronouns; get over it, Firefox is a damn good piece of software and not a religious icon to worship. Face the facts, you're users of free open source software, that you should be thanking Mozilla for providing, instead of beating them up for problems that you probably brought on your self.

the opinions expressed in this posting are those of the-edmeister, a long term user of Firefox/Firebird/Phoenix, who isn't associated with Mozilla in any manner except for attempting to help other Firefox users sort out their problems with said software

Modified by the-edmeister

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Here we go again, blaming the users. Let say this slowly for you:

Firefox... eats up over 1GB over memory on my Mac... even in safe mode... which means... no extensions. Believe it. (Also, safe mode means no plugins, which means no Flash. So Firefox requires us to only see SOME of the web in order to keep memory usage under control?)

Firefox prides itself on its large community of extensions, but blames extensions for all its memory problems. If you had actually read my first post, you would have seen my criticism that Firefox not only makes it difficult and a PITA to track down which extensions are causing problems, but does nothing to curb its memory usage, extensions and all. The memory is being used by the FIREFOX process, which means, if extensions running within the FIREFOX process are using too much memory, then FIREFOX should have some mechanism in place to either kill the extension like Chrome does, or limit the amount of memory it can use overall, or allow the user to set such a limit. Also, it would be nice if Firefox knew how to reclaim memory, period, which it doesn't, at least not well. I've had Firefox open for all of five minutes in safe mode, and its already at 500MB.

Also, "get over it" is NEVER the appropriate answer to criticism. It's a cop-out and it's cowardly. Criticism of products, generally, results in better products. Yes, we're users of free and open source software, but that doesn't mean we should sit back and be silent about KNOWN (emphasis on the known, even if you refuse to believe it) issues that exist in a product. It doesn't mean we should blindly thank them instead of submitting bug reports and questioning the flaws. That's Steve Jobs logic, and that's the opposite of what we should be promoting in this community.

Also, the fact that you managed to begin and end your post by blaming the users says something about you, but I will refrain from making any claims about someone I do not know. I do know, that I run into people like you in the tech community all the time, and they are often arrogant, rude, condescending and above all, unhelpful. (Yeah, I see that you answer a lot of questions on this site, but I bet many of your responses are not unlike this one. Still doesn't change anything)

And yeah, I am using Firebug, because my job depends on it. But guess what? Firebug remains inactive on a site unless you activate it. Difference it makes: zero.

Modified by powerdoesntrun

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Where did I say "get over it" in this thread?
edit - yeah, I guess I did say that, so get over it, too

I try to assess the blame where I think it belongs - another Firebug problem thread .....

Modified by the-edmeister

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If you have a problem, please start your own thread with your own system details and then probably you can be helped.

Do you see the list of Top Contributors(with the-edmeister 2nd)? I would bet none of them has a "memory leak" problem.

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