Search Support

Avoid support scams. We will never ask you to call or text a phone number or share personal information. Please report suspicious activity using the “Report Abuse” option.

Learn More

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

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

more options

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 (17)

more options

@the-edmeister: Read your own post. I promise, you'll find it.

We're looking for solutions, not excuses. That doesn't mean picking a fight with users over who is responsible. If anyone knows of a workaround (that actually works) to limit memory usage without forcing us to disable essential extensions, feel free to chime in. Regardless, Mozilla still needs to take the initiative, here.

more options

Today I've read a post about memory improvements which have landed in Firefox 7. doing about:memory will help us to find out which websites are taking most memory and how much RAM Firefox frees up after a tab is closed.. Such tool helps to detect memory leak and it shows how much Mozilla really cares about the issue

more options

I don't use firebug, what ever that is. In my post I specifically said I reinstalled my OS, installed Firefox with NO ADDONS and even NO FLASH with only ABOUT:HOME open and there still was memory problems. This is a fresh install of W7x64SP1, No other software running. So please before you blame us users for the issues, read thoroughly our posts and provide support and answers.

Oh and by the way you did say "get over it", quote 'the-edmeister' "...and other such pronouns; get over it, Firefox is..." So please re-read your post too before commenting again.

To other posters here, I have tried Memory Fox addon, but that seems to make FF5 hangup for about 15 seconds if left open for to long or over night. Does any FF developers read this? I did put Opera 11.50 with adblock, youtube autoplay stopper, & flash 10.53 (I think). So far so good, Opera seems to cap out at no more then 600MBs regardless of how many tabs I open, even when left over night it went down to 269MBs. I hope FF5,6,7 (whatever) will investigate their memory issues.

Modified by iTEPB

more options

About your last statement, read my last post.... Firebug is a web development extension. Please file bugs on instead of filling up support forums. You aren't helping this way. Firefox 7 has the right tools to know which websites are wasting/leaking memory. And Opera DOES suck in it's own way. Do not track, hardware acceleration? Opera lacks these key features.

more options

I have been having the same problem since I upgraded to 5.0. Within 10 minutes of forum use I go from 1.09 to 1.18 and within an hour I am at 1.8 to 1.9 with my whole system starting to go laggy - typing lag on forums, slowness is switching tabs and even websites, even closing the browser takes time, etc.

more options

I created an account just to finally chime in on this problem. After years of using and recommending firefox, I am finally switching to chrome. To release a version of the software with such a massive flaw is simply unacceptable. I have installed firefox on the computers of friends, family and business colleagues with plain vanilla installations. To have mozilla release an update that slows the user's pc to a crawl by gobbling up memory, prompting me to get tons of calls asking why the computer won't work, is a real pain. The fact that an entire market of secondary software has cropped up around the memory bug is a ridiculous testament to just how massive the problem is. I don't care what they are working on, what they have improved in FF5, or what is being planned as in additional features to FF. Mozilla needs to put ALL of that on hold and fix the memory hole once and for all or it is going to see a mass exodus to Chrome.

more options

Hey Mozilla, what's wrong with this picture??? Either fix it, or I'm long gone (and never to return)

Modified by JohnL

more options

Well, I "got over it," I switched to Chrome.

Google may be evil, but at least they're competent, and I need a browser that works.

more options

Listen, edmeister, we've all gone through the process of disabling extensions, starting in safe mode, leaving it on a blank tab for hours, etc.

Telling us to do any of those things is about as helpful as telling us to check if our PCs are plugged in. If you're going to approach a real issue with that mindset, then go wank someplace else, because nobody here wants to hear it.

The problem is not user error. Firefox leaks memory like a colander on 64-bit machines. I've been following the bug report logs, and it looks like it has something to do with how Firefox handles javascript.

This issue has lasted far too long for any respectable company. Mozilla now has a reputation for terrible customer service because of their denial of this memory leak issue. A lot of us are seriously considering making the switch to Chrome- that's not supposed to be a threat, it's just a fact: If Mozilla can't get their act together, they're going to lose out in the market.

more options


Abusive comments toward other posters aren't tolerated in this forum and it has been reported.

I realize that you are frustrated and may not agree with my comments in this thread, but that no reason to talk like that.

more options

I don't encounter memory leaks with Firefox 5.

I'm running the following extensions: Adblock Plus 1.3.9; Adblock Plus Pop-up Addon 0.2.7; Java Console 6.0.20; Java Quick Starter 1.0; LogMeIn Remote Access Plugin; NoScript

I have four pinned tabs, plus whatever I happen to be actively using in my main window, and have nine tabs open in a separate tab group (the one I'm not currently using). I have not seen Firefox go above about 500MB in Task Manager since I upgraded to 5.0. I also haven't closed Firefox since the last time I rebooted my computer (which was last week).

Just thought I'd post the perspective of a user who isn't having problems with this memory leak issue at least since the upgrade to 5.0. Possibly before, since I don't really remember seeing it happen with Firefox 4 or Firefox 3.

I'm using Windows XP Service Pack 3.

more options

I have tried Firemin & this fixes Firefox memory leak for sure, use to use up 800mb now no more than 10 mb & behaves as normal at this level too no matter how many tabs are open. Firemin only uses 770K of memory to run too.

more options

I switched to Google Chrome. Wow, that one is really fast. Goodbye Firefox.

more options

I don't know if this is a result of upgrading to 5.0.1, but suddenly, Firefox never uses more than 600 MB of RAM which is good, but now it freezes all the time, as if it is limiting memory usage but still trying to use more than the limit.

more options

Ed, it would be nice if you actually tried to help these people reporting memory leak problems with some constructive suggestions. So far all I've seen you post in this thread is "you have a memory leak it is your fault as this browser is perfect". I also suffer from memory leaks the few times I use it, <5% of the time for those few sites that Opera doesn't render properly. I'm aware Opera has its own problems but memory leakage isn't one of them. I have NO add-ons or extensions so they are NOT the problem.

If you actually have some useful suggestions please post them; if not go ahead and take your ball and go home. Once there you can tell Mommy that some folks on the internet called you a bad name and you want her to punish them. Might as well tell her I made fun of you too.

Hey mozilla developers, how about addressing (and fixing) this memory leak issue?

Modified by ed-thewanker

more options

You could try the Aurora channel version of Firefox (a preview version of Firefox 7, but already very stable). There are a couple of important memory handling improvements in it. (Or, in around 12 weeks it will be released as Firefox 7 and you will get it as an update automatically).

Get it here

Full description here

Modified by aelilea

more options

Well I've had the same problem since FF4. 8GB of RAM fully working (tested with memtest86+) and I've seen FF hitting 4GB memory usage after a day of being open. More often than not it'll hit 2GB and end up crashing.

Upgraded to FF5 and at start up with about 20 or so tab open it'll hit 800MB usage right away, it then leaks memory even faster than FF4. After an hour it'll hit 1.5GB and become unresponsive.

Tried the Aurora build which I think is FF7 and that is still leaking albeit at a slower rate than FF5. Also tried a nightly build of FF8 and the memory leak is still there.

I would move over to Chrome but I want to have a NoScript style extension (after a bad experience with a key logger installed via some malicious javascripted advert).

Finally downgraded to FF3.6 again, and with 30+ tabs open it's sitting at a stable 300MB. So for the foreseeable future I'll be sticking with this older version until the eventually squash this leak in a later version.

  1. 1
  2. 2