Running Windows 8 x64 (but problem also occured when I had Windows 7 x64) and latest version of firefox. All plug-ins up to date.
My problem is a bit different than others, since we use 2 profiles on my computer. My wife's profile, firefox is always using 40-50% cpu usage. When I switch over to my profile, firefox doesnt use anything out of the ordinary.
For example, right now I am in my profile using firefox to create this ticket. Task manager shows firefox in my wife's profile using 45% CPU. When I switch over, she just has facebook open.
Its the exact same firefox version & plug-ins, so its not a difference in code. My profile is administrator and she is standard user.
This has been a constant issue when running Windows 7 x64 last year, to a clean install of Windows 8 x64 for a month or two now. She obviously closes firefox or opens different websites, but without a doubt, her profile and firefox is always using almost half the CPU and memory of 800k+
To note, my firefox is using 6% cpu and 230k.
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Create a new profile as a test to check if your current profile is causing the problems.
See "Creating a profile":
If the new profile works then you can transfer some files from an existing profile to the new profile, but be careful not to copy corrupted files.
Also make sure that security software (firewall, anti-virus) isn't causing problems.
Thanks cor-el, I am in the process of cleaning up the profile as found under the creating profile link. So far this looks like its helping, thanks so much!