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Task Manager shows a secondary Firefox program running. Is this necessary or unwanted?

Posted

When I open the Task Manager, I notice a second program running with the Firefox icon. It is listed as: ABHTML_BACKGROUND_{776244C8-BA5F-4EE8-3866-E4CA O25F546A} What is this? It has only shown up recently, along with stalling-out problems, slowness, etc. Is there a connection? Is this something unwanted?

Chosen solution

This is on the Applications tab, but if you select it and click Switch to, there is no visible window associated with it? Sounds suspicious.

I assume you have scanned with your regular security software already. You may want to run some supplemental scans. These two tools are highly regarded:

Malwarebytes Anti-malware : http://www.malwarebytes.org/products/malwarebytes_free

SUPERAntiSpyware : http://www.superantispyware.com/

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More Information

jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
2365 solutions 20923 answers

Chosen Solution

This is on the Applications tab, but if you select it and click Switch to, there is no visible window associated with it? Sounds suspicious.

I assume you have scanned with your regular security software already. You may want to run some supplemental scans. These two tools are highly regarded:

Malwarebytes Anti-malware : http://www.malwarebytes.org/products/malwarebytes_free

SUPERAntiSpyware : http://www.superantispyware.com/

Question owner

Thanks for your timely reply! I just downloaded and ran the SUPERAntiSpyware. It did not remove the program in question. I uninstalled and reinstalled Mozilla Firefox...still there. Shall I run the other suggested tool (Malwarebytes Anti-malware)?

jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
2365 solutions 20923 answers

Yes, I think it's a good idea to run both scanners, since they might pick up different programs.

You also can check the following tabs inside Firefox for anything unfamiliar or unexpected -- or nonessential -- and disable it.

orange Firefox button or classic Tools menu > Add-ons > Plugins category
orange Firefox button or classic Tools menu > Add-ons > Extensions category

VegasPigPets 0 solutions 2 answers

I have run both scans and found nothing. This ABHTML_BACKGROUND still runs and I can only run Firefox for the day (leave it running).. when I shut down for the night and try to re-open firefox the next morning, it freezes and I have to uninstall and reinstall firefox to get it to run again.

jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
2365 solutions 20923 answers

Hi VegasPigPets, have you checked your add-ons for anything unexpected as described in an earlier post?

When you can't start Firefox normally, is the mystery process listed in the Windows Task Manager and can you kill it? If you can kill it, can you then start Firefox, or does the problem appear to be that Firefox itself has somehow been changed overnight?

Before uninstalling/reinstalling next time, could you try starting Firefox through the profile manager and creating a new profile? Each profile contains its own set of settings, so if the problem is that your profile is becoming corrupted, this might be helpful in differentiating that from problems with Firefox's program files.

Start  > Run (or Start > Search box)
firefox.exe -p

In the dialog, create a new profile with the default settings. Does it work?

Finally, have you noticed any other unusual behavior on your computer?

Modified by jscher2000

VegasPigPets 0 solutions 2 answers

Just this ABHTML_BACKGROUND running in my applications now when I open Firefox. Nope, can't kill it, nothing happens when I try to end task. And when I close and try to "re-open" Firefox, it just hangs up... so that's when I know I need to uninstall and reinstall. It runs fine as long as I don't close the browser. I don't know where this ABHTML_BACKGROUND came from, I just noticed it when my browser started hanging up and then found this forum. Checked and updated all my add-ons, ran the scans. Nothing. Will try the profile thing tomorrow. Thank you!

wardsd 0 solutions 1 answers

I have had the same issue. In my case, I had two "applications" showing in the task manager window. When I try switching to ABHTML_BACKGROUND I would get nothing. If I tried ending it, Firefox would crash.

My firefox has been crashing alot for the past couple months. I tried building the new profile today as discussed above, and it seems to have worked. No crashes yet, and the ABHTML_BACKGROUND instance is gone.

After building the new profile, I copied my old bookmarks in from my old profile. You can open your profile location by going to help --> troubleshooting information. There is a button there to open the profile location. I saved all my open tabs (you see that option if you use the keyborad shortcut alt-B to open the bookmarks menu). Then opened the profile location. Then I closed firefox, created the new profile (start - run - firefox.exe -p) and launched the new firefox. Then I imported my old bookmarks (and my open tabs because I saved them in the bookmarks) from the bookmarkbackups folder in my old profile. (do that by going to bookmarks menu - show all bookmarks. Then import and backup - restore - choose file. Choose the latest file from the bookmarkbackups folder from your old profile location).

Hope that isn't too confusing. But bottom line is it worked.

cascade_bill 0 solutions 1 answers

Helpful Reply

There is a very simple answer to this. I did a little digging into my extensions and found the the "ABHTML_Background" application comes from the Good Shop extension. This extension enables you to contribute a small portion of your purchases at many online retailers to a charity of your choice.

When you go to an online retailer such as Amazon, the app shows a popup and tells you that such and such a percentage of your purchase will be contributed - in my case, Feral cats spay and neuter. I would guess that the extension has a process running in the background that is activated when you do your online shopping.

To eliminate the ABHTML... process, just disable the Good Shop Extension until you intend to do some online shopping, when you can then enable it and restart Firefox.

I don't know if any other extensions use this process, but if they do, you probably won't have much trouble tracking them down. -Cascade Bill

jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
2365 solutions 20923 answers

Hi cascade_bill, thank you for documenting that connection. Most add-ons do not need to spawn separate processes, so it remains mysterious if not suspicious...