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Every time I go to use Firefox, I have to wait until I can do anything


If I'm not at the computer, or doing something in a different window, then go to another window, as soon as the mouse hits the page, I get the spinning ball, and must wait 20 secs to a minute, until it will refresh the page, or I can then do anything. This is very aggravating & getting old, as it's occurred in 17, 18, 19, and now in the Beta 20. All my plug ins are up to date, and I keep hoping each new update will end this issue.

Additional System Details

Installed Plug-ins

  • Adobe Shockwave for Director Netscape plug-in, version 12.0.0
  • Shockwave Flash 11.6 r602
  • Displays Java applet content, or a placeholder if Java is not installed.
  • The Google Earth Plugin allows you to view 3D imagery and terrain in your web browser.
  • Garmin Communicator Plug-in Version
  • The QuickTime Plugin allows you to view a wide variety of multimedia content in web pages. For more information, visit the QuickTime Web site.
  • Version
  • Google Talk Plugin Video Accelerator version:
  • The Flip4Mac WMV Plugin allows you to view Windows Media content using QuickTime.
  • 5.1.10411.0
  • iPhoto6


  • Firefox 20.0
  • User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10.6; rv:20.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/20.0
  • Support URL: http://support.mozilla.org/1/firefox/20.0/Darwin/en-US/


  • Autofill Forms (autofillForms@blueimp.net)
  • DoNotTrackMe (donottrackplus@abine.com)
  • Facebook Select All 0.rev17 (jid0-n2ISP7BOUOHLqFZBUsiANkm14Ck@jetpack)
  • Facebook Translate 1.2.6 (facebook-translate@oliver.schloebe.de)
  • Feedback 1.2.2 (testpilot@labs.mozilla.com)
  • Flashblock ({3d7eb24f-2740-49df-8937-200b1cc08f8a})
  • Garmin Communicator 4.0.4 ({195A3098-0BD5-4e90-AE22-BA1C540AFD1E})
  • PDF Viewer 0.7.236 (uriloader@pdf.js)
  • Pocket 3.0.1 (isreaditlater@ideashower.com)
  • Troubleshooter 1.0a (troubleshooter@mozilla.org)
  • WOT 20130129 ({a0d7ccb3-214d-498b-b4aa-0e8fda9a7bf7})
  • Facebook Share Button 1.6 ({d4e0dc9c-c356-438e-afbe-dca439f4399d}) (Inactive)


  • incrementalGCEnabled: True


  • adapterDescription:
  • adapterDeviceID: 0x68c0
  • adapterDrivers:
  • adapterRAM:
  • adapterVendorID: 0x1002
  • driverDate:
  • driverVersion:
  • info: {u'AzureContentBackend': u'none', u'AzureCanvasBackend': u'quartz', u'AzureFallbackCanvasBackend': u'none'}
  • numAcceleratedWindows: 9
  • numTotalWindows: 9
  • webglRenderer: ATI Technologies Inc. -- ATI Radeon HD 5670 OpenGL Engine
  • windowLayerManagerType: OpenGL

Modified Preferences

  • accessibility.blockautorefresh: True
  • accessibility.typeaheadfind: True
  • browser.cache.disk.capacity: 358400
  • browser.cache.disk.smart_size.first_run: False
  • browser.cache.disk.smart_size.use_old_max: False
  • browser.cache.disk.smart_size_cached_value: 358400
  • browser.link.open_newwindow: 2
  • browser.places.smartBookmarksVersion: 4
  • browser.startup.homepage: http://my.yahoo.com/
  • browser.startup.homepage_override.buildID: 20130220104816
  • browser.startup.homepage_override.mstone: 20.0
  • dom.mozApps.used: True
  • dom.w3c_touch_events.expose: False
  • extensions.lastAppVersion: 20.0
  • font.minimum-size.x-western: 14
  • font.name.monospace.x-western: Osaka
  • font.name.serif.x-western: Helvetica Neue
  • font.size.fixed.x-western: 14
  • font.size.variable.x-western: 18
  • gfx.blacklist.direct2d: 3
  • gfx.blacklist.layers.direct3d9: 3
  • gfx.blacklist.webgl.msaa: 4
  • network.cookie.cookieBehavior: 1
  • network.cookie.prefsMigrated: True
  • places.database.lastMaintenance: 1361560661
  • places.history.expiration.transient_current_max_pages: 104858
  • plugin.disable_full_page_plugin_for_types: application/pdf
  • privacy.donottrackheader.enabled: True
  • privacy.sanitize.migrateFx3Prefs: True
  • security.warn_viewing_mixed: False


  • User JS: No
  • Accessibility: No
  • Top 10 Contributor
412 solutions 4876 answers

Could you try disabling graphics hardware acceleration? Since this feature was added to Firefox, it has gradually improved, but there still are a few glitches.

You might need to restart Firefox in order for this to take effect, so save all work first (e.g., mail you are composing, online documents you're editing, etc.). Then perform these steps:

  • Click the orange Firefox button at the top left, then select the "Options" button, or, if there is no Firefox button at the top, go to Tools > Options.
  • In the Firefox options window click the Advanced tab, then select "General".
  • In the settings list, you should find the Use hardware acceleration when available checkbox. Uncheck this checkbox.
  • Now, restart Firefox and see if the problems persist.

Additionally, please check for updates for your graphics driver by following the steps mentioned in the following Knowledge base articles:

Troubleshoot extensions, themes and hardware acceleration issues to solve common Firefox problems

Upgrade your graphics drivers to use hardware acceleration and WebGL

Did this fix your problems? Please report back to us!

  • Top 10 Contributor
  • Moderator
10739 solutions 96645 answers

On Mac disable hardware acceleration in Firefox here:

Question owner

I disabled the hardware acceleration, and will see how it goes, thanks...

Question owner

Did it, and it didn't help, still get constant stalling & "unresponsive script"...

  • Top 10 Contributor
  • Moderator
10739 solutions 96645 answers

Try to do a clean install of Firefox and download the full version and trash the currently installed version.

Download a new copy of the Firefox program and save the disk image (dmg) file to the desktop

Your profile data is stored elsewhere in the Firefox Profile Folder, so you won't lose your bookmarks and other personal data if you uninstall and (re)install Firefox.

Try to 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.

Question owner

Did that, new install, still stalling on every new window/tab, will wait for a new version, and once again, see if it works any better...