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Firefox 21 and 22 freezes computer

  • 40 replies
  • 639 have this problem
  • Last reply by jscher2000

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Comment from a forum moderator

This thread at present one time had over 200 metoo votes and nearly 7.5k 24k views. So no one is saying there is not a real problem needing addressing.

Some of you may be interested in my (very long explanation) post lower down in this thread link or the short but sharp LINK ~J99
2nd edits updated figures and links ~J99

I have the problem that lately Firefox keeps freezing/hanging my computer, making it totally unresponsive, the only fix is a hard reboot. The freeze often occurs just moments after I start the browser and go to a website, which site I visit does not seem to matter. Sometimes it has seemed about to freeze, lagging the cursor, but then catching up and making it.

I've just tried using IE instead, and I have no freezes. But I would very much like to fix this problem and get back to using Firefox.

I updated Firefox from version 21 to the most current 22, no difference. I've also tried updating Flash Player and when that did nothing I disabled all plugins, nothing as well. I've run a full anti-virus scan, so it's likely not a virus. I've also tried reinstalling my Graphic Card drivers, with no result.

The computer is my HTPC and is thusly connected to a 46" TV. I run with 150% DPI scaling in Windows 7 to be able to see text better. Since it's my HTPC I don't use the computer every day, so the most recent driver change I've done was updating my Graphic Card drivers, but if it's connect I can't say since reinstalling the driver again did nothing.

Specs: OS: Windows 7 64-bit Barebone: Shuttle FZ68 CPU: Intel i3 2100 3.10 GHz RAM: 8GB DDR3 GPU: EVGA GeForce GTX 460 768MB

Modified by John99

All Replies (20)

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Just subscribed cause, as i had the last version of firefox, (23), i have this problem too, firefox, randomly freeze my whole computer, to only solve the problem via hard reset button, when it freeze my PC, nothing else can be done, this began to occur, since 21 version, and neither safe mode, or disabling the extensions help, so i decided to uninstall firefox completely, even as i have now, a new fresh windows 7 install since yesterday, when i install firefox, the problem comes back (so, no chance for a virus, defective driver or whatever to justify this behavior), then i decided to get rid of firefox and go for chrome.........but as i couldn't get along with google (no youtube download extension, that sucks).......i decided to take the most unexpected choice, since there is no workaround for this problem in firefox............i have installed nightly 64 bit version, in hope to solution this, as i love firefox and it's extensions........hope these freeze keeps away for a while, and please........resolve this serious issue, i don't want to abandon my favorite browser for this problem.

PD: As for not making another post, i have to report that actually Nightly 64 Bit, didn't crash the way firefox done, when it crash it only stops responding as the program itself, so, no computer crash or freeze as nightly is being used, so, for a temporary solution for 64 bit OS users, this is quite a good one for me.....i bet nightly 32 bit, works the same way too.

PD2: Today Nightly updated itself to this version, 26.0a1 (2013-09-17), and i experienced my first crash, so, what is hapening, my PC will damage with so mane hard resets.

Modified by shimazaki

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Hi Everyone,

This thread at present has over 200 metoo votes and nearly 7.5k views. So no one is saying there is not a real problem needing addressing.

I will try to go through the thread in a short while and see if I can provide links XXXX to what seems to have been the most helpful points, it may save you a little effort.

Of course Firefox should not freeze or leak memory and of course Mozilla Firefox cares about such problems, although you may not notice that talking amongst others with a similar problem.

I am sure we have solved this issue for some of you. I hope anyone posting or considering posting in this thread is able to take the time to read this explanation.

Sorry if this is rather a long post and not offering each of you a direct solution but I feel it may help you all to understand some background information and the importance of having your own threads (Which you may of course crosslink here so everyone is able to follow them and see the larger issue).

Purpose of the Forum
I know this is frustrating but we are mainly fellow users trying to help one another. We try to find solutions but it is not the place to discuss development decisions or ask for enhancements to Firefox. It is not even the place to file bug reports to fix problems. You are unlikely to get developer attention here.

Bug Reports and Bug Fixes
So I have just said you will not get developer attention here and it is not the place to file bug reports. What should you do ?
Well if you are lucky enough to be a developer or coder with time to spare fire file a bug and better still dive in and fix some of the bugs yourself. The bug reporting site is a work space for developers. Very occasionally they request our (user) assistance for instance in demonstrating or identifying steps to reproduce a bug, but normally the best thing we can do is to file good bugs and let them get on with the work.
I did not answer what it is you should do, and the answer to that is in the first instance ask a question here on the forum ! If necessary we should be able to help you file a bug where that is appropriate, as long as you have the time to help us do that. You should also use the input feedback and turn on telemetry. (See under). Remember

  1. If it is a valid bug is filed and gets fixed it helps all of those with that particular problem not just you. Many bug fixes will help hundreds or thousands of others.
  2. But a badly written bug could be ignored and considered incomplete. That wastes triargers &/or developers time and benefits no one.

Complain using feedback & turn on Telemetry
Some of you viewing this thread will not find it helpful, and will not find a solution to your problem. Make that known by making a short comment from a supported version of Firefox on the two subjects forum helpfulness and memory or freeze problems with Firefox

Attempts are made to analyse the comments by subject and number to see what may need attention.

    • comments are public and can be seen here XXXX
  • turn on telemetry, it was brought out after a bad memory regression in Firefox 4 was initially missed by developers. Using Telemetry should help developers detect real life issues with memory and freezes

Crash Reports, Hangs & Freezes
This is the basic general information

Memory Problems
Developers know of some issues, and have had a project to fix a lot of memory issues. You need to remember that often problems will in fact relate to third party software or problem websites.

What is Mozzila Firefox doing then

  • Memory reporting tools have been improved and there is an on going project to fix problems & improve tools.
  • Work is continuing on Firefox Health Report. We are aware the Crash reporting situation should be improved.
  • I understand
    • Consideration is being given to improve the emails (presently rather unhelpful IMHO) that are sent out sometimes after a crash report is submitted.
    • There is a new reporter relating to Flash Player that is being trialled at present.

And if YOU start your own thread and ask a question quick direct link) someone will do their best to help you with YOUR Firefox problem.

Minority Edge Case

  1. Firstly why should we consider something is a minority problem ?
    • Because we have results from the crash reports, telemetry, input feedback and questions on this forum
  2. So why am I finding loads of posts and questions about my problem if it does not affect everyone ?
    • Remember the userbase size.

With a user base approaching 1/2 billion someone will have almost any problem you wish to name. Even something affecting a fraction of a single percentage point affect thousands or even millions of users. Firefox is highly customisable and used on differing platforms and accesses sites all over the internet. We really do need a lot of detail to track down the problems affecting minority groups.

Saying me too and please fix it draws attention to a problem but does not help in narrowing down where that problem lies so that it may be addressed and fixed. If it is an issue affecting minority it is critical to identify the important factors.

Usless answers | scripts |templates |boilerplate |Articles
Yes a lot of what you see or read will not directly apply to you or help in your specific circumstances and looks impersonal. Yes I have to agree with that, but you need to bear in mind the following

  • It is not just you reading the information
    • Threads may be read by many people. Some including this one are looked at by thousands.
    • The Knowledge Base articles are read by many more people. Top articles are read by tens or hundreds of thousands of people per week, and we strive to constantly review articles to maintain and maximise the helpfulness.

It is a pain in the Proverbial starting a new thread
Yes I tend to agree that we should be able to handle this better. All I can do is offer you a more direct and quicker shortcut to use

It does make it immensely easier to help you if

  1. You have your own thread
  2. And carefully follow the prompts to add the full troubleshooting information.
  3. Then do your best to supply any additional information requested.

I will fill in some of the blanks xxx in this later today

Modified by John99

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Sorry John99, but for everything you say, this problem is still annoying and can harm a computer seriously, and as for firefox 24, the problem persist in a minor basis, but still freeze completely a pc, in nightly, it began to hapened since a couple of updates since last week, and if this get to have no solution, guess we gotta replace firefox for another browser, cause, we don't want to make our hard disks useless.

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Created an account just to post here that disabling "use hardware acceleration" in advanced settings fixed the problem for me. A suggestion to Firefox crew - this setting should be removed or at least be included with a warning that it can make a system unstable. I had to check many things including updating BIOS, testing hard drives etc. - my PC just kept freezing. This was the worst in 3 years since I have this computer. Hard to believe that one setting in Firefox was causing all this!

Modified by azovsky

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i have the same problem from 2-3 days. my pc just start up normally, when i opened firefox to browse then suddenly the screen was freezed (or maybe the win7 was). i got to hard reset my pc to reboot. after a couple of the same thing happened, i realized that it wasn't entirely firefox mistakes. the main culprit was the addon adobe flash that acting automatically crazy like it meant to destroy any pc who dare coming to his website :)

anyway, it's strange when i use chrome there's nothing like this happened, only in firefox. u gotta respond quick, mozilla or the unhappy users will quickly turn the likes to the others :)

Modified by axlent

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Hello! I've been having the same problem for months now. Stumbled across this thread and thought I'd try the Safe Mode option as described, but sadly, this causes Firefox to crash upon starting. Firefox is by far my favourite browser so please help fix this problem!? I can only agree with all other posts here as to how I've tried fixing (without addons, updating flash etc) My PC is also set to go to sleep often so maybe the problem is related to that?

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Hi Elfiemyrtle, if your Firefox is crashing instead of freezing (and having to be killed), you may have some additional data you can provide to better identify the issue. Could you start a new question including your system information and the crash IDs described in the last section of the crashes article:

"Sleep" on Windows has been a problem in a few recent versions, but the bug is thought to have been fixed by now.

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Here to report progres, as far a things goes, azovsky's solution proves right with the issue, looks like flash and hardware acceleration, are part of this problem, i dissabled hardware acceleration and for now, the problem has gone............thanks azovsky, ando hope things keep this way.....for now

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I have experienced something similar to the original poster. My problems began approximatley July 21st, 2013. I also experience cursor lag and subsequent system lockup when using Firefox, although sometimes it recovers after this lag, as the OP stated. However, the lockup rarely occurs for me soon after starting Firefox. Additionally, I frequently experience system lockups when the operating system transitions my monitors to standby mode. Less frequently, I also experience system lockups when the computer enters or resumes from sleep, enters hibernate, or shuts down.

I have traced this problem to my graphics card, which is the same as the OP, an EVGA GTX 460 (although mine is the 1GB version). I swapped my graphics card with my girlfriend's EVGA GTX 275. Now my computer is stable when using Firefox or changing power modes, and her computer experiences the instability.

The cause of my problem may be unrelated to the OP's problem, but I found it interesting that he has the same graphics card and that his description of the problem is very similar to what I experience when my system locks up while using Firefox. I'm now curious if all my crashes are due to an interaction between my GTX 460 and Firefox, rather than simply a hardware failure on my GTX 460. I'm going to test if I experience lockups without running Firefox at all during my sessions.

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Ever since version 3.5, Firefox has frozen on my Mac. Firefox starts up well, but as soon as I go to a website it freezes. I have tried several of the new versions including the latest one (25), after trashing previous versions. I have tried every "fix" suggested in these forums, including starting up in safe mode. It hasn't helped. And I don't see why all these workarounds should be necessary. I also use three other browsers that work with no problem and have done so as soon as I've opened and launched them.

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Just out of curiosity xkreiss, have you tried resetting your Prebindings or dyld shared cache? This usually helps clear slowdowns and other problems with newly installed applications. Running the following command in the Terminal should ensure the dyld cache is set up properly:

update_dyld_shared_cache -root / -force

You can use this option to update the caches used by dyld and sometimes correct problems. It replaces the update_prebinding command used in the previous versions of Mac OS X, but is now obsolete in Mac OS X 10.6 and higher.

Modified by saneman

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Hi Saneman

Thanks for the suggestion. I'll try it.

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First off, my issue is the same as the OP. Firefox seems to be causing my computer to freeze, ie. is not responsive to tapping the <shift-lock> key, mouse movement, control-alt-delete, prayer or cussing up a storm. The only resolution is a reset or power off and on. I can also note that there is no hard drive activity during one of these freezes. No other browser has caused this. I have tried Firefox portable from as well and the same issue occurred.

I think it started around the same time that NickdeClaw says it started for him, July 21st, 2013. After reading through this topic I decided to start with one thing at a time to try to track this down. First off I have disabled all but the "necessary" add-ons, ie. LastPass and Tree Style Tabs. Note these are the Add-ons not the Plug-ins. I still have Shockwave Flash enabled as well as several Google Plug-ins, Silverlight and a couple MS Office plug-ins that I wasn't aware had been placed there. :) I have disabled hardware acceleration in Firefox as my first foray into tracking down this nasty bug. I'll let you know if that squashed the bug after waiting a few days to make sure. One last thing, I don't think I was accessing any video intensive pages during some of these crashes. I can't be sure but looking at my current tabs now there aren't any "video" tabs open and I had a crash earlier with the same tabs and that finally prompted me to go looking for a fix and thus finding this thread.

Modified by FlippityWidget

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I've been having this same issue in FF 25.01

I have narrowed it down to the windows user account which is set as admin.

I have tried all of the options found here without success.

After switching to the real admin account I have not had any issues.

Personally, I think the ISP's (AT&T in my case) are monkeying around in the background.

Other issues I am having is not being able to access my own website at from different servers but the same ISP (AT&T) even though my host tells me the site is up & running.

This is still a work in progress.

Complete BS!

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Sorry if this is inconvenient and not what you wish to hear but may I remind you all that

  • Developers do not look at this forum.
  • There are other methods to comment / complain.
  • If you have a problem and would like us to help you
    • Post your own question, in your own thread and follow the prompts to provide troubleshooting information.
      PLEASE Use this special link
    • Please look at my log explanatory post /questions/963963?page=2#answer-479420 above for more information on
      - the reasoning behind this comment,
      - some potential or known solutions.

Modified by John99

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I posted here that I was having the same problem as the OP, ie. my computer running Windows 7 Ultimate would freeze and it appeared that it only happened when Firefox was running. I read some of the possible solutions and decided to try the easiest which was disabling hardware video acceleration. I said I'd report back on the result. It was on November 19 2013 that I disabled hardware video acceleration. I leave my computer on all the time and have Firefox running. It is now December 02 2013 and so far I have not had any freezes. Thanks for the help. Hopefully the problem is solved.

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Glad for you. Great that it has worked ok now for the last month after disabling hardware acceleration.

Thanks for adding that comment about disabling hardware acceleration solving the problem. We often suggest as as an initial test using Firefox's safe mode.

This allows us to home in on this sort of problem and other potential causes because one of the changes in Firefox's safe mode is disabling hardware acceleration.

You may wish to try updating your graphics drivers (or conversely backing out the last update as a test) because that may improve matters and sometimes may allow hardware acceleration to work properly and speed up rather than slow things down.

Anyone else thinking of posting may benefit from glancing at my post just above /questions/963963?page=2#answer-507483.

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Thanks John99 for the response and the helpful info on additional things to try.

I'll explain what I tried to resolve my problem prior to consulting these forums. Maybe it will benefit others to go through the process. The very first thing I tried was to uninstall Firefox and reinstall it. Then after reinstalling I imported my old profile. I gave it a few days and my system hung. I do run a few add-ons. I won't list them here but I think I usually have about 10-12 various add-ons. I've been running the same ones for a few years with no issues but I am aware that can change with every Firefox update. So the next step was to disable all of them except a couple essential ones, LastPass being one and I can't remeber the other one right now. AGain my system hung. So I tried a different route and loaded up the Portable Apps version of Firefox and ran it without any add-ons. My system hung again. It was at that time I decided to use the tremendous resource I have at my fingertips known as the Interweb and the Google. : ) That's when I came across this thread.

As far as my video driver is concerned I recently (within the last week or so) updated my video drivers. I was trying to solve a different problem and whilst doing that I updated a few other drivers as well. I am running an Nvidia GT 550Ti video card. I don't know if the hardware video acceleration issue is linked a particular video card or not. I should add that I do keep my system and drivers up to date as a general rule. So I am fairly certain that my video driver was updated regularly anyway because the NVidia "GForce Experience" application that runs in the background notifies me of updates.

So I have a question for you. Well, maybe more than one question. Does the Firefox error reporting capability survive a system hang? I mean can Firefox, when the system has been rebooted after hanging-up, gather information to report back to Mozilla about the problem? I can tell you that when my system stopped responding I saw no hard drive activity. The [shift-lock] key did not get a response from the system. Pressing [ctrl]-[shift]-[esc] did not bring up the task manager and [ctrl]-[alt]-[del] did not get a response from the system. I let the computer sit for some time just to see if the OS had become busy but it never recovered until I did a hard reset. Based on that condition I wasn't sure if Firefox ever had a chance to gather information for a crash report to Mozilla.

Other than enabling the three checkboxes under the "Data Choices" tab in the Tools-->Options box is there anything else I can do that will help to provide Mozilla with information to debug issues with Firefox?

Thanks again for the help.

Modified by FlippityWidget

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This reply about locking up from sleep is not off topic. It is completely related I have the same problem with the error message popping up saying Shockwave has stopped working, continue or stop.

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Hi reallymurphy, when scripts hang on a page that uses Flash, this may be caused by the protected mode feature of the Flash Player plugin. See my experience with this problem here: Flash hangs Firefox (eventually get script continue/stop dialog).

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