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Firefox devouring 2 gis of RAM, context menu getting slow

  • 41 replies
  • 12 have this problem
  • 23 views
  • Last reply by StaxOnRax

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Ive tried everything in firefox so far but its just no working for me

i disabled addons manually to see whats gobbling up so much ram but nothing, i upgraded, downgraded all the plugins and nothing either (the new flash plugin was giving me issues so now im on an older one btw, was still having issues with recent flash version so thats not it) i added addons that supposedly reduce ram usage but nothing

i enabled and disabled hardware acceleration but nothing either

i cleared the cache and everything that firefox can clear except the browsing history but nada

i used speedfox to try and possibly fix this annoyance but nothing at all

i updated, downgraded, and basically did everything possible with my computer's drivers but nothing either

is firefox just meant to be like this and to behave like an app that never releases its RAM afters its used? in task manager its showing me anywhere between 1.2GB or RAM being used or over 2GB's!! this isnt normal especially since i have only 4 light tabs open, all this and to add to it the context menu loading when i right click is slow as molasses

please, please, can someone just help me here? i added a log thingy that could possibly help, idk whats even going on here anymore from this, one day firefox was great and using no more than 1 gb in total with over 100 tabs open but now with just 4 after firefox has been open for a long time its devouring a quarter of my total RAM, for a browser thats a bit insane, especially since in the days i used to use Opera itd use no more than 800MB at worst

Ive tried everything in firefox so far but its just no working for me i disabled addons manually to see whats gobbling up so much ram but nothing, i upgraded, downgraded all the plugins and nothing either (the new flash plugin was giving me issues so now im on an older one btw, was still having issues with recent flash version so thats not it) i added addons that supposedly reduce ram usage but nothing i enabled and disabled hardware acceleration but nothing either i cleared the cache and everything that firefox can clear except the browsing history but nada i used speedfox to try and possibly fix this annoyance but nothing at all i updated, downgraded, and basically did everything possible with my computer's drivers but nothing either is firefox just meant to be like this and to behave like an app that never releases its RAM afters its used? in task manager its showing me anywhere between 1.2GB or RAM being used or over 2GB's!! this isnt normal especially since i have only 4 light tabs open, all this and to add to it the context menu loading when i right click is slow as molasses please, please, can someone just help me here? i added a log thingy that could possibly help, idk whats even going on here anymore from this, one day firefox was great and using no more than 1 gb in total with over 100 tabs open but now with just 4 after firefox has been open for a long time its devouring a quarter of my total RAM, for a browser thats a bit insane, especially since in the days i used to use Opera itd use no more than 800MB at worst

Chosen solution

Did you try a new Profile with fewer extensions?

I wouldn't expect a Profile to "go sour" in 4 months, but with that many extensions installed (activated or deactivated) and how many more that were tried, found unsuitable, and then uninstalled, who can figure out what went wrong and why?
Extensions don't uninstall cleanly, most or all the preferences created are left behind after the extension is uninstalled. That can or will "clog up" the prefs.js file and may affect other extensions. With the problems that I personally have had in the past, I backup the Profile before installing an extension that I haven't used before or want to try out. If that "new" extension doesn't meet my needs or causes problems with existing extensions, I don't waste my time uninstalling that "new" extension, and then find that maybe I "got more fixin to do"; I just delete that Profile I just broke and slide the backup of that Profile in place!


As far as the overall number of extensions, I use multiple Profiles which all have my "basic 28 extensions" and then install the appropriate extensions for what I use each of those Profile for on the internet.
1. Banking - security type extensions AND I set automatic clearing of Firefox data upon closing the browser (35 extensions total) = launched by a keyboard command created using WinKey, so that no one else using my PC will even know that Profile is on this PC
2. "default" Profile - used for links calling for the default browser - just the basic 28 extensions
3. General surfing - total of 55 extensions 4. Support - used on support forum and discussion websites - total of 49 extensions
5. Web Development - used for viewing websites from the perspective of trying to figure out why a website "doesn't work correctly in Firefox, but does in Chrome / IE / Safari - total of 45 extensions


See my next posting for more "tips", I'll probably max out this "answer" as far as allowed characters.

Ed


Edit, I have marked this as the thread solution. The actual solution by the OP is in a follow on thread /questions/979200. Apparently just disabling two of the very many addons resolved the issue. ~J99

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All Replies (20)

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To start off with, I "build" the default Profile, install my standard user.js and userChrome.css tweaks that I have developed of the last 11 years, and then make a copy of that new Profile and save it for "cloning" other Profiles.

Then I create a new Profile, and with Firefox closed I copy the contents of the "default" Profile, with my 28 basic extensions, and paste those files into that new Profile - replacing all the existing files - "cloning" the "default Profile". Then I start installing other extensions for whatever purpose I intend that new Profile for. When I am done, I make a copy of that new Profile, for safe keeping in case an extension update goes awry and bOrks that Profile. (BTW, I keep updates for extensions set to manual, check for updates periodically, read up on what the update fixes or adds to the extension, and update each extension as I deem "necessary". I have two extensions that I never want an update for, and have those blocked in my user.js file - in case I suffer a "mind-fart" and hit Update All.)

And so on for the 3rd, 4th, and 5th Profiles, working with a copy of the "default Profile" - the my basic 28 extensions, I build each of those Profiles with the appropriate extensions. And by using the -no-remote command I can launch all but the "default Profile" while other Profiles are running, to override Firefox not being able to run multiple Profiles simultaneously. (More information about using the -no-remote command here - http://forums.mozillazine.org/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=2249039 - be sure to see the 3 links at the bottom of that posting for earlier versions of that Builds thread, too.)

And as it worked out back in 2011 when Mozilla added the Beta. Aurora, and Nightly channels "system" for developing each new version of Firefox, I was able to "clone" each of those 5 Profiles to use on each of the new channels in under 20 minutes. That as allowed me to see which extensions might get be broken in the next 6 weeks, 12 weeks, or 18 weeks as each of the channel versions progress toward eventual Release; and "help" the extension developer know what "broke" and approximately when it "broke" - at least for those developers who provide contact information or have their own bug reporting system.


I am as much of an "extension addict" as anyone, IMO Firefox is too damn basic without extensions - extensions made Firefox what it is today! Before I came up with this "system" of 5 Profiles for different purposes I was using over 100 extensions, and having too many "doesn't play well with others" problems. Back in the days Firefox 2.0 I started using two different Profiles, and as Firefox 3.0, 3.5, and 3.6 came out I expanded on that concept. So by the time the Rapid Release system was in place for Firefox 5.0 and later versions, I was ready to accomplish this quite smoothly.

Yes, it takes time to set up initially, but it works for me. And for me it was worth the time vs. wasting so much time trying to figure out "what broke what" and wasting dozens of hours trying to make "it right".

Basically, I try to keep it to 50 extensions maximum per Profile now-a-days. And I stay away from the "all-in-one" or "everything but the kitchen sink" extensions, that rarely "play well with others". To get the features I need, I would rather install 5 "one" feature extensions, than install one extension with 15 features, 10 of which I wouldn't ever use. And if the word "toolbar" is in the extension name, run away as fast as you can!


Ed

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First off, terribly sorry for the rather late reply, i wanted to keep any comment i have after i was sure and had done several tests and had done what was recommended.

I really like that idea of multiple profiles with addons of a particular category for each one, ive always considered doing something along the lines of that but instead of several profiles on the same computer, separate installs of firefox in virtual machines (similar to the way i do with testing software, since sometimes some programs albeit being uninstalled can leave a shitstrom behind them because of the things theyve modified while they were there)

Most of the addons that i had disabled on there as shown in the log were simply for testing, i had no idea really that they could still have some sort of effect on others, if Firefox had some sort of simpler way to have separate profiles and switch between them (including while all are running at the same time) then things would be alot easier i suppose.

Nonetheless, i started fresh with firefox, i created a new profile and installed the addons that i use solely for my day to day needs (inc my fav theme too) and imported my bookmarks and history, download history etc.. into said new profile, im making sure this profile remains as "clean" as possible and reserving all future addon tests to a version of firefox thats in a virtual machine, however...

The very same thing had happened like it used to before in my older Firefox profile, RAM usage was really low at the start and remained around the 300MB mark at first, but after a few hours of use (with several tabs opening and closing) RAM usage went to 900MB, then finally after about 12 hours of being open and used it went back to being over 2GB, even though there were around only 4 tabs open, basically RAM was never released back after it was tooken if that was the right way to describe it, i saved a memory report from both yesterday and today while it was having its RAM usage close to peak levels

Here is the one of yesterday https://app.box.com/s/qfwq7me1063ts6yp28wn

And the one of today https://app.box.com/s/gfwf6g4xser6u1syk17x

This is what supposedly the memory usage by my current and basic addons are in total according to about:addons-memory http://vvcap.net/db/jlKBgiLGzq55spNDrmD3.htp

And heres task manager reporting on firefox's total RAM usage http://vvcap.net/db/ddsYsDcM3LsHK_rvVc4Q.htp

Hitting that "minimize memory usage" button makes firefox go from around 1.7GB of ram to 1.3GB, so that kind of helps, but i only have 4 tabs in total that arent that intensive or anything And to be precise those tabs are one Wikipedia tab, one Facebook tab, one mozzillaZine tab (the one you linked me to) and ofcourse this one, i mean if it were 20 flash tabs itd make sense but not this :/

However things are so much better than they were before now in some ways, for example that bug where writing in text boxes on pages didnt make it freeze up and make CPU usage spike, and neither is that issue where opening several tabs and then trying to use said tab would make it freeze for a while happening

Sorry this is quite long lol, i just wanted to be rather thorough with this.

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try to remove the "Save Text to File" extension from your newly created profile...

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Save text to File? odd, its a pretty simple restartless addon, but okay. Itll take some time for me to narrow it down to see if its the addon causing all this trouble after i disable it and then restart Firefox

Was it the one in the logs shown as constantly using that RAM?

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it was just something that was sticking out from the logs. the files are 20.000 lines long & "Save Text to File" was mentioned in aprox. 4.000 of them - this is of course no scientific way to measure its impact on ram, but looking at it first might be a good starting point.

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Sadly nope not even close :( now up to 2.2GB with 2 tabs open https://app.box.com/s/jbyvb8lflqiu6k18ghfv

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Boot the computer in Windows Safe Mode with network support (press F8 on the boot screen) as a test to see if that helps.

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Isnt there anything else i can do instead of that? :/ safe mode is such a misery to use for me because on my 17 inch screen everything is incredibly stretched to the point nothing looks normal, and to see if safe mode can fix it means i have to use it on safe mode fully for more than an entire day >.<

i dont know if its any indication of anything but it doesnt seem like something from my addons... according to these screenshots its firefox itself using up most of that RAM i suppose?

Heres what i mean (look at the links in order to see it as it showed them to me)

http://vvcap.net/db/_jB8WX29ZOVSNl5RCdpm.htp

http://vvcap.net/db/_hQxpMghI9X4MZgB801E.htp

http://vvcap.net/db/GlqKFTP7pXO3RAzEJ-g7.htp

http://vvcap.net/db/vFAhD-1U7-tvI4J71qSG.htp

http://vvcap.net/db/onBgs_93B1FqTifzgvOi.htp

Something else thats odd is that hitting "reduce memory usage" made it go from 1.3Gb to 717MB or RAM, what magic just happened there?

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Stax,

When you created that new Profile, did you do any testing as you were installing extensions? Like installing one extension and then using Firefox for awhile, before moving on to installing the next extension.

Or did you just install all of them and start using that new Profile, only to discover that you still have a problem?


I have never used the about:addons-memory extension before; just installed it. After about 10 minutes of playing with it, I wonder if it has any value for trying to solve your problem?

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/about-addons-memory/reviews/
I question the value of some of the user reviews, thus the overall value of this extension. And the reason for it not being out of the sandbox yet after being first released all the way back in February?

1.
Not Loading Rated 5 out of 5 stars

26x Beta - info is not loading
Not working and that user gave it 5 stars??

2.

heads up Rated 5 out of 5 stars 

Doesn't work with Nightly 27 64bit version. Just so you know.
Doesn't work and that user also gave it 5 stars??

5.

Please update... Rated 5 out of 5 stars 

Doesn't work with Aurora 26 version.
5 stars and another "doesn't work"!

I wonder if some of those reviews are "salt" to bump the rating of that extension?


IMO you might be better off listening to the experienced support contributors here - specifically what Phillip and cor-el posted about - than relying on that extension to help you solve your problems.

As far as my comments about using so many extensions and the tips that I made, I guess I erred by not mentioning that testing extensions as you installed them was very important. IMO, more important too many installed, or keeping the number of installed extensions to a certain number or less.


I am using a computer that I assembled back in 2008 using low end parts that were new back in 2006. WinXP 32-bit - 2.2 AMD64 processor - 2 GB of RAM - the power supply cost me more than both the motherboard and the CPU together - < than $200 with a case I had lying around

2 Profiles, each with 50+ extensions, open for over 7 hours now, switching back and forth between the two for the last 7 hours, and one Profile shows 600k and the other 373k in the Windows Task Manager

The only Profile that has been slow and hesitating in the last 7 hours has been my Support Profile, and only after install the about:addons-memory extension and while using it.

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in addition to "Save Text to File" please also keep "SmartVideo For YouTube 0.978" and all the RAM related extensions disabled for a while and continue monitoring your memory usage...

Modified by philipp

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I.... installed them all after each other, i was confident at the time the profile was corrupt or something from those unnecessary addons i had and it was the cause, for the short tests i did after having those addons installed firefox stayed pretty stable even after the short tests i did, i guess real usage says otherwise...

Ill disable SmartVideo and that memory addon itself and from there see if i notice it not being so RAM crazy, if that doesnt stop it ill go back to the one by one addon checking again, and if that fails.. then i guess Window's safe mode is my only solution...itll take time for me to do all those checks though, like days, so in the meantime could this help thread not be closed in the meantime? if nothing i try fixes it i want to report back here, because if i do all those and its not found then idk what im left to do :/


And as for that memory usage addon, isnt it basically a simplified version of firefox's own about:memory but limited to the addon's mem usage? In that link gnitalla linked me to on the firefox discussion about Firefox implementing its own task manager like Chrome does it was mentioned integrating that very addon into firefox, doesnt that give it some kind of merit i guess?

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I was going to close this thread because it seemed to be solved with following what philipp said and pretty much never crossed 700MB no matter what was. But just a few minutes ago after i closed firefox it updated to 25.1 and now firefox is just back to the way it was and its using 1.4GB of RAM

what.just.happened

https://app.box.com/s/7buy9c5wkf3mftutjn9n

why.... just why cant firefox play nice

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hey, i know it won't be of much relief but that last memory dump already looks way better than the one before (now most of the memory seems to be allocated to cache actual website content). i don't think the update from firefox 25 to x.0.1 has anything to do with the new increase you're seeing since it contained only two small fixes, none of which was related to or should have an impact on memory handling.

there is one other extension with the ID jid1-0IuNjBtcyp2N7w@jetpack i'd disable. it doesn't show up in the list of addons you've provided back when you started the thread and it isn't a common one so i don't know what actual name it has, but you can determine that when you go to firefox > help > troubleshooting information and look for the id.

i have to say i'm no expert on this, but when i just pick out the memory allocations of one makeuseof.com site you've visited (see screenshot), then it's obvious that only a small fraction of the 70mb spend on the site are originating from the page content itself, but most part of it is coming from social-media/like/share/+1-buttons and so on. if you don't need this kind of stuff, then you could also add filters to adblock for things like:

platform.twitter.com/widgets
apis.google.com/u/0/_/+1/
apis.google.com/u/0/_/widget/
facebook.com/plugins/like.php
facebook.com/connect/

this should curb a big junk of memory usage...

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Things were looking good after the first test! and that addon is the "Skip Ad.fly" addons, damn, what is it with "jetpack" addons and memory usage that high from them? :/

But.... things dont seem that great... Now with only this tab open for the past few hours firefox is around 900MB.. for one tab alone thats alot.. i made it save two memory reports at different times, this was the one from a few hours ago after it was the only tab left https://app.box.com/s/n4r92l5fppe8vbwv5xiy

And this one is like from now, still it hasnt changed almost :/ https://app.box.com/s/j0mwtmt0v2sp8poq8f5a


Oh, and i added those to the list on AdblockPlus (i hate seeing them anyways) would they effect seeing comments on articles that come from facebook?

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Really, nothing?

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disabling the jetpack addons might have been the wrong path because apparently they all share resources but only a single addon is always shown to have an impact on memory.

since i don't really know how to troubleshoot the issue any further, i will escalate your question...

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Hi StaxOnRax,
My 2 cents,on some of your subjects.

It is already quite a lengthy thread and I will not have yet managed to take it all in properly.

Safe Mode & Clean Profiles

  • All intended for diagnostic purposes.
  • Firefox safe mode does not disable plugins so they need to be disabled separately.
  • Additionally Windows Safe mode may be worth a try on top of that.
  • Note one useful use for multiple profiles may be setting up Firefox profiles for different uses. For instance have one for testing with all plugins disabled. And others with different bookmarks and plugins.

About Addons plugin
Not something I had tried previously but it does not work for me.

About Memory
Did you notice

  • It gives more info on mousover of items
  • Items with a ++ may be expanded or if a -- will collapse
  • It has buttons to reduce memory usage do they help (I understand you tried the button on the addon not about memory)

Screenshots

  • You may attach screenshots directly using the button Add images: [Browse...]
  • You still need to add the about:memory reports to an external site.
    • it is possible to add short extracts of the text file though e.g (from aaq-1_memory-report.json.gz & edited by me )
938.97 MB (100.0%) -- explicit
├──558.90 MB (59.52%) -- window-objects
│  ├──282.54 MB (30.09%) ++ top(http://yosh.katbox.net/comic/20110406/, id=8)
│  ├──228.54 MB (24.34%) -- top(none)/detached
│  │  ├────3.86 MB (00.41%) ++ window(http://disqus.com/embed/comments/?f=the-katbox&t_i=1121%20http%3A%2F .... disqus_version=1379107368#1)
│  │  ├────2.22 MB (00.24%) -- window(http://disqus.com/embed/comments/?f=the-katbox&t_i=1042%20http%3A%2F%2Fwww.yoshsaga.com ... 
│  │  │    ├──2.16 MB (00.23%) ++ js-compartment(http://disqus.com ... )
│  │  │    └──0.06 MB (00.01%) ++ dom
│  │  ├────2.15 MB (00.23%) ++ window(http://disqus.com/embed ... 
│  │  ├────2.15 MB 

I note the above shows a lot of your memory being used in relation to http://yosh.katbox.net/comic/ & http://disqus.com

  • are you having problems mainly with one or two bad sites ?
  • 'do the reduce memory buttons help with that ?
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As the question was escalated maybe you would wish to comment on how you are doing for memory usage at the moment

  1. In day to day browsing (There was mention of 70+ extensions !! above /questions/976131#answer-498969 )
  2. When using a clean profile with all but say one or two plugins disabled and using safe-mode.
    • Please list the plugins and extensions enabled.
  3. Is any specific plugin or extension identifiable as the major memory hog.
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Im not sure what escalated refers to here but i hope that means something good D: because this is killing me!

So theres one main addon triggering the other ones to be like that? which one is it? At this point all the addons i have left are the popular ones and nothing obscure, maybe one of the ones i have on so far are famous for having issues?

@john99 ive done all those so far, trust me, everything from creating a new profile to removing all dead ones i dont use and having the latest flash player. Although firefox isnt as insane as it was once i made this first post when the context menu was practically unusable and it was only a matter of a few hours of usage that itd use up 2GB of RAM and had to be killed with a task manager, it goes in a weird loop of a pattern

For example, since ive posted my last response here it hasnt had an insane memory spike, HOWEVER, it always seems to be loading the CPU and that causes firefox to hang every so often (just like.... it did before). Like in Window's Task Manager it shows firefox at random times while its doing nothing saying it has "10" under the CPU label. basically, if the RAM usage is okay then the CPU usage goes wonky every once in a while

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Hi StaxOnRax,

Sorry you are continuing to have problems with Firefox. It must be very frustrating for you.

Normally we would suggest that in accordance with the guidelines only one question/subject per thread. Although it is closely related I still think it would be a good idea to start a new thread for three reasons.

  1. This thread has a title relating to Memory
  2. The other side of your problem is CPU use
  3. Long threads are difficult to follow and find information in. IMHO it now makes sense to hive off parts of the discussion. (It is trivial to cross link threads)
it always seems to be loading the CPU and that causes firefox to hang every so often (just like.... it did before). Like in Window's Task Manager it shows firefox at random times while its doing nothing saying it has "10" under the CPU label. basically, if the RAM usage is okay then the CPU usage goes wonky every once in a while 

I do not often use Windows. Maybe if you append a screenshot to your next post it will help. I hope you do not mean you have discovered ten Firefox processes are running.

Im not sure what escalated refers to here but i hope that means something good D: because this is killing me!

Yes it is good it means the thread is marked for close attention and more likely to be resolved. We even have now a couple of paid staff helping out on the forum. (Nearly everyone else are volunteers like myself).

Please start a new thread. As soon as I see it I will ensure it is both cross linked to this one and escalated.

  1. Please use this special link (quick--omitting a couple of steps-- and with a title contributors will recognise as relating to this thread).
  2. Try to use the prompts to add troubleshooting information, when posting. Please try the green button to automate this. (If that fails then it is something we need to look into) Separate linked thread if so, but do mention it.
  3. Post back into this thread once you have started a new thread, we will ensure it is cross linked and marked as escalated.

Obviously you are taking full advantage of Firefox's great flexibility having many addons and quite possibly you have many tabs open. With your level of addons I suspect you may get a better experience by carefully using multiple profiles such that for particular profiles at least many plugns are disabled when not in use, and many extensions are not even available to Firefox.


Can we be clear about one thing.

Apologies for shouting but it is vital

I assume you have no CPU, Memory, or problems with hangs or slowness in the following situation. With ALL these diagnostic procedures in place

  1. Using a clean profile {1} {1}
  2. All plugins disabled {2}
  3. Starting in windows safemode [windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/start-computer-safe-mode]
  4. Running Firefox in its safe mode {4}

Are you able to confirm that please ?

No need to try any of these yet
(but the first article may be worth reading now).

  • This is pretty much the definitive and best concise advice on Fixing difficult Firefox problems, you may wish to read this article:
    http://kb.mozillazine.org/Standard_diagnostic_-_Firefox
    It helps to explain why we need to ask you to do inconvenient tests.
  • If there are continuing problems then a clean install of Firefox may be a good idea. {*} {*}
  • And it is well worth running a memory test overnight using something like memtest because you may have some intermittently seen memory problem.
  • Unofficial but IMHO useful test/comparison. Install Firefox Portable ESR , as an additional browser preferably in a separate User Account of your OS.

If we can not FIRST OF ALL get Firefox running for you trouble-free under the above situations we will have no chance with all your customisations and could waste your own and everyone else's time trying with futile attempts using the many millions of possible combinations of your currently used addons.


Edit OOPs fixed two links to point to correct articles and sections sections,

Modified by John99

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