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If Firefox crashes or stops responding will that harm it in any way?

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  • 2 have this problem
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  • Last reply by Jesant13

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I am curious as to whether or not Firefox (including any third party extensions) would be harmed if Firefox either crashed or stopped responding. I am using version 27.x of Firefox on Windows 8 with the Windows 8.1 update installed. I am using two extensions, which are Adblock Plus and WOT.

Chosen solution

All software is different. I'm not sure what you are trying to achieve with this thread, but I think this is the general rule:

All software can fail. This is why you need backups. While most failures won't damage your personal files, there is always the chance that things will go wrong. We can't make any promises. If something does go wrong with Firefox though, please come back here and we will help :)

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Firefox frequently updates your settings files, so there is a possibility of some damage when Firefox stops working unexpectedly, as a file could be left in an unreadable state. This could be similar to losing power to your computer, or having a severe (blue screen) crash.

I think your best protection is to make regular backups. This article has tips on doing that: Back up and restore information in Firefox profiles.

By the way, if you have been experiencing crashes, you could provide more information on those. When Firefox crashes, it usually records information about what was happening at that moment. You can submit that data to Mozilla and share it with forum volunteers to see whether it points to the solution. Please check the support article "Troubleshoot Firefox crashes (closing or quitting unexpectedly)" (especially the last section) for steps to get those crash IDs, and then post some of the recent ones here.

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So would the settings files be the files at risk or would there be additional files at risk?

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In my mind, the settings files are the only ones that Firefox updates during use that you care about. If the cache is corrupted, you just dump it, but if your bookmarks database is corrupted, well, then you have to use a backup.

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I have some other questions. Firstly, nothing would be corrupted if Firefox stopped responding but then started responding again without crashing? Secondly, is it possible for the installation to become corrupted in the event of a crash which would require Firefox to be reinstalled?

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Sorry, I guess I have to admit that "anything is possible."

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I would have responded sooner but I was waiting to see if anyone else would respond or not. Since nobody else has I decided to leave this response as I have some more information I want to provide.

In the past Firefox has run slowly and in some cases even temporarily stopped responding when I used two websites, which are Facebook and Google Map Maker. In the past if I scrolled down far enough Firefox would slow down and in some cases would temporarily stop responding. I also sometimes got a message about a script running slowly. This has all happened with the installation of Firefox I have on my laptop, which I got in June 2013. I have yet to see if it still occurs in version 28 of Firefox.

Right now I have four tabs open. When running Firefox which I usually keep open for multiple days, I usually will keep a minimum of three tabs open. Those tabs are for Gmail, Facebook, and YouTube. I don't recall usually having more than six tabs open at one time. I decided to share this in case it helps anyone.

I looked at the Firefox Health Report. The information I got was at 6:12 PM UTC-4:

I was (and still am) using version 28.0. Firefox has been open a total of 136,176 minutes and counting. The last reported crash (which I don't recall) was on February 25, 2014. There were (and still are) 97 bookmarks, although I have not imported that many from a previous installation or added enough to reach that number, which tells me some of those bookmarks aren't the ones I added and came with Firefox. This month, Firefox has been open 11,416 minutes and counting. It has not crashed. There are two add-ons (which I mentioned in my first post) which are enabled and zero are disabled. Five plugins are set to always activate, zero are set to ask to activate and zero are disabled. I decided to provide that information in case it helps anyone.

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If Firefox temporarily stops responding, but comes back, it should be fine. You only need to worry if Firefox crashes while updating, saving settings/bookmarks, or other things of that sort.

I use Firefox 28 on Windows 7 64-bit (Intel i5), and it does the same exact thing when accessing sites like Google Maps or Gmail. It only does this because it can't keep track of all the data. When Firefox 'is not responding', it's still working, just not responding to user input. :)

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Thanks for the help jscher2000. Also thank you for posting SuperSluether. I learned some things from your post.

Regarding what SuperSluether said in the first paragraph of their post, knowing that Firefox is software would what was said also apply to any other programs and any operating systems?

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Chosen Solution

All software is different. I'm not sure what you are trying to achieve with this thread, but I think this is the general rule:

All software can fail. This is why you need backups. While most failures won't damage your personal files, there is always the chance that things will go wrong. We can't make any promises. If something does go wrong with Firefox though, please come back here and we will help :)

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Tyler Downer, I'm a computer geek. When I created this thread I was curious as to if Firefox and the extensions installed in it would get harmed in any way if they temporarily stopped responding or crashed. I didn't create this thread because I was having any problems with Firefox. Since this is an official Mozilla forum I decided to create my thread here.

Regarding asking about some other software and operating systems I decided to ask that here instead of on a different forum because while I know all software is different, I also know all software has some things in common.