Helping with crashes

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When Firefox crashes and a user asks for help, viewing a crash report will help you to better understand the cause of the crash (for example, extensions or third-party software) and provides useful information needed to find a solution, such as related bug reports. This article describes that troubleshooting process.

How do I look up someone's crash report?

When people visit the Troubleshoot Firefox crashes (closing or quitting unexpectedly) article or work through the Ask a Question flow, we ask them to copy their latest Crash IDs from about:crashes and to paste it into the question form. When someone posts a question on the Firefox support forum, we can also use the Post a Reply Common responses tool and select Forum response - Firefox crashes to ask for crash reports.

When a complete Crash ID beginning with bp- is pasted into the support forum, the forum software will create a clickable link to the Crash Report. Note that the pasted text is not seen as a link until the post is made on the forum. The link will not show up in the person's Post Reply preview.

Note: Instructions for users to find their Crash ID are in the Troubleshoot Firefox crashes article.

How do I read a crash report?

A crash report contains many useful pieces of information. The following explains what to look for. If you are a contributor looking to learn more, check out Mozilla's Understanding Crash Reports article.

The report always begins on the Details tab. The Bugzilla tab will link you to bug reports, if any, that are related to this crash signature. Click through and read the bug report — especially all of the comments. What you are looking for is a workaround that you can give to the person you are trying to help.

MozillaCrashReport-BugzillaTab
Also, if the status of the bug is FIXED, look at the Target Milestone and Tracking Flags fields. They will tell you in which version of Firefox the issue has been fixed.

Check for malware

If there were no related bugs, click on the Modules tab. Here you're looking for files with no version information. They are sometimes related to malware. Often googling the name of the file will help you corroborate this. In such cases, you can suggest that the user scan their system for malware and link to the Troubleshoot Firefox issues caused by malware article for recommendations.

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Check for problem extensions

Finally, check the Extensions tab to see what (if any) extensions were running. You'll probably have to google the Extension ID to figure out what some of them are but that should also pull up information about extensions that often cause problems. If you suspect a problem extension, recommend that they disable that extension and see if the problem is fixed (instructions are in Disable or remove Add-ons). You should also link them to Troubleshoot extensions, themes and hardware acceleration issues to solve common Firefox problems in case that doesn't work.

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Other helpful parts of a crash report

  • Details tab:
    • Signature - Describes the kind of crash. There are links in this field that will let you view every crash report with the same crash signature over 1 - 4 weeks across all Firefox versions.
    • In addition to the crash signature, the top section contains details about the crash time, crash reason, Firefox version, OS, CPU, graphics settings, and the LSP.
    • Crashing Thread - Shows the last function calls before the crash. You can see if third party software is implied. The bug component is usually the component which the last called functions belongs to.
  • Correlations tab: Tables of correlation data (modules, add-ons, CPU cores) for this crash signature and reason elaborated from all the crashes of the day in the current Firefox version. The higher the ratio is between the two percentages, the higher the correlation is. Correlations per module and per add-on must be checked to see if it's caused by third party software or add-ons.

What do I do if I need help reading crash reports?

Crash reports contain a lot of very technical information. There are many more things that can be learned from them than what's presented in this article and sometimes, the steps presented here won't lead to concrete steps you can give a user to resolve the problem. If you want help with reading crash reports, the best thing to do is ask for help in the SUMO Matrix room Just type: Can someone help me read this crash report?

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