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How to fix Firefox freeze after clicking "Save Image As" from dropdown context menu?

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  • 1 has this problem
  • 44 views
  • Last reply by Rob

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The Firefox process seems to freeze after "mouse button up" from "Save Image As". Sometimes the context menu stays frozen on the screen, sometimes it does not. There is no ability to switch tabs or cancel the context menu. The image itself never saves to disk. I have reformatted and installed Firefox several times fresh out of the box and it still has this behavior. Running Firefox from the console and having Firefox freeze gives no indication or error or message about what is going on. I would say this happens 1 out of 20 images saved. I can easily reproduce this behavior, even though it is inconsistent.

Chosen solution

So it looks like it was an issue with openSUSE:Tumbleweed repo's builds of KDE. I switched my KDE applications to use the KDE repo and things appear to be stable.

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If you leave it for 5 minutes, does Firefox ever recover?

While it is hard to explain random phenomena, one scenario does come to mind. Firefox tries to re-use the last download folder on a per-site basis. If you had saved an image from a site to a drive or device that is not currently available, there could be a temporary freeze while Firefox or Windows looks for it.

As a test, you could turn off site-specific download folders by creating a preference and see whether that makes any difference:

(1) In a new tab, type or paste about:config in the address bar and press Enter/Return. Click the button accepting the risk.

(2) In the search box, type or paste browser.download.lastDir.savePerSite

(3) Firefox should display a bar with some radio buttons to choose a new preference type, followed by a + button. Keep Boolean and click the + button:

(4) Firefox will automatically set the new value to true. Either click the Toggle button or double-click true to switch it to false.

Any difference (besides the obvious of always getting the Downloads folder)?

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After leaving Firefox in it's frozen state for 10 hours, it never recovered.

I remember not having a browser.download.lastDir.savePerSite and only added and set it to true recently. This was after an issue where Firefox would not remember my lastDir at all, but that issue has since seemed resolved itself after this setting. I will change it to false and report back if another freeze happens.

EDIT: In less than 10 minutes after changing the value from true to false, a freeze happened while trying to save an image.

Modified by Rob

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Hi Rob, off the top of my head, I can't think of any other reason for an intermittent failure to launch the Save As dialog, if that is the point of failure.

It is odd that your Firefox previously could not remember last directory per site. Do you think maybe some other program might be clearing data in your profile folder? But normally they would do that when Firefox is not running, so shouldn't interfere in the middle of a session.

You could consider opening Firefox's Browser Console (Ctrl+Shift+j) and resizing your main window to make space for it so that when there's a freeze, you'll be able to see any fresh error messages and grab a PrtScn screenshot. Maybe. (There tends to be a lot of noise in the console during a busy session, so I don't know whether relevant messages will appear or be in view at that moment.)

Did this problem just start in recent days, since the Firefox 88.0.1 update?

Sorry, just realized you are on Linux and not Windows. I don't know anything about the interaction with the shell on Linux.

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jscher2000 said

Hi Rob, off the top of my head, I can't think of any other reason for an intermittent failure to launch the Save As dialog, if that is the point of failure. It is odd that your Firefox previously could not remember last directory per site. Do you think maybe some other program might be clearing data in your profile folder? But normally they would do that when Firefox is not running, so shouldn't interfere in the middle of a session. You could consider opening Firefox's Browser Console (Ctrl+Shift+j) and resizing your main window to make space for it so that when there's a freeze, you'll be able to see any fresh error messages and grab a PrtScn screenshot. Maybe. (There tends to be a lot of noise in the console during a busy session, so I don't know whether relevant messages will appear or be in view at that moment.) Did this problem just start in recent days, since the Firefox 88.0.1 update? Sorry, just realized you are on Linux and not Windows. I don't know anything about the interaction with the shell on Linux.

I actually believe the failure is somewhere within KDE and perhaps kmozillahelper initializing the dialog.

The problem has persisted probably since June of last year. I've just been very unlucky lately and having nearly 50+ freezes a day.

I'll definitely try the to make room for the browser console and see if I can screenshot it. I just need to get lucky enough that the context menu does not overlap the console during the freeze. If for whatever reason the context menu is in the freeze, it takes top priority over all other windows, so using other applications without terminating the Firefox process is nearly impossible.

EDIT: Within 2 minutes I managed to get a freeze with the console visible. There was no output just before the freeze.

EDIT2: I uninstalled kmozillahelper and rebooted and Firefox froze on the first image I tried to save. Force closing and attempting to save that image again worked without kmozillahelper, but it appears kmozillahelper is not the culprit here.

Modified by Rob

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Hi Rob, I'm not sure what has changed lately. Is this specific to Save Image As or do the same problems happen with Save Page As or Save Link As or other save dialogs?

There might be an extension to "just save" an image to your default downloads folder without showing a dialog. Not sure whether that would be a useful workaround for this problem.

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Unfortunately it appears to be specific to the "Save Image As", as I have not had any issues with Page or Link.

I will give a look at a potential extension workaround as you say. I had an extension which did something similar which would save an image/link directly in the context menu to a defined location, was very useful, but I think that was way before WebExtensions support added in 2016.

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Well as an update, it appears extensions can no longer save files to arbitrary locations outside the downloads folder for security reasons. Symlinks must be used instead, and I really don't want to do that. So I will see if I can work with the fine folks at KDE to help resolve the situation.

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This fixed it for me thanks

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ZooBee said

This fixed it for me thanks

Which answer solved your issue? Which operating system are you on? How were you experiencing this problem before? Was it the same situation as my original post?

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Chosen Solution

So it looks like it was an issue with openSUSE:Tumbleweed repo's builds of KDE. I switched my KDE applications to use the KDE repo and things appear to be stable.

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