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Firefox 23 uses 1.2 GB of RAM with 4 tabs open!

  • 54 replies
  • 259 have this problem
  • 33604 views
  • Paskiausią atsakymą parašė John99

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I just checked task manager, since my computer was running a bit slow, and found firefox to be using nearly 1.2 GIGABYTES of RAM, with only 4 tabs open + Chatzilla for IRC. I have Skyrim running at the same time, and it is using LESS RAM than Firefox is!

I've tried disabling plugins, to the point where I only have the Flash and Adobe PDF ones running, I had to disable the plugin container since it crashes repeatedly (Usually at least once every couple of days). I tried using the "Free Memory" options in about:memory, and they do literally nothing to reduce the RAM usage. It's normally between 400 and 600 MB (Which is still insanely excessive for a browser). Closing Chatzilla only reduces the RAM usage by about 10-15 MB, so it doesn't seem to be the problem.

How in the name of all that's sacred is a browser using more RAM than a modded version of Skyrim?


Comment by a forum moderator.
This is a popular thread with over 10000 views. By all means scroll through and read it for useful tips & information. If however you have your own problem See

  1. My comment about telemetry in post-524332and consider turning that on.
  2. My post 510510 & use special link and start your own thread.
  3. (2nd edit 21Jan2014) Also note some related questions with solutions found after they started a new thread
    /questions/982539 the addon no script was apparently causing 1GB of memory use.
    /questions/980440 a workaround was to tweak the pref Browser.sessionhistory.max_total_viewers to improve the memory issue

Modified by John99

All Replies (20)

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i don't know where you've read that disabling out-of-process plugins would solve memory problems - this wasn't sound advice. with that configuration you wouldn't know if a leak in firefox.exe is caused by firefox itself or a plugin (i suspect the latter might be the case).

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Well, the problem is persisting regardless so far this evening with the plugin options enabled again. 3 simple tabs open, 600mb used. Will report back tomorrow on usage after a bit more testing.

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Nope, re-enabling those options hasn't changed a thing, still getting between 400 and 600mb used even after minor browsing sessions.

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And after another day of watching RAM usage, same thing. ~200Mb on initial open, between 400-600mb usage after a couple of hours. Doesn't seem like it's plugins to me.

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And this is why I disabled those plugin options, cause otherwise firefox does this: Also notice the near 600mb of RAM used, currently with only 3 tabs open, one of them being this support page.

Modified by r.helsdon

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can you specify on which pages you have opened exactly (do they make excessive use of flash content)?

since adobe has introduced it's protected mode for flash for firefox it is expected behaviour that one flash element causes 3 processes to run in the windows task manager: http://blogs.adobe.com/asset/2012/06/inside-flash-player-protected-mode-for-firefox.html

by disabling the out-of-process plugins all of them and their ram and cpu ressources would run within firefox.exe - if one of them hangs or crashes, then the whole browser would crash.

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Maybe you should make this more obvious to users then.

As for pages I'm using; just Facebook, and the occasional flash based ad on the comics and forums I read. I don't play Flash games or anything like that. I'd also like to point out that firefox is currently managing to use 916MB by itself with 6 of these seperate flash processes running.

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It reached a new record today: 1.7GB!

It seems like Firefox is never de-caching (is that a word?) closed tabs or something. Really is getting ridiculous, going to have to swap browsers if this pathetic performance keeps up.

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Did you try using a clean new profile without any extensions and possibly as less data as possible from the old profile and restore bookmarks from a JSON backup and only copy a few files like signons.sqlite and key3.db for the passwords.

You can check the about:memory page to use where all this memory is used for.

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Yes, I've done that already, in fact you suggested it once before! Getting tired of being given the run around with ineffective answers about plugins and profiles that Don't. Solve. The. Problem.

Checking about:memory tells me that huge amounts of RAM are being used on tabs that I closed up to hours ago! So it's obviously something within Firefox itself and the way it handles closed tabs. It's NOT plugins, it's NOT the profile, please stop giving me these suggestions, especially if you are repeating yourself.

Modified by r.helsdon

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in case the memory usage is sky rocketing again & you type about:compartments into the location bar, are there any ghost windows listed at the bottom of this window?

could you copy the contents of about:memory & about:compartments, paste them into a new pastebin at http://pastebin.mozilla.org/ and provide a link? thank you...

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I too have been having this problem, but only since the most recent update to 23.0.1. I have made ZERO changes to the browser since then (no new addons/extensions/etc.) and the memory usage is absurd. I had a window with ONE tab open all day, but with no usage. The site had nothing but text and links on it (no video, gifs). It went from ~150MB to 800MB in about 9 hours. With no activity. No input from a user. The house was empty that whole time. This is clearly a Mozilla issue, not a user/addon/extension issue, and it would be nice if Mozilla would own up to it rather than pushing it back on the users. I realize that plenty of us modify and cause problems, but I'm not one of them. So, what now?

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Same here. Getting real tired of Firefox now. And ESPECIALLY tired of hearing that I should disable addons, disable plugins, try in safe mode, create a new profile, switch profiles, reinstall firefox over and over again.

The problem is with Firefox. Firefox starts with a memory usage of 300MB and can then go to anything between 900 MB and 1.4 GB with no more than 5 tabs open at a time. I don't want to move to Google Chrome after all these years with Firefox but if this keeps on going, I am afraid I'll have to and I dislike Google Chrome a lot!

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I 100% agree. I have tried Google Chrome a couple of times and while the memory usage is lower, I just don't like layout. I've been using Firefox for so long that I am really used to it. Up till now I have found it to be very user friendly.

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Left FF open overnight with only 3 static tabs open (scholastic site, about:memory, and about:compartment). Still had ghost windows for Yahoo mail, Gmail, Mozilla (this thread!), and Facebook, with the browser adding another 30MB of memory with no usage.

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I too have found in the last couple of days that firefox 23.0.1 which automatically loaded ontomy machine has the same problems you are describing. Very high memory use. slows everything right down so cannot scroll or navigate around screen until it crashes. After many years of firefox use I am being forced to go back to use I.E. which works instantly on everything, as it should do as my computer is quite new. Am very disappointed and I can't spend any more time trying to turn off apps and create new profiles etc etc. after 2 days I have no patience left. Goodbye firefox I hope you sort it out soon

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2gb here with 2 tabs open and NO addons or extensions enabled.

as soon as i go to a site then the memory just gets eaten.

I've also seen very very slow performance tabbing between input elements.

Looks definately like its firefox so i'm going to google which uses 80kb browsing to the same websites.

so, my dilema.

firefox 2gb to browse 4 sites or chrome 80k to browse 4 sites???hmm

which one would you use?

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Oddly enough, FF is now suddenly using less memory. I haven't changed a thing, but the ghost windows are gone and memory usage is normalized again.

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hurrah, Thats how it should work :) :) :)

Well actually V.23 & V24 are still not working and in fact got worse and worse until it was crashing my machine with only one window open, if it was running you tube video or music from sound cloud. I got so frustrated that i eventually found a download for Version 21 and went back to that despite Firefox warning about security breaches. I would rather have slightly less security as a trade off for a browser that works. I can now have as many windows as i like open all running facebook, you tube and soundcloud with no loss of speed, crashes or stopping scrolling. This must show that V23 & V24 are not up to the job.

So despite trying to be patient and following Firefox support advice all that happened was I lost a week of my life getting frustrated, downloading, clearing files, rebooting, when all along a 30 second re-install of 21 would have solved it as suspected all along.

Modified by callwild

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Yes, there are ghost windows listed in about:compartments. And again, measuring in about:memory shows tabs I closed hours ago. I really don't see why I should have to do so much dicking around with about:bollocks and expecting me to pastebin stuff when the software is OBVIOUSLY FAULTY. Other people are all reporting the same problem under the same conditions. It's not addons, it's not profiles, It. Is. Firefox. Itself.

When can I expect a patch to fix these memory issues?

Modified by r.helsdon

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