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Firefox hangs for hours when starting or opening new tab or window.

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I rarely ask for help and try on my own and frequently help others, but I have a problem that I cannot solve and need your help, please.

I have tried the typical things such as restarting, starting in safe mode, refreshing, reinstalling, uninstall and delete folders and profiles then re-install, uninstall and delete folders and profiles and remove all Mozilla/FF entries in the registry then reinstall. No plugins or addons installed.

I tried disabling my anti-virus software.

I have FF version 87.0 64 bit version and even tried with an older 32 bit version. My OS is Windows 10 version 20H2 OS Build 19042.928. Both are the latest versions at the time of this post.


Regardless of what I try, my problem below persists:

When I start FF it almost starts but hangs. I can see it listed in the Task Manager. There is a little activity with Memory and CPU usage for a few seconds then no more. I cannot End Task if I try. It will hang like this for hours. Eventually I will get the home screen. If I attempt to visit a website right away it hangs (two dots blinking left & right like a school bus in the tab). If I do not try to visit a website but wait for a few more hours it will usually connect and be OK. However, if I open a new tab or Private Window I have the same problem in the new one.

Once it is up and running it appears to be working normally except for the new tabs. I have been hibernating my computer with FF open rather than shut down so that I can use it the next day. However, after a number of hours or on another day it will suddenly hang again for an unknown reason. Then I reboot and start the procedure all over.

I have tried every fix I can think of for FF. The problem may be an issue with Windows, but Microsoft has no bulletins or fixes for this one. I have updated to the latest build/version but nothing has changed. Very frustrating.

Any suggestions beyond the things I have already tried would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

All Replies (10)

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hello lake,

Just from top of my head, sounds like there is a connection issue whereas your FF cannot establish a connection to the internet.

That being said, your windows may be trying to download and install updates. But it is in a loop.

Look at your windows update log and see if it is similar to mine in the attached pic.

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Thanks ddbn,

I did not mention that I have a good internet connection and that all other software (including other browsers) connect to the internet. Yes my update log looks similar with successful updates.

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Thanks for the additional info.

Do you have VPN? This could be a contributing factor as FF also has its own VPN. I dont use VPN. So the above is just a thought.

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Thanks for the suggestions.

I do have a VPN for the connection but am not currently using the Mozilla VPN. Part of my troubleshooting was to disable that briefly as a test. But... as stated in the OP, it does eventually run normally and sometimes for days if I do not shut it down or reboot.

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Ah, I see.

I believe the VPN is the issue with this FireFox.

Other people have had issues with their FF. Later they did something-or-another with the VPN which then made FF functional.

Try tweaking the VPN's in FF and your WIndows. Maybe the FF VPN can be disabled? I dont know though.

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Thanks but... I'm not using the FF/Mozilla VPN. Same condition with or without my other VPN. Eventually works normally (after hours of hang time at startup) with or without the VPN.

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Hello Lake,

I am boggle by the issue that utterly should not exist. Most certainly it doesnt exist on my Win10. And i have not been seeing posts on this website with a similar issue like yours. But i had seen a post here and there that involved VPN.

You had mentioned you have executed a windows safe mode and save mode with networking, but FF still bogs down?

So what happens when you unplug your computer from the internet and or modem wifi and then launch FF and other browsers on your system?

Does FF start up quickly but cites that there is no connectivity?

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Yes, this is an odd problem. I am usually pretty savvy with software and tech things, but this problem is beyond me.

I also started FF in Firefox's safe mode (holding shift when launching). However, I did not try launching it while not connected to the internet. Thanks for the suggestion! I will give that a try the next time I start FF. It may be a few days.

At the moment FF is up and running and I will be hibernating the computer when not in use with FF still running so that I don't have to wait half a day to use it next time. Eventually it will hang or the computer will need to be restarted. I will try your suggestion then. It may be a few days before that happens but I will post the results then.

Thanks again!

PS - Other browsers (besides Tor) work, but I prefer not to use them. Tor is a modified FF so no surprise that the results are the same when I tried Tor.

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Firefox ran for about a week and a half without restarting. I leave FF open and hibernate the computer when not in use. Eventually FF froze and had to be closed.

In my latest attempt to solve this, I shut my internet router off (no connection to the internet or any network) and restarted the computer. I shut down everything non-essential plus antivirus software and firewall (despite not being connected). I tried starting FF in Safe Mode and the same thing happened. Rebooted computer, shut everything down again and restarted FF in normal mode and the same thing happened.

I have tried everything that is recommended plus many other things above and beyond with exactly the same results every time. I have come to the conclusion that FF will never run properly on this computer.

My last attempt was indeed my last attempt. Thanks for the suggestions but I am giving up on this.

BUT, I like Firefox a lot and I will not use Chrome or Edge/Chrome. My solution: Buy a new computer.

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buy a new computer?! but what if the new begins doing the same thing?

i say it might be best just to reinstall windows or restore your windows..

however, if your machine is running win10 and win10 doesnt report any issues, then you would be spinning a little wheel, per se.

try the following with clearing up windows :

Open Task Manager > Start up Tab > Disable everything that is enabled (except keyboard and mouse if they are present) > then reboot > start FF > retry creating the issues.

The above is like safe mode for windows. But if you really want to eliminate none windows software and drivers, you could simply launch WIndows in Safe Mode w/networking

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