Fix the "Could not initialize the application's security component" error message

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This article deals with the causes of the message "Could not initialize the application's security component." The most likely cause is problems with files in your application's profile directory. Please check that this directory has no read/write restrictions and your hard disk is not full or close to full. It is recommended that you exit the application and fix the problem. If you continue to use this session, you might see incorrect application behaviour when accessing security features.

For information on other messages received when attempting to load websites, see Websites don't load - troubleshoot and fix error messages.

Note: The Reset Firefox feature can fix many issues by restoring Firefox to its factory default state while saving your essential information. Consider using it before going through a lengthy troubleshooting process.

Hard drive space

Check your hard drive's free space.

  1. From the Windows Start menu, click "Computer" or "My Computer".
  2. Right click on Local Disk (C:)
  3. Choose Properties. A dialog will come up.
  4. Go to the General tab.
  1. Go to your Desktop.
    • Press F11
  1. Select Macintosh HD.
  2. Press command+I to display the Macintosh HD info window.
  1. Click the Places menu, and select Computer.
  2. Right-click on Filesystem.
  3. Choose Properties. A dialog will come up.
  4. Go to the Basic tab.

If it reports less than 1MB free space available, you'll need to make more room.

File permissions

Check the file permissions in your Firefox profile folder. The file named cert8.db must not be read-only.

  1. Open your profile folder:

    At the top of the Firefox window, click on the Firefox button, go over to the Help menuOn the menu bar, click on the Help menuAt the top of the Firefox window, click on the Help menu and select Troubleshooting Information. The Troubleshooting Information tab will open.Click the menu button New Fx Menu , click help Help-29 and select Troubleshooting Information. The Troubleshooting Information tab will open.

  2. Under the Application Basics section, click on Show FolderShow in FinderOpen Directory. A window with your profile filesfolder will open.
  3. Note: If you are unable to open or use Firefox, follow the instructions in Finding your profile without opening Firefox.

  4. At the top of the Firefox window, click on the Firefox button and then select ExitAt the top of the Firefox window, click on the File menu and then select ExitOn the menu bar, click on the Firefox menu and select Quit FirefoxAt the top of the Firefox window, click on the File menu and select Quit

    Click the menu button New Fx Menu and then click ExitQuit Close 29

  5. Right-click on the file named cert8.db.
  6. Choose Properties. A dialog will come up.
  7. Go to the General tab.
  8. Make sure the Read-only checkbox is not checked.
  9. Press OK.
  1. Open your profile folder:

    At the top of the Firefox window, click on the Firefox button, go over to the Help menuOn the menu bar, click on the Help menuAt the top of the Firefox window, click on the Help menu and select Troubleshooting Information. The Troubleshooting Information tab will open.Click the menu button New Fx Menu , click help Help-29 and select Troubleshooting Information. The Troubleshooting Information tab will open.

  2. Under the Application Basics section, click on Show FolderShow in FinderOpen Directory. A window with your profile filesfolder will open.
  3. Note: If you are unable to open or use Firefox, follow the instructions in Finding your profile without opening Firefox.

  4. At the top of the Firefox window, click on the Firefox button and then select ExitAt the top of the Firefox window, click on the File menu and then select ExitOn the menu bar, click on the Firefox menu and select Quit FirefoxAt the top of the Firefox window, click on the File menu and select Quit

    Click the menu button New Fx Menu and then click ExitQuit Close 29

  5. Select the file named cert8.db.
  6. Press command+I to display the cert8.db info window.
  7. Expand the Sharing & Permissions section.
  8. Make sure your Mac user account is set to Read & Write.
  9. Close the cert8.db info window.
  1. Open your profile folder:

    At the top of the Firefox window, click on the Firefox button, go over to the Help menuOn the menu bar, click on the Help menuAt the top of the Firefox window, click on the Help menu and select Troubleshooting Information. The Troubleshooting Information tab will open.Click the menu button New Fx Menu , click help Help-29 and select Troubleshooting Information. The Troubleshooting Information tab will open.

  2. Under the Application Basics section, click on Show FolderShow in FinderOpen Directory. A window with your profile filesfolder will open.
  3. Note: If you are unable to open or use Firefox, follow the instructions in Finding your profile without opening Firefox.

  4. At the top of the Firefox window, click on the Firefox button and then select ExitAt the top of the Firefox window, click on the File menu and then select ExitOn the menu bar, click on the Firefox menu and select Quit FirefoxAt the top of the Firefox window, click on the File menu and select Quit

    Click the menu button New Fx Menu and then click ExitQuit Close 29

  5. Right-click on the file named cert8.db.
  6. Choose Properties. A dialog will come up.
  7. Go to the Permissions tab.
  8. Make sure Access is set to read and write.
  9. Press Close.

Restart Firefox and the problem may be fixed.

Corrupted file

The file cert8.db in your profile folder may have become corrupted. Delete this file while Firefox is closed.

  1. Open your profile folder:

    At the top of the Firefox window, click on the Firefox button, go over to the Help menuOn the menu bar, click on the Help menuAt the top of the Firefox window, click on the Help menu and select Troubleshooting Information. The Troubleshooting Information tab will open.Click the menu button New Fx Menu , click help Help-29 and select Troubleshooting Information. The Troubleshooting Information tab will open.

  2. Under the Application Basics section, click on Show FolderShow in FinderOpen Directory. A window with your profile filesfolder will open.
  3. Note: If you are unable to open or use Firefox, follow the instructions in Finding your profile without opening Firefox.

  4. At the top of the Firefox window, click on the Firefox button and then select ExitAt the top of the Firefox window, click on the File menu and then select ExitOn the menu bar, click on the Firefox menu and select Quit FirefoxAt the top of the Firefox window, click on the File menu and select Quit

    Click the menu button New Fx Menu and then click ExitQuit Close 29

  5. Click on the file named cert8.db.
  6. Press command+Delete.
  7. Restart Firefox.
cert8.db will be recreated when you restart Firefox. This is normal.

New profile

Your settings may have become corrupted due to changes in your system or a lack of hard drive space at one point. Create a new profile with the Profile Manager. If the problem goes away, you can then move your settings to the new profile. If the problem remains, you can go back to your original profile.





Based on information from Could not initialize the applications security component (mozillaZine KB)



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