Firefox won't start - find solutions

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This article describes what to do if the Firefox window doesn't open when you click the Firefox icon.

Specific error messages

Mozilla Crash Reporter

If you get the "Mozilla Crash Reporter" window when you start Firefox, see Firefox crashes - Troubleshoot, prevent and get help fixing crashes for solutions.

Firefox is already running but is not responding

See "Firefox is already running but is not responding" error message - How to fix it for solutions.

XULRunner - Error

If you see the message, "XULRunner - Error: Platform version <x.x.x.x> is not compatible with minVersion <x.x.x.x>"" ("<x.x.x.x>" depends on version number), after a software update, use another browser to download the Firefox installer from mozilla.org/firefox, save it to the desktop or other location, delete the Firefox installation directory and then reinstall Firefoxreinstall Firefoxreinstall Firefox.

There was an error launching the application

This error indicates that either Firefox is not installed or your shortcut to it is incorrect. Make sure that Firefox is installed at the location specified by the shortcut. If it isn't, install Firefox if necessary, then modify the shortcut to point to the correct location.

Error opening file for writing…

If you receive the above error when launching Firefox on a Windows system, you may be required by Firefox to log in as an administrator. You can either reboot the computer or, if you have an administrator account, you can execute the program as an administrator.

  1. Find the firefox.exe program file in the Firefox application folder on your system.
  2. Right-click the icon.
  3. Select Run As….Select Run As Administrator…. Select The following user:. From the User name drop-down, select Administrator or another user that has administrator privileges. Enter the password required to log in to this account. Click OK.
  4. The Firefox application is started using the administrator Windows account. The user that was used to log in to Windows at startup is still the active one.

Other error messages

If you get another error message (e.g. "XML Parsing Error: undefined entity Location", "Secure Connection Failed … uses an invalid security certificate"), see Troubleshoot extensions, themes and hardware acceleration issues to solve common Firefox problems.

No error message

If you click the Firefox icon but no Firefox window opens and no error message is shown, a simple first step is to restart your computer and then try again. If Firefox still does not start, see the following sections.

Firefox will not start after updating

  • If Firefox fails to start after an update, first check the Firefox Hot Topics section to see if it contains a solution.
  • If you use certain versions of ZoneAlarm or other Internet security software that includes a "Virtual Browsing" feature, it can prevent Firefox from starting. Check virtualization settings and clear the virtual cache, if your Internet security software includes this feature, or visit the software provider's support site for more help.

Firefox will not start after installing add-ons

If Firefox previously worked but stopped after you installed extensions or themes, see Troubleshoot extensions, themes and hardware acceleration issues to solve common Firefox problems.

Firefox previously worked

If Firefox previously worked but suddenly doesn't start, it may be due to some corrupt data in your settings. Uninstalling and reinstalling Firefox would not fix this problem because your settings are not removed on uninstall.

To test to see if this is the problem, use the Profile Manager to create a new profile. If the problem goes away, you can then move your bookmarks and other important settings into the new profile.

Firefox will not start on OS X 10.4 or earlier or with a PowerPC processor

See Firefox no longer works with Mac OS X 10.4 or PowerPC processors.

Firefox will not start because of missing libraries

If you installed Firefox outside of your package manager, make sure that your system has the libraries listed in the system requirements.




Based on information from Browser will not start up (mozillaZine KB)



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