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

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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

Upravil(a) John99 dňa

Všetky odpovede (14)

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@r.helsdon - developers can only fix problems which are reproducible by them or where there's enough information available about an issue so that the cause can be understood. i was about to file a bug report on your behalf, but without a dump from about:memory it won't be a worthwhile endeavour...

@all users: the skype click-to-call extension is known to cause huge memory leaks in firefox at the moment, so please keep the extension disabled or uninstall it from the windows control panel.

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Well why didn't you say so? Sounded like you were just making another blame-shifting alternate solution to me. I'll see if I can get one together the next time it does this.

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i'm sorry if our prior replies sounded like that, but in fact they were just going through standard troubleshooting procedure and steps to diagnose the issue. please also note that all of us replying here are normal users like you volunteering their time and effort to help...

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Okay, here you go: http://pastebin.mozilla.org/3050044. Currently showing as about 590mb RAM used, only tab open before opening about: tabs and this, was facebook.

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i've filed https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=916425 for you. you might want to put yourself on the cc list to it in order to get updates.

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r.helsdon, is the problem still present - if so could you redo the capturing of about:memory and put it into a https://pastebin.mozilla.org/ that doesn't expire? thank you...

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Subscribing to this thread as I've had nothing but Firefox problems since August 2013. Hopefully the fix is pushed thru soon!!!

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You my have a very long wait. r.helsdon has gone silent, no work was started on that bug.

Subscribing to this thread as I've had nothing but Firefox problems since August 2013. Hopefully the fix is pushed thru soon!!! 

These memory problems are very difficult to look into. We have no idea if your problem is related to anyone else's. If you want a fix you need to start your own thread and help us build up the information needed. If you start a thread post back here just to confirm that you have done so.

Please ensure you follow the prompts to include all the troubleshooting information when you post. Use the link lower down in this post.

It is a fact that unfortunately the problems affecting the most users and easiest to see & reproduce get fixed before those affecting a minority & difficult to reproduce. On the forum we often get complaints about memory, (This thread has had over 7k views) but not from users willing to help produce the data needed for developers to look at the problem.

    • Use this special-link
      It will save you time.
      [Anyone reading this thread may use the link but please include the troubleshooting information, and be prepared to help with some testing]
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I uninstalled firefox 27 and installed 18.0 version . Now problem solved. Firefox concentrate only in releasing of new updates. but not fix their bugs.

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Thanks for the post, however this is not really a solution to be recommended, as using an old unsupported Firefox will put your System and Personal Data at increased risk.

It is probably also a solution that will not in fact work for many others.

If you are able to demonstrate a problem in Firefox27 or 28 that is not an issue in Firefox 18 then you would be correct in saying that there is a bug needing fixing. If instead of just asking Firefox to fix bugs (Bugs that Mozilla Firefox is probably not even aware of) Are you are willing to give us a hand in reproducing this we will try to get it investigated and fixed.

Are you interested in helping us and other Firefox users ?
If so please post back and we will be able to give you a hand in getting YOUR issue investigated. We may even discover and get a fix for a bug affecting lots of others.


In general
all readers of this thread may take a simple step that will help Firefox because it provides information about the existence of Memory issues when Firefox is used in everyday situations.

Turn on telemetry. That collects anonymised data. IIRC it was a system introduced after developers missed a regression in Firefox 4 that was causing memory problems.

Incidentally it is because of such data that some of us may assert that the problem is not widespread. Sure it may affect thousands of us, but remember there are near on 1/2 Billion Firefox users and so thousands of thousands are likely to be blissfully unaware of memory issues.

If you have a memory problem yourself and need a solution
Then as I mentioned above please start your own thread, using the link in that post.

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I would consider aspsak's solution as this problem is not being addressed. I did have my own thread on this exact issue...and nothing ever came thru that was helpful and the problem persists to this day. My thread, https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/972507?esab=a&s=&r=0&as=s

I suspect the problem is javascript driven as I often get a pop up that says something to the effect of "______script is not responding" which it then gives me the option to stop the script or wait. I always stop it and the page then continues on. I have used "End Task" on Firefox at least 3 times today in the last 11 hours and then restarted Firefox to get the speed at least back to a somewhat tolerable level.

I never had this problem until I updated to Firefox 24. The older version I had kicked @$$. Now I have 26 1.8 for Yahoo. Still sucking! What is the process to help? I have Telemetry enabled and have forever....no fix. If I run a Firefox Health report it ALWAYS says....your browser is running slow....yeah, no kidding!!!

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Thanks for the post Matt,

Sorry we seem to have dropped the ball on trying to assist you.

If you want help with your own problem and wish to try more possible solutions, OR just prove a downgrade works for you, and help us find and fix the problem let me know. I can make suggestions on what to try in your other thread and then escalate your other thread to encourage the professional HelpDesk staff to review it.

Downgrading Firefox
As I mentioned above not an ideal solution. If that works we needs someone to show us how and why so that we may investigate. We have one kind person at present playing guineapig (see) to help others, but that is on a Mac with Memory issues. We quite possibly have more than one cause of memory problems.

Some things did change with how Javascript is handled. Javascript was mentioned in your thread. One of these changes could be behind problems some minority see, but rather than just speculate we need to test. Or more to the point someone who sees the problem needs to test for us. Changing prefs to disable the compiler will likely slow down Firefox. But there is a possibility it will help and is certainly; in my opinion worth trying; as long as you only regard it as a test method.

about:config interface
The use of about:config is something you worried about trying. This is dangerous in that it may break Firefox, and so there is a warning so that novices experimenting do not inadvertently makes changes they will regret. The about:configis actually a userfriendly method method of changing prefs

However there are ways to reset Firefox even after a mistake with the prefs and even if it will not start. This is also one of the reasons you will often see suggestions to use a separate and additional Firefox Test profile. Changes may be made to the test profile that affect Firefox only when using that profile. Riskier things may be tried with the test profile. Also note profiles may be backed up. Backing up profiles is in any event a good idea.

This thread 4 tabs 1.2GB
This thread title may not accurately reflect the problems others are asking about. Possibly 1.2GB with 4 tabs is only a minor inconvenience on some machines.

This support Forum
There have been some recent changes. The interface us helpers use has changed. We are trying to make sure it easier to find outstanding problems. However like all changes it has teething problems. Another change is that there are now more paid staff involved so it should at least in theory be easier to for instance to coordinate with developers and other experts.


  • I have also escalated this thread.
  • However the advice to start individual threads using the special link up thread still applies.
  • It is no coincidence that the term YEINU was coined and recently blogged about by a developer working on Firefox memory problems.


Forum Note [Attn HelpDesk]
I think per current provisional policy; as suggested by Admins; this thread would fall in to the offtopic category, second case:
Off topic AND detailed investigation required.
Pending proper published guidelines on the use of the offtopic tag I will not tag this thread as that is prone to lead to misunderstandings. Maybe HelpDesk needs to get involved with the guidelines revision & publication discussions.
You may wish to add that tag yourself, once we all see HelpDesk is involved in the thread.

Upravil(a) John99 dňa

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I post my suggestion only and I am not very well in this field.

Also replacing old version is not a good one. But it solved my problem.

If older version in security risk, now the latest version also in same.

If we add a new tab it add 20mb in memory. When closing of that tab the memory not released, even the history get clear.

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OK aspak.

Thanks for posting back.

We do realise that memory problems are not at all easy to troubleshoot and deal with. Not everyone is able to try the suggestions or have the time to consider this.

What I would suggest is keeping a watch on this thread. Maybe subscribe by email if you have not already done so.

There was a solution and a workaround seen in

/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

If those threads help you feel free to vote or comment in those threads.

(This post will be seen by all those subscribed to the thread. Whilst my edit of the top post will benefit any of the those finding the thread after a web search)

Edit 2nd March

Update for Mac Users

This thread has already been automatically closed and archived as an old dormant thread. For anyone coming across it I just thought I would add an update that a bug affecting Macs has been found and fixed in Firefox 28

Upravil(a) John99 dňa

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