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Firefox 4, ok... memory leak? More like hemorrhage...

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New Contributor

Firefox 4, ok... memory leak? More like hemorrhage...

I have Firefox 4.0 installed on my laptop. It is a work machine so there is no ability to tell me to upgrade my ram, it's not possible unless it I take it out of a non-existent budget.

I have 512 MB ram, I run Windows XP Pro with no effects on, I have an AMD Athlon 64 Processor 3200+.

Everything on my system before firefox runs takes up 120MB.

After running only Firefox with no additions, and on a blank, or only one page open with no java or flash on it (I know this because I created said pages), Firefox balloons up to 150 MB... if I leave for lunch and come back it is up to 350 MB... with the same two pages open.

Now I know Firefox uses memory, but what is the reason for this? This is not a memory leak, this is a memory hemorrhage...

If someone says I need to run in safe mode, I don't think so... the last version of Firefox 3.6 ran fine, and although it had a memory leak, it was nothing as bad as this.

I develop web pages, I use PHP and CSS... these are not memory intensive languages... so what is going on?

34 REPLIES
New Contributor

Re: Firefox 4, ok... memory leak? More like hemorrhage...

I have Firefox 4 running on Mac OS X. Pretty vanilla set up, with AdBlock Plus as the only extension and plugins limited to the likes of Silverlight, Flash and Quicktime. I love how quickly FF4 launches, but find that just regular everyday browsing causes it to balloon in size, with the Mac Activity Monitor frequently reporting it using over a Gig of free memory.

FF3 had some minor memory leak problems, but I understand a lot of that (likely) came from poorly written web pages. This, in comparison, is ridiculous. The browser is borderline unusable for anyone who doesn't have 4G of memory.

New Contributor

Re: Firefox 4, ok... memory leak? More like hemorrhage...

I was noticing the same issue where Firefox was using 1.5+GB of RAM after a half of a day of browsing. I went and checked for updates to any installed plugins and sure enough there was one for flip4mac (for playing certain Windows video formats) and Silverlight. I installed them and now it looks like Firefox is a little more under control only consuming 760MB at the moment after a couple of hours of browsing.

Give it a try -> http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/plugincheck/

New Contributor

Re: Firefox 4, ok... memory leak? More like hemorrhage...

Only problem is that this is a semi-fix for the Mac. Which I'm glad for since I use a Mac at home. The problem is that the fix won't resolve the windows variant of Firefox 4.

New Contributor

Re: Firefox 4, ok... memory leak? More like hemorrhage...

Firefox has had memory usage problems for years. Based on the fact that version after version have been released with no significant improvement I have come to the conclusion that it's intentional and yet another sign of collusion between software authors and hardware manufacturers to force people to buy newer faster computers and more more more memory.

New Contributor

Re: Firefox 4, ok... memory leak? More like hemorrhage...

Ok, the Mac Version is worse... and I never thought I'd live to say it. I have no extensions except one, and only the necessary plugins none beta, and none that are not compatible with Firefox 4... I don't have any plugins that depend on much resources at all period.

Two hours of browsing and the browser freezes up. This is getting unbearable. I'll be switching to Chrome by the week's end if this isn't resolved.

New Contributor

Re: Firefox 4, ok... memory leak? More like hemorrhage...

Huge leak here after a day of browsing and then closing most of my tabs, just leaving 3 open, none with anything major, and firefox 4 was using 1.7 Gigs of RAM!!! WTF?!? I've often noticed firefox taking up a gig of RAM but never this high. I even closed firefox and it would release the RAM I had to manually close the process from the task manager. Firefox, I love you but if this doesn't get fixed soon I'm afraid we are getting a divorce...

New Contributor

Re: Firefox 4, ok... memory leak? More like hemorrhage...

I have the same problem. It happens at random times and forces me to use Chrome. I'm running Firefox 4, Windows 7 and a computer with 4 G of ram.

New Contributor

Re: Firefox 4, ok... memory leak? More like hemorrhage...

Yes, a very serious memory leak. In casual analysis on my system it seems to be invoked by dynamic image management. I can make it happen in a matter of seconds by going to Google Maps, selecting satellite views, and scrolling around. Then it starts going through memory like a tree shredder and mem page swapping goes nuts. The fastest and sometimes only way out is to power down and up.

I find it hard to believe this product made it past even the most basic QA, much less having been in beta for a year. It's broken in an embarrassingly major way. I "downgraded" (hah!) to 3.6.17 and restored at least my own little world to normal.

New Contributor

Re: Firefox 4, ok... memory leak? More like hemorrhage...

Huuuuge FF fan; been using it since 1.5, i'm a web developer and i love it.. but this has got to stop. Browsing a little, closing all tabs but the one i'm working on and still get 1 gig ram usage with FF (out of my total 4). Add-ons? only 12, but 4 for development. My IE colleague is laughing at me, I am ashamed. I'm writing this from Opera.