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Firefox has extreme memory leak

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Grand Master Contributor

Firefox has extreme memory leak

After using Firefox for several hours, it begins consuming more than 500mb of memory.

This happened

Every time Firefox opened

== I began using Firefox 3.3.6

99 REPLIES
Support Forum Moderator

Re: Firefox has extreme memory leak

Try the suggestions in Firefox uses too much memory (RAM) - How to fix. Most of the time, high mem usage is due to plugins like Flash, so if you hold on for a week, Firefox 3.6.4 will include a feature that separates plugins from firefox.exe. :-)

Grand Master Contributor

Re: Firefox has extreme memory leak

thanks, release of Firefox 3.6.4 is great news. Smiley Happy

Grand Master Contributor

Re: Firefox has extreme memory leak

Same here. I can take even 1,5 G memory, before freeze....Smiley Sad It seems NOT to be plug-in related ?

Grand Master Contributor

Re: Firefox has extreme memory leak

Firefox has always been terrible for memory leaks along with errors such as "Script: chrome://global/content/bindings/browser.xml:0".

I love firefox for its customization but the memory leaks and Javascript problems are just unbearable for me.

I have to reboot the browser once per hour to fix memory leak and I have to enable and disable javascript to stop chrome errors for individual sites.

This is regardless of plugins installed and Re-installing firefox once per week makes it no better either.

I'm on latest version 3.6.3 using Windows 7 x64, Intel I7 4ghz CPU, 6Gb or Ram, more than 50% free space on all my 6 HDDs.

I have 3D rendering applications that run faster with less problems than FireFox.

I wish they would sort it out.

Support Forum Moderator

Re: Firefox has extreme memory leak

FWIW, Firefox 3.6.4 is delayed until early June. https://wiki.mozilla.org/Releases/Firefox_3.6.4

New Contributor

Re: Firefox has extreme memory leak

I think you'll find that FF, plain wrap, doesn't leak - in general, it is the add-ons.

I had time today to diddle with mine as my CPU usage was unacceptable, but didn't want to go back to Safari as I love all my favorite helper add-ons in FF that make my browsing my enjoyable.

In my case, the only culprits that I found were FoxyTunes and CoolPreviews. For any other user that may read this, I was able to fix the leak in CoolPreviews by downloading today's update which also has a fix for the PacMan alarm siren that went off if you went to Google today and had CP enabled.

I found the following webpage very helpful to start:

Problematic extensions - MozillaZine Knowledge Base http://kb.mozillazine.org/Problematic_extensions

If you want to test all of your add-ons, you can start in SafeMode (hold down the OPT key when starting FF) and disable them all. In my case I just started down the list, enabling several at a time to make the chore faster.

I know the AVG add-on is also a conflict, I will have to turn them off when I get back to the Win machines at work.

You might also check your plugins.

Good luck!

Grand Master Contributor

Re: Firefox has extreme memory leak

The memory leak is ridiculous, to the point of making the browser essentially unusable.

The Add-on-causation hypothesis nonsense is absolutely untrue - I have been testing Firefox for more than a year, and it is without a doubt the most unstable browser out there (and that, gasp, includes IE8).

The MAIN PROBLEM seems to be that people who do not experience the memory leak/freeze/crash issues with FF don't tend to operate many tabs at once, maybe a dozen or so. Additionally, they seem to turn off their browser/computer more often, enabling cache clearing on all levels.

Those like myself however, who operate up to 50+ tabs at a time, never restart my machine, AND only restart FF when it crashes (which is often) are suffering tremendously from this problem with the browser, which release after release, has gone unrepaired.

Once again, the add-ons are not the true cause of this problem, some add-ons/plugins do indeed make the problem worse (like shockwave), but even with everything off, the instability is rampant.

There is an inherent coding problem with Firefox software (and perhaps its relation to Windows?) which is causing this. Continually claiming there are workarounds is not an acceptable solution.

Shooting Star Contributor

Re: Firefox has extreme memory leak

Hello everyone.

This problems are not, in 99,9% of the cases, Firefox's fault. Rather, they are caused by problematic add-ons or third party software. But you do need to diagnose what your exact problem is. Do this:

  1. run Firefox in safe-mode to disable all extensions, themes and plugins. If this fixes your issues, be them with RAM or CPU usage, then you know it's a problem with plugins, themes or extensions. Proceed to number 2. If safe-mode doesn't fix the issues, then read bellow, after this list;
  2. update all extensions, themes and plugins in your Firefox. If this doesn't solve the issues, proceed to the following number;
  3. disable all extensions, themes and plugins in your Firefox (not running safe-mode). Being certain that, as in safe-mode, the problems you're having have gone away, enable one plugin at a time. You should be certain that you WANT that plugin to be enabled, so keep your overall number of plugins as low as possible. When you encounter the problems, you know you've found a problematic plugin, so disable it for good. Keep enabling all plugins (except problematic ones) until you've gone through them all.
  4. enable one extension at a time. Again, be certain that you WANT that extension to be enabled, so keep your overall number of extensions as low as possible. Also, try the theme you want to have installed so see if that is what's causing the problem. When you encounter the problems, you know you've found a problematic extension/theme, so disable it for good. Keep enabling all your extensions (except problematic ones) until you've gone through them all;
  5. you're done! You've fixed your problems with problematic add-ons. If you want to keep using those problematic add-ons, please contant their author for support.

Ok, if disabling all extensions and plugins through safe-mode didn't work to bring Firefox's CPU and RAM usage to good levels, then you have different issue. The most likely scenario is that you have a third party software running on your computer that is messing with Firefox. Do as follows:

  1. try reinstally Firefox. No data will be lost. You can get the latest version for free at getfirefox.com. If that doesn't fix the problem, proceed;
  2. do a virus/malware check on your computer. If this doesn't fix it, proceed;
  3. disable all software running in the background that you don't want to have running in the background (in windows, this is done by pressing WINDOWS+R in your keyboard, typing "msconfig" (without the commas) and pressing enter. Now, under the "Startup" tab, you can uncheck the software you don't want, and reboot your system for changes to take effect. If you're unsure of what software you want running, ask someone with more experience). If this doesn't fix your issues with Firefox, proceed;
  4. check your firewall/antivirus/security suite for enabled functions/features that you don't want and/or may be conflicting with Firefox. You'll find that these features are most likely tied to Internet Security features, such as link scanners or URL checkers and the like. If you're not sure they are conflicting with Firefox, simply try to disable them to see whether or not that's true. As long as you don't browse the web with your antivirus completely off and your firewall completely turned off, there should be no problems. If this doesn't solve the issues, proceed to the following number;
  5. check your operating system security options, mainly advanced options that are not configured by default. While it's very unlikely that this may be the cause of the problem (after all, it's the last item on the list), it's remotely possible. If this doesn't work, proceed to the following point;
  6. clean up your OS registry, using appropriate software. If this doesn't do it, I'm out of ideas. Except make sure you've followed my instructions correctly.
Grand Master Contributor

Re: Firefox has extreme memory leak

New computer (Win7), *no* addons, FF bloats to 500M+ RAM with minimal use.

Whatever.