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What is plugin-container

Support will end for all NPAPI plugins except for Flash in March 2017, when Firefox version 52 is released. See this compatibility document and this article for details.

Beginning with Firefox version 52, support has ended for all NPAPI plugins except for Adobe Flash. See this compatibility document and this article for details.

Plugins are loaded separately from Firefox, allowing the main Firefox process to stay open if a plugin crashes. This article explains what plugin-container is for.

What is a plugin?

A plugin is a piece of software that displays Internet content that Firefox is not designed to display. These usually include video, audio, online games and presentations that are made in proprietary formats. Plugins are created and distributed by the companies that make those proprietary formats. Some common plugins are Adobe Flash, Java and Silverlight. For more information on plugins, see Use plugins to play audio, video, games and more .

What is plugin-container.exe?

Each plugin is loaded separately from Firefox in a plugin-container.exe process, allowing the main Firefox process (firefox.exe) to stay open if a plugin crashes. There are as many plugin-container.exe processes as plugins launched since the Firefox session startup. For more information on plugin crashes, see Send plugin crash reports to help Mozilla improve Firefox.

Having problems?

If some plugin-container.exe processes use a lot of computer resources, see Firefox uses too many CPU resources - How to fix and Firefox uses too much memory (RAM) - How to fix.

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Comments

See /forums/knowledge-base-articles/704424 for related discussions about this article.

On Mac OS, "plugin-container" is called <app-name> Plugin Process (<plugin-name>) for example: Firefox Plugin Process (Shockwave Flash) ... as would be seen in Applications -> Utilities ->"Activity Monitor".

Related bug: Bug 557226 - [OOPP] plugin name should be reflected in Mac OS X plugin process names

This came up in a discussion on renaming this article, here:

I would probably rename the article, "What is the Firefox plugin-container process?"

Slug is: "What is plugin-container"

I suggest changing the slug to: "what-is-plugin-container"

scootergrisen said

Slug is: "What is plugin-container" I suggest changing the slug to: "what-is-plugin-container"

Done.

See Bug 905073 - rename Firefox child process from 'plugin-container' to 'firefox-child' or similar ... which is a Duplicate of: Bug 1114647 - (e10s-rename) Rename the content process to something intelligible. status-firefox49: --- → fixed status-firefox50: --- → fixed

I tested Flash in Firefox 50 (32-bit) on Windows 7 by opening http://www.adobe.com/software/flash/about/ and I still see plugin-container.exe in Task Manager (see below screenshot)

Need to review for Mac and Linux.

Fx50PluginContainerProcess-win7

Fx50PluginContainerProcess-win7

AliceWyman said

I tested Flash in Firefox 50 (32-bit) on Windows 7 by opening http://www.adobe.com/software/flash/about/ and I still see plugin-container.exe in Task Manager (see below screenshot) Need to review for Mac and Linux.

Confirm in xp, Firefox 50 (32-bit) on Windows xp still plugin-container.exe in Task Manager.