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Many addons hangs and high CPU/RAM usage (/questions/976131)

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I have an issue thats been plaguing me so far for a month in Firefox; after Firefox has been in use for quite awhile (open for many days with hundreds of pages throughout those days being opened and closed) it never releases the RAM it has used, ive seen it go from being initially around 400MB at start in the first 30 minutes of being opened then after an hour it goes to around 600MB-900MB, that number is somewhat normal for me i guess (in the days of using Firefox 4 id get that usage alot on my old netbook) and then it goes to the point of insanity at random and uses a whole 2GB and once its done that its almost unusably slow and at times must be killed with the system's Task Manager.

This isnt normal. Especially because this happens when i have nothing but Firefox's homepage opened and everything else closed. Its as if all the content on the pages ive visited gets hoarded by Firefox over time and it never gets released, its almost as if Firefox is like how Windows 98 was if you kept it running for days without shutting it down.

Ive done practically everything to try and remedy this as was suggested by the kind helpful people in the linked thread.

  • Ive disabled all addons i dont need
  • Ive gotten rid of addons i dont need
  • Ive started a completely new Firefox profile and in it use nothing but the addons i need for my day to day browsing (so nothing else beyond what i need is enabled or in Firefox in the first place)
  • Ive updated flash player and most of the other plugins firefox lists
  • Ive updated all of my computer's drivers and updates from Windows Update
  • Ive cleared the cache and cookies and persistent data repeatedly to try and empty Firefox's used RAM
  • Ive used about:memory's "reduce memory usage" option to clear out Firefox's RAM but it did nothing, if anything at times it made it go up a few megabytes or two
  • As suggested i disabled 3 "jetpack" addons that i needed because they supposedly were the cause of this
  • Ive enabled addons one by one to see which is the problematic one, in each time that i did that when i found the culprit and disabled the addon that i thought was the one at fault the problem would only return in a matter of time making all that effort go down the drain
  • Did a crapton of virus scans
  • Ive read most of Firefox's help articles on fixing it, ive done it all
  • A portable install of Firefox runs just perfect, and even a fresh new profile without a single addon is perfect, its when i need addons the problems arise.
  • I have run memtest, memtest86, and even the memtest that comes with Windows, all show nothing is wrong with my machine


Ever since i created a new profile my previous problem of Firefox's context menu being as slow as molasses is gone, but the rest lingers on still (albeit less i admit).

So far Im left with two seemingly related problems in forefox, in short: Firefox's RAM usage at random stays very high even if there is nothing but one tab open, heck there could only be the homepage of Firefox open and itd still do that even if i leave it like that for hours without touching it. Heres an example from earlier today https://app.box.com/s/sc7xpmsjnmf18q3rx12t

And heres after i used about:memory's reduce memory usage command https://app.box.com/s/whbay8b4l2z89grdphzd

And if Firefox is not doing that, then i get the other problem of the CPU usage having a spike every so often that freezes up Firefox for a while, when it does that Window's Task Manager lists Firefox as using around 10% CPU usage, which is alot considering ive never seen Firefox use more than 5% at worst before. It even at times simply stays like that while its idle using that CPU figure. I dont have a screenshot at the moment of Firefox at it since its not doing it but heres a screenshot of another process doing it http://vvcap.net/db/aSXmdVEsoZ-9tQj4TnH6.htp

At this point i dont know what to do anymore to be honest, i love Firefox and its addons, its what makes it unique, without them i just cant browse, i could just as well use IE (ew). Part of the reason i got a beefy computer was so that i could use Firefox instead of Opera without having to worry about its infamous memory usage (at the time i recall it being a memory hog it was in the days of Firefox 4 -14, after i used Firefox 21 things had dramatically improved since) Ive gone down to using nothing but what i ONLY need for daily browsing in the new profile and kept all other kinds of use of Firefox's addons strictly to usage inside a virtual machine (VMWare to be preice). But still the problem lingers on. Im sorry that this is long, but i just want to be detailed as possible so that this can be solved

Finally, my specs; as i have no idea if the attached troubleshooting contains it or not.

Intel Core i7 2630QM @ 2.00GHz (with Turbo Boost 2.9GHz) Sandy Bridge 32nm Technology 8.00 GB Dual-Channel DDR3 @ 665MHz Radeon HD 6770M (HP) (theres integrated graphics too i guess) 112GB ATA KINGSTON SH103S3 SCSI Disk Device (the SSD i have Firefox installed on)

Được chỉnh sửa bởi StaxOnRax vào

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As an update to all people to had this problem, the problem was solved by disabling addons that have some sort of website modifying function... (no, i dont mean addons like Stylish and Greasemonkey) in my case it seemed to be a combination of "SmartVideo" and "SeenBlock"

Im not sure why but ever since disabling those months ago things are as i always knew them to be. No strange multi profile stuff to hamper my daily browsing etc...

I currently use the latest Firefox and alls good. Mozilla should really make sure sure the addons they host on their addons site dont fck with the browser so badly since its Firefox in the end that would get the bad rep.

Peace ~

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I have a feeling this thread isnt going anywhere and im going to get the same comment about multiple profiles or getting rid of the addons i need as the only workaround solutions...

Multiple profiles isnt practical because it means each time i have to launch Firefox i have to type in a long line of text, i suppose for a programmer thats not a big deal but for an average user thats like making someone never used to the terminal to use DOS exclusively. Add to that each time i use a profile and use it for prolonged periods of time itd mean id have my bookmarks, browsing history etc.. scattered across so many different places making it an absolute hell when it comes time to find them

So far Firefox 23 has been using RAM past 1GB but after opening 30 tabs and leaving them open. im not sure if thats normal but once i close them it goes down slowly over time....

I guess all thats left is to break down what i hope to get from this thread now..

1) How much is the typical usual amount of RAM firefox should be using if say it has 30 tabs open at once? in comparison say with what you'd call a "fair" amount of addons and with no addons at all? thats with all pages being like say sites like techcrunch huffingtonpost etc...

2) How much is an addon usually adding up to Firefox's own RAM usage in general? And does the addon when running withtin firefox run on a per tab basis and is used as the page needs it or is it always loaded into RAM? Considering most addons arent even close to being over 1MB its amazing how much they supposedly can impact the overall RAM usage

3) Can the content thats loaded into RAM be viewed somehow to know whats in there?

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I will try to quickly answer some of your questions

Multiple profiles isnt practical because it means each time i have to launch Firefox i have to type in a long line of text, i suppose for a programmer thats not a big deal but for an average user thats like making someone never used to the terminal to use DOS exclusively.

It is easy and normal to setup shortcuts to launch Firefox. Alternatively it is an extra click and scrolling on the built in profile manager dialogue. It is not going back to lines as used in DOS.

Add to that each time i use a profile and use it for prolonged periods of time itd mean id have my bookmarks, browsing history etc.. scattered across so many different places making it an absolute hell when it comes time to find them 

True, but on the plus side the bookmarks for any particular tasks would be on the correct profiles, and probably faster to find.

It is almost impossible to give typical figures for RAM usage. I know I have tested and deliberately opened many hundreds of tabs and not crashed Firefox.

about:memory shows you exactly what is being used and has a button to reduce memory used. about:cache may also be useful.

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" ... it means each time i have to launch Firefox i have to type in a long line of text ... "

Desktop shortcut with command line path to the Profile.
http://kb.mozillazine.org/Profile_Manager#Shortcut_to_a_specific_profile
(see the screenshot of my Firefox / Profile combinations hidden in the Windows Start Menu, so I can access those shortcuts from the keyboard and without minimizing any browser windows)

Or use the Profile Manager XUL Runner application.
https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Profile_Manager
(see the screenshot of the PM application with some of my Profiles - don't use that application currently)

As far as having your personal data scattered across multiple Profiles - use Sync to synchronize most of your personal data. Sync works as well for multiple Profiles as it does for multiple devices that are running Firefox.


As far as RAM usage under different conditions - number of tabs, specific websites, and with certain extensions - test it for yourself or search for evaluations or comparisons. Mozilla doesn't do testing such as that.


That's it for my comments. Accept or dismiss the advice offered in this thread by two experienced Firefox users who have been doing this for quite awhile. The bottom line is that the developers of Firefox and of Firefox extensions just didn't intend for users to install massive numbers of extensions.

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Giải pháp được chọn

As an update to all people to had this problem, the problem was solved by disabling addons that have some sort of website modifying function... (no, i dont mean addons like Stylish and Greasemonkey) in my case it seemed to be a combination of "SmartVideo" and "SeenBlock"

Im not sure why but ever since disabling those months ago things are as i always knew them to be. No strange multi profile stuff to hamper my daily browsing etc...

I currently use the latest Firefox and alls good. Mozilla should really make sure sure the addons they host on their addons site dont fck with the browser so badly since its Firefox in the end that would get the bad rep.

Peace ~

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Glad you sorted it out I will mark your last answer as the thread solution.

Had you tried any of: safe mode, firefox reset, testing in clean profiles, or bisecting & trialling your list of addons you may have arrived at a similar conclusion within a matter of hours of testing.

Thanks for posting back with a solution.

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