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Firefox is dying a lot lately, and I seem to have more add-ons and extensions running than there seem.

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  • 1 inale nkinga
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  • Igcine ukuphendulwa ngu John99

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Over the last week or so my Firefox seems to be dying about once per day. It just slows to a crawl, and then stops responding entirely and I have to use task manager to kill it. When I look in task manager it's taking up as much as 30% of my system resources, despite only having 4 tabs open at any given time. I've tried both refreshing and uninstalling Firefox, and neither has solved the problem. When I looked at the health report, I noticed something that's confusing me, namely the amount of add-ons and extensions it claims I have running. It claims that there are 7 extensions running, but there are only 3 listed on my add-ons manager, all of which I installed manually, which is making me wonder if there are 4 somehow hidden extensions that are causing me problems, and don't go away when I remove or refresh Firefox. Is there any way that I could figure out what these might be or get someone from Mozilla to take a look and see if they can figure out what's going on?

Ama-screenshot ananyekiwe

Isisombululo esikhethiwe

uBlock Origin is the best ads blocker it will alleviate any congestion Firefox my have contracted, I just add to it the Fanboy list and it is nicely rounded up, once in a great while I will ask it to make a new rule for certain ads but rarely so. Unlike all the other ads blockers uBlock origin is supposed to block the ads before they are downloaded by your browser to speed up your browsing experience. P.S. It takes a little extra effort to make it works really nicely and smoothly to your satisfaction. If you have CCleaner, in Tools/Startup/Firefox tab, it should show you all the add on and plugins you have got, I have tons of them, yet my Firefox is very smooth and mind you on Windows XP.

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All Replies (20)

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Hi, the add-ons you don't recognise will be system ones, which end in @mozilla.org - there will also be an @getpocket.com. I can see 4 in total in your System Details, but if you want to check yourself, open the 3-bar menu > Help > Troubleshooting Information.

As to your hanging issue, there could be a lot of reasons for it, so have a look at this and see if anything helps: Firefox hangs or is not responding - How to fix

If your question is resolved by this or another answer, please take a minute to let us know. Thank you!

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Thank you for the response, especially so quickly after I posed my question. Thank you for informing me about those system add-ons, that helps to set my mind at ease that nothing installed illicit add-ons that were draining resources or doing anything shady, which was my primary concern. I've looked through those links and it seems that I've tried most of what's suggested there, which is making me think that it might be tied to one of my plugins in particular. The thing is, I've been using these three and just these three for a long time, and the issue only began recently, so I'm not sure how any of them might be causing this issue. Are you aware if any of the three are particularly notable for overuse of resources?

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You said you have already done a Refresh (Refresh Firefox - reset add-ons and settings) which should have removed your add-ons, but just in case it didn't, you can try Safe Mode to see if the problem goes away. Firefox Safe Mode is a troubleshooting mode that temporarily turns off hardware acceleration, resets some settings, and disables add-ons (extensions and themes).

If Firefox is open, you can restart in Firefox Safe Mode from the Help menu:

  • Click the menu button New Fx Menu , click Help Help-29 and select Restart with Add-ons Disabled.

If Firefox is not running, you can start Firefox in Safe Mode as follows:

  • On Windows: Hold the Shift key when you open the Firefox desktop or Start menu shortcut.
  • On Mac: Hold the option key while starting Firefox.
  • On Linux: Quit Firefox, go to your Terminal and run firefox -safe-mode
    (you may need to specify the Firefox installation path e.g. /usr/lib/firefox)

When the Firefox Safe Mode window appears, select "Start in Safe Mode".

SafeMode-Fx35

If the issue is not present in Firefox Safe Mode, your problem is probably caused by an extension, theme, or hardware acceleration. Please follow the steps in the Troubleshoot extensions, themes and hardware acceleration issues to solve common Firefox problems article to find the cause.

To exit Firefox Safe Mode, just close Firefox and wait a few seconds before opening Firefox for normal use again.


You could test your plugins by setting them one at a time to 'Never Activate' - Add-ons Manager (Ctrl+Shift+A) > Plugins.

When you figure out what's causing your issues, please let us know. It might help others with the same problem.

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Just to post an update here, I'm kinda confused at the moment. It's been working fine for me all day, no slowdown and using significantly fewer resources, I haven't really had any issues. Nothing has changed really since last night, so I'm extremely unclear on why it would now be working without a hitch. However, just a few seconds ago out of nowhere it crashed on me, and it said that the crash reporter wasn't able to generate a report on what caused the crash and it was going to reboot itself. So I guess the problem is kind of resolved, or at least seemingly, but it might be more accurate to say that it just changed up a bit? I'm really not sure, but I am more confused than before.

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After testing it for a while I can confirm that the cause is not Greasemonkey, which makes me think if it's anything in add-ons causing it that it must be Adblock. This kind of makes sense given it would have to be working on almost every tab, but it only started recently which is what's odd. I'll try switching Adblock with an alternative to it and see if anything changes.

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Isisombululo Esikhethiwe

uBlock Origin is the best ads blocker it will alleviate any congestion Firefox my have contracted, I just add to it the Fanboy list and it is nicely rounded up, once in a great while I will ask it to make a new rule for certain ads but rarely so. Unlike all the other ads blockers uBlock origin is supposed to block the ads before they are downloaded by your browser to speed up your browsing experience. P.S. It takes a little extra effort to make it works really nicely and smoothly to your satisfaction. If you have CCleaner, in Tools/Startup/Firefox tab, it should show you all the add on and plugins you have got, I have tons of them, yet my Firefox is very smooth and mind you on Windows XP.

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I will try that adblocker and report back in a few days. Thanks for the suggestion.

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Adblockers may actually speed up Firefox sometimes, because when they work well they reduce the numbers of ads and those ads often slow down Firefox.

If you continue to get crashes please see

Maybe also consider turning on telemetry

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From my personal experience, Refreshing Firefox always fixes any problem you can imagine, you then add to the newly fixed Firefox your old "places.sqlite" file in your Firefox profile which gets you back your old bookmarks exactly the way you had it organized before refreshing Firefox, same with "key3.db and logins.json" files to restore your passwords, and "search.sqlite" file to restore your preferred search engines and nothing more. You then install one Add-On at a time and see how Firefox behaves, I no longer install Greasemonkey in my Firefox, some of these scripts always cause problems, uBlock Origin uses same script as Greasemonkey to block ads and yet works like a charm. Adblockers usually do a good job but once you add too many Annoyance lists to these Adblockers and they backfire, you run out of memory. When configuring any adblocker, don't check too many lists. My experience tells me, restarting Firefox with no add-on doesn't always fixes the problem because it could be in the about:config.

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Hi Fiascokid, A a few thoughts on your last post

Fiascokid said
From my personal experience, Refreshing Firefox always fixes any problem you can imagine,

It is a very simple easy method and potentially fixes a lot of problems that relate to Firefox settings and profiles. Unfortunately there are very many things it will not fix. It also is nowhere near as easy to reverse the action as it is to implement it, so is not always the best course of action.

you then add to the newly fixed Firefox your old "places.sqlite" file in your Firefox profile which gets you back your old bookmarks exactly the way you had it organized before refreshing Firefox, same with "key3.db and logins.json" files to restore your passwords,

If the Refresh works as intended bookmarks|places.sqlite and passwords should be retained without the need to restore anything.

  • See Refresh Firefox - reset add-ons and settings_firefox-will-save-these-items
    Firefox will save these items:
    Bookmarks
    Browsing and download history
    Passwords
    Open windows and tabs
    Cookies
    Web form auto-fill information
    Personal dictionary

I agree with

... My experience tells me, restarting Firefox with no add-on doesn't always fixes the problem because it could be in the about:config.

If that is the case then as you say a Refresh would deal with that issue but SafeMode would not (A previous version of safe mode did provide that option). However temporarily renaming the profile file prefs.js would test that theory without causing any other side effects, and anyone knowledgeable enough to rename the file could then quickly and easily reverse the change if necessary.

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Excellent points, my memory is becoming weaker as I haven't had any of these problems with Firefox for a long time, mine works so well, I wish I can export it to everyone who has a problem. The reason mine is so efficiently and so fast, because I used to obliterate every trace of the old installation including all of its entries in the Windows registry and started over with a virgin unmolested copy and didn't reinstall any problematic add-on. In essence anything that could possibly cause an error was basically eradicated from my O.S.

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So after about 5 days of running UBlock Origin and removing Adblock Plus things have been almost entirely fine. I think that it was Adblock Plus that was causing the issue. So if anyone else is having issues and is using Adblock, I'd suggest replacing it with something else.

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Contrary to common belief, ad blockers quite often slow the browser and consume too much memory when their lists become too large. Just to be honest, I had to remove two or three lists from uBlock, e.g. to unblock important Popups in Google Trusted Stores, and added "Fanboy+Easylist+Merged Ultimate List", then added few sites in its White List so uBlock wouldn't block anything on these preferred sites, this add-on needs minor tweaking, but it is perfectly OK to leave it as is as it gets to be a bit complicated to go through these tall lists.

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Note by a forum moderator. This is not a method we would suggest first off as a general solution. J99


To make sure this issue is fully covered, once in a great while Firefox becomes corrupted for unknown reasons, may be after a certain large file download, may be from a nasty site script, may be from a malicious site, whatever the cause may be, one thing is certain, it starts to consume too much CPU and memory resources and causes the computer to slow down to a halt. I have a simple straight forward solution and I never deviate from it, because it works every time, all the times, I uninstall Firefox completely, and I mean every trace of it but I keep my profile folder intact, I also delete all of its registry entries, then reinstall a fresh copy of Firefox, add my profile to it, now I am ready to go with a fully charged Firefox, like I said, it woks like a charm every time, all the times, so all you folks out there, forget all about safe mode, about Refresh mode, none works like uninstalling and reinstalling a fresh copy of Firefox, 99% of the time the problem is with Firefox itself not with any add on, this browser just like Chrome is prone for corruption and it happens more often than anyone would like to admit.

Okulungisiwe ngu John99

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Hi again Fiascokid , Thanks for the post but Whilst your experience may be that

 fresh copy of Firefox, 99% of the time the problem is with Firefox itself

That is not the experience we generally see. If you need to do that repeatedly something is going wrong on your computer and maybe you would like to post your own thread about that. You may have a malware issue.

In your case you could even consider testing by making the mozilla programs folder not writable other than when you need to do an update. That should prevent any corruption. That also reinforces the point that the files in there are essentially static between upgrades. They should not need to change and should not become corrupted.

We are aware there are sometimes problems with corruption. Possibly the most likely reasons for that are hardware faults or malware. So what we often refer to as a clean reinstall is something we document and sometimes recommend.

Hacking the registry is not something we try to recommend end users do manually. It can be rather dangerous and break Windows. Such action is probably most likely to be required after a malware issue, but even then

  • Some anti malware tools will sort this out safely themselves
  • Once malware files are remove the registry entries are often not harmful

Again if you start your own thread it may be interesting to see what apparently unwanted Registry entries are being generated.

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Fiascokid said

Contrary to common belief, ad blockers quite often slow the browser and consume too much memory when their lists become too large.

I agree that adblockers have downsides as well as upsides. AdBlockPlus which was Firefox's most popular add-on I believe, was discovered a while ago to be causing memory leaks - now fixed.

However a small recent study did show advantages of adblockers, and was asking users without adblockers to contribute data

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On Windows 7 Pro, I never had to reinstall Firefox, on Windows XP SP3 that is a whole different ball game, example you hit a site and its video is not supported as in Howcast.com (even though VLC is installed, the video still won't play in XP only) all of the sudden svchost.exe is outraged like a mad dog, Firefox and its plugins container are devouring 101% of the computer resources, disabling the container resolves the problem slightly but not fully, the video keeps rotating clockwise but nothing is playing, and when you uninstall certain add-on in Firefox, they leave tons of orphaned files behind, they are not fully uninstalled, over a period of 6 months the Profile Folder gets to be over bloated even though Firefox is instructed to keep Zero cache files, and did I tell you, a while ago I used IE tab in Firefox to go to Microsoft update site which has been exceptionally good all these years to Windows XP but in this instance Windows update file "wuauclt.exe" started to consume 100% of the computer resources every time I started Windows, ever since it stayed that way, so I had to disable it permanently, not needed really. Did Firefox cause this issue, in doubt, uninstall and reinstall, always worked like a charm for me. Other than that, I know the Windows registry like the back of my hand, but I wouldn't suggest any newbie to play with it, not to mention I have software that logs all these registry entries after every installation so I don't have to chase them one by one.

Okulungisiwe ngu Fiascokid

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As far as Ad Blockers go, I can't operate without uBlock Origin, all I was suggesting, don't over inflate any Ad Blocker with too many annoyance lists or you will defeat its purpose, when the lists become too many and huge, trust me, they will slow down Firefox.

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Comment by a Forum Moderator I have given a full reply to this in my own post lower down this thread (next page) https://support.mozilla.org/questions/1148981?page=2#answer-944923


Why would anyone waste frustrating hours trying to resolve issues with problematic software with no guarantee of success using the process of elimination when the perfect solution takes but few minutes by uninstalling and reinstalling it, in less than 10-15 minutes problem resolved. FACT, most the time, the problem has to do with faulty registry entries, not with the software itself, nor with the add-on extensions, too many programs fight each other for dominance as Program Default, so all these solutions will resolve nothing, because the problem is in corrupted registry entries not with the add-on extensions or what have you, if you are not going to tackle the registry entries corruption, god bless, I am truly sorry. My Windows XP computer is 15 years old and it is in far better shape than any computer you have in mind, the cleanest computer on this planet, with no junk or orphaned files, no such thing as virus or malware in 15 years, I am very careful not to contaminate it with third rate bundled software or click on unknown attachment in my email.

Okulungisiwe ngu John99

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Lastly, many users run Registry Cleaners, some of these applications cause more serious damages than good, having fixed my friends computers, my experience tells me 99.99% of the time the problem lies in the registry itself and no I am not exaggerating anything. Uninstalling and reinstalling the software always fixes the problem except in super rare occasions.

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