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FireFox is SLOW. It is pausing for several seconds every few clicks.

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FF version 3.6.12 is hanging every few keystrokes or mouse clicks. It simply stops responding for 4-8 seconds (my estimate). The more windows that are open, the worse it is. However, this wasn't happening in version 3.5, so I know that this is a FF problem. I have a fairly new computer (one year old) running Windows 7.

All Replies (18)

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Does anyone have any ideas? If not, I'm going to have to revert to version 3.5.

FireFox in recent years has become an extremely flaky program. This isn't the first time I've had problems with it.

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I'm pretty annoyed that no one answered this post. However, since 7 other people have said that they have this problem, I am posting this follow-up. First of all, going back to version 3.5 did solve the problem. However, the company that provides my free anti-virus program (AVG) had been pitching a computer optimizing program to me. As part of the pitch, they allowed me to use it once for free. The program removes extraneous registry entries and extraneous files, defrags the registry and the hard disk, "tunes" your PC for optimum speed, and does other stuff. After running it, I found that version 3.6 of FF was working normally. I don't know what the AVG program did to fix things. I'm not recommending their program (in other words, this post is not spam), but this experience highlights the need to occasionally use a program like this which looks for errors in your system and corrects them. There are quite a few programs that do this kind of thing, and I am sure that comparative reviews of the programs can be found on the internet. It's a testament to how poorly Microsoft programs are designed that one year's use of a new computer can cause it to become bogged down to the point where it runs so slowly. However, FF must be partly to blame since my other programs were working normally.

Okulungisiwe ngu Purebeads

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firefox has become a somewhat of a pig. it is actually funny and i know this problem will soon be cured but.... here was this "anti-IE" thing that came out a while ago saying "we're the fastest browser in the world" and indeed they were. as a 13 year microsoft employee/veteran i was reluctant to try it, but try it i did. that was years ago. now all of a sudden here i am and for the past several months at least, firefox has been pausing every few seconds or so. it is totally annoying and has me researching the cause. i'm a techie/quite computer literate and know how to tweak and configure to get every last ounce of speed out of my system. let me tell you... firefox is no longer the fastest browser on the planet.... they have issues. why? they have a lot of code and maintaining a complex piece of software (they are finding) is not easy. BUT, the problem lies within firefox's code base... i've used the latest version of IE, safari and chrome and neither is suffering from the pausing problem.

how can you repro this problem? go to any webform (gmail, this forum, et al) and start typing... there will be an annoying pause every few seconds. while pausing, firefox pages out to disk, despite there being TONS of physical memory available... AND i have set my system to NO pagefile, yet firefox is paging...

or, go to a long webpage (e.g. ebay and set the search results to 200. then just use your cursor to scroll down the page) and you'll see the same problem.

hurry firefox... fix this annoying problem. i've been a happy and loyal FF user for at least 5 years

Okulungisiwe ngu swardet

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I actually tracked down a different cause for the pausing on my systems... yes, this has happened on MULTIPLE systems, all running Firefox 3.6.x. Turns out the option to save my session and reopen the last web pages I was on started having unintended consequences at some point. I don't know why, but sesssionstore.js on one PC was around 15MB. That file is created every 10 seconds so you don't lose work or what have you, or when you open a new tab, and since it's a text file making a 15MB file can take a few seconds. Even on a fast SSD system it was two seconds, while on my older HDD based PC it was more like 4 seconds.

The one solution is to simply disable the "reopen last pages" option. Another is to periodically clear out sessionstore.js from your profile directory. The primary culprit for me appears to be my work admin pages for a CMS (Content Management System) where it was storing all sorts of data I would input into forms. Imagine how long the pauses are after a few weeks when you have a 30MB or larger sessionstore.js file, or when you have tons of open tabs. Good times.

PS: This is completely a Firefox bug that needs fixing. Cookies and other form data are being stored beyond a reasonable amount. At the very least, there should be some form of alert to the poor users experiencing this problem that, "Hey--your sessionstore is getting really big and we're noticing significant pauses. Here's how to fix it!"

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Swardet and Jarred, thank you for your input. Each of you has a different idea about what is causing the problem. I can't do much about FF paging, but the Session Restore feature is definitely something I can turn off (although I will miss it). Let me repeat that for me the problem was solved when I used the AVG program that I mentioned. However, if it occurred once, it can occur again. If it does, I'll turn off Session Restore to see if that fixes it.

I agree with both of you: FireFox is becoming too big and bloated. Perhaps the word is "too fancy". FF 3.5 wouldn't work at all when I had Windows Vista, so I went back to FF 2, and everyone on this forum acted as if I were walking into onto a highway with a blindfold on. But FF 2 is the last version which worked perfectly for me.

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Same issue here. Never a problem before. Gonna download chrome now - I can not use it like this.

wishing for a fix soon!!!!

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Having turned off the Session Restore feature, I can tell you all that FireFox 3.6 is still slow. It is faster than it was before I ran the AVG program, but it is still slower than it should be. It has resumed pausing, although the pauses are not as long as they were before. I can expect the pauses to get longer and longer until they are completely intolerable again.

FireFox is getting worse with each new revision. The developers are making it too fancy. It is no longer the fast, nimble program that it used to be.

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I have the same problem unter openSuse Linux. And for Thunderbird too. You click something("Bookmarks" for example), and nothing happens for 5 seconds or so.

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I have just switched back to FF 3.5.6 (again). I'll let you know if the problem starts to happen with FF 3.5.

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Have you guys ever tried the Firefox 4 Betas?

Firefox 4 Beta 7 has never frozen for me for any Operating System. 3.6 occasionally does though.

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No, I don't like to use beta software. Besides, my experience is that FF gets worse with each new revision. When I had Windows Vista, FF 3.5 wouldn't work on it at all, and I had to go back to using FF 2. Indeed, I've been thinking about going back to FF 2 now because I believe it will be faster than either 3.5 or 3.6.

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I had this same issue and the cause was AVG. It installs an addon in Firefox as well as other browsers. If you go to tools > Addons... see if you have AVG Safe Search installed. If you do, Disable this addon and restart Firefox... This solved my pausing everytime I attempted to do anything in FF 3.6.12

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AVG's browser add-on isn't my problem. I have always had it disabled. (In 3.5 I deleted it altogether, but I don't seem to be able to delete it in 3.6.) AVG's browser add-on is incredibly obnoxious, and I've always hated it.

Since it was AVG's registry/disk clean-up program that fixed the problem, I have to assume that it was either an errant registry entry or it was some over-blown temporary file that was causing the problem. I have just used FF 3.5 for about 5 days. I'm now going to switch back to 3.6 to compare them. FF 3.5 was also a little slow, but the slowness was the normal type of slowness that you get when you have many windows open, not the chronic freezing that 3.6 was doing.

Once again, I have to say this: When I had an older computer running Windows 2000, it wasn't as slow as my new computer running Windows 7 is. Modern programs are not streamlined in any way. The more processing power they give us, the more over-blown software becomes.

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I have had this freezing hdd problem for months. I tried a lot of fixes: reinstalled the operating sys, reinstalled FF, bought an addition cooling system, cleaned inside the box case, scanned for viruses, even tried FireFox Beta 6 but it wouldn't install.

Finally I noticed that the problem only occurred when I had Opera 10.6 open. I removed Opera and since then, the box and FireFox have been stable.

There are millions of FireFox users, but only a handful seem to have these freezing problems. It seems likely that the problem is somewhere in the individual's box, possibly caused by some undiscovered conflict between software packages.

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Opera isn't my problem either, since I don't use it.

I meant to use FF 3.6 for a while to compare it with FF 3.5, but I encountered a strange malfunction: I wasn't able to switch tabs (after upgrading to the latest version). So I went back to FF 3.5. Since going back to it, I've started to encounter pauses in that version also. However, the pauses are not as long as they are in 3.6. Also, it appears that I can have more browser windows open in 3.5 before the pausing starts. I still suspect that there is some temporary file that keeps growing and growing, and which makes the program slower the longer it is used. I'm still thinking of going back to version 2. Version 2 worked great, and on a slower computer no less!

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Thanks to everyone who has contributed ideas/suggestions on this thread. I tried many of the suggestions listed here. The only one which fixed the problem was rolling back to Ver 3.5.15. I did not know what might happen rolling back from the most recent version of 3.6, but I had reached the point where something had to be done. The freezing/hangups are gone, and my system is now back to the way it used to be. I believe I will stay with 3.5 until Version 4 comes out of Beta and then try an upgrade.

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try removing an add-on, i removed the "click to call Skype" add-on because it came with Skype when i installed it....removed it and the problem was fixed! now the firefox.exe process takes up 150,000k memory instead of 800,000k

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Solution:

See 2nd and 3rd Reply on this article... http://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/754854#answer-108930

Okulungisiwe ngu transattic