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Firefox hangs

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Alternatively, you can disable Hyper-Threading support for Firefox in Windows 2000 and XP. Right click the Firefox shortcut &rarr; Properties &rarr; Compatibility &rarr; Check "Run this program in compatibility mode" &rarr; Select "Windows 98/Windows ME" &rarr; OK. Alternatively, you can disable Hyper-Threading support for Firefox in Windows 2000 and XP. Right click the Firefox shortcut &rarr; Properties &rarr; Compatibility &rarr; Check "Run this program in compatibility mode" &rarr; Select "Windows 98/Windows ME" &rarr; OK.
-Think Twice, before disabling Hyper-Threading on your computer, in the BIAS settings, as this requires a fresh re-install of your whole operating system. Also, if you change your mind, and want Hyper-Threading turned back on, this will require, yet another fresh re-install of your system.+Think Twice, before disabling Hyper-Threading on your computer, in the BIAS settings, as this requires a fresh re-install of your XP/Vista operating system. Also, if you change your mind, and want Hyper-Threading turned back on, this will require, yet another fresh re-install of your XP/Vista system.
 +See for information, perfomance gains, and losses, for Hyper-Threading
 +[http://pcworld.about.com/magazine/2101p026id107492.htm]
===Close Firefox dialog=== ===Close Firefox dialog===

Revision as of 15:22, 22 August 2008

Hanging (freezing, not responding) is when a program is running but stops responding to user input. A hang/freeze is different from a crash, which ends the program.

If Firefox closes unexpectedly, or if an error dialog appears and Firefox closes, see Firefox crashes.

Contents

Hang loading first Firefox window

Hyper-Threading

Hyper-Threading is a feature on some Intel processors. In some cases, motherboard chipsets supporting Hyper-Threading can cause Firefox to hang at startup. If you’re experiencing hangs, you may want to check your motherboard manufacturer’s website for updates to the BIOS.

Alternatively, you can disable Hyper-Threading support for Firefox in Windows 2000 and XP. Right click the Firefox shortcut → Properties → Compatibility → Check "Run this program in compatibility mode" → Select "Windows 98/Windows ME" → OK.

Think Twice, before disabling Hyper-Threading on your computer, in the BIAS settings, as this requires a fresh re-install of your XP/Vista operating system. Also, if you change your mind, and want Hyper-Threading turned back on, this will require, yet another fresh re-install of your XP/Vista system. See for information, perfomance gains, and losses, for Hyper-Threading [1]

Close Firefox dialog

If you see a "Close Firefox" dialog when starting Firefox, with the message Firefox is already running, but is not responding. To open a new window, you must first close the existing Firefox process, or restart your system., Firefox may have stopped responding the last time you closed it. Note that Firefox 3 has a delayed shutdown and will show you this dialog if you try to restart it too soon after exiting. [2] [3] If you are unable to restart Firefox, you will need to end all Firefox processes or restart the computer. See Hang at exit (below) if this is a recurring problem. (If you see this message when no Firefox processes are running, even after restarting the computer, see this article.)

Hang downloading files

This applies to Firefox 2 and below.

As the download history grows, files may take longer to download and Firefox may appear to hang when downloading. In the Firefox menu, click "Tools -> Downloads -> Clean Up" to clear the Download History. If this doesn't help or if it also causes a hang, exit Firefox completely and delete the downloads.rdf file in the Firefox profile folder [4]. Selecting a different download folder in your Firefox Options may also help. See Unable to save or download files for more information.

Hang saving images

See above.

Hang using page history

This applies to Firefox 2 and below.

If you set Firefox to remember the visited pages for more than the default 9 days, operations involving history can hang Firefox for short periods of time. Setting the history to 9 days or less and clearing the history (Tools -> Options -> Privacy -> History: "Clear Browsing History Now") will usually resolve the problem [5]. Note that the "Clear Browsing History Now" feature is no longer available in Firefox 2 but can be cleared as part of the "Clear Private Data" function, if "Browsing History" is selected in "Tools -> Options -> Privacy / Private Data -> Settings".

Hang after prolonged or extensive use

For some users, Firefox consumes excessive amounts of memory and may slow down or hang in situations that include being open for long periods of time, after downloading or saving images or other files, or after extensive use with multiple tabs open. See the article, Reducing memory usage - Firefox. Additional suggestions are given here.

Hang loading websites

Hang loading sites with JavaScript

Firefox may become very slow to respond because of badly coded JavaScript causing infinite loops on certain websites [6]. This problem can usually be cleared by closing the window or tab for that website. You can also temporarily disable JavaScript to view the problem site, but the website may not work without JavaScript. Read Firefox CPU usage for more information and also see the related article, Unresponsive Script Warning.

If the web site hangs Firefox (you can't even exit Firefox) try running in Safe Mode and see if you can get an Unresponsive Script Warning. Watch the status bar and see if this frequently occurs while it mentions a specific URL. If so, try blocking that URL using a content-blocker such as Adblock Plus. The problem URL may be fetching an advertisement or side panel that you can do without.

If none of this helps, try using a different browser (such as IE or Opera) or try accessing the site at another time. This might help you determine if the problem lies with Firefox, a poorly designed website, or content that changes over time, such as ads. [7]

Hang loading sites with Java, Flash, or PDF files

If Firefox hangs attempting to load a site with Java or Flash, or an Adobe PDF file, it's likely a problem with the associated plugin. If Firefox hangs after waking the computer from sleep mode, it may be a known problem with the Flash plugin.

Hang loading websites when using an automatic proxy configuration file

If you're using an auto-config proxy (PAC), Firefox will hang when you attempt to load sites that don't exist and when opening sites on a domain you haven't opened recently. The amount of time it hangs will depend on how many look-ups the PAC does. There is no current solution, however this is a recognised bug, and as such is being tracked here: Bug 235853 - PAC: isResolvable() causes the UI to hang during resolution.

Hang deleting bookmarks - Firefox 3

In Firefox 3, deleting a large quantity of bookmarks can take a very long time [8] and trying to delete a complex bookmarks folder (one that contains many bookmarks and multiple levels of subfolders) can cause Firefox to hang. [9] To work around this, delete unwanted bookmark subfolders in small steps. As a last resort you can restart in Firefox Safe Mode, select the option, "Reset bookmarks to Firefox defaults" and click "Make Changes and Restart". (Warning: This will remove all of your added bookmarks!) You can then import bookmarks, if available, from an HTML file or from another browser. [10]

Hang at exit

Sometimes when you try to open Firefox you may see a "Close Firefox" dialog with the message, Firefox is already running, but is not responding. To open a new window, you must first close the existing Firefox process, or restart your system. This can happen if you restart Firefox 3 too soon after closing it [11] [12] but other times, Firefox stops responding at exit and the process remains in memory, even though no Firefox windows are open. You must then end all Firefox processes or restart the computer before you can reopen Firefox. (See Profile in use for other causes and solutions.)

Note that in some cases you may not see a "Close Firefox" dialog when you reopen Firefox, even though a hung process from a previous session is still in memory. This can result in multiple instances of Firefox in the processes list. Firefox 3 users on Windows systems report problems in the new Firefox session when this occurs, such as no bookmarks or history and a blank Firefox window, which are resolved by ending the multiple Firefox processes or restarting the computer and then reopening Firefox. [13] [14] [15] [16]

If Firefox processes that remain in memory at exit are a recurring problem:

Other causes of hanging

Extensions

Extensions are a common cause of Firefox problems, including hangs, slowdowns, or periodic freezes. Check the list of problematic extensions to see if it is a known issue and go through the standard diagnostic steps related to extension issues to see if an extension is causing Firefox to hang.

Multiple sessionstore.js files

If Firefox is slow to respond or appears to hang, open the Firefox profile folder, check for multiple sessionstore.js files and delete all copies found. [27] See Multiple profile files created for details.

Internet security software

Internet security software may cause Firefox to hang at exit (see above), to respond very slowly, or to hang during use.

  • Spybot Search and Destroy Spybot S&D includes an "Immunize" feature that, on some systems, can cause Firefox to respond very slowly; for example, extended pauses when loading web pages or switching tabs. [28] [29] To undo the Firefox immunization, go into Spybot S&D -> Immunize. If you right-click in the Immunization window on the right, you can select "deselect all". Check the Immunizations for Firefox you would like to remove, then click Undo. See this Spybot forum topic for more information.
  • ZoneAlarm on Windows Vista The free version of ZoneAlarm may cause Firefox to hang on Windows Vista. Uninstall ZoneAlarm and use the Windows Firewall, or install another firewall product (the free Comodo firewall is a suggestion). [30]
  • Outpost Pro Firewall Outpost Pro Firewall, versions 2.7 and 3.0, can cause Firefox to stop loading Web sites. The "firefox.exe" process may also be left running after closing Firefox, and shutting down the computer may be blocked by an error message that the XPCOM:EventReceiver is still waiting for data.[31],[32] This may be due to blocking the loopback (localhost) connection.[33]
  • Norton Anti-virus Older versions of Norton Anti-virus have been known to cause Firefox 2 to hang when NAV real-time protection is turned on. Updating to the latest version may solve the problem. [34]

Adobe Type Manager/Font issues

Having installed a huge number of fonts can also cause this problem. Using Adobe Type Manager can lead to a huge number of installed fonts. Uninstall all fonts - except the standard fonts - and Adobe Type Manager in this case.

Windows Compatibility mode

Running Firefox in Compatibility mode for an older version of Windows (e.g. Windows 95 Compatibility mode) can cause Firefox to run very slowly. Check the Compatibility tab in the Properties of the Firefox desktop shortcut and uncheck "Run this program in Compatibility mode" if it is checked. [35].

Other solutions

  • Perform the standard diagnostic to resolve hanging problems not specifically mentioned in this article.
  • Some older versions of video card drivers can cause hangs. Make sure your drivers are up to date.
  • If none of the solutions on this page fixes your problem, you may want to file a bug report. This is a list of unsolved bugs in Firefox that cause hangs. Look through the list, and if your situation doesn't match any of the situations listed, file a new bug report. If you cannot give a set of steps that reproduces the problem, you may want to try to find a regression window to determine which change to Firefox caused the problem. On Windows, you can also use Process Explorer to determine which thread is using the most CPU.

See also

External Links