Thursday, December 27, 2007

Troubleshooting Firefox hanging issues

There can be many scenarios that can cause Firefox to freeze.  Freezing/hanging is different from a crash. A crash is when the browser closes unexpectedly.   Freezing means not responding your actions.

Check the following symptoms and how to troubleshoot hang/freeze problems. 

Your Firefox Froze:

1. Froze while loading/starting Firefox

Check your Extensions and Plug-ins:

Determine when the problem started. Check whether it is a problem with an extension that you have recently installed. Some extensions might cause problems like slowing down the browser or freezing up.  Disable the extension and check. If you find it as a culprit, uninstall it. The best thing to do is restart Firefox in safe mode and disable plug-ins and extensions and check. Here's how you open firefox in safe mode:

  1. Close your Firefox browser.

  2. From the desktop, click Start > Run.


  3. Key in, firefox -safe-mode.


  4. You will be popped with a new window called "Firefox Safe Mode"


    • Just select the options displayed and if you click "Make Changes and Restart", Firefox applies changes and restarts in normal mode.

    • If you choose to select "Continue in Safe Mode" no settings will be applied.

    • If you choose to "Exit" the browser will just exit without saving any settings.

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2. Can't load certain Websites:

It might be JavaScript problem:

Firefox might not work because of the Javascript on the webpage getting messed up.  Just close the browser and reopen it.  You can disable Javascript selectively for certain webpages by downloading and installing NoScript extension.

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3. Froze while downloading files

Clear Download History:

Keeping the Download History can cause extensive usage of memory and this can slow down or freeze Firefox. 

  1. Delete the "downloads.rdf" file to clear the download history.

  2. You need to make a little change to the browser setting.  Here's what you do:

  3. Open Firefox browser.

  4. From the menu bar, click Tools -> Options.


  5. Click Privacy tab. Uncheck "Remember what I've downloaded" check box.


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4. Froze while loading Java, Flash or PDF files:

Check the Associated Plug-in:

If your Firefox is freezing when you click on a PDF link, it means that there should be some problem with an associated Firefox plug-in.  Click here to see a related article.

There can be other applications that also might cause Firefox to freeze.  Check the anti-virus and anti-spywares that are running on your computer.

Run a Standard Diagnostic if the above steps doesn't take care of your problem.

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