Firefox Mac Keeps Crashing On Me

For some unknown reason Firefox has become unstable on my MacBook in the past week. It’s basically unusable forcing me to use Safari which knows nothing about me and my habits.

I read somwhere (techmeme?) that others are having this issue too.

Any ideas for fixing it out there?

#VC & Technology

Comments (Archived):

  1. Andrew

    Have you tried the whole repairing permissions thing? Make sure that everything is up to date as well with software update.

  2. John Peterson

    You are not the only one. My wife was having trouble on her iBook as well. From what I have read on O’Reilly’s site you need to disable the anti-phishing filter. That seemed to help us. Hopefully, this will be addressed in a new build soon.JOhn

      1. obscurelyfamous

        That’s a new bug, thanks.

  3. John Lilly

    hi fred — have you installed any extensions lately that you know of? or have you started using any new javascript-heavy sites that you can think of that coincides with the problem? the most recent firefox update was several weeks ago – was released on July 25 — but we’ve not had any reports of particular instability from *guess* is that it’s something to do with an extension — maybe one updated recently?(also, i don’t believe that the mac-optimized stuff that chris is pointing at will make a difference — it’s likely to be either an issue in your profile (that is, the extensions you’re running) or something in the HTML/Javascript of a site you’re going to causing problems for the renderer)(john from mozilla)

  4. jackson

    I blame Danielha – that should keep him busy long enough for me to get a few comments in.I don’t know what the problem is on your end, but I do know as recent as yesterday your blog commandeered my machine, opening AVC windows ad nauseum, gotta hold the panic button down and shut off the machine to get it to stop.

    1. fredwilson

      i’ve put some code into my blog to commandeer your machine jackson every time you make disparaging comments about digital music 🙂

  5. Greg

    Same problem here on my MBP, I’m afraid. No new extensions to speak of, and I’ve disabled all my old ones. Still locks up.Slows *everything* to a crawl when it’s been open a while, including the Entourage program I have to use for my work e-mail. I suspect a memory leak.

  6. Geoff

    Gotta agree with Chris on this one. The BonEcho browser tends to be more stabile than the standard Firefox version. Better yet, you could move to Camino or Safari 3 which tend to suck up far less of the CPU and RAM on my MBP but you’ll have to give up all the great FF extensions.

  7. Ryan

    I’ve never had problems with FireFox on my MacBook, but then I switched to Camino long ago. If you haven’t given it a shot, now might be a good time. It doesn’t have the extensions support FireFox enjoys, but (for me), it’s speed and Mac-esque appearance makes up for it. Good luck!

  8. Mike Orren

    Fred, the different build suggested by Chris in the second comment will do the trick. I had the same problem and it fixed for me. One additional piece of advice. Once you install the new build (Called BonEcho and with a different icon from FF due because it is unofficial), UNINSTALL the old FireFox. Otherwise, you’ll constantly open it by accident, even if you change the file type settings.

  9. Don Park

    FF used to crash on my MBP once a day at least but now FF randomly hangs (beachball time) on mouse-click several times a day. At first, I thought Flash was the culprit but I now suspect some issues with memory management in FF.I’ll give BonEcho a try.

  10. Adam

    Crashing recently on my windows box too. I believe it is correlated to when I use Adobe Acrobat, esp clicking on a link from an acrobat document, still watching a little more before I do re-installs…

  11. Eric Rosser Eldon

    I got so sick of having FF crash on me all the time that I switched to Camino — and haven’t looked back.

  12. Bill King

    I had the same issue about 3-4 weeks ago. My MBP would freeze-up and I had to do a hard reboot. The trigger was always clicking on a hyperlink, and it only happened when using my wifi network at home. I have not made any changes since then and the issue has stopped. It was not related to any FF extensions because I had not installed/updated any for quite some time, nor had I updated core FF. Really weird.

  13. Gerald Buckley

    Mr. Wilson, try the following and see if Firefox doesn’t get it’s act together (this process may take you back to a stock Firefox install):1) Go to your Home folder and find the one called “Library” there are two of these. One is located on the root of your drive (not the right one) and then there’s the one in YOUR user directory (THAT is the one we want).2) Inside the “Library” directory you’ll find a directory called “Application Support”. Open that.3) Inside “Application Support” directory you’ll likely see a “Firefox” directory. Drag THAT one to your Desktop (don’t throw it away).4) Restart Firefox to see if the bad behaviour goes away.5) It should be easy enough to teach your refreshed instance of Firefox who you are once again. Beware, this may very well reintroduce the bugaboo. But, if so, you now know where the problem originates and can proceed accordingly.Gerald, Tulsa

  14. gedcarroll

    Fred, try Camino ( which is more Mac-optimised but still has Mozilla goodness under the hood

  15. Charles

    I’m having the same problem, particularly when I have Facebook loaded in a tab.

  16. rick gregory

    Hmmm I *do* see the occasional hang, but nothing like once a day or several times per day. Gerard’s method above will let you know if it’s something specific to your install or a FF thing.Also, what version of FF? I’m assuming?

  17. Jonathan

    Fwiw, I have been experiencing serious hanging and the occasional crash running Firefox ( on a MBP with, among other extensions, Tab Mix Plus installed. I can’t say for sure, but there seems to be a correlation between the number of tabs I have open using Tab Mix and the frequency of FF aggravating incidents. I’ve made an effort to keep significantly fewer tabs open and this appears to help (though perhaps it’s just the satisfaction of having a working theory about the root of my aggravation). I’ve taken to keeping Safari open on the side when I need to check something quickly and FF is hanging. It’s a sub-optimal workaround but I can’t bring myself to abandon FF quite yet.

  18. harpos_blues

    Fred,Firefox OS X has been unuseable for me for quite some time due to a combination of extremely poor memory management and and an even weaker caching strategy. A couple of hours usage of FF will tank my fully max’d G5 PPC and my MacBook Pro.I only use Firefox to test web site compatibility. And, please don’t get me started on another rant about accessibility and assistive technologies support in Firefox :)I abandoned Firefox long ago for a combination of Safari (primary browser) and Camino. Both handle accessibility/assistive technologies well too. Safari 3 does have some compatibility issues with some media delivery sites. For example, watching TV shows online from the some broadcast networks (ABC/NBC/CBS, etc), may be problematic though these sites are beginning to provide broader support for Safari. For some of these same sites, Camino returns a non-supported user agent string, though it’s underlying Mozilla-ness should allow it work on any site that claims to support Firefox. In these cases, the web site designers/administrators have enforced avery stringent user agent policy.

  19. fewquid

    I’ve been having this problem since and am now running I run no real browser extensions (PDFs open in preview, and I have Flash player installed, that’s about it).In testing related to product development, it appears that Mac Firefox has some very serious memory management issues. I don’t have the same problem with my PC version (which runs on my Mac with Parallels)…I’ve done multiple clean installs and it has made no difference. IMO, Safari is a poor replacement. I guess I’ll look at the other browsers suggested here…

  20. Tom O'Neill

    I had a similar issue (also on my Macbook Pro) after installing the most recent version of Flash player. Any ajaxy site would (even iGoogle, my homepage) would crash the browser. Reinstalling Firefox fixed the problem for me.

  21. stewart Alsop

    I’ve switched to Safari (now the “beta” of 3.0) as my primary browser. I keep Firefox in my dock for when I find a site that doesn’t work with Safari, which is increasingly rare. The issue in switching is getting Safari to remember passwords and store cookies, but it only took me about a week to feel like Safari knows me as well as Firefox did when it was my primary browser.

  22. Asa

    My first recommendation for Mac problems is to disable your extensions and selectively re-enable them until you find the crashing culprit. My second recommendation is to find and delete your Flash plugins and do a fresh install of the latest Flash plugin.- A

  23. Tyler M

    Oh yeah, plus I’m not able to get into my online banking site unless I disable firebug. Actually a lot of the problems seem to be related to javascript stuff. I get an error about every 2 minutes on whatever site I’m on saying something about a Component Execution Failure, or something like that. Sometimes I get 25 or 30 of them in a row and it’ll give me the spinning beach ball of death until it finishes reporting them to my Firebug.

  24. sad

    yes I’ve had the same prob for the past 3 days. it’s driving me insane, if you have the answer email me at [email protected] thanks