Fix: Mozilla Firefox Freezing or Crashing on Windows computer

Are you a Firefox user? If yes, you might have come across an instance where the browser suddenly freezes or hangs or crashes and closes down unexpectedly or collapses into a not responding mode.

Freezing or Hanging is a process where a program stops responding to a user’s input. A hang, or a freeze is different from a crash. A Crash ends the program, and the windows automatically shuts down. The reasons can be many. It could the installation of incompatible themes, extensions or programming errors in plugins. I am suggesting below some troubleshooting steps which you could follow in case you find that your Firefox is giving you problems in Windows.

Firefox Freezes or Crashes

Clear Firefox Browser Cache, History and Download History

  • Files take longer to download as the download history builds up. To fix up this freeze, go to Firefox menu, then ‘Downloads’ and click on ‘Clear List’ to clear the Download History.
  • Also, if the folder where Firefox is attempting to save the file is not accessible, it can freeze.
  • Try resetting the browser.download.lastDir preference in about:config. You can also try choosing a new download folder in your Firefox settings (Tools -> Options -> General ( or Main) / Downloads -> Save files to -> Browse).

Clear download history 2 600x351 Fix: Mozilla Firefox Freezing or Crashing on Windows computer

  •  At times Browsing History interferes with the browser start-up and therefore can hang Firefox for indefinite periods.
  • Clear the History to avoid this instance. For this, first go to Tools > ‘Clear Recent History‘ to see if it resolves the problem.

You could also consider using CCleaner to clear up your entire Firefox Cache, etc.

Bad Firefox Add-on

disabling plug ins and add ons 600x351 Fix: Mozilla Firefox Freezing or Crashing on Windows computer

My next suggestion would be for you to switch Firefox to Safe-mode and check out if you have any bad add-ons installed. If the Firefox browser freezes without any warning when you type something or click on a button link, close all the tabs and start Firefox in Safe mode.

To do this:

  1. Go to Start > All programs > Mozilla Firefox > Safe mode
  2.  Now, if Firefox runs without freezing, it suggests a bad add-on – either an extension or toolbar – some extensions are prone to memory leaks
  3. Next, go to Tools > Add-ons and disable each one, one after the other and try to find out the culprit. If you are able to identoify the offending add-on or extension or toolbar, uninstall it.

Update Adobe Flash version

  • If you are facing freezing or experiencing a  delay while starting Firefox, you might want to check out if your Adobe Flash, Java plugins are up-to-date. Some versions did cause Firefox to freeze or crash. This page will tell you which version of Adobe Flash, you have installed.
  • For more info, visit Adobe Flash Player Download Center.

Check Windows shell extensions

Some Windows shell extensions can also cause problems with your Firefox browser, causing it to freeze or crash. You cans use ShellExView to see all the explorer shell extensions and then try to selectively disable extensions which you suspect could be the cause for your problems.

Extensions of 3rd party software

Extensions of your antivirus, security suite, site advisors, password manager, download managers could also be a possible cause. Again, disable each one selectively and see if you can identify the offending issue.

Create a new Profile

The Firefox User Profile Manager allows you to create an additional profile. Create a new profile on Firefox and transfer all your settings and  stuff to the new profile, and see if it helps.

Reduce Firefox memory usage

firefox about config Fix: Mozilla Firefox Freezing or Crashing on Windows computer

You may also want to consider reducing memory usage of Firefox by changing the about:config preferences. You may especially want to tweak the browser.cache.memory.capacity, bowser.cache.memory.enable and browser.sessionhistory.max_total_viewers settings. But do so only if you know what you are doing. Reducing the memory usage by carrying out just tweaks, removing themes, personas and reducing add-ons or plugins can also help you resolve your problem.

Also read: Firefox keeps slowing down on Windows.

If it doesn’t, you may want to reset Firefox settings.

We hope that something here helps you resolve your problem. If you have any more tips to share for the benefit of others, please do so in the comments below. If you need more help, you can always visit our Windows Help Forum.

With inputs from Hemant Saxena

Fix Freezes or Crashes with these resources from TheWindowsClub:

Windows 7 freezes | Windows Explorer crashes | Internet Explorer freezing| Google Chrome Browser crashes | Mozilla Firefox Browser freezing | Windows Media Playes freezes | Computer hardware freezes. Need more? Try FixWin, the Windows Doctor!

Posted by on , in Category General with Tags
Anand Khanse aka HappyAndyK is an end-user Windows enthusiast, a Microsoft MVP in Windows, since 2006, and the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com. Please create a System Restore Point before trying out any software & be careful about any third-party offers while installing freeware. Add me on Google+.
  • http://twitter.com/blogsaays BlogSaays

    Nice tip sir, I just did that ,let’s see how can survive from crashing ,Thanks

  • Scott Elsdon

    Im a ling time firefox user, loved it, but the best tip for fixing firefox crashes ? Switch to Chrome. I finally did this , this week, takes some gettign used to, but only yesterday, I unpinned the firefox icon on all three of my computers. Firefox, I’ll miss you, but you’ve gone the way of IE. sorry

  • John Bailo

    I was at an airport and logged into their free wifi. I was running so slow I shoved in my Clear Wimax usb modem and got faster speeds then disconnected from the wifi.

    However, ever since then, Firefox has been locking up as soon as I launch it, even in safe mode. It will lock, and take 30 to 60s to release….but then it will lock up again on the next interaction. I went so far as to uninstall it, deleting all persona data, and then reinstalling it and the problem persists.

    For example, even in safe mode, if I click on a hyperlink it will lock. If I click on a user menu it will hang, leaving the menus open…and the menus will stay there in the foreground on top of all other applications.

  • Nino Chkheidze

    my mother hates firefox because it freezes : (

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