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 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).

  •  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

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

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. In later versions of Firefox, you will see a Refresh Firefox – Give Firefox a tune up button, instead of Reset Firefox. You can also Tune up and Refresh Mozilla Firefox browser online.

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.

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 Player 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 Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.
  • 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 : (

  • johnson dell

    Browser Tech Support For Free @ 1800 935 0537

  • Jimmy Porto

    I had this problem for a long time. No matter what I did to fix it, nothing helped. Today, I figured it out. Some websites require the www. For instance, instead of typing, you have to type

  • BangkokBay

    Getting sick and tired of the crashed with FF – have now pretty much moved over to Chrome! More stable and tiny footprint too!

  • Owais Bin Saeed

    Thanks for this nice article. Keep it up. :)

  • Matthew Cserhati

    freezing fire? I don’t get it…

  • Flash Sniffer and OFFer.


    Later on these past few weeks, I would be on FF and it started to
    minimize all by itself and hang for about a minute. It would then
    return and continue on where it left off. During this time, the
    task manager performance graphs were halted and so was everything
    else in task manager like apps and programs running.

    Internet people blamed FLASH but I disabled all the options in the
    various add-ons and options.

    No soap. That didn’t work.

    However in my case, my modem during that freezing minute, was madly
    flashing away at me loading crud I would never watch.

    Web pages just kept on loading FLASH video into computer memory
    while it halted everything else including browsing or moving the

    These Internet people and You-Tubers were right on the money.
    It’s is a FLASH exploitation of the new version of FF to display
    ads as a first priority.


    Great! The following add-on did work for me.

    Go to tools and add-ons in FF.

    Go to ‘get add-ons’.

    Find Flash Stopper in the expanded listing at the bottom

    or goto:

    No Restart

    Stops flash autoplay and shows the video
    preview thumbnail.

    Rated 5 out of 5 stars

    29,193 users

    Yeah. It worked like a charm. No more hangs or halts in
    two weeks.

    It has a remove option in FF for this particular add-on.


    “FlashStopper 1.2.5 No Restart

    by yochaim

    Stops flash autoplay
    and shows the video preview thumbnail. ”

    This FS add-on worked for me.

    Here are some other Flash Stopper type add-ons that might also work.

    Flashblock 1.5.18
    by Philip Chee

    Never be annoyed by a
    Flash animation again!

    Blocks Flash so it won’t get in your way, but if you want to see
    it, just click on…

    Add to Firefox


    Image and Flash Blocker 0.7
    by shimi100

    Block images and/or
    flash elements on a page. In 1 click you can choose if you
    want to see images or flash,it can help you to free fast surf,
    and stop seeing ads.

    Did you know this is the first add-on which is able to block
    java embedded photos?

    Add to Firefox

    This problem was not a virus or malware. Internet Explorer was
    fine. Complete system scans were clean.

    It was an ADOBE SOFTWARE exploitation of a structural weakness in
    FireFox that can be very annoying.

    I had just allowed a FF update when this started to happen.



  • Paula Dowell

    here is what happened in my case…. Before i installed Apple quicktime and Itunes, ive never had this problem. While i had apple quicktime and itunes installed every browser ive used had the problem of freezing up or crashing when trying to save a file. (Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer). since i’ve uninstalled apple quicktime, itune and all of it’s addition software.. (automatic updates, icloud, bonjour, etc), i have never had this problem again. There’s your answer. apple updates is installing software that’s causing browsers to malfunction. If you dont believe me, uninstall all apple products and see if the problem goes away.

  • Omineca

    You are a GENIUS! Thank you.

    Now that was an annoying couple of months….

  • leeteam

    The freezing and “Not Responding” started recently with the last few updated. Not sure what they did to the browser, but many are switching to Explorer, Chrome and Tor if you want absolute anonymity. After freezing every half hour and loosing what I was working on, I have decided to switch browsers.

    Mozilla used to have a beta version called Aurora. It worked flawlessly.

  • leeteam

    Someone on another forum recommended adding “Places Maintenance” add-on. I tried it and it reduced the “Not Responding” problem. After you install it, click “options”, check All and Execute.

  • Solgirl

    I’m about at that point myself.

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