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Computer Becomes Unresponsive Due to Mozilla Firefox

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Unresponsive computer not always caused by low hardware resources. Often a fast or slow PC is about how you use available resources. I found that Firefox can use a lot of physical memory and system resources depending on how you are using it. Do you know that even Mozilla Firefox alone can slow performance of PC? Modern web browsers have evolved to server users in every way possible, supporting rich interactive multimedia content. You can play interactive games, watch high definition videos, use voice and video chat and much more right from your favorite web browser. CSS3, HTML5, audio/video support, plugins and extensions have made web browsers very powerful and fully capable of meeting demanding technology trends. Your web browser is fully loaded application that can be integrated for other software in the system as well. If you are not careful about the plugins and extensions loading in background of Firefox, PC may freeze or not respond properly.

When a computer becomes slow, we blame it on internal hardware resources such as CPU and physical memory (RAM) or operating system. It is considered that operating system becomes exhausted with passage of time and reinstalling operating system solves problems. Before you upgrade PC hardware or reinstall operating system, our suggestion is to monitor the resources each application is using.

Recently, whenever I was starting Firefox, and opened couple of websites, computer started responding very slow. When I checked the CPU usage for loaded applications, I found out that Firefox was using most of the resources. CPU usage went to 50 for Firefox process in Task Manager. The CPU (Central Processing Unit) of computer is the “brain” of the computer. When the CPU is being heavily used, the overall performance of the computer can be impacted.

We previously learned that how to find out the cause of unresponsive computer by using Task Manager. If you missed that read it from link below:

Troubleshoot Cause of Computer’s Unresponsiveness

First of all you should kill the process associated with Firefox (firefox.exe), that is using most resources. After that refresh the desktop few times and launch Firefox again.

Firefox usually freezes due to unresponsive plugins, extensions, scripts or heavy theme. Disable plugins, extensions and themes that you had recently installed. In my case it was DivX plugin. I had uninstalled DivX player but its plugin for Firefox was still there. By disabling that, Firefox became responsive again.

To enable or disable plugins for Firefox go to Tools -> Addons from Firefox menu. From left side navigation click Plugins. Disable plugins that you no longer need. Also click at Extensions and disable extensions that you no longer need.

Upgrading to the latest version of Firefox, updating plugins and extensions may also solve the problem. Disabling Firefox themes can also lower down the CPU consumption by Firefox. Also resetting Firefox to the default settings may also help. Here is how you can reset Firefox to default settings:

The Reset Firefox feature can fix many issues by restoring Firefox to its factory default state while saving your essential information. Click Help from Firefox menu. From the Help menu choose Troubleshooting Information. If you’re unable to access the Help menu, type about:support in your address bar to bring up the Troubleshooting information page. Click the Reset Firefox button in the upper-right corner of the Troubleshooting Information page. This will reset Firefox to default settings. Rest function will delete extensions and themes, website-specific preferences, search engines, download history, DOM storage, security settings, download actions, plugin settings, toolbar customizations, user styles and social features from Firefox.

Accelerate content rendering by hardware, for certain plugins that play videos such as Flash. It eases CPU usage. To do that open a webpage in Firefox, that shows a Flash video. Right-click on the video player and click Settings in the context menu. The Adobe Flash Player Settings screen will open. Click on the icon at the bottom-left of the Adobe Flash Player Settings window to open the Display panel. Check Enable hardware acceleration is selected. Close the Adobe Flash Player Settings Window.

Restart Firefox if you have left it opened for longer periods of time. Periodically restart Firefox. You can configure Firefox to save your tabs and windows so that when you start it again, you can start where you left off.

I was thinking of reinstalling Microsoft Windows on my computer. After I realized that it is Firefox, I thought of uninstalling and reinstalling Firefox but then I found that just disabling unnecessary plugins from Firefox, solved my problem. So you can also first try to find out the cause of problem and if you can solve that problem, you will save a lot of your time.

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