Home | Blog | Software | Reviews and Features | Forum | Help | Donate | About us

avatar image

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
  • October 23, 2016, 10:43:48 PM
  • Proudly celebrating 10 years online.
  • Donate now to become a lifetime supporting member of the site and get a non-expiring license key for all of our programs.
  • donate

Author Topic: Glad It's Not Just Me Department - FF6 memory leaks  (Read 1332 times)


  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 11,764
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Glad It's Not Just Me Department - FF6 memory leaks
« on: September 27, 2011, 06:13:51 AM »
OK...I've been having weird and sporadic freeze and lockup issues with FF6 running on both Linux and Windows 7 lately.

Since I tend to blame myself first, I assumed it had something to do with one (or more) of the add-ons I installed. Either that or my bad habit of hand tuning process priorities finally caught up with me.

Then along comes an article over at CRN.com that seems to indicate FF is back to having serious memory leak issues.

Again.  :-\

Firefox Memory Leaks Once Again Causing Frustrations
By Edward F. Moltzen, CRN

Three and a half years after developers plugged “hundreds” of memory leaks in the Firefox browser that had slowed many PCs to a halt, memory leaks in Firefox 6.0.2 are apparently once again frustrating users.

In a number of issues posted on Mozilla’s support message board over the past several weeks, users report repeated instances of Firefox eating more than 1 GB of memory during basic tasks. Some memory leaks have been tied to browser plug-ins, while other users insist they are doing nothing exotic to cause such significant memory use.

Full article here.

« Last Edit: September 27, 2011, 06:58:06 AM by 40hz »


  • That scary taskbar girl
  • Global Moderator
  • Joined in 2006
  • *****
  • Posts: 5,655
    • View Profile
    • App's Apps
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: Glad It's Not Just Me Department - FF6 memory leaks
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2011, 07:47:53 AM »
There are things besides memory leaks that can cause this that can be difficult to track down. Keep in mind that I am running FF3.6, so I do not know if these still apply in the latest version. If any of these issues apply to you, and you also have an issue with a memory leak, the problem could be made much worse than if it was just a memory leak. It's worth it to at least considering the possibilities.

There are some add-ons (and settings in certain add-ons) that save enormous amounts of data to the places.sqlite database.

Disabling the add-ons doesn't remove it, so it won't fix the problem if this is what is causing it. First you have to identify which add-on is doing it, which can be very difficult and will require a fair amount of web research in many cases. Then you have to create a new profile and not use that add-on or disable the setting in it that causes the issue. If you just create a new profile without tracking down the add-on causing it, the problem may go away, but return a few weeks or months later.

For example, the Google toolbar has a start page setting that causes it to save a screenshot thumbnail of every page you visit to the places.sqlite database. This database can easily grow to over 1 gig in size in a few weeks if you are visiting a lot of pages. You have to disable that start page to prevent issues.

There is another issue that can cause the intermittent freezing and unresponsiveness, also related to the places.sqlite database, and that is empty space causing it to become fragmented.

Vacuum Places Improved is a great little add-on that will automatically take care of that. I have not had a problem with this issue since installing it. I have it set to automatically clean after every 25 starts.


  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 1,417
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Glad It's Not Just Me Department - FF6 memory leaks
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2011, 08:46:39 AM »
Plugin_container.exe consumes a lot of memory. Flash, Silverlight, Java and any other plugin requires plugin_container.exe and even if these plugins are not invoked on webpage, it continues to consume memory. This problem exists for chrome as well but in comparison to FF it takes less resource.