6 Things that Suck about Firefox


I use Firefox, but sometimes it just feels like it falls short. The version 1.5 release has been a brutal experience for me. Here are a few things Firefox could fix if they don't want to lose market share to IE7:

  • Persistant memory leakage - ever notice Firefox taking up 700,000K. WTF is that?

  • Opening a PDF - it really should not be that hard.
  • Rendering large tables - some pages that take about 2 seconds to load in IE take about 30 seconds to a minute to load in Firefox.
  • You need a plug in to save your browser session. Why is this not a default option?
  • Session saver = session crasher - I have heard others mention that they have seen at best limited reliability with Firefox 1.5 and session saver.
  • Some of the Firefox hang ups have required a reboot. Is that really necessary?

    I realize that they are working with limited resources, but last year I thought Google gave them 10s of millions of dollars? This article still seems relevant? What is the deal?

  • Comments


    Mine doesn't crash but then again I don't install a bunch of plug-ins as that tends to get you into trouble with any browser.

    However, the memory leakage is a serious problem as leaving a browser open for a week at a time requires a reboot when the machine runs out of memory and starts going real slooooow.

    i still see it as far

    i still see it as far superior to IE, so i happily tolerate its flaws. the web developer extension takes it to a whole new level for me.

    Give the Opera browser a try

    Why don't you give the Opera browser a try?

    I have none of the problems you're experiencing.

    Opera is great, but has similar issues

    While I swear by Opera, and can't even consider Firefox next to it, it does have some memory and crashing issues you can't ignore. I've only had a memory leek on one website (top500.feedster.com, oddly), but the browser does crash or just close spontaneously, on average, every two hours of usage.

    Still, on features, no browser beats Opera, and it probably is the most stable, although consistently unstable.

    Still never seen the big deal behind Firefox

    Still never seen the big deal behind Firefox. I use the new AOL Explorer. Has quite a few features that Firefox has, but had them about 2/3 months earlier (d+d tabs, thumbs etc)... Works well enough for me, never had a problem with it!

    Interesting, Aaron. I have

    Interesting, Aaron. I have none of those issues with Firefox for the Mac. It runs smooth as ice...no crashes here at all.

    PDF's open great with Preview (Mac's PDF opener)

    I never had a problem with

    I never had a problem with Firefox either Aaron.
    I think you might need to reboot and FDISK

    I used to have similar

    I used to have similar problems when I upgraded to 1.5. An uninstall/clean install seems to have fixed almost all of them.

    Again on Linux I never have

    Again on Linux I never have a problem with Firefox. It does have an annoying habit of hanging the UI whenever our nameservers go down, but that's not FF's fault.

    The only issues I have with FF are when I visit a Flash site on my Ubuntu running in VMware at home. But that's to be expected.

    I think people's mileage with firefox is largely dependant on the amount of extensions they install. Fair game, really.

    And as for Opera - been there, done that, came home again. That and it uses the KDE library for Linux - what's up with that? GNOME has a clear majority.

    The problems are real

    I growl at Firefox for exactly the same reasons Aaron. Its a love/hate relationship with me.

    Plugins die

    After upgrading to v1.5 all but one of my plugins died. I also noticed the memory leaks.

    What I really don't like is the auto-update feature. Can that be turned off? I really don't want to finally have my plugins working again and then have it all wiped out with an update I don't want.


    Go to Tools > Options > Advanced >Update and untick the checkboxes.

    BTW, is everyone talking about 1.5 or the new one --

    My only real problem is with getting updates: I get errors when I try from the extensions dialog, and I can't get to the Extensions page in FF. I get "The connection to addons.mozilla.org was interrupted while the page was loading."

    I have to open the page in IE, believe it or not. I've had the problem since 1.0, and I can't figure it out.

    Thanks qwerty


    Hey, Even happens to Matt


    See second item

    Argh! Firefox 1.5 is making talk like a pirate: it crashes and I go ARGH! I installed Firefox 1.5 on a less important machine over the weekend, and the browser has been crashing regularly. It could be one of the extensions crashing (SessionSaver?) instead of the core browser, but the net effect is still that Talk Like a Pirate Day arrives early and several times a day.

    ARGH! Is Firefox 1.5 stable for you?

    142 comments, some actually helpful.

    Adblock is also a culprit

    You can find some more solutions to Firefox 1.5 memory leak issues here.


    Should help.


    I wish I still had a copy of the last version of FF, it was a lot more stable

    Just a "me too" that

    Just a "me too" that extensions that won't work after upgrading sucks.

    It's probably okay as that way they don't break the browser, but it still sucks, and I miss good extensions everytime i upgrade.

    Get old versions here

    It looks like you can get older versions of FireFox from here:

    I don't have any problems with any FireFox version I've used, but then, I don't use very many plugins...I do think the plugins are the main cause of reported issues.

    I suspect if you use "out with the old, in with the new" you'll have the best results...in other words, uninstall first.

    Mac Problems

    I've had problems with FF on the Mac. I've lost all my bookmarks twice and the rest I think is attributable to extensions behaving badly especially after a FF update.

    Although I like the way FF renders a page and it's speed, I get tired of the Russian Roulette game with every update and ever extension update waiting to see if FF will become unstable or what extensions will work and what won't.

    Right now FF just crashes on start up and I'm going to have to do a whole new install.

    The problems where enough to get me to re-try both Camino and Safari and try OmniWeb's 30 free trial. Omniweb isn't the fastest but it had enough native features I liked that I ended up buying it so I don't have to rely on third party add-ons to do things like add other search engines to it. First time in 10 years I ever paid for a browser.

    Fresh install, new profile

    Almost all Firefox problems related to stability are because of over-installs for upgrades and/or an old profile that contains legacy elements from previous Firefox versions. If you've used several past versions of Firefox and have never created a new profile, it's no wonder you're having problems. Try a new profile and see what happens. It's really not much trouble; ten or twenty minutes is a generous amount of time to create a new profile, migrate bookmarks, reinstall extensions and adjust preferences.

    The rumors are that the over-install problems are about to end, and the profile problems are getting less and less. But I know many people who have over-installed several times AND never created a new profile ever since the Fx 0.8 days. That's a recipe for disaster. Fortunately, things are getting much better and I suspect these types of problems will not exist in the near future of Firefox.

    Maybe I should add all this to my paste-book, I find myself saying it so often... ;)

    Also, I'm sure you've heard this before, but the reason some of the features all of us like aren't included in the core is because they've been labelled as "bloat." I, for one, prefer an extension system to a browser that contains every feature anyone could possibly want. Obviously there's a fine balance between usefulness and bloat, but personally I think the Firefox developers have overdone the "no bloat" angle just a bit.

    explaining the popularity of internet explorer

    In summary, these problems explain the popularity of Internet Explorer. Most users can barely figure out how to start a browser, never mind fixing the endless problems in a piece of open source software.

    The amount of slack that Firefox advocates cut Mozilla never ceases to amaze me.

    For example:

    It does have an annoying habit of hanging the UI whenever our nameservers go down, but that's not FF's fault.

    Well, yes it is. It should recognise that the nameservers are not available and deal with it.

    However, the memory leakage is a serious problem

    No kidding. Memory leaks are absolutely unacceptable in released software.

    The last great version of Netscape was 4.72. Sadly, it lacks the spam filters of Netscape 7.2. That is the *only* reason I have it installed. Even so, copy/paste in the mail client only works *sometimes*, whereas it worked perfectly in 4.xx versions.

    Still, pretty good for a 1.5 release

    Or have you never tried early versions of IE? ;)

    early versions of ie

    Sure. And as I pointed out, I stuck with NS 4.78 for a long, long time.

    But, saying this is a 1.5 release is misleading.

    I consider all Mozilla browser products to be descended from the original Netscape 4.xx series. Therefore, they should be somewhere in the 8.xx release now. Certainly, in the CVS and release history faq's this is so.

    Now, look at the bug reports over time and see how many times the *same* features got broken in regression time after time.

    WTF? A new point release should *never* break previously working code. What does that say about the testing practices of module contributors?

    There is a lack of discipline in all those monkeys pounding out code.

    I haven't checked the developer mailing list recently, but I would suspect that the timing of the release has a relationship to the release of the IE 7.0 beta. This is not a really good reason to be releasing software with memory leaks.

    At least MS has the courtesy to label it a beta.

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