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6 Methods to Fix Firefox Keeps on Freezing Issue

By Wian LJ, Last updated: March 22, 2020

“I was working with Firefox browser for my research and all of a sudden, it keeps on freezing until I can no longer bear the issue and stopped for a while. Now, I’m finding ways on how to fix this annoying problem. Help!”

Mozilla Firefox has been around for a long time giving us reliable browser services. However, like most browsers, there comes a time when Firefox becomes unresponsive and keeps freezing until the user cannot do anything but to wait or close it.

There are plenty of reasons why Firefox keeps on freezing. Maybe it has used up a lot of your computer resources, or an unresponsive script, and hanging and crashing due to other reasons.

Whatever reason you experience on your browser, one thing is for sure, this article will guide you through 5 different methods on how to resolve Firefox keeps freezing problem. Find out which solution best fits your needs!

Part 1. 6 Methods to Fix Firefox that Keeps on Freezing IssuePart 2. What to Do when Firefox Hangs When Playing VideosPart 3. Bonus Solution- Reinstall Mozilla FirefoxPart 4. Summary

Part 1. 6 Methods to Fix Firefox that Keeps on Freezing Issue

We don’t know yet what happened to your Firefox browser why it’s been freezing or crashing. We are yet to find out the root causes and the possible solution you can do.

Check out these 6 different methods:

Solution 1. Restart Firefox

If you left the Firefox browser open for a long time, it may have been idled and it takes a while before it will respond. When it does not respond at all, try restarting the browser.

When your work demands that you need to open the browser for a longer time and with multiple tabs opened, then you can configure the session restore to avoid freezing in the future.

Here’s how:

  1. Go to Options from the Menu button
  2. Choose General and then select Restore Previous Session under Startup
  3. Exit the about:preferencespage
  4. All changes are saved automatically

Restart Firefox

Solution 2. Update Firefox

Another possible freezing cause is an outdated Firefox version. You must set the update automatically so you don’t have to experience any inconveniences while working with this browser.

Follow this guide on how to update your Firefox:

  1. Click menu and go to Help
  2. Choose About Firefox and wait for the Mozilla Firefox pop-up window to appear. It will automatically scan and check for the latest updates. If there is an update available, it will be downloaded automatically
  3. Click Restart to update Firefox to apply the new version

Note: Only download the latest Mozilla Firefox update from its official website to avoid phishing and malware infections.

Solution 3. Create New Places Database

There is another scenario when Firefox freezes on random times only and not on specific actions. This could be caused by a corrupted place database.

‘Places’ actually saves information on your browsers such as bookmarks, favorite icons, input history, and browsing history.

Note: If you create a new ‘places’ database, this will remove or delete all the current browsing history and bookmarks.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Open the Applications Basics from your Profile folder. You can find your profile folder by clicking the menu and then Help and finally Troubleshooting Information. When a new tab opens, find Applications Basics and then click Open Folder. This will be your Profile folder
  2. Next, click the menu and select Exit. Wait until the browser completely closes
  3. Inside the Profile Folder, find and rename sqlite to places.sqlite.old and also rename places.sqlite-journal to places.sqlite-journal.old by right-clicking on the given file and select rename from the options.
  4. Once done renaming, re-launch the Firefox browser

When you re-open the Firefox browser, it will automatically create a new ‘places’ database where the current browsing history is deleted but the browser will import the bookmarks from recent backups if there are available.

Solution 4. Disable Hardware Acceleration

Some graphics drivers and graphics cards may cause the Firefox browser to freeze often especially when using hardware acceleration. Hardware acceleration forces some computer functions to run efficiently compared to using software on a general-purpose CPU.

By using the hardware acceleration mode, it actually decreases latencies but there are rare situations when it causes some issues like your Firefox keeps on freezing.

Follow this guide on how to disable the hardware acceleration on your computer:

  1. Open Options from the Firefox menu and go to General
  2. Un-mark the boxes beside Use Recommended performance settings and Use hardware acceleration when available. You can find them under Performance
  3. Click Exit and wait for the browser to completely quit
  4. Restart Mozilla Firefox

Observe if the freezing is still happening. Another option you can do is to update the graphics drivers to avoid freezing. You can install and update graphics drivers from the manufacturer’s website or you can use generic drivers.
Disable Hardware Acceleration

Solution 5. Disable Faulty Extensions

Mozilla Firefox usually freezes even when you are about to exit the program. You will notice that there is no more browsers opened yet you can see it on the running programs. It will cause further issues when you open Firefox browser again and will give you more error messages.

Your extensions can cause this freezing issue and become the reason why you can no longer work smoothly. You can opt to disable all the faulty extensions to ensure that Firefox won’t freeze again.

But, how do you determine a faulty extension?

  1. Go to Add-ons from the Firefox menu and click Extensions
  2. Find all the extensions enabled on your browser and disable all of them. You can do this by clicking on the 3-dotted icon and select Disable. These extensions will be transferred to the Disable list
  3. After you have finally disabled all the extensions, exit Firefox and wait until it completely closes.
  4. Restart the browser and observe if the freezing still occurs

To check which among these extensions are faulty, try to enable the extensions one by one and observe which among them is the culprit.

Solution 6: Update your Extensions

If the extension that is causing the problem is important, you can also try to update it to the latest version. Here’s how:

  1. Again, go back to Extensions
  2. Select the gear icon and on top of Add-ons Manager and choose Check for Updates
  3. If there are available, click Install Updates
  4. Close the Firefox browser and restart normally
  5. Check if the problem has been resolved

Part 2. What to Do when Firefox Hangs When Playing Videos

There is another scenario that Firefox keeps on freezing when it actually plays videos, more particularly, flash videos. In this case, you can troubleshoot the flash player first and see it the issue is really caused by flash otherwise; you can precede troubleshooting Firefox with the methods we mentioned above.

Try these steps to fix the issue:

  1. Stop or pause flash in other tabs if you are using multiple tabs. If needed, close the tabs as well
  2. Next is to update your Flash player. You open another tab and enter about:addons on the URL bar and click Enter. Find Shockwave Flash and choose Always activate. Refresh your browser after.
  3. If it is still freezing, you need to disable hardware acceleration settings in Flash. Go to Adobe Flash Player Help page. Right-click on the flash logo and select Settings. Find and click the icon on the lower left and go to the Display panel. Uncheck the box beside Enable Hardware Acceleration. Close the window and restart Firefox. Check if the issue is resolved.
  4. When Firefox is still freezing, you can disable the graphics cards like how we mentioned the steps on the previous parts of this article.
  5. Lastly, if the problem still occurs, you need to disable Flash protected mode. You can do this by going to Add-ons from the Firefox menu. Select Plug-ins on the left menu and click Options beside Shockwave flash. Find and tick the box next to Enable Adobe Flash protected mode in order to remove the checkmark. Exit Firefox and re-open after a few seconds to see if changes have taken effect.

By doing these steps above, you can now watch your favorite videos on Firefox without any freezing, hanging or crashing problems.

Part 3. Bonus Solution- Reinstall Mozilla Firefox

If all else fails, the last option you have is to uninstall the browser and reinstall Mozilla Firefox on your computer. This will remove all the current issues you have and reinstall a brand new Firefox.

However, you might need to customize the browser again like how you did on the previous faulty version. This means, your history and other settings will be removed. But, your freezing and crashing issues are finally fixed!

Part 4. Summary

Finally, we have resolved the Firefox keeps freezing issues using the 5 different methods. Apart from that, we also gave another solution to videos hanging and crashing when played on this browser. The next time you will experience such a problem, you know now what to do and what troubleshooting method to use.

Lastly, when you have exhausted all the troubleshooting steps above, you can choose to re-install Mozilla Firefox on your computer.

You can also send this article to your friends and colleagues who might experience the same problem!

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