Firefox 2 freezes. The mistery resolved.

Even since betas of Firefox 2, I had constant unexpected freezes of the browser, at least once on 1-2 hours of normal use (usually the uptime was not longer than 10-15 minutes during heavy lifting).

That, considering excellent stability of Firefox 1.5, was very very annoying. I thought may be it release candidates or the release version itself will fix the problem, but RCs came and gone, and even the release version of the browser was as freeze-prone as early betas.

I tried to delete user profiles and create new ones, delete preferences – without any results. Then I have started to turn off extensions (I had lots of them), leaving only the ones I can't live without, and which I thought I can trust 100%. These extensions happen to be: WebDeveloper, FireBug, Google Toolbar for Firefox and Google Browser sync. But no matter what, even with this limited extensions set, freezes continues at their usual annoying level.

…until one day when I was desperately searching for a solution to the problem again, and found a post in which the poster suggested removing Google Toolbar for Firefox extension in order to get rid of crashes. "Huh? Google's toolbar?", – I though. "Isn't Google's software pretty good and polished to be a source of such a horrible problem?". But I eventually gave it a try. I removed Google Toolbar for Firefox extension from both computers I use (Intel-based iMacs, one at home and one at work) – and I could barely believe my eyes – the freezes just stopped. I'm living my 3rd day without ANY freezes at all!

Now.. I'm not sure if Google Toolbar causes these problems on any machines it is installed on, or is this problem only Mac-version specific, or may be I live right in the middle of some anomaly which causes Google Toolbar to behave in such a way, but all I can say is that :

removing Google Toolbar extension resolved Firefox 2 freezes for me

so you might also give this solution a try if you have similar problems with Firefox 2 constantly freezing on you.

38 Responses to “Firefox 2 freezes. The mistery resolved.”

  1. Will Says:

    me too. thanks.

  2. Lars Says:

    I will try that too, the frequent crashes are getting to me and I lose data.

  3. ppp Says:

    thank you. noone from google or mozilla says anyhting about it

  4. Kenn Hermann Says:

    I just downloaded FF 2 — and up popped the google toolbar page with all of the 'enhancements.' I cannot get rid of it! What can I do? I cannot even reload FF 1.5 since the same page pops up. I am sure our problems are related somehow. Now I have to use IE, which I do not like. I want my FF!


  5. Nathan Says:

    This is crazy. It sure does fix the problem. I cannot believe there is nothing more published on this around the web. I was about to toss my Mac out the window. To remove this go to Tools Addons and then click uninstall for google toolbar.

  6. mike Says:

    I agree. The current situation is completely inexcusable. I wonder is there's any place we can report this problem… I tried to write to Google's Mac group without any success and response from Google's Mac guys. Oh well..

  7. stewart Says:

    My FF2 freezes regularly too but I don't have Google Toolbar installed. I wonder if it's one my other extensions:
    Adblock Plus
    AI Roboform Toolbar
    CCK Wizard
    DOM Inspector
    IE Tab
    Image Zoom
    Tab Mix Plus

    I reckon I'll try disabling them one at a time to see if that fixes it.

  8. ejc Says:

    This worked for me too!

    I have FF 2 on the mac it would freeze after about 30 min. of browsing. Once I removed the Google Toolbar everything is working normally.

    Woohoo! Thanks!

  9. BloodGain Says:

    Kenn: Go to Tools->Add-ons (or Extensions) and find the Google toolbar. Click the Uninstall button. Not sure what to tell you if that doesn't solve the problem, except to COMPLETELY remove Firefox, delete all related folders (search for them, remove them) and them reinstall. You can back up your profile if you have to, and your Bookmarks can be exported from the Firefox->Profiles folder.

    stewart: You might be better off to turn off ALL of your extensions, and turn them back on one at a time. Then remove any that cause FF to lock up. It could be more than one, and that way you'll find them all.

  10. Wardster Says:

    I thought sites spewing data-mining cookies, like MacWorld can be seen doing at the bottom of firefox, might have caused the crashes; so I installed AdBlock Plus and thought the hangups were less. But they did continue; so I Googled, found this blog, & subsequently uninstalled the Google Search bar. The only time I've seen FF2 crash since is with just trying to run ChatZilla on FF2; needless to say Chatzilla is no-longer on this computer.

    The only extensions left in FF2 here are Adblock Plus, Dom Inspector and Talkback; pretty reluctant to try any other extensions on this FF that seems to be alot less stable than its predecessor on a Mac.

  11. Del Says:

    I see a similar problem with FF2 under Linux (never saw it with FF1.5). It goes like this:
    - Surfing about, lots of tabs open in one or two windows (8-20 tabs)
    - Time passes.
    - I click on a tab other than the one I'm in, and nothing. Now I can click on "reload" and that works, and I can type a new URI into the address bar, and that takes me to a new page. Clicking on "File" or "Edit", etc., in the menu bar sometimes works fine, but sometimes is VERY laggy.
    - Eventually, the click(s) I made on some other tab(s) seem to start playing automatically. This includes any clicks on the [X] to delete the tab.
    - Normal browsing continues – sometimes for a long time, sometimes for just a while. I usually restart FF before I get here, though.

    So it would seem some extension is not playing well with tabs. I don't have the Google Toolbar extension loaded – never have on Linux – so it's in the clear. I do have a number of other popular extensions, though, so it will be time to play the turn-them-all-off-until-something-breaks game. Since it's not completely predictable/reproducible yet, this is painful.

  12. callum Says:

    I have possibly related problem of freezes and lock ups where if I do any thing or click any link then it freezes for 1-2 minutes before doing it. my only add-on is adblock plus, does anyone have any ideas?

  13. Michael Says:

    I am going to have to try this. I have been looking for a fix to this for a while I thought it was my Dell. I was getting so irritated because it happens so frequently leaving me with having to power down. I know this can't be good for my machine.

  14. Jimi Says:

    I think the Google toolbar is my problem too. A couple weeks back I ran into a situation where I couldn't restore a session at all with out a freeze, but at the same time I could not start a new one eiter because no pages would load. No functionality at all to use the menu drop downs. The browser was locked in all instances. So…I went the uninstall and re-install route.

    Now it has happened again. My power went out, but when I try to restore Firefox it is locked up. I only had one tab open at the time, but trying to do the restore there are 3 open. The main one trying to load is Google's tool page. It seems that Google keeps trying to tell me everyday for the last week that it has updated my Google toolbar when I open up Firefox. HAs to be the problem.

  15. Darko Says:

    This happens before also in Netscape 7.x version and Firefox 1.5.x. and now in 2.x.Problem is related to flash,java,pdf or other plugin or their versions & tabbed browsing,I think.I don't have Google toolbar,but I have the same problem.Use Open in New Window instead of Open in New Tab or their combination (it works fine & fast).

  16. Stephen Says:

    Toolbar did not solve the problem for me.
    I removed FF 2 and installed FF 1.5.7. Have had 1.5 days with no problems at all.

  17. Catscan Says:

    I don't even have any extensions and Firefox freezes alot. When I save a web page, it downloads it again even though it should be in cache. I have re-installed twice and the problem reappears. I have all the latest XP updates. FF

    Freezing becomes worse when pages have drop down menus.

  18. Abhijit Bera Says:

    Nope this isn't a Mac Specific problem it happens on Windows and Linux too. I just developed an extension and when I install it on a machine that has Google Toolbar For Firefox installed on it, I get a segmentation fault. My extension doesn't create problems with any other installed extensions. So I wonder what could be the problem? :)

  19. mike Says:

    Indeed, Firefox became pretty unstable for me lately. I have switched my default browser to Safari, and using Firefox only for development purposes. Its a shame.. there are some pretty useful plugins for Firefox, but what they worth if the browser itself is unstable as hell?… Hopefully FF3 will be more stable and will have a better extensions sandbox.

  20. gasdia73 Says:

    in my case, on ff2 winxp, disabling firebug fixed the ajax problem

  21. GLox Says:

    I've had trouble with FF2 freezing also, but I don't have Google Toolbar. I believe AI RoboForm's Toolbar is the cause for me.

  22. boo Says:

    This is lame anti-Google rant. And no, it doesn't solve the problem.

  23. mike Says:

    don't be a sheep. nobody's perfect, even Google. Buggy software is buggy software. The problem's source was narrowed to the single extension and that extension happened to be Google Toolbar for Firefox. The end.

  24. John Freeman Says:

    I'm also having problems with FF2 but I'm also having problems trying to view your home page using it: the beachball of death just keeps turning. Can view it fien using opera.

  25. mike Says:

    thanks John,

    looks like something went wrong with Google Maps script in one of my earlier posts on the same page. Kept flashing in Opera, and was DOA in Safari and Firefox.

  26. Heidi Says:

    I use Windows XP, and I don't *think* my Firefox has frozen the same way yours has, but I'll give this a try, since I have to uninstall Google's Browser Sync extension anyways (I lost the PIN, and since I don't have GBS on any other computer, I'm unable to recover it).

    The only thing in Firefox that freezes for me are the menus (File, Edit, View, etc). They're all grayed out, and I'm unable to select any of them. For example, after reading this post about Google Toolbar possibly being the culprit, I went to go to my Tools menu so I could look at the addons and uninstall Google Toolbar. I was unable to do so, because the menu option was grayed out.

    So I'll give this a try and let you know the results =)

  27. Heidi Says:

    PS : In Firefox, Firefox crashed/froze all the time.

    They are now on, and it now seldom crashes (assuming you were talking about version

    I recommend you give it another try, considering that it's been close to a year.

  28. Guy Tucker Says:

    Thank You!

    This just saved my computer, and all my office furniture's lives. Google toolbar was the last add on I expected to be the culprit of this freezing/slowness, i was beginning to think about looking for a new browser, and i've even been using IE!

    Web Developer, Fasterfox and Firebug all work flawlessly now, and I had gotten used to not having them incase they we're contributing to the problem!

    Using Firefox

  29. Tristan Gordon Says:

    I've been having this problem although with a PC, have followed your idea and removed all plugins apart from a dictionary. Seems to have done the trick.

  30. Triny Says:

    Yes, that's true. I've spent hours trying to figure this out. The iGoogle page was frozen with the toolbar on.


  31. John Freeman Says:

    After a few months of Firefox behaving it seems the latest version (Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; U; PPC Mac OS X Mach-O; en-US; rv: Gecko/20071127 Firefox/ has reintroduced the "freeze". Sigh… and no Google toolbar to blame. Same problems with work mate who has no extensions at all, so I don't think add ons are always the issue

  32. Bojan Milenkoski Says:

    I had theese freezes everytime I open a page in a new tab or page loading in background. Searched for solutions for 2 months. Installed and uninstalled extensions nothing worked. Finally I got to uninstall plugins.

    Reinstalled The Flash plugin and no more freezes now.

    Check for uninstalling plugins.

    Hope this helps.

  33. Rudy Says:

    My computer was freezing in internet explorer. I removed google toolbar and worked great. no more freezes.

  34. dai Says:

    For my case Coriolis preview and yahoo tool bars were devils.

  35. MeToo Says:

    My Win2kSP2 machine was freezing in Explorer with Event ID 10010 (a DCOM issue). Followed the instructions at this page: and found it was Google Toolbar that was the issue. Removed Google Toolbar and all is well again.

  36. Ralf Says:

    I'm going to try uninstalling Flash 9 and downgrade to Flash 8. Has anyone else tried that? I read about some problem with the Flash 9 plugin leading to freeze-up. Note, I don't have the Google toolbar and I have been having the entire system freeze-ups. The problem was reproducible with Firefox, Opera, and even Safari

  37. TOM5002 Says:

    Remove the add on avg in firefox that is the problem, took me a while to figure out

  38. Gary Says:

    The only thing I didn't think to disable/un-install. Removing Google has fixed the hangs and the sluggishness of Ff.

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