Sponsored By Aspose - File Format APIs for .NET

Aspose are the market leader of .NET APIs for file business formats – natively work with DOCX, XLSX, PPT, PDF, MSG, MPP, images formats and many more!

FireFox – The Hungry-Hungry Hippo?

Firefox!  Please!  I love you so much, please relenquish
your iron grip on my resources, as you are rendering my computer

I like to have just one browser open, and sometimes get up to about
10 tabs open in that browser.  Its becoming more common that
Firefox (I’m using 1.0.7) locks up and I have to kill it.  This
time, I had 4 tabs open, none of which were running anything dynamic
that _should_ cause the CPU usage for the browser to remain high. 
I didn’t screen shot what the resources were like before I had to kill
it, but I can tell you it was running 100% for the longest time, using
289MB of memory and 371MB of virtual memory.  Total that up kids,
that a whopping 660MB of memory!  The high memory usage seems to
be the norm for FireFox, when used the way I use it (one instance,
mutliple tabs).

Why on earth does my browser feel the need to consume that much
memory?  I have the memory available, but still.  Here’s the
screenshot of my task manager directly after having to kill the
firefox.exe process.  You can see by the history where its just
sucking up the CPU, and its been doing this more and more often.

Has anybody else been experiencing their FireFox taking on the persona of a Hungry-Hungry Hippo(TM)?
It seems to do this randomly, not when I’m visiting a particular site
of sets of sites.  Its not picky about the sites I visit or the
number of tabs I have open, it just likes to lock-up.  Sometimes,
I just wait it out, and after about 5 minutes or so, the majority of
the time is returns back to reality and frees up my computer.  I
have yet to figure out what it could be doing and what is causing it to
behave this way.

I’m going to upgrade to 1.5 to see if it helps out.

Update: I upgraded to 1.5, and now half of my add-ons and plug-ins
don’t work anymore.  But we’ll see how it goes with the resource

Update: I now have Firefox 1.5 with 3 tabs open, Gmail, Codebetter and MSNBC. Using just over 300MB of total memory.

This entry was posted in Generalities, Most Popular. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

98 Responses to FireFox – The Hungry-Hungry Hippo?

  1. enigma says:

    I suggest people look for enigma browser and download it from http://store.democratz.org

    You can find the link just above the products and you can download it for free.

    Engima runs faster than Firefox and you can easily run 32 tabs and not slow down the machine.

  2. robert says:

    im running most updated fire fox and it only takes up 25 mb

  3. tony z says:

    I am having very similar issues. Forget about memory, yes it’s a hog, but the CPU issue is downright annoying. Everything runs slow now if FF and more than a few tabs are open. At this rate, it’s bye bye Firefox and hello Opera or IE7.

  4. ben says:

    I’m having firefox issues as well. started using the flock browser similar to firefox but isnt a memory hog. Much better then IE. :p

  5. programmer1024 says:

    I use and don’t have too many probs. Most of the problems are with certain sites such as MySpace. But I think that is just the browser trying to render all those graphics, text, video, music and all that crap that users clog my broadband with.

  6. Yash says:

    For everybody who thinks that firefox is hogging up their memory resources. Try Opera
    It does have a few shortcomings, but nothing compares to 25 tabs for 100 Mb

  7. Rob says:

    This is probably old news but the solution has been one of two things. Many extensions were causing memory leaks and those have since been fixed, mostly.

    In some cases, some have confused FFs use of cache for storing history of visited pages with high memory usage. This, too, is an adjustable element.

    In any case, I now have 10 pages open including a video from msnbc with less than 94Mb usage.

  8. Try browsing for awhile says:

    For me it has nothing to do with the number of tabs open. Each webpage I visit with firefox gets loaded into memory and never released. The only way to release it is to close all firefox sessions, which is a real pain.
    IE seems to clear the old “previously visited” pages from memory.

  9. What's the deal? says:

    I had a problem at work loading internal website on IE (no idea why) – the helpdesk solution was “oh, just try firefox.” Was great until I started having bizarre problems that I traced to the same virtual memory problem so many people are describing here. It’s horrible – can’t even leave it running overnight without problems. Terrible for productivity, and I’m shocked IBM is trying to support this. It’s garbage and I’ll be reopening my help ticket to get IE working again on internal web – hate to say it, but this shareware solution is junk if they can’t even manage memory.

  10. Jim says:

    I’ve seen many prior comments here that the problems reported must be due to problems with extensions not Firefox itself. I’ve seen these problems on systems with no extensions, including the one I’m using at this moment, where FireFox has gone berserk yet again consuming 70 to 80% of the CPU cycles.

    I would like to be able to keep my browser open with multiple tabs open for days, but with FireFox that seems hard to do. It seems that over any extended period it will eventually start consuming almost all available CPU time or gobble up hundreds of megabytes of memory. And even closing all tabs and all open FireFox windows won’t resolve the problem. I usually find that even after I’ve done that, the Windows Task Manager will show a FireFox instance under the Processes tab, which I have to kill to get the system back to a reaonably useful state.

    I do have FireFox 1.0 on several systems, but since I recently read an article, I believe it was in Information Week, stating that FireFox 1.5 has the same issues and an online search turns up many reports by others of similar problems in 1.5, I’m not going to waste time upgrading systems with FireFox 1.0 on them. I’m ready to abandon FireFox and have already started installing Opera on other systems.

    I used to feel I could recommend FireFox to clients as an alternative to Internet Explorer on Windows systems. But I don’t any longer. I think Opera is a reasonable alternative, but I can’t recommend FireFox now.

    I love Open Source alternatives, but FireFox has caused me too much aggravation. When I find it causing the same sorts of performance problems that adware/spyware causes, i.e. putting the system in a state where it is almost impossible to do anything until the offending program is killed, I feel it is time to look for an alternative.

  11. Khaotik says:

    Before I uninstalled the Flash Got Extension for FF i was running at about 130mb Usage on firefrox.exe. Now that its gone its running aroun 30mb. Be sure to check your extensions guys.

  12. Michael says:

    FYI, has not fixed the problem. I’m currently sitting on 620 physical and 680 VM with only one tab. The thing simply never releases memory, and I’m not sure if it’s the browser itself, or a combination of plug-ins and extensions. Seems likely the latter, as if it was merely the former, the’d have probably fixed it by now.

  13. Michael says:

    Yesterday evening, I found myself consuming 1100 GB in firefox with only 9 tabs open after an extended session of browsing. 1100 GB!!!

    However, I’ve upgraded to and it’s now humming along at 30-40 MB with perfect consistency. So far, I’d say they’ve finally fixed it, but we’ll see how it goes.

    With the memory finally tamed, my appointment of Firefox to best browser ever is finally official (although I haven’t seen IE7 Beta 2 yet).

  14. Dave says:

    I like to use a little application called Process Tamer to ensure that FireFox never goes berko with CPU usage. It is fairly transparent to use:


  15. Zygi says:

    People don’t use windows process explorer, its not reliable, don’t show additional dll’s loaded in memory, this should be something like this:


  16. Dasher says:

    Am I the only person to think that 100MB+ of memory for having a bunch of HTML pages open in a browser is excessive? Yet looking back over the comment people think it’s acceptible.

    Regarding extensions – having an extension loaded should mean nothing until it’s being used. And at the end of the day – isn’t it the browser that should be managing the resources of the extension?

  17. Maxthon fan says:

    Maxthon browser (IE based) with 50+ tabs :))))


  18. I have seen similar issues with Firefox – CPUI% sticking at 100%. I have definitely noticed the issue on the MSNBC websites where Flash controls are used (had to laugh when you said you have MSNBC up). It’s not all pages though. I downloaded the Flashblock Firefox extension and have not noticed the CPU% issue.

  19. intoflatlines says:

    i found that my cpu usage jumps between 3% and 100% when using firefox. it usually goes up (around 70% when scrolling up or down on a site) and can reach 100% when loading a new page.

    i’m running windows xp pro sp2 with 1.25 GB of ram. no other big applications running (closest is AIM with about 50% memory usage of firefox while sitting).

  20. Daniel K says:

    Take a look at Bugzilla bug# 261743

  21. Kari says:

    Interesting dialog.

    I don’t know enough about the possible causes to offer a solution, but I have experienced this on two different machines (both running XP). The time I find it occuring most frequently, is when I have several tabs open and one of them is attempting to open a .pdf. This is instant death, sometimes even with only one tab/window. If find that the Adobe issue also occurs with IE, so I’m inclined to think it’s Adobe, and/or “pick-your-scapegoat-extention” that could be triggering these problems. It seems to me that experimenting with your particular machine is the only way to discover a culprit. There is an extention, however, that will make FF ask whether you want to view a .pdf in a window/tab or save to view in Adobe later. This one has seemed to help a little bit. That’s my 2 cents.

  22. Thomas says:

    Really: Use Opera. I have more than 30 pages open normally, and Opera needs just 4% of my 1 GB RAM. You wouldn’t even need extensions because nearly everything you need is already on board.

  23. Haldir says:

    I had 10 tabs open in Opera when I read this, and then opened the same 10 pages in Firefox. Opera uses 17mb and Firefox 65mb.

  24. phraud says:

    I have 10 tabs open and am currently using 36MB of memory. FF works pretty fast for me. I have the odd crashes/lockups, and sometimes a webpage will make cpu spike to 100% with memory starting to be gobbled up, but those experiences are few and far between. I just loaded up another tab with some flash, and LOTs of content, and the tab is using about 3.6MB of memory.

  25. Christian Gross says:

    Wow, I am so glad somebody else has this problem as well. I have this problem on three operating systems (Windows, OSX, and Linux). And it is not Firefox dependent, but happens also happens in Mozilla. It seems to be a base browser problem.

  26. J52k2 says:

    It seems that all the extensions that I so desperately need really increase the memory usage of Firefox. I ran Firefox portable and it used way less memory than my 1.5. I can always expect 1.5 to run at about 300 Mb. Its pretty sad, but I love Firefox so I endure it.

  27. Foxy says:

    How to file memory bug leaks in Firefox:

  28. I have this same problem all the time. Not sure what exactly is the cause of this, but thousands of complaints regarding this matter, and have said that they’re working on it, and it SHOULD be fixed by the time 2.0 is released.

    My theory on this is that perhaps there’s a bug in a popular extension that most people immediately download when they install/update Firefox that’s causing this. Because, for me, certain javascripts cause Firefox to lock up for about four minutes at a time (logging into GMail is horrible for me). What makes me believe this is that Firefox usually runs perfectly smoothly when I first install it, and after a while of adding plugins and extensions, I notice horrible lock-ups. While I’ve tested all of the extensions I use on their own, to see if they cause any memory-consuming issues, I’ve yet to find the cause. Perhaps it’s a combination of extensions doing this. I’m unsure.

  29. Josh says:

    I had this behavior from Firefox several months ago. It froze randomly, and I had to kill it or just wait a few minutes. Eventually, I discovered that it happened because I had too many fonts installed on my system. I had just installed about 6500 of them, and it appeared that FF randomly decided to do something with them. Once I copied over the fonts folder from another PC, it ran fine.

    Even if it isn’t your fonts, have you installed anything else that might cause this behavior?

  30. Autist says:

    Check out this link.
    My FF shows 20 tabs open and 55MB of RAM used. :-)


  31. Myst3K says:

    My FireFox 1.5 opens using 25megs of ram, with 10 tabs, in 1 window, and 9 other seperate windows open, mine only uses 98 megs of ram. I have turned my page file off though. There has got to be something wrong with your computer.

  32. blah says:

    Your cojmputer just blow man.

    1. it’s a PC
    2. its runing windows
    3. it can’t even handle fire rfox

    I sugjest throwing it out of the window and buying a n ew one. If you where smart it would be a mac but if you like them peaces of crap go fo it

  33. Tarun says:

    If you have a hyper-threaded processor, you could try this fix. (Hyper-threading processor affinity is a problem wth FF that causes it to crash)

  34. Improfane says:

    Use Mozilla Suite/SeaMonkey.

  35. whisky says:

    My first thought was exactly as yours, the EXTENSION! then I realize that, it might be somethiing else.. like, the net bandwidth..

    I try to disable as many as possible the extensions I used to install and use (until 1.0.7), but the problems are still there.

    Then I try to use Fox Turne to “optimize” my net connection. And THAT HELPS, not much, I have to say, but at least, it works.

    So.. I really think, the problem might resiste in the network management and nothing else.

    well.. this is just a guess…

  36. Kenrich says:

    To those people who have huge memory and CPU usage, it’s probably something from your extensions?

    I have 40 tabs open split between 8 FF windows using 417MB on memory with 5-8% CPU util. and thats also with 1.0.7…… many of opened websites are picture intensive…

    (but then again, my extensions are disabled except for SessionSaver, IE View, and CustomizeGoogle)

    and in the history of my computer even with AdBlock in heavy use it never got as high as it is now… and those AdBlock guys already admitted to a memory leak as someone up above mentioned…

  37. Geneta says:

    Hi, I’m a sysadmin for a spanish company, we have a total of 100 machines with firefox been used everyday and have never experienced any issues like this (with both 1.0.7 and 1.5) either in Win 2000, Win XP, linux or Mac OS X… no memory problems whatsoever… (machines from 256MB to 1GB or RAM)…

    It seems strange, unless this is due to some interaction with drivers / pluggins / spyware…

  38. Jon says:

    Yep, I’ve noticed it quite a lot myself. I’ve also noticed that FF seems to be crashing a bit more lately, too.

  39. Digital_Warrior says:

    Pk i am rnnign FF 1.5 with the followings extinsions Stumble and talk back. 5 tabs open Digg, This one of corse, allochrt.pdf, 330 MPG car, and a kb from mozilla zine. i am only using 60 Meg and no cpu. I have had up to 23 tabs open before and have not noticed any problems with FF. Leads me to belive it is some extinsions that are hoging up the memory.

  40. Matt Ishida says:

    It’s been a problem for a long time but it seems that with each release, it gets easier and easier to by caught by the bug.

    They need to fix it before the 2.0 release if they really want to take it mainstream more so than it already is because what is a general user going to do if their system slows down considerably only when they use Firefox? They’re going to uninstall it.

  41. Shyam says:

    I also noticed the same thing,but it wasnt worse as the article but comparable at 500mb (vm+m) with about 15 tabs,another thing is high cpu usage.And i have noticed the app freezes for a moment when u save images.I hope the dev’s fix it soon.

  42. Jozer says:

    I keep my computer running for about 3 weeks on a stretch. Firefox, if left open, gobbles about 40 MB a day if used lightly, and a lot more if used heavily. Ine of the problems is that when you open a tab, then close that tab, but not the window, somehow some of the memory used by that tab does not get released. I was hoping it would be fixed in 1.5, but no luck there.

  43. kyle says:

    Yes, this happens to me all the time. I’m running 1.5 and it annoys the heck out of me, ’cause I love using FF.

    What can we do?

  44. Karl says:

    I recently switched to Firefox and I have FF 1.5. I have 10 tabs open and firefox.exe is using 87 Megs. I opened all 10 tabs pretty much a the same time. My CPU never got to 100% but then again I have duel 3.2 Ghz processors. After all pages loaded the CPU usage went back down to about 3%.

  45. DragonMasterNYC says:

    never had that problem

    and i use firefox on more than 6 PCs and a Mac

    plus my computers have less then 512Mb of space and around 1.7-1.8Ghz CPU so i should be havin da problems

  46. Jim McD says:

    AFTER upgrading to FF 1.5, it hogs the CPU relentlessly. I’m getting tired of it. Do the developer’s know about this?

  47. Patrick McNamara says:

    Lets try soomething else. Make a clean install of FF (make sure there are no extentions) open those 10 or whatever Tabs, then open the same tabs in 10 IE windows. You will see that memory usage is usualy less for FF and you don’t have to deal with 10 windows but insted 10 tabs. Once IE comes out with tabbed browsing I think this issue should be revisited.

  48. julie says:

    If any one of the viewable tabs has a quicktime movie, you’re done for.- quicktime will kill IE as well given enough time

    FF 1.5 on windows+mac give me no trouble, quicktime on windows is uninstalled because it destroys my machine!

  49. j says:

    I to run many tabs/windows of FireFox, and see this same memory usage pattern. CPU usage is not a problem so far. Version 1.5.

  50. Dan Berard says:

    I’m currently have 6 tabs open on intense web pages, lots of scripts and media. The firefox app is only using 127MB of memory. My CPU usage hovers between 4 and 7 %. I do have some antivirus software and other background apps working in the background, which brings the total up to around 350MB. I have 1GB of ram, and run a Pentium 4 3.0Ghz proc. If you are having problems with running out of memory, it’s time to upgrade to at least a gig. Remember that though you are only actively using the browser, there are many background processes that are being run that take memory. If you are trying to run with 512MB of system RAM you are going to start having problems with any browser (even the next gen IE browser.)

  51. Daniel says:

    well, I’ve had the problem as well. After maybe 6 hrs of heavy use, I close all my firefox windows but if I open my task manager and go to processes, Firefox is still running, using around 500M of memory.

    I have to end the process manually…

  52. Scott says:

    This is exactally why I switched to Opera when it became free. If you can deal without all the bells and whistles that extensions provide then Opera is the way to go.

  53. blah says:

    I’m running a PII 400 128mb win98se, Firefox 1.0.7. I regulaly use upwards of 20 tabs. The trick is to have a system monitor (cpu/ram/swap) running all the time so you know when your pushing things too hard.

  54. Foofy says:

    Here’s a screenshot of Opera with about 50 tabs open. Notice the RAM usage!


  55. oldgeek says:

    Interesting. I don’t see anything approaching this
    behavior on OpenBSD. I’d suggest upgrading to
    a quality operating system (which of course instantly
    rules out anything from Microsoft) that’s suitable
    for use in the contemporary computing environment.

    If, on the other hand, you choose to deliberately cripple
    your own activities by using Windows, then you fully
    deserve everything you get.

  56. cyclo says:

    Get the latest version of Adblock. This fixed a nasty memory leak on my machine. I used to see FF 1.5 gobbing up to 500 MB of RAM after a couple of hours of heavy surfing. Adblock even admits to the memory leak problems their extension is causing on their space at Mozilla’s Extensions page.

    After updating to the latest version of Adblock, my RAM usage seldom went beyond 100MB even after hours of surfing.

    Also these about:config settings WILL help:

    1) Disable back/forward caching:
    browser.sessionhistory.max_total_viewers 0

    2) Enable trimming Firefox memory usage when you minimize all Firefox windows:
    config.trim_on_minimize true

  57. Joe says:

    I havent had any problems with FF. Right now i have 2% CPU usage and 332 MB of memory being used. I have two tabs open…this and digg.com and i actually just dropped to 0% cpu usage. Maybe FF is not the problem?

  58. samfrimp says:

    Been that way since it came out. Seems the Mozilla folks either don’t know (this isn’t the case, I’m certain) or don’t care.

  59. ahave says:

    For all you Linux users posting this problem to be OS dependant.

    I’m on 600MB memeory use, with 2 tabs opened, and firefox 1.5 going for 2 hours now. My OS is Ubuntu linux. If I open firefox, it consumes 130MB.

    I’ve never had the problem about 100% cpu usage in Linux as far as I’m aware of. You hardly ever notice 100% cpu in Linux, since it’s better at multitasking, in my experience.

    As far as extensions beeing the problem, I’m not sure. I can’t really test the adblock thing, since it’s impossible to deactivate for long, without your eyes getting tired from all the intrusive flashy ads.

  60. Richard says:

    I’ve got 5 tabs open, Firefox, 57MB for the firefox process, CPU is 1% (and plenty of other things running on the machine right now). I never see CPU spikes, but I do occassionally see higher memory usage.

    I had problems with v1, but nothing since 1.5. Definitely has to be one of your extensions (and I get the impression you have a few, since you said they were now incompatible), all I run is the Google Toolbar.

  61. fcs says:

    I’m not seeing any problems in Linux and I don’t see problems when I use Windows XP. Of course I’m only running a few extensions. IE7 is definitely not the answer. I’ve tried it in Windows XP and Windows Vista. It’s not any better the IE 6 on resources.

  62. Sean says:

    i have about 10 tabs open. mem usage at 75MB CPU usage for firefox no more than 6%. all the while doing a virus and spyware scan, plus running servers for ftp, http, and mysql.

  63. jeffreym says:

    I’m running Firefox 1.5 with 20 tabs open and using only 170 mb total memory and 4% cpu.

    I suggest you all have problems other than Firefox.

  64. Ecktacy says:

    Hi. I was at work the other day at my tech support job, and my cowoirker and I noticed a similar problem with 1.5 seeming to have a memory leak. After playing around with it for awhile, we decided to disable most of the extensions, but the problem was still there. We were using roughly 600MB of memory as well between RAM and Virtual Memory. The extensions we left running were Ad-Block and Forecastfox since these are the ones my coworker uses most. Next we disabled these as well, and viola! Our memory usage decreased drastically after closing firefox then reopening it. It seems like one of these has the horrible memory leak in it, not FF itself.

  65. Steve says:

    With 6 tabs open (digg.com, gmail.com, etheism.org x 2, and a TXT document), firefox.exe is only on 65MB and CPU is at 6%. I use XP Pro on an IBM Thinkpad T20. Also, I use the Windows Classic Theme (I hate XP’s colors and crap), and use smaller navigation buttons.

  66. berdt says:

    I would recommend yet another browser:


    It’s the best browser known in our galaxy, it’s free as in beer.

    Check http://www.opera.com

  67. Mr Squirrel says:

    I have found that Firefox does not always relinquish memory it uses when saving pictures etc… I suspect there is some sort of memory leak in this feature…. if I save enough pictures, even with just one tab open, I will eventually have to kill Firefox.

    No way am I switching back to IE though. I have confidence in the open source paradigm and feel sure such problems will be addressed relatively quickly.

  68. Twinwing says:

    Um, most of the time it’s not firefox’s problem, blame the extensions.

  69. dusoft says:

    Well, don’t use Windows. On Linux Firefox is NOT heavy on resources. Conclusion? Windows sucks with its resource management system.

  70. marcopse says:

    I’ve had a similar problem, it was a memory leak in Adblock extension

  71. Bob says:

    well the security update comes most if not all of the memory bugs will be fixed. Supposed to be released by the end of january it hink

  72. johann says:

    The version 1.5 crash often and i have the same problem as you! I hate it!

  73. Leion says:

    I think the memory leak is by some extension you used.
    you can try running the same number of tabs in the firefox safe mode to check. i seriously think its the extension because I open always 8-9 tabs and my FF1.5 uses 150mb, though still a lot, but is half of your 300mb

  74. eliax says:

    I have the same problem described here when using many tabs.

    I suggest a solution to the firefox team: Divide the number of cached pages among all tabs.

    What this means is that if you cache up to 20 pages back into one tab, if the user opens a second tab and starts navigating to multiple pages within that tab, that you should scale back the number of cache pages from the previous tabs, so that for example we end up with 15 cached pages in the first tab and 5 in the second one. If the user goes to another page in the second tab then the first tab should scale back to 14 and the second to 6.

    There should also be a minimum number of back pages cached per page, so that if you have 50 tabs open we keep at least 3 pages back of cache information per tab. Furthermore, this should be configurable into an “advanced properties” dialog for power users to tweak to their needs.

    This should solve the memory problem. As for the CPU resources, a solution is to saved rendered tabs as an image of the first viewable page only, and when one swtiches back to the tab it should then be re-rendered on the spot. That way at most there is only *one* tab being rendered and consuming CPU power, while all others are simply cached images (which could be stored on a disk cache). A further optimization is to keep the previous, current, and next tabs always rendered, and all others as images, since it is most likely that you will visit a tab next to the one you’re viewing, and thus for these cases we’ll have these tabs be rendered as usual, so that in most situations the user will not notice anything funny, unless they click on a far-away tab, in which case the psycological impact of clicking on it and waiting maybe 250 miliseconds for the to be usuable again (i.e.: converted from image to web page) will cancel each other out and the user also won’t feel bad for waiting that little time. Another further modification is to implement this whole system *only* when the user has 6 or more tabs open (again, this should be configurable).

    – eliax

  75. JB says:

    Upgraded to 1.5 and found most of my extensions broke, couldnt uninstall exts either. Need to set up a new profile (start, run. firefox.exe -P). Copy over old bookmarks file…

    Also try to set cache to 0, seems to run faster(?), esp. page backs.

  76. Michael says:

    I am sitting here in Thailand with 5 tabs open and am using less than 80MB RAM on version 1.5 I had a problem before and removed the adblocker extension for Firefox and also ran a n older memclear.exe program. No complaints.

  77. Anon says:


    I had similar problems with Firefox. However, it turned out that it was a problem with nvidia desktop manager – when I disabled nvidia desktop manager, everything was well again.

  78. Hippo-masta says:

    If you check the Firefox forums you will see there is a HUGE memory leak issue in all the 1.5 based releases and they cant find it.

    People are reporting firefox gobbling up 1GB+ of memory after running for a few hours of casual web browsing.

    Its a shame to see the divaism that made the Mozilla project so useless start to infect Firefox as well.

  79. SuperCujo says:

    I use Avant broser, currently I have 15 tabs open with only 90 meg memory use on WinXP Pro.

    So much for OSS being better.

  80. Arie says:

    I totally agree. This is the reason I’m have not switched to FireFox from IE.

    It’a a sign of sloppy programming. How on earth can they compete with IE with this kind of CPU usage?

  81. ssn says:

    guys, you just have to use another operating system and you will be fine :)
    no really, my firefox 1.5 on gentoo consumes more ressources than other browsers (like opera or dillo) do, but not as much as your windows version seems to need

  82. Glen Runnciter says:

    In FireFox (most all versions) choose Tools, Options, Privacy, Download Manager History – and Clear it. Clear your Cache too if it’s been a while. Now watch how much better FireFox runs.

  83. L0C0loco says:

    My experience is that it is not random. Look hard and you will likely find an animated gif or, more likely, some bit of flash running. I ripped flash out by the guts and do not have this problem any more. If I need to visit a site that requires flash (for functionality not ads) I use another browser.

  84. Michiel says:

    It sounds like your upgrade didn’t work too well (seen it before), it would be best if you save your bookmarks, remove firefox and your profile, and reinstall the beast.

    It will be a good time to re-evaluate your installed extensions (do you really need/use everything?) and maybe even find some new ones you like.

    Of course, if you open 20 tabs your memory use will skyrocket; every tab’s data is loaded into memory, and compressed pics like jpegs expand when loaded (=use more memory).

    And I have on occasion seen java apps completely kill firefox. Dunno why; could be badly written, bad interfacing between firefox and java, could be a lot of things.

  85. pussy says:

    “Give it up. Move back to a decent browser. IE doens’t have this problem”

    I agree, reinstall a lower version of FF co’z i think its still better than using IE OR try using opera ;oP

  86. Peterix says:

    Try setting browser.sessionhistory.max_total_viewers to a fixed value. Like 5. This should cut your memory use in half ( depending how much memory you have ).
    See http://kb.mozillazine.org/Browser.sessionhistory.max_total_viewers for details.
    Also try running firefox in safe-mode. If it works better in safe-mode, chances are some of your extensions are causing this.
    If you use Adblock, try disabling it. If that helps, install Adblock Plus.

  87. Thomas Kern says:

    by the way, i am using opera 8.5 and at the moment i have 19 tabs open, one instance running. opera uses 99mb total memory. lovely, isnt it? give opera a try

  88. thomas kern says:

    thank you very much for showing omea reader to me. i didnt know it and tried it out. its by far the best rss reader i have used so far. thank you

  89. Jon,

    The numbers I gave, 660MB, is the memory used by the Firefox.exe process, by itself!

    I didn’t screenshot it before I killed it though. I just showed the graph to show the CPU usage which was all from Firefox.exe process as well.

    I’ll have to check my plug-ins, as a lot of them don’t work for 1.5 anymore. If I get a chance and see FF running up high again, I’ll make sure to screenshot it, resources permitting, and post it.

  90. Jon Galloway says:

    What extensions are you running? I usually have 20+ tabs open (right now I’ve got 23) and firefox.exe is using 150MB.

    Why are you listing the machine physical and virtual memory usage totals instead of the memory used by the Firefox.exe process? It’s possible you’ve got a wiggy network driver or something – what’s the process memory usage looking like?

  91. I can’t help myself.

    You know how whenever someone makes a post about IE, all you do is get bombarded with comments about how FF is (better/faster/less buggy/the solution to world peace)?


    I have to do it.

    Give it up. Move back to a decent browser. IE doens’t have this problem :)


  92. Bill Brown says:

    I’ve got Firefox 1.0.7 open with 18 tabs in one window and I’m using 187,232K and 173,632K virtual. CPU utilization is at 2%. I’ve never seen the numbers you’re posting.

  93. FF 1.5 doesn’t improve a thing, it might make it worst, I’ve been surviving with that for a while now, and just because I like the tabbed browsing, I can’t wait for other browsers to catch up, at home I use IE7, works good

  94. todd brooks says:

    James, you should try the SessionSaver extension for FF. It will save your browser exactly like you had it (tabs and scrolling included) between restarts of FF, your OS and even FF crashes.

  95. I just upgraded to 1.5. I have 2 tabs open. This one and MSNBC.Com. It is currently using 173MB of total memory (92 Mem, 81 VM). Now I just have to wait for that random 100% CPU usage to show up. I’m sure eventually the memory will get upwards of 500MB again. It never seems to go down, even when I close tabs, but is certainly keeps going up.

  96. Jeremy Collins says:

    Yep, Firefox 1.5 is using 126MB of memory on my system. Thankfully it’s got 1GB of RAM.

    That’s with 4 tabs open (although they’re quite “feature-heavy” sites, like Backpack, GMail & Bloglines).

    I also occasionally get the 100% CPU “Firefox is taking over the world!!” symptoms, but come to think of it I haven’t seen this since upgrading to FF1.5.

    Despite this I still love FF, though.

  97. I’ve had a similar problem in Firefox 1.5. Randomly when opening 10 or so tabs while browsing a page (say when opening several external references from wikipedia) firefox suddenly jumps to using 90mb memory usage and freezes. Particularly annoying when you know you can’t remember the address for said websites.

  98. Otto K says:

    Well, I’m seeing similar memory hog behavior, and I’m on FF 1.5. It was using about the same amount of memory the other day that you mentioned in your post, and trying to run Photoshop CS2 at the same time was killing my machine. It felt like all it was doing was swapping. I had to stop FF.

Leave a Reply