Firefox is a PIG on memory

'Forum Post ulist at
Tue Oct 25 08:11:46 UTC 2005

> Memory Leak
> From MozillaZine Knowledge Base
> Description of error
> For some users, Firefox routinely generates a memory leak error. The
> error occurs with all versions of Firefox up to and including 1.5 Beta
> 1, although in recent versions it is likely that any problem is due to
> a theme or extension. The error arises after Firefox has been used for
> prolonged periods of time, or extensive use with heavy downloads of
> images or other files using cache, or extensive use with multiple tabs.
> When it occurs, the memory leak is visible in [Ctrl+Alt+Del] "Task
> Manager -> Processes" , where memory usage will be seen to increase
> dramatically even though Firefox use itself is dormant or static.
> Clearing the Firefox cache does not reduce memory usage. Usually, the
> dramatic memory use increase will continue unabated. Increasing memory
> size, or closing tabs, does not alleviate the error. Exiting Firefox in
> a normal way will usually be ineffective as, by this stage, Firefox will
> have hung, or will shortly hang, in this error state.
> Prevention and troubleshooting
> Although early versions of Firefox had some large memory leaks, most
> problems have been fixed in recent versions. Most problems are now
> caused by poorly written themes or extensions. Users should first
> update to the most recent version and make sure all extensions are
> properly updated. If the problem persists, the extensions can be
> disabled in safe mode for troubleshooting. Occasionally a new profile
> may be necessary. Follow the steps in the Standard diagnostic. 
> Functional work-around
> First, download the Firefox SessionSaver extension when Firefox is
> functioning normally. When the memory leak error occurs, go to
> [Ctrl+Alt+Del] "Task Manager -> Processes" and identify the
> "firefox.exe" process. Terminate the process, ignoring the warning
> message. Wait for the process termination to execute
> fully—usually in 5 - 10 seconds. Re-load Firefox. The Session
> Saver will bring back all the Firefox tabs from the terminated session.
> The memory leak error will have been terminated. If it re-occurs, repeat
> the work-around. 

> SessionSaver restores your browser -exactly- as you left it, every
> startup, every time. Not even a crash will phase it. Windows, tabs,
> even things you were typing -- they're all saved. Use the menu to add +
> remove sessions; right, shift, or middle-clicking will delete. "Simple
> mode" for peace of mind, or "Expert mode" for advanced flexibility.
> Just Click. Install. Rad.


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