Troubleshoot and Diagnose Firefox Problems

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Most problems with Firefox can be fixed by following the troubleshooting methods described below. Try these steps in order. If one doesn't work, move on to the next one.

*Check this list of the latest Firefox issues to see if the problem you are seeing has a solution.

1. Sometimes problems can be fixed by simply restarting your computer and then starting Firefox again.

2. Many problems with loading web pages can be resolved by clearing Firefox's cookies and cache:

  • At the top of the Firefox window, click on the Firefox button, go over to the History menu and select Clear Recent History.

3. Safe Mode is a troubleshooting mode that disables all extensions, uses the default theme, turns off hardware acceleration, and uses default toolbar settings and controls, among other things. To start Firefox in Safe Mode:

At the top of the Firefox window, click the Firefox button, go over to the Help menu and select Restart with Add-ons Disabled.... Firefox will start up with the Firefox Safe Mode dialog.

  • In the Firefox Safe Mode dialog, click Start in Safe Mode.
  • Check whether your problem is still happening while in Safe Mode.
  • If the problem still happens in Safe Mode, go on to step 4.

If the problem does not happen in Safe Mode, see the Troubleshoot extensions, themes and hardware acceleration issues to solve common Firefox problems article and follow the instructions under The problem does not occur in Safe Mode to narrow down the cause.

4. Sometimes plugins for Firefox (such as Adobe Reader, Flash, Java, QuickTime, RealPlayer, and Windows Media Player) can cause problems that may be fixed in the latest version. To check to see if you have the latest versions of all your plugins, go to our Plugin Check page If any of your plugins are out of date, click Update and follow the instructions for updating that plugin. After you've updated all of your plugins, restart Firefox: At the top of the Firefox window, click on the Firefox button (File menu in Windows XP) and then click Exit then start Firefox again. If the problem still happens, you can disable all of your plugins to see if one of them is the cause:

At the top of the Firefox window, click on the Firefox button (Tools menu in Windows XP), and then click Add-ons. The Add-ons Manager tab will open.
In the Add-ons Manager tab, select the Plugins panel.
Click each plugin in the list and then click Disable.
Check whether your problem happens when you have all plugins disabled.

5. Reinstall Firefox - Some Firefox issues can be caused by a problem with one of the Firefox program files.

6. Reset Firefox

The Reset Firefox feature can fix many issues by restoring Firefox to its factory default state while saving your essential information.

Note: When using the reset feature, your bookmarks, browsing history, passwords, cookies and web form auto-fill information will be saved. However, your extensions and themes will be removed; open tabs, windows and tab groups will not be saved; and your preferences will be reset.

  • At the top of the Firefox window, click the Firefox button, go over to the Help sub-menu and select Troubleshooting Information.
  • Click the Reset Firefox button in the upper-right corner of the Troubleshooting Information page.
  • To continue, click Reset Firefox in the confirmation window that opens.
  • Firefox will close and be reset. When it's done, a window will list the information that was imported. Click Finish and Firefox will open.

Other solutions

If you've tried all of these troubleshooting methods and you're still having problems the issue may be with other software or hardware.

Check for conflicts with your Internet security software
Some Internet security software (including antivirus, antispyware, and firewall programs) can cause problems with Firefox including blocking it from opening websites, crashes, and more. Often you can open the program's settings, remove Firefox from its list of allowed or trusted programs and it will be re-detected and things should start working again. If your program is listed at the Configure firewalls so that Firefox can access the Internet article, you can get specific instructions for how to properly reconfigure it.

Scan your system for viruses and spyware
Periodically, you should scan your system for viruses, spyware, or other malware.

Check your hard drive and RAM for errors

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