Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Help! Firefox always hangs at close, and other problems..

  1. #1


    Posts : 5
    Windows 8

    Help! Firefox always hangs at close, and other problems..


    I am hoping someone out there can help me with this pesky problem. Here are a few symptoms:

    1) Firefox always hangs (Not Responding) when I try to close it.
    2) Sometimes I am unable to kill the process from Task Manager or Process Explorer (access denied).
    3) Sometimes it leaves behind a zombie process that can't be killed. I cannot launch a new Firefox process (it launches but stays hidden). The only solution is to reboot my computer.
    4) If I leave Firefox open, after a while it becomes nonresponsive. I usually need to reboot the computer for reason 3 above.

    I have seen similar behavior from Internet Explorer and iTunes, but not all the time. I am focusing on Firefox now because the problem is very repeatable.

    I have scoured the internet looking for a solution but have come up empty. The Mozilla web site suggests I disable all add-ons, which I have done. This does not fix the problem, so it is something else. I have Norton Antivirus and have scanned my system for problems but it is clean (tried Malwarebytes too, but looks good). I have tried disabling my antivirus software (everything but the firewall) and still get the same problem. I have methodically gone through and made sure all of my drivers are up to date.

    Any help troubleshooting this problem would be greatly appreciated! As benign as this problem sounds, it means I need to frequently reboot my computer, which is becoming very old.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 2,191
    Windows 8.1


    Sounds like you have done some good preliminary troubleshooting. So, have you tried uninstalling and reinstalling Firefox because I did not see any specific mention that you did? Also, can you provide any additional details about "the zombie process" that is left behind?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 5
    Windows 8


    Thank you for the suggestion, mytwocents. Alas, I have tried uninstalling and reinstalling Firefox with no change.

    As as far as the zombie process, is there additional info can I provide that would be helpful? I am presently trying to reproduce the zombie problem, but of course my computer is (once again) uncooperative. I am still getting problem number 1, but right now I can consistently kill it in Task Manager when it says Not Responding. Speaking from memory, I know I am in trouble when I try to launch Firefox and nothing happens. That's when I go into Task Manager and see a residual Firefox process that can't be killed. That means a reboot is required.

    One other possibly related detail... If I attempt to close Firefox (so it gets hung and reports Not Responding), and then try to open Internet Explorer, IE brings up a blank white page that is unable to load any web page. At that point, if I go into Task Manager and kill the hung Firefox process, IE immediately brings up the web page that it was trying to load. Somehow, IE is getting blocked from accessing the web when Firefox gets hung. I have just reproduced that odd behavior 5 times in a row.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 2,191
    Windows 8.1


    OK, more good info from you. Are you willing to try and download a portable version of FF and see if that hangs as well? This should minimize or negate any interaction between which installed version is the default browser and it will also minimize the number of add-ons that you have installed. Sorta like killing two birds with one stone; I hope:

    Firefox Portable (Now @PortableApps.com) | Free software downloads at SourceForge.net

    Note: The exe file will not install anything. It will essentially just unzip it to a location where you can execute the portable version. Actually, that is the way I have my own set up. IE is inherently installed as the default and I use two portable versions of FF which can be launched uniquely as needed. Moreover, they work just like they were installed. You even get the update notifications as well.
    Last edited by my2cents; 07 Oct 2013 at 10:21.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 5
    Windows 8


    my2cents,

    Thanks for the suggestion. I downloaded Firefox Portable, killed my original Firefox (with Task Manager, still can't kill it on its own), and then tried launching Firefox Portable. It wouldn't launch, complaining that Firefox was already running. While Firefox did not show up in Task Manager, sure enough it was there in Process Explorer as a zombie process. Tried killing it there and got the message "Error Terminating Process: Access Denied". Oddly, I could still launch Firefox (usually it won't launch a second one when that zombie process is there). I then rebooted.

    After rebooting, I was able to launch Firefox Portable and kill it. Tried a bunch of times and it never hangs. The regular version of Firefox still hangs every time I try to close it.

    So the quest continues... I will continue to post symptoms as I experience them. If you have any other troubleshooting suggestions, I'm all ears.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 5
    Windows 8


    I think I may have figured out what the problem is...

    I updated Firefox portable. I think it started with Firefox 2.0, went through 3.0.15, 3.6.13, ... on up to version 24.0. Every time, I tried killing it and never got a hung process. Finally at 24.0, it said that my Norton add-ons were compatible. After enabling them, I finally got the same hung process when closing the browser.

    So I disabled them, and continued to get the same problem... Hm? That's funny... Even though I would disable the add-on, I finally noticed that the Norton Family add-on automatically gets re-enabled. After disabling this add-on through Norton (oddly, one must go through the web-site), now it appears I can effectively close Firefox.

    I have been fooled into thinking I've solved a problem before only to have it reappear, so I'm going to wait and see for a little bit. But I'm pretty sure that it was Norton Family that caused the problem. Which is too bad, because we use this for my eight year old daughter's account. If true, I'll need to figure out a different solution for when she wants to get on the web for research.

    Stay tuned...
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Posts : 2,191
    Windows 8.1


    Holy crap! I can't believe I sent you to a FF2.0 download link. My sincerest apologies for that! Oh boy, I'm off to a good start today! Please consider a retest if you will. Here is the link for Firefox 24.0:

    Localization | PortableApps.com - Portable software for USB, portable and cloud drives

    If you are willing, please do the following retest:

    Download FF24 from above link.
    Uninstall the installed FF version.
    Test FF24 portable.

    Also, I have discovered that Norton is having issues with FF21 and above. Apparently Mozilla is claiming that Norton is slow to release add-on compatibility updates when given adequate advanced notice. Some have found relief by disabling the Norton Toolbar but it did not work for all. Read more here:
    https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/971603

    Again, I am so sorry that I pointed you to such an outdated link. Good luck and cheers!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Posts : 5
    Windows 8


    Not a problem. Your link to FF2 portable actually helped me diagnose the problem, since Norton Family wouldn't work with that version. Once I saw the problem appear after enabling Norton Family, I knew what the problem was. (I couldn't troubleshoot this before because Norton Family would automatically re-enable itself at restart.).

    Now ow that I know the problem, I am able to see that others are having the same problem. See this link on Norton's forum from a few days ago:

    https://community.norton.com/t5/Nort...0/td-p/1024457

    Looks like they have a fix, perhaps I'll give it a shot...

    I will mark this thread as "solved".
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Posts : 2,191
    Windows 8.1


    Hi elkayem,

    Sounds like a great back door effort on your part. Glad you got it figured out and thank you for that acknowledgement.

    my2cents
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

Help! Firefox always hangs at close, and other problems..
Related Threads
well about 50% of the time when i download a file of any size, waterfox just hangs there and the same thing happens to firefox. it doesn't happen to seamonkey chrome, opera or steam, only firefox. i have tried disabling Malwarebytes, comodo firewall and peerblock but that does not seem to work....
It started a while back, but now it's getting annoying. Anytime I download from a site, like a picture or media file (music, etc.), it downloads it fully, no question, but it still says it is still downloading even when you can see the current state such as 40.7MB out of 40.7MB completed. Weirdly...
I am running Win8.1 and IE 11. When I have multiple tabs open and click the X in the upper right hand corner I get an option that asks me if I want to CLOSE ALL TABS - CLOSE CURRENT TAB. I always want to close just one tab. How can I suppress the display of the Close All Tabs - Close Current Tab...
I am not sure if the issue above is FF related or something to do with Windows 8.1? I am using FF29. Since installing this, everytime I exit, when I come back even if hours later, it says FF is already running, and I have to Task Manager kill it, any solution?
Hey Guys, when I try to open IE. a small window pops up and says IE has been stopped and will not work. What should I do to get it to start working again? Firefox works but has at the bottom right and left of the screen two vibrating windows telling me I need to update a program that is already...
I'm having a strange issue with Firefox in Windows 8. I was seeing it from the start, just with Firefox so far, before I installed the Nvidia driver or any add-ons and still after. I also installed system updates and rebooted a few times since. It variously glitches out tab colors and more. I can...
Eight Forums Android App Eight Forums IOS App Follow us on Facebook