How to Fix Slow or Freezing Firefox on Mac

George Herman
George Herman
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Despite being rated as one of the most reliable web browsers, Firefox may cause you a lot of pain if it is not running properly. Based on users’ frequent questions, we wrote a how-to guide about the most common Firefox issues on Mac. If you find any of your issues here, just follow the steps below.

Among the most common problems of Mac users is the slow or freezing Firefox. In case this happens to you, this is how to fix it:

  1. Close all inactive tabs on your monitor – check how many tabs you have opened and if they are too many, close the ones you’re not actively using. The active tabs show active processes which take up your PC’s RAM and slow down its capabilities.
  2. Clear Firefox cookies and cache – the websites you visit leave behind cached image files which can cause glitches and slowdowns, thus you should delete them. Here you can find out how to clear cookies and cache:

3. Update Firefox and macOS – updating Firefox and macOS to its latest versions is always a good point. When Firefox is active, click on Firefox in the menu and choose About Firefox. The latest update will start downloading automatically. Once it’s updated, click Restart to Update Firefox and you are done.

To upgrade macOS, launch the App Store on your Mac, go to the Updates tab and wait till you see all the new software versions available. If there are new updates for macOS, click Update and follow the restart instructions on the monitor.

4. Check what consumes hardware resources – in this case you can use Mac’s native Activity Monitor but to get all the details, you should get a pro-level app like iStat Menus, for instance (you can download it from the App Store on your device).

5. Check out the troubleshoot plugins and extensions – click the Menu button and select Add-ons. Then choose Never Activate for each plugin in the Add-ons Manager’s Plugins panel and restart Firefox. In case the problem is gone, turn the plugins back on one by one and try to recreate the error. If the problem appears again, you’ll know it was likely caused by the last plugin you re-enabled and you can remove it.

To check your extensions in Firefox, go to about:add-ons and click Extensions in the sidebar. There you can disable the extensions, and turn them back on one by one, in the way you checked the plugins. In case you want to remove the extensions, you should click the Remove button that manages them all.

6. Do not load Flash content – to prevent Firefox from loading Flash content by default, you should press the Menu button and select Add-ons, or select Tools > Add-ons from your Mac’s menu bar (Or press Command-Shift-A, or type about:add-ons into the URL bar.) Then, in the Add-ons Manager, press Plugins in the sidebar, and look for Shockwave Flash. Change the dropdown from Always Activate to Ask to Activate and all websites will display an Activate Adobe Flash button in place of Flash content. Just click this button and you will see the content.

Once you have completed all the steps listed above, your issues should disappear. In case you keep having any of them, try contacting Apple support for further assistance, as the problem might be different.

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