How to Make Firefox Work Properly on Mac

George Herman
George Herman
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Despite the fact that Firefox is considered one of the most reliable web browsers, sometimes it just does not work properly. In case this happens to you, restart your Mac, clear the cache and troubleshoot your plugins, and if none of these helps, check out the other options listed below.

  1. Restart Firefox in Safe Mode – the easiest way to do this is to quit Firefox and restart it pressing down your Mac’s Option key. The operation will temporarily turn off your extensions alongside the extra themes and toolbars, and hardware acceleration. In case you don’t have the same issue in Safe Mode, you can go through your themes, extensions, and the other things you’ve added to Firefox. If you keep having the issue in Safe Mode, you might have to remove your Firefox and install it again.
  2. Refresh Firefox – this is another way to clear out your themes and extensions and reset all the preferences to default without losing your personal data and saved passwords. This is what you should do:
  • Open Firefox, and type about:support in the URL bar, which will take you to the Troubleshooting Information page.
  • There you’ll see a plenty of information about your browser installation and a huge Refresh button at the top-right side.
  • By clicking the button that says Restart with Add-ons Disabled, you can also get to Safe Mode.

3. Make a new Firefox profile

  • Open the Terminal utility – the app is in the Utilities folder in Applications. To open it, you should open the Applications folder, then open Utilities and double-click on Terminal, or press Command – the spacebar to launch Spotlight and type “Terminal“, then double-click the search result. A small window with a white background will open on your desktop. In the title bar are your username, the word “bash” and the dimensions of the window in pixels. Various shells can run Unix commands, and on the Mac Bash is the one used by Terminal.
  • Type in /Applications/Firefox.app/Contents/MacOS/firefox-bin -P .
  • Press Enter and the Profile Manager window will open.
  • Select Create Profile > Next and enter the name for your profile.
  • Press Done.

4. Turn off hardware acceleration – if it looks like that Safe Mode has solved the issue but checking the plugins didn’t bring any result, the issue might be in the hardware acceleration, which is off by default in Safe Mode. This is how you can turn it off in the regular mode:

  • Open Firefox > Preferences.
  • Scroll down to the Performance section in the General panel and uncheck the box named “Use recommended performance settings“.
  • Uncheck the other box named “Use hardware acceleration when available“.
  • Quit and restart Firefox and you are done.

Once you have completed all the steps listed above, your Firefox browser should work properly. If you keep having any issues, try contacting Apple support for further assistance, as the problem might be different.

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