Today I came across a Digg article “I Want To Love Firefox 3.5, But It Keeps Crashing On Me“. It made me wonder how in this age of technology would a mature browser be so vulnerable to crashes. Guess what – as a matter of fact 80% of the affected users are complainers and only 20% are doers. Mozilla has a rich ecosystem of support and resources. But it’s easier to follow some simple steps to figure out what is at fault.
- “Firefox is crashing” means a lot of things to lot of people. But to narrow it down to Firefox, you really must see if you can simulate the problem in safe mode. Someone is more likely to believe that it’s Firefox at fault if it still crashes in safe mode.
- But it is possible that it was not Firefox after all which was allegedly responsible for the crash. It could be one of your addons. Most of the addons at Mozilla are tested and approved. But the vicious mix of addons brings in new angles to the story. Two perfectly stable addons could create issues when used in tandem. Additionally there’s a list of addons with known problems. Try using Firefox with these addons disabled.
- Further it could just be one of the plugins. I had Firefox crash whenever I refreshed Gmail (the entire page). After doing some searching I found it could be the “Google Talk Plugin” I disabled the “Google Talk Plugin” and additionally “Yahoo application state plugin” which I believe have no business in the list of plugins. That fixed the crash at once.
- And by all means if it really comes down to it and you find it really is Firefox that is at fault, take the following actions:
- Note the circumstances when Firefox crashes – does it happen at random or a particular site or when you execute a particular task?
- Can you reliably simulate the crash at will?
- File a bug with the relevant information at Bugzilla.
- Additionally ensure that you are using the latest stable version of Firefox.
Essentially the point I’m driving is to be more aware of what’s really happening to your browser and being able to fix it than just tweet – hey Firefox keeps crashing on me.