Huge memory leak from Firefox and Flash Player causes computer to slow to a halt

Discussion in 'Computer Help' started by l Thomas l, Nov 2, 2014.

  1. l Thomas l

    l Thomas l Senior member

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    I've had this problem with Firefox and the Flash plugin for a long time now.

    Firefox has some sort of memory leak with the Flash player, where the Flash plugin will take up more and more memory, eventually takes up about 300-400mb of memory, and eventually my computer will slow down to the point where it takes 60 seconds to open up task manager, then another 60 seconds to end the Flash player plugin program.

    Anyone know anything about this? I can watch tons of Youtube videos in HD, and it might not happen for a few hours. But then I go to certain sites like www.thirdgen.org or www.superchevy.com, and it seems to happen after only 20 minutes of browsing.

    How can I fix this?

    Also, I can't believe Firefox never fixed the memory leak problem, where their program takes up more and more memory over time. They've had that since they came out with Firefox. I know Opera has it too, but it's not nearly as bad.
     
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  3. Burpo

    Burpo Diamond Member

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    Use Chrome..
     
  4. Hugh Jass

    Hugh Jass Golden Member

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    Not sure what version of FF you are running but I have not seen this issue for quite sometime while using the newer versions.
     
  5. daveybrat

    daveybrat Super Moderator
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    Give us a little more information please. System specs, version of Windows you're using, and Firefox version (and any add-ons for it).
     
  6. VirtualLarry

    VirtualLarry Lifer

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    Use Waterfox (64-bit Firefox), and get more RAM in your system. 400MB is NOTHING.

    Try, going to several Newegg.com product pages, without NoScript, and plugin-container.exe (part of Waterfox that sandboxes the Flash Player plugin), uses up 2GB of RAM, in less than 5 minutes.

    You should have 8GB of RAM minimum, for using a 64-bit browser and Flash Player.
     
  7. mikeymikec

    mikeymikec Lifer

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    Flash version as well.
     
  8. sm625

    sm625 Diamond Member

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    lol 400mb is nothing. I play BMC and I can tell you it can go up past a gigabyte or perhaps more. I have learned to restart my browser at least every couple days when I have this game running. So I cant say exactly how high the memory usage can go.
     
  9. mikeymikec

    mikeymikec Lifer

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    Yup, 400MB for Pale Moon on my machine (Win7 64, 4GB RAM) is pretty typical.
     
  10. VirtualLarry

    VirtualLarry Lifer

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    It's time to upgrade the PC from 256MB of RAM and XP. Sorry to say.
     
  11. jez006

    jez006 Member

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    Funnily enough a friend of mine recently said he switched from firefox to chrome because firefox uses too much memory.

    I sent this screenshot to him last night...but then I did have 35 tabs open whilst looking at computer parts!

    [​IMG]
     
  12. imagoon

    imagoon Diamond Member

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    Oh yay another "Firefox uses a lot of memory" thread. Yet people avoid listing the plug-ins they run.

    First firefox uses memory to cache things and releases it as there is memory pressure (like the system cache.) Second, the majority of these issues are caused by the plug ins. I have a copy of Firefox running on my desktop typically runs from the day the computer boots to patch day a month or 2 later. Firefox process having 300+ hours of cpu time typically at the end and it rarely comes close to that much RAM. When it does I normally am up to 200+ tabs that I never closed due to laziness.

    Chrome typically uses even more memory since each tab is a thread with all the overhead contained inside that.
     
  13. Ketchup

    Ketchup Elite Member

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    Yeah, the next time someone brags about Chrome using less memory/being more efficient, tell them to add up ALL their Chrome tasks and get back to you.

    Which is not to say I have anything against Chrome. I have tried it several times and always end up going back to Firefox. It's all about personal preference.

    But yes to the OP, several tabs, especially those running plugins and containers, will eat away at RAM. If you have less than 4 GB of RAM, it may be time for an upgrade.
     
  14. Fardringle

    Fardringle Diamond Member

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    On a "light" day with around 5-8 tabs open, Firefox will use well over 1.5 GB of RAM on my Windows 7 system with 8 GB of RAM, and the ONLY active plug-in I have installed is AdBlock Plus. Java and Flash are installed but disabled except for the rare case when I need to activate them for a specific web site. The problem is that Firefox will continue to reserve more RAM the longer it is open - I have seen it over 3 GB once in a while - and it does not ever release any of that memory even if all tabs are closed. The only way to get it to behave (temporarily) is to completely kill the Firefox process in the Task Manager and then re-open Firefox.

    I still use Firefox as my primary browser because I prefer the layout and the way it handles some web pages better than IE and Chrome, but it's definitely an annoying bug.
     
  15. denis280

    denis280 Diamond Member

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    Using Firefox since the begining.200 BC.never never got problem with it.
     
  16. l Thomas l

    l Thomas l Senior member

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    Sorry about leaving out the obvious.. I was planning to mention it but forgot to.

    Here it is:
    Computer specs: Vista Business 32-Bit, Intel Quad Core Q8200 2.33 Ghz , 2GB RAM
    Plugins: I have some plugins that were installed by other applications like DivX, iTunes, NVIDIA, but they're all set to "Ask to Activate". I never even knew these plugins were installed. I've never been asked to active any of them. So I never use them.

    That actually gave me an idea though. I could set Flash to Ask to Activate and it should get rid of the problem. I only ever use Flash for Youtube anyway.

    Flash is currently set to Always Activate. I'm not sure how it got that way, it used to be Ask to Activate.

    I update Firefox and Flash every once in a while hoping the problem will go away. Currently I have Firefox 32.0.3, and Flash 15.0.0.189.

    I have no Extensions installed at all. I don't use my computer for anything intensive anymore, so I'm not going to update my processor, RAM, or graphics card.

    Yeah, it's been like that since Firefox came out. I have been using it since it came out, besides a few years I switched to Opera.

    I agree. Except I hate how they made the menus small. But all the browsers do that now. Is there any way to get the old school words at the top of the browser?
     
  17. Red Squirrel

    Red Squirrel Lifer

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    Sadly FF has always been bad for memory consumption and I find it's gotten worse over the years.

    Just have to close it often to release the memory. Part of the issue is it seems it's web page dependent, so bad web pages will cause it to leak memory and Firefox wont release memory for that particular page even when the tab is closed.

    This is typical when closing firefox after spending lot of time on Youtube:

    [​IMG]
     
  18. mikeymikec

    mikeymikec Lifer

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    @ Thomas

    I think if you uninstall the nvidia 3D Vision software, it'll get rid of that nvidia plug-in. Disable any plug-ins you don't need (do you actually use the divx software still? I haven't installed that in years), and/or remove any software you don't need that's listed as a plug-in there.
     
  19. VirtualLarry

    VirtualLarry Lifer

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    See, that's a very lop-sided system config. With a quad-core, you should have 2GB of RAM per core. You very desperately need more RAM for that box. Even adding 2GB should help with things. You're choking your quad-core, it can't get its legs to run.
     
  20. mikeymikec

    mikeymikec Lifer

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    I'm not sure where you've got the idea of 2GB per core; there are plenty of tasks that benefit from a decent processor but don't require oodles of other resources. It's like thinking that everyone running a Core i7 must have a graphics card that costs as much as the processor.

    @ OP - if you download sysinternals' Process Explorer, can you tell us what the physical memory usage is when the machine is idle as well as when you're having problems browsing please?
     
  21. Ketchup

    Ketchup Elite Member

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    Possibly, but modern browsers with modern add-ons and plug-ins would not fit into that category.

    the OP is running Youtube videos on Vista computer with 2 GB of RAM. It is going to choke. The only way around it would be to add more RAM and /or get an SSD. Or just buy a new machine.
     
  22. mikeymikec

    mikeymikec Lifer

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    I can try this on my parents' machine which is at a greater disadvantage to the OP's as it is running Vista 64-bit, but I'm pretty sure that it will handy a long-term YT clip playback.
     
  23. Red Squirrel

    Red Squirrel Lifer

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    Yikes, Vista and only 2GB of ram? You need way more ram on that box. I would at least bump it to 8. While troubleshooting a system issue I was running with 4GB and 7 once and depending on what I was doing I'd start to get low memory warnings. Windows alone uses 1-2GB then add typical background apps like antivirus and such then active apps and it adds up quick. Can't imagine only having 2GB, and Vista on top of it. If you can't upgrade I'd even consider putting XP(if you need windows for certain programs) or Linux on that system.
     
  24. mikeymikec

    mikeymikec Lifer

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    Vista's memory requirements differ from the 32-bit version to the 64-bit version as do newer versions of Windows. The 32-bit version will settle at under 1GB usage (probably about 700MB on average, even including some basic AV), and most browsers allocate a percentage of available memory usage. Unless the OP's setup is using up a lot more when idle, IMO it's easily adequate.
     
    #23 mikeymikec, Nov 4, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2014
  25. Ketchup

    Ketchup Elite Member

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    Tell that to my old laptop which tried to run Vista on 2 GB of RAM. And this was back when Flash, Internet Browsers, and PDF Readers were much less bloated than they are today. The machine had a pretty high-end-for-the-time core 2 duo, but CPU was not what that slow laptop needed - it was RAM!
     
  26. VirtualLarry

    VirtualLarry Lifer

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    notsureifseriouscat.gif

    Don't forget, Vista mirrors all video RAM in system RAM as well. This behavior was changed in SP2, as I understand it, to not require that any more (like Win7).

    If the OP isn't on SP2, then 2GB is wholly inadequate. Either upgrade the RAM, or downgrade the OS, to XP or better, Linux.