image The Problem

I use a lot of extensions. A LOT. They slow down my Firefox while giving something useful in return. Most of them are harmless and do not affect the speed too much but there are select few that are just CPU, memory, and performance hogs.

Until Firefox gets an extension manager that can show what the impact from each extension on time/CPU/memory is, one can resort to guessing, disabling, testing, and looking for clues to find these conniving little bastards.

Anyway, so where was I? Recently, my Firefox became increasingly unresponsive, especially when switching tabs. After some time, it was a pain to switch tabs altogether, so I had to resort to restarting the browser, only to find the same problem coming back again and again. Today, I finally got a clue – a bunch of such messages came on mentioning this unresponsive sript and prompting me to stop it:


Firecookie (0.8 at the time of this writing). Arrr!

Quickly, I googled the problem and sure enough – other people are suffering from the same problem.

Firecookie adds support for managing cookies directly from within Firebug and is quite handy. However, not handy enough to kill my browser on a daily basis, even with cookie handling turned off within Firebug itself.

The Result

I am pleased to report that after uninstalling Firecookie, my Firefox is noticeably faster switching tabs, does not hang, and does not use as much CPU. I do not know what the developer of Firecookie is going to do about it as he does not seem to be able to reproduce the issue. Until then, goodbye frustration and hello… whatever other extensions handle cookies.

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Artem Russakovskii is a San Francisco programmer, blogger, and future millionaire (that last part is in the works). Follow Artem on Twitter (@ArtemR) or subscribe to the RSS feed.

In the meantime, if you found this article useful, feel free to buy me a cup of coffee below.

  • John Pelts

    Thanks for the tip, Firefox was running pretty slow for me and I didn't know it was right after installing firebug that is started. I disables to test and yes it is now running much smoother.

  • Tony

    I am having problems with both of my browsers under Windows XP Pro SP3. I have never had this problem before this is the first time it happened & its been happening since I did my last format. Basically I click on IE or FireFox & it literally takes about 10-20mins to open that browser. I have uninstalled IE thinking it was corrupted & have not yet been able to reinstall it because it says its already installed so go figure on that one because I uninstalled it on Add/Remove. Did the same with FireFox but it reinstalled just fine but still have the same problems & its eating up my memory & cpu resources bad. I am running an AMD Quad Core 9550 CPU about 1 month old, and A740G M2+ Biostar motherboard with 4GBs of memory DDR2 800 2GBx 2 which I had never had a problem with till now. Not sure what the problem is but I am really getting over it fast…

  • Artem Russakovskii

    For Firefox, when you uninstall, it most likely just deletes the Firefox binaries but your profile settings stay on your computer. There may be something in those settings that is slowing down startup (though that's extremely weird).

    Try uninstalling, then going to c:\Documents and Settings\YOURUSER\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\ and deleting everything there. That should clear your profiles and force Firefox to create a brand new one.

  • Ray

    Disabling Firecookie fixed my problem!


  • eltranced

    instead of deleting a profile and losing your settings you can create a new one in profilemanager … change your firefox shortcut with "-profilemanager" in target


    if youre using new cheap notebooks/netbooks with mobile cpus… firefox is going to be slow no matter what (even with palemoon version) … i've ran the same portable firefox on a pc station vs a notebook with same specs… on pc it ran like it was suppose to ….
    on notebook it ran up 100%cpu usages on tab switching and rendering .. overall felt laggy/slow

    i love firefox for 30+ plugins i use but a better alternative for underpowered computers is Opera … very fast and mostly intuitive with many usefull firefox extensions already built in…

  • MARK

    OMG. I no longer have firebug installed on my system but out of curiosity I opened about:config and typed firebug and there is was a list of firebug entries, so right clicked and reset them , thus removed them upon restart. now my system works somewhat better. I still have another problem though, When I right click a link and move my mouse to open in tab there is still a lag before the option becomes available

  • MARK

    Hi there, Is there an app to remove orphaned entries like this?