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Top 6 Ways to Fix Firefox Not Responding on Windows and Mac

by Parth Shah
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Firefox is my go-to recommendation for anyone looking for a solid browsing experience across all devices. The software is available cross-platform, has a rich extension and theme support, and add-ons like Firefox Monitor and Firefox Lockwise separates the product from the rivals. However, it’s not devoid of issues either. Sometimes, you might face Firefox not responding or crashing on Windows or Mac. 

Fix Firefox Not Responding on Windows and Mac

There are many factors behind this strange behavior on Firefox. Some of the possible reasons include outdated extensions, Firefox already running in the background, sketchy internet connection, and more. Let’s tackle them one by one. Most troubleshooting tricks are applicable for both Windows and Mac. I will mention the platform wherever required. 

1. Check Internet Connection

A bad internet connection messes up the browsing experience as the tab keeps trying to connect to the web address and keeps throwing errors in the end. The behavior might lead to Firefox crashing on your device. 

You need to check if your device is connected to a stable internet connection. Open the Settings app on Windows 10 (use Windows + I keyboard shortcut). Navigate to Network & Internet > Status and make sure that it says ‘You’re connected to the Internet’.

connect internet on windows

On Mac, you can tap on the little Wi-Fi button on the menu bar and go to Network Preferences. From the following menu confirm the Connected status for the internet. 

internet connected on mac

If the status does say that, you’ll also want to test the internet connection with a different browser to ensure the issue is centered only on Firefox. Open Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge and try to open a few sites.

2. Clear Cache and Cookies

A corrupted cache can ruin your day. It’s almost always safe to clear the cache, so there’s no reason not to try it.

If there is overburdened browsing data in Firefox, that may make the browser slow or stop responding entirely. Follow the steps below to clear Cache and Cookies in Firefox. 

Step 1: Open Firefox app and go to Preferences. 

Step 2: Navigate to Privacy & Security > Cookies and Site Data. 

Step 3: Select Clear Data and delete Cookies and Cache from the following menu. 

clear firefox cache

Then relaunch the Firefox browser and inspect if problems with Firefox not responding have been fixed.

3. Close Firefox Properly

Sometimes Firefox stops responding because the tabs you have closed over time never actually shut the process. These processes add up and consume a good amount of RAM. The behavior ultimately leads to Firefox crashing, freezing, or not opening at all.

Follow the steps below to close Firefox completely on Windows 10.

Step 1: Press the Windows key and open the Start menu.

Step 2: Type Task Manager and hit enter to open the program.

Step 3: Right-click on the top-level Firefox process (the one with the number next to it) and select End Task.

task manager on windows

That will close all running Firefox processes, free up RAM space, and allow you to relaunch Firefox. 

macOS uses Activity Monitor to keep track of all the services currently running on the device. Go through the steps below to completely close Firefox on Mac. 

Step 1: Use Command + Space keys and search for Activity Monitor from the Spotlight Search. 

Step 2: Select Firefox from the Activity Monitor menu and tap on the x mark above. 

activity monitor on mac

The system will ask you to Quit or Force Quit the app. Choose any option and macOS will completely close Firefox. 

4. Disable Firefox Extensions

Extensions play a vital role in the Firefox ecosystem. Using extensions, one can add more features to the basic Firefox interface and functionality. However, some might not be actively maintained, could be out of date, or develop incompatibilities with new Firefox builds.

If you have dozens of Firefox extensions installed, it can be difficult to figure out which one of them is causing the issue.

Because of that, the easiest solution is to disable all extensions and then enable only the ones you need one at a time.

Step 1: Open Firefox and go to the Add-ons menu. 

Step 2: Navigate to Extensions > Manage Your Extensions. 

disable firefox extensions

Step 3: Disable all the extensions from the list. 

5. Refresh Firefox

It can help because there are times when tweaking the wrong settings can eventually cause even more issues with Firefox, especially if you’re enabling Firefox beta build.

Follow the steps below to refresh all settings on the Firefox browser.

Step 1: Open Firefox and go to the Help menu. 

Step 2: Select Troubleshooting Information. 

Step 3: Click on the Refresh Firefox from the following menu. 

reset firefox settings

Step 4: Confirm your decision.

6. Reinstall Firefox

Reinstalling Firefox is the complete way to reset Firefox. You should remove Firefox from the Add or remove programs menu.

Once the uninstall process finishes, open the Firefox installer you downloaded. After Firefox has fully reinstalled, it should normally work again.

Wrap Up: Firefox Not Responding Error

Even though Firefox has shifted its core focus from web browser to other services, their browser offering remains the best product from the company. If you are facing Firefox not responding error on Windows or Mac, then go ahead and try the tricks above to solve the issue. 

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