Firefox memory usage continues grow.. 24gb

Discussion in 'OS X El Capitan (10.11)' started by BenTrovato, Apr 26, 2016.

  1. BenTrovato macrumors 68020

    BenTrovato

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2012
    Location:
    Canada
    #1
    I've switched back to Firefox this week after using Chrome for a while and FF is noticeably slower but I like it better. It just seems that after a few hours, it slows to a crawl and the memory usage is through the roof. It used to be between 1-1.5gb but now it's in the 20's. Anyone know why or any solutions? Really wanted to continue using FF but it seems like it's not going to work out.
     

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  2. curmudgeonette macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2016
    Location:
    California
    #2
    I'm having the same problem! (I'm running a Firefox ESR release on Snow Leopard in case that makes a difference.) I've found that I have to quit and relaunch Firefox by the time it is using 1.25 to 1.5 GB. Beyond that, it just gets slower and slower - primarily when I close a window. I once let it get up to 4GB at which point my 8GB machine started to VM page.

    The problem started in November or December. I've tried using older versions - released before I noticed a problem - but they continue to fill up memory. I thought it might be the OpenH264 add-on, but disabling it didn't make a difference.

    Various previous versions have had memory leaks, sometimes severe, but they never slowed down due to the leaks. A slow down would only happen when all of memory filled up and the machine started to have to VM page.
     
  3. BenTrovato thread starter macrumors 68020

    BenTrovato

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2012
    Location:
    Canada
    #3
    Same here. It's just that it happens so frequently now. Hopefully someone smarter than us has something to offer :)
     
  4. NoBoMac macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2014
    #4
    Could be a host of things. How many tabs are open? What sites are up? Any add-ons/extensions? How many, and do they have the potential to eat up memory? How big is your history file (eg. never have cleared it)?

    For a baseline, I use Firefox maybe twice a week (I only use it for certain sites, ditto Chrome, bulk is in Safari), so, small history, 3 extensions, no add-ons that run automatically (all are set to "Ask"). With a blank tab, Firefox starts at about 360MB of memory used, for me. Set the tab to an iHeartRadio station, and a second tab on one of my e-mail account's web interface, usage goes up to 580MB. And don't forget, that each tab will consume some additional memory that is not showing in the screen grab provided: each tab has a separate process that is eating memory (in my example, an additional 60MB and 170.7MB).

    So, that said: clear cookies, cache, history. Maybe cut down number of open tabs (especially to sites that are updating itself on a regular basis). Get rid of some extensions/add-ons.
     
  5. treekram macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2015
    Location:
    Honolulu HI
    #5
    There was a new version (46.0) of Firefox that I downloaded about a few days ago. Maybe that will help?

    It doesn't appear that this issue is widespread - compare this to the Safari freeze/reboot issue which appeared about the time of Safari 9.1 and/or OSX 10.11.4 and is now at 11 pages and still growing.

    I don't clean up my Firefox artifacts. I purged the download list a few days ago, that's about it. My cache size is limited to 350MB. Right now, I have 5 tabs (pretty typical) and memory usage is 1.13GB with Flash taking 164MB. I would guess that the add-ons report memory usage separately so maybe that eliminates add-ons as a culprit. I don't have extensions so I don't know if their memory usage would be reported separately or not. Firefox is my primary browser and it's been on for about 12 hours now.

    You're probably going to have to do some legwork to figure out what's happening. Create a user profile with the default settings to see if that helps. I think I haven't changed the default settings except for disabling hardware acceleration. Keep the Activity Monitor on and see if a particular website spikes the memory usage or not. The two posters here should also probably share information on their extensions and non-default settings and maybe some pattern will emerge.
     
  6. curmudgeonette, Apr 29, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2016

    curmudgeonette macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2016
    Location:
    California
    #6
    I first noticed a problem about the time Firefox updated to 38.5.0esr or 38.5.2esr. Tried 43.0.4 (current at the time) - same problem. Tried 38.4.0esr (released before the problem) - same. I'm now using 38.7.1esr (current 38 series esr release) - still the same.

    Three extensions: FlashDisable, Hide Tab Bar With One Tab, and Toggle Javascript. Nothing else non-stock.

    I run with flash disabled - and manually enable it on only two sites: weather radar and a construction site camera. I manually disable Javascript on one site that I rarely visit. I never use tabs - I prefer multiple windows instead.

    I've bumped the disk cache size to 1GB. I tried 512MB for a while but that didn't change anything.

    I haven't cleared history. Back when the duration was selectable, I chose 1 year. In other words, I really want a long history! However, concurrent with the Firefox issues, my hard drive started failing. I installed a new SSD (Samsung 850 PRO) and installed OS X and various Apps fresh. For Firefox I copied over only my bookmarks. Thus the history only goes back to then - but the slowdown / memory leak was already happening within a day.

    In addition to looking at Activity Monitor, I get memory usage usage stats from Firefox itself: I'll close all windows, open a new blank one, and "go to" about:memory. (In other words, the only open window is about:memory.) The excess memory usage is all in what I think are two Javascript heaps. However there's no particular leaf node in the usage tree that's huge. If I've let it eat memory for a while, each excessively sized heap can be 1GB or more. The memory freeing buttons don't free up much.

    If I go to a simple website - say a vBulletin board that has no ads - then there doesn't seem to be a slowdown upon window closing. If it is a tarted up main stream media site, that's when the delay really shows. Macrumors causes kind of a mid range delay. The slowdown is 100.00% CPU usage on exactly one core/thread. The 38.x.x series typically stays on the same core, the 43.x.x ping ponged back and forth between my two cores. There doesn't seem to be any I/O during that usage - but there does seem to a large disk write afterwards. I suspect the write is a history update.

    Some of my more esoteric about:config customizations:
    font.minimum-size.x-western 12
    image.animation_mode once
    toolkit.zoomManager.zoomValues (some slightly different values, I view most sites at 112.5% zoom)
    ui.click_hold_context_menus true (i.e. single button mouse mode)
     
  7. BenTrovato thread starter macrumors 68020

    BenTrovato

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2012
    Location:
    Canada
    #7
    I don't notice any patterns with mine. Sometimes it happens in the first hour sometimes 5 hours later. I notice it because as soon as I start typing in a dialog box or a web address, the text has major lag. I went back to Chrome, FF is so slow for me right now.
     
  8. rshrugged macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2015
    #8

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