Firefox Stops Loading Pages – Fix

By | February 7, 2009

Firefox stops loading pages after several hours or days of continuous use.The problem often starts with only some page loading errors: stylesheets not being applied (ugly white pages with no images), buttons not working, forms not submitting, etc., then quickly gets worse until Firefox is completely unusable and often cannot be restarted.

Sound familiar?

The problem has to do with Adobe Flash Player.

firefox_302

Symptoms

Common symptoms of the Firefox loading problem:

  • web page buttons in Firefox stop working (clicking doesn’t do anything)
  • links stop working (clicking links produces no action)
  • parts of web pages stop loading in Firefox (or Camino)
  • stylesheets stop being rendered or applied, which make pages show up with:
    • a plain white background web page,
    • 1994-style bright blue links,
    • plain times new roman font text,
    • simple bulleted lists,
    • borders on table cells.
  • new tabs or windows show up completely blank
  • Firefox won’t quit or shutdown

When Firefox stops loading pages properly, the problem begins with subtlety, then the situation degrades quickly until Firefox is completely unusable.  Previously, the only solution was to restart Firefox, killing the Firefox process (using Activity Monitor – Quit Process) if Firefox wouldn’t shutdown properly.

This solution was only a temporary fix with the root Firefox page load problem still there.  Clearing the cache in Firefox, then restarting, also seemed to help reset the loading problem on Firefox, up until it starts again after several hours or days of web surfing.

Fixing “Firefox Stops Loading Pages” Problem

A permanent fix to this Firefox loading problem: upgrade Adobe Flash Player to version 10 from version 9.  Strangely, Mozilla/Firefox nor Mac OS X Leopard never recommended this update, even when Adobe published version 10 of Flash Player, wheres Firefox 3 comes by default with Flash Player 9, and actually, still does.  Perhaps Mozilla considers Flash Player a system component, rather than a browser component and doesn’t notify Firefox users of updates to such pieces of software.  This seems a bit odd to me, considering the only time I use Flash Player… is with web browsers, regardless of whether its Firefox, Safari, or Camino.

Step 1: Check your version of Adobe Shockwave/Flash in Firefox

Open a new Firefox tab or window.

In the address bar type in about:plugins and hit enter.

Firefox About Plugins

This will load a special Firefox configuration page showing you all the plugins installed for use with your version of Firefox.

Scroll down to the bottom until you see a heading for Shockwave Flash.

Firefox Flash Version

The key piece of information in this section is just above the blue bar where it reads: Shockwave Flash 9.0 r115

This tells me that I’m running Adobe Flash player version 9 and what I need to do is upgrade to Flash version 10.

Update: Another way to check which version of Flash Player you have installed is to visit Adobe Flash – About page, which will tell you your currently installed Shockwave Flash version (bottom right hand corner in the Version Information box.)

adobe_flash_installed_version

Step 2: Download & Install Adobe Flash 10

In Firefox (or any browser) go to http://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/. You’ll see this page:

Adobe Flash 10 Mac Download

Click on the big bright Agree and Install Now button.  Let Adobe install Flash 10 on your computer.

After the install is complete, we can check that Flash 10 has been installed.  Restart Firefox and again visit the about:plugins configuration web page.  You should now see the following:

firefox_flash_10_upgraded

Congratulations. You’ve upgraded to Flash 10. Firefox should now be able to load web pages continually, without restarting/cache clearing, no matter how long you keep Firefox open and running.

I’ve been running with Firefox 3.0.2 on Mac OS X 10.5.2 Leopard with Adobe Flash 10 for nearly a month now and Firefox hasn’t stopped loading pages once after having upgraded to the new version of Flash Player.  I’m confident this is a permanent fix for those who’ve been running Firefox with Flash 9 and have been troubled by the eventual page load problem.

(I want to thank unsound of the Mozillazine Forums for pointing me in the right direction with this problem.)


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36 thoughts on “Firefox Stops Loading Pages – Fix

  1. Kareem

    Although this article reminded me to update my Flash Player and taught me about the about:plugins technique, it unfortunately did not solve my strange web page display problems. The problem happens mostly with Yahoo and FaceBook pages. I haven’t noticed it on Safari, nor on FireFox 3 and IE& on my Toshiba. I hope someone figures this out one day but thanks to the author for trying.

    Reply
  2. Kareem

    Update. Here’s a crucial last step for this fix to work, at least for me…

    “One note … after installing Flash 10 and restarting Firefox, I also had to clear its cache.”

    Thanks to Fred for the above tip.

    Reply
  3. Janene

    Yay. I upgraded Flash 10 and cleared my cache. I can now get into my gmail account using Firefox again.

    Thanks for posting this fix.

    Reply
  4. M Prindle

    Unfornatily this didn’t fix the issue on my Macbook running 10.5.6. When the flash plugin is enabled Firefox slows to a crawl on some pages and refuses to load/refresh others. With the plugin disabled all is good. 🙁

    I updated flash to the lastest version, cleared cache and cookies with no luck….

    Reply
  5. trashbin

    I have similar problem with one difference – restarting Firefox does not help, I need to do system restart.

    Upgrading Flash and clearing cache did not help.

    (Mac OS X 10.5.6, FF 3.0.8)

    Reply
  6. Pingback: EvilCON » Fixing the Firefox Page Loading Problem on OS X

  7. ZAP

    Yes, all of my browsers have problems loading some pages, only a few, Myspace, Hotmail, my banks homepage, seems to all be pages that I have to log in…… I have flash 10, newest firefox/safari, still having the problem

    I tried reinstalling everything, including OS, but no, the problem came back after a day or so

    Mac Pro
    10.5.7

    Reply
  8. otokopi

    I’m having the same problem, and have uninstalled + :
    Reinstalled Firefox (3.0.11)
    Flash player (10.0.22.87)

    Nothing has changed, Firefox freezes really bad on pages with flash content (not banners but players and such), which in the long run causes other apps to crash as well.

    Reply
  9. yUgoslav

    Did flash upgrade… not helping…
    still stops loading pages… opens a new tab, when you hit the link(type address), and reads DONE in status bur left button… I’d have to go to task manager every time it does it and kill FIREFOX … and start it again :(:(:(:(

    Reply
  10. Keltic

    Did flash upgrade… not helping…
    still stops loading pages… opens a new tab, when you hit the link(type address), and reads DONE in status bur left button… I’d have to go to task manager every time it does it and kill FIREFOX … and start it again

    This seems to be a common problem, it is now so unusable i have went back to IE

    Reply
  11. Sadboy

    In my case – Firefox 3.0.12 and Mac OS 10.5.6- I boot Firefox and get a blank page with “Error 500–Internal Server Error
    From RFC 2068 Hypertext Transfer Protocol — HTTP/1.1:
    10.5.1 500 Internal Server Error
    The server encountered an unexpected condition which prevented it from fulfilling the request.”
    There is also a green like label next to the url window that says “Paypal Inc. (US)”
    Can you help?

    Thanks, Sadboy

    Reply
  12. banjapp

    exactly the same problem here, i checked my plugins page and i had already upgraded my flash. i’m stuck using safari 🙁

    Reply
  13. matt

    I have Firefox 3.5.3 and I already have the latest version of Flash, and I am having this problem.
    No help here.

    Reply
  14. rash00

    Hey buddy try https instead of http… Read it somewhere and works charm for me!!!

    Reply
  15. Bert

    I am using Vista Premium with Firefox 3.5.4 and I have Flash 10 installed but still have the same problem.

    Reply
  16. alex

    Firefox would open one or two pages then stop responding to any input. Preferences would not load either. The status bar read done and would not load any pages. Upon reloading i would get a page that read “Well, this is embarassing” and would ask if i wanted to restore my tabs or start a new session.

    I updated flash and shockwave and reinstalled firefox and had the same results.

    I removed fireftp and switchproxy from my extensions and i have been browsing for 30 minutes now without a problem.

    Reply
  17. McFly

    2nd the uninstalling of switchproxy; same problems as before and now it appears fixed! Woot!

    Reply
  18. NickW

    I also have the same exact problem, however, I do not need to be in Firefox for it to break. Usually happens after extended downloading, wether I do it from IE or Firefox it doesnt matter.

    After looking at my LAN, when the packets received hits about 550,000, downloads stop working and most websites on firefox AND IE go load a blank white page. Certain sites like Etrade.com load and run perfectly fine.

    Also when the white pages start to happen, although i cant connect to servers to download. If I am already connected to say AIM, yahoo messenger or an online Game with other players, they all work perfectly fine and are able to transfer data to one another.

    My other computer will run fine, and I have yet to test if that computer will crash after so many packets. I am going to do so now

    Reply
  19. Martin

    I am using XP, Firefox 3.5.6, Flash 10.0 r32 and I still have the issue – not loading web sites, loaded partially, new tabs opened as “untitled”, links do not work I have to click them several times to make them loading new page, styles do not load. Is there any fix or solution? Thanks for help.

    Reply
  20. Savaria

    Instead of things not loading i’ll click on an e-mail address on a website and at least 50 black pages show up and i have to force quit the entire computer. What do i do?! This is on firefox and i have a macbook pro i got in august

    Reply
  21. KT

    Rash00 you’re a genius! Using https instead of plain old http totally did the trick!

    Now is there a plug-in to have FireFox 3 always use https when logging onto FaceBook? I tried the FaceBook settings page but no luck adjusting it there…

    Reply
  22. jake Moore

    my problem is a little different. So far I’ve only noticed when at a particular site. (http://www.dinosaurnews.org/) When I click on a link to go to a news article featured on there. a new tab opens The web page pops up for a split second and then goes blank. In the lower left corner it says it is ‘transferring data from’ and it is usually ‘jsc.google-analytics,com…’ but occasionally it will be another address. At that point nothing else happens. Of course every thing is just fine when I move to Safari.

    help?

    Jake Moore
    Austin Texas

    Reply
  23. Atticus

    I’m experiencing the same problem as above. I’m having difficulty in booking flights as the page would load to a white blank page and keep loading with ….google analytic.com at the bottom or else I would see the page that I want to get to for a split second before it disappear and I get the white blank page continuing to load something but never gets there. On another website, I get ‘transferring data from surveys.cnet.com. Also when I google for something and click on that link, I would be directed to something else entirely different. It is very frustrating. Please help.

    Mac: Firefox
    Thanks,

    Reply
  24. james burke

    Excellent info & fix. I was almost ready to uninstall Firefox! Why the hell don’t they include Flash Player 10 with the damn thing or at least alert you to get it?

    Reply
  25. Edge

    Update: Hi I am using Firefox 6 & it’s not working by the way look at your task manager & find firefox notice it’s memory usage? for me its averaging 200,000-300,000K & sometimes reaches 450+K I think it’s something to do with that; using too much memory

    Reply
  26. Ryan Stockton

    Thanks for the tips! I resolved my Firefox issue by installing the latest version. I’m now using Firefox 7.0. Hope this helps.

    Reply
  27. Corrie Gemberling

    This may not be the best place to ask but, I have been looking for someplace to bring my Mac for repair. Do you know anything about this apple repair service? It’s right in West Los Angeles, which is near my place. It’s called – Mac Repair Los Angeles, 11322 Santa Monica Blvd, Ste B Los Angeles, CA 90025 (310) 966-9099.

    Reply
  28. Pat Witherow

    Firefox stops loading Pages and is very slow.Please help thankyou
    from Pat

    Reply

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