Firefox 3 Is Driving Me Crazy

Or why I’m reluctantly weaning myself from Firefox. I’ll miss Session Manager and ScribeFire the most. Of course, I can’t shift 100% to Safari — things like the media library editor don’t fully work with Safari.

I’ve Tweeted a couple of times about Firefox 3 and that it’s driving me crazy. The application is a resource hog and causes my MacBookPro to run hot. It’s also sluggish. These judgments are being made in comparison to Safari.

The Mozilla/Firefox responder on Twitter — as well as others — recommended that I disable my FF extensions. And I have, to no avail. Besides, if I’m not going to use the extensions, then why shouldn’t I use Safari instead?

I’m posting screenshots to illustrate my frustration. Hopefully, someone will have a magical fix.

Relative Use of Browsers

Image shows windows open. FF – 3 windows, 14 total tabs (no applications, no gmail). Safari – 7 windows, 18 total tabs (applicatons: gmail and WordPress – this composition window)

Safari captureSafari capture

Activity Monitor – No Firefox, Safari Only


Activity Monitor – Firefox Reboot (Session Manager enabled)


Activity Monitor – Firefox “Idling” (Session Manager enabled)

I’ve not used Firefox since relaunch except to save this session with session manager. I’ve simply let it sit, idling, for 84 minutes. Notice that it is now using 77% of the CPU versus 32% after relaunch. Safari, which arguably has more “content” to manage, reduced its CPU load from 10.1% to 5.9%.


Activity Monitor – Firefox Reboot (Session Manager disabled)


Activity Monitor – Firefox “Idling” (Session Manager disabled)

This screenshot suggests that Session Manager may be a culprit in Firefox running wild in idle mode, since Firefox is using less CPU at idle than in the prior screen capture. However, Firefox is still increasing its use of resources at idle, while Safari reduced resource use.

Moreover, FF has been idling for only 50 minutes (about half the time as in the prior screenshot), so it’s not a one-on-one comparison. Unfortunately, I need to log off and go to the Genuis store for another issue (keyboard problems). I’ll remeasure later. [Note, I opened a WordPress tab to upload the images using Firefox, closed it out, then measured CPU usage 10 minutes later.]


By Kathy E. Gill

Digital evangelist, speaker, writer, educator. Transplanted Southerner; teach newbies to ride motorcycles! @kegill

2 replies on “Firefox 3 Is Driving Me Crazy”

Try flock 2 browser…it’s based on FF 3 and is designed to be a social and blogging
oriented browser.

Also, you can start a new FF profile and add in extensions until the problems start.
Go to start button
enter firefox.exe -p
then choose to start a new profile.

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