[Ask dotTechies] Have you been able to successfully update to Firefox 8?

I love Firefox. I first tasted Firefox via Firefox 2 and have been a loyalist since then, even with many of my friends and family defecting to the competition such as Chrome. However, Firefox is really starting to piss me off. Whereas Firefox used to be the standard in Internet browser excellence, it has now become a bloated, poorly coded piece of crap. I hate to say this but I find Firefox crashing on me as much, if not more, than Internet Explorer; not to mention how it bleeds memory like RAM grows on trees. My most recent run-in with Firefox failure is updating to Firefox 8, the latest version of Firefox.

Earlier today I updated to Firefox 8 from Firefox 7.0.1 after being prompted by the auto-update feature. Initially all went well. I was able to update just fine and all addons worked (I did have to update a couple). Then a few hours of bliss the crashing started. Out of the blue Firefox 8 just crashed every damn time I opened it. I was baffled as to why this is happening seeing as I had not changed anything (no settings modified nor new addons added). I tried everything to get it to work: Restarting my computer, using a new profile, uninstalling/reinstalling, etc. The bloody thing just wouldn’t stop crashing. Eventually, after using Internet Explorer 9 for a bit (which was painful but at least it worked), I ended up down grading to Firefox 7.0.1, which works just fine (except when I try to clear browsing history — then it crashes, ugh).

I am not sure what is going on but I sent Mozilla bug reports so hopefully they can fix the issue. Whatever the case may be, I have almost had it with Firefox. Mozilla is lucky KeyScrambler Free is only available on Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Flock otherwise I would have jumped ship to another browser a long time ago. Has anyone been able to successfully update to Firefox 8? Cast your vote in the poll below.

[poll id=”21″]

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  1. ditto

    keyscrambler support is also my main problem. but recently i found that it can work in palemoon too. simply by renaming palemoon launcher (palemoon.exe) into firefox.exe. works like a charm! bye-bye firefox! bye-bye crash! now enjoying 2 days browsing without crash..

  2. Horrabin

    @Seamus McSeamus:
    Same experience… Waterfox x64 is my main browser now and works perfectly (flash etc have 64-bit versions out now and the download page has these links).
    I also installed the standard Firefox 8 with absolutely no problems. I only switched to Waterfox due to the 64-bit native install.
    Nearly all extensions work fine in either one, although a number of themes do not. I can’t address personas, I’ve never used them (I find them mostly a distraction and still use the basic themes for the toolbar customization).

  3. Ben

    @Ben: For some reason I’m not able to edit my previous comment, so I’ll add something in a reply. I just opened 100+ tabs, and Firefox is still as fast as ever. Try doing that with Chrome and you’ll literally go crazy:)

  4. TechLogon

    No problems here, upgraded to FF8 on several computers and not a sign of a crash. Does seem a little perkier than FF7.

    If you’ve continually upgraded since FF3 onwards, well worth doing a clean install of FF (or create a new profile) to get rid of accumulated left overs. Most crashing is caused by add-ons and people expecting too much imho – just because you can open 50+ tabs and run dozens of add-ons doesn’t mean you should; trying the same thing in Chrome will cause just as many issues and high RAM usage.

  5. msusey

    @Gabriel and @Ashraf:

    Probably the javascript. But, curiously…

    Java also had an update at the same time (I monitor my system with Secunia PSI and update accordingly; and, yes, I realize that Java and Javascript have about as much in common as ham and hamburger). However, going to the java site kept causing Firefox to instantly crash and disappear from my AMD64X2 XP SP3 system. I removed all Java remnants (there were several former versions), visited java.com again – without it crashing – and was then able to install its latest…

    Aside from some processor and memory issues that I believe may be tied to the Reddit Enhancement Suite add-on (I run several other add-ons and plug-ins as well), all has since been trouble free for me…

  6. Jeanjean


    At once, blue and brown colors disappeared and presentation of items was reduced to its simplest form on your site and some others (Raymond,…).
    The only possible reason was that at that time I opened IE and Firefox simultaneously (but I do not really see the relation).
    Best regards.

  7. throkr

    However I still have Firefox installed on my computer and updated to latest version 8 without problems, I don’t use it as my default browser anymore : I’m using “THE” alternative to it, “Waterfox” (64 bits !) , even much better than “Pale Moon” which I tried first … ;-)
    My secondary browser remains the excellent “SRWare Iron”, which I installed to replace the problematic and intrusive “Google Chrome” …
    And, again, never had the slightest problem with it ! :-)

  8. Ashraf
    Author/Mr. Boss

    @Riezo: Glad to hear you got it working. Wish I could say the same.

    @hatman: To be honest, after Firefox 3 is when I started having all the issues. I am tempted to go back…

    @Toast: I tried uninstalling/reinstalling. It didn’t help.

    @Gabriel: 65 tabs? I don’t blame it for freezing on you. :-P

    Yeah, it may be a JavaScript thing.

    @chuck (detailer): I used Revo to uninstall. Didn’t use CCleaner after, though, didn’t think about that. Right now I don’t want to go through that whole process again so I will stick to FF7 until an updated FF8 is released.

    Thanks for the tip.

    @cwc72: I wish I could say the same. :-(

    @jgriego: I have heard of Pale Moon but never used it myself. I avoid browser forks.

    @amnesia: I do have Roboform installed. However, I a) disabled the toolbar when asked while upgrading and b) I tried a new Firefox profile (i.e. no addons) and it still wouldn’t work. Thanks though!

    @Falco: I have made about:config changes (I believe two) but that was prior to FF8 update. It very well could be those changes but I am sure many dotTechies made the same changes (I posted about them) and they would be experiencing the same issues as me if it were that. Thanks though!

    @Jim_in_Erie_CO: Yeah, I get that sometimes too. I really wish FF would go back to FF3 quality.

    @groovey: Don’t you just hate those companies that refuse to catch up to the curve?

    @IndoMK: Hehe, one of those people who itch to update eh? Me too. xD

    @Gabriel: Thanks for the info!

    @BLACKBIRD: Hmmm… I may check out Pale Moon.

    @BLACKBIRD: No problem, don’t worry about it.

    @leland: I don’t have too many addons installed but all the ones I did activate for FF8 claimed to be compatible. Good tip on Add-on Compatibility Reporter, I may have to write an article on that one.

    @Grantwhy: I have no doubt FF8 is better than the previous versions — I just can’t get the damn thing to work!

    @Carl: Yep, addons are what are keeping me to FF, too.

    @Bela: Ouch. It’s that bad, huh?

    @Jeanjean: That’s odd. What exactly was the issue? I never have color rendering problems.

    @Dianne: I also only have a few plugins. Why won’t this **** thing work. :-(

    @chuck(detailer): Good tip! This may be another article worthy tip. Thanks!

    @Seamus McSeamus: Another +1 for Pale Moon. I really do need to check it out.

    @Joe_B_Wan: You are welcome! Glad to be of help. :-)

    @david roper: Cool, glad my e-mails are still worth something.

    Say weren’t you a Roboform user? Why go LastPass now?

    @Darcy: It is sad Firefox is now a follower rather than a leader. To clarify, however, Chrome isn’t taking FF’s market share. FF’s market share has been stagnant for a while, either going up or down. Chrome is taking IE’s market share.

    @oldtimer: IE9 crashes less for you? For me it is worse than FF.

    @Albi: From what I hear FF8 > FF7. Although obviously I can’t say for sure since it won’t work for me!

    @Edith Tomson: Hehe…

    @Jon Steedley: Isn’t v10 out?

    @Dr TsZap: ConCrap?

    @Rockster: Hmmm, it seems most people aren’t having issues. I may just be part of the unlucky few.

  9. Rockster

    I have upgraded to Firefox 8 on all 3 of my computers – a W7 cheap Acer laptop, a Vista Laptop, and an HP Desktop. I have had no problems, no crashes on any of them. I have been upgrading on a regular basis as the new versions come out and have never had a problem with any version. The only real problem I have when upgrading is some of the plug-ins I like don’t work for a while, but eventually, the plug-ins are upgraded and everything is fine.

  10. Dr TsZap

    Gotta rebuild XP SP3 before I try FF8 (ConCrap ‘high-speed’ is too f…ing slow to re-register and re-update in the same day after a re-install)… Hopefully it’ll be less hoggish than FF7 and more like FF3.6 is on the Kubuntu side (30+ tabs open with no slow-down whereas FF7 on the Windoze side bogs down with more than 6 tabs)

  11. Edith Tomson

    Stick with Firefox version 2 like I am doing on my Windows 95. You folks wouldn’t be having all these problems if you would just stick with what has worked for years, my Packard Bell computer using Firefox 2 and Windows 95 !

  12. Albi

    I’ve been using Firefox 7.01, and I’m more satisfied than I was with Firefox 5 & 6. It’s still a memory hog but it’s a little bit better. I haven’t yet upgraded to Firefox 8, but when I will upgrade I’m not going to use the direct upgrade but the installer. I’m going to uninstall 7.01 and install v8.
    I would be grateful to know from the users of Firefox 8, if it’s better than the previous version 7, and if it’s worthy to upgrade to v 8.

  13. Darcy

    I remember when Netscape was THE browser to have, in the days when a 56K modem was king. This is before they were pretty much bullied off the market. When Firefox came out they were a breath of fresh air. Stable, innovative an absolutely reliable browser that was flexible because of the add-ons. It took off because you could depend on it. Sad that they’ve gone from the industry leader to another follower isn’t it?

    Now they are trying to regain their market share. They’re trying to put back in some of the stability they’ve let slide over the years, hallelujah for that. It’s good to know they are also trying to fix the memory leak problem they’ve had since day one and are finally working on unwanted Add-ons. Guess they realized Given a good alternative people will leave so they should listen to some of those complaints. Trouble is they are no longer innovating, they are following. Google’s Chrome is taking their market share so they are trying to look more like Chrome with it’s simplistic interface.

    I much prefer the old interface which is why I stopped updating. Recently I was forced to update to version 4 because many of my add-ons no longer work. Apparently their updater is unable to recognize when an update will make an add-on stop working. That aside, you will never lead in the market by following. I think Firefoxes days are numbered unless they figure that out. That makes me sad really.

  14. david roper

    I updated via your email notice on DotTech. i use LastPass and it works fine too. I have no problems and it was neat to choose what to keep. I actually had to go back and include one add-on afterwards. Still no problem.

  15. Joe_B_Wan

    Hi Ashraf,

    I just updated due to your email notice (thanks!), because I only had v. 7 on my XP/VM, which I don’t fire up that often. (Linux Mint is my sweety!) I disconnected 1 of 2 addons before FF 8 came up, and it looks ok so far. My Linux Mint 9 has FF v. 3.* due to the updating in the repos.

    I’ll only know more as I use it more in XP/VM. Thanks again.


  16. Seamus McSeamus

    I have upgraded to v8 on my desktop with no problems at all, and have been running the Aurora and UX versions on my laptop for several weeks now with not a single crash. Pale Moon, as mentioned, is an excellent Firefox variant, and a couple months ago I stumbled across another called Waterfox. Better yet, both offer a 64 bit option.

  17. chuck(detailer)

    @Grantwhy: For your favicon problem,go to about:config > searchbar> enter ” icons” (without “”) > insure that “browser.chrome.favicons” and “browser.chrome.site_icons” are set to true.Note-this change may revert to false if you run any FF tweaking programs-fx. Firetune or similar.Cheers!

  18. Dianne

    I haven’t had any problems with it although I use it almost “bare” – just a couple of plugins. I’ve used it since the beginning (when firefox was just a cub) and have been disappointed over the years because it seems to be getting slower and slower. I have tried Pale Moon and like it very much but some things I use (Roboform, etc.) all the time don’t seem to work well, if at all. I’ve been through the worst with them so I’m stickin, but hopefully soon I’ll be through the best with them.

  19. Carl

    Been a fan since Firefox 2..it crashes from time to time, but the reason i like FX so much is the addons..IE 9 is good as well but addons are spartan compared to Firefox..i use Palemoon which is a Firefox Clone.

  20. Grantwhy

    I upgraded to FF 8 and the only ‘problem’ I have is that some of the icons for bookmarks are not always showing.

    Although, in my case, I’m using the portable version of FF (via PortableApps.com) and as such, didn’t upgrade in the usual manner (basically, it downloads the full version and uses that to update instead of using the Firefox upgrade feature).

    I do still use have (and occasionally use) a 3.6 version of Firefox (now updated to 3.6.24) because of *one* addon that doesn’t work past FF 3 (FirefoxThrottle … yes, I must be about the only Firefox user that likes to ***Slow_Down*** their internet speed :-p … but it is very handy for sharing a slow internet connection and not worry about ‘taking’ 100% of the download speed)

    now, using both a 3.6 and a 8 version of Firefox, I find that FF8 is better/faster/more stable, but then, when I had problems with FF 7, 6, 5, 4or 3, it seemed to be more a case of the extensions/addons causing the problem, not Firefox itself.

  21. leland

    Pale Moon is great for speed, but it not compatible with some specialized extensions like the one for Sticky Password. Otherwise I would be using it now.

    Firefox 8 works quite well but I found one thing that helped with my extensions and themes. I use the Add-on Compatibility Reporter extension to help make the extensions compatible with the newer versions. This helped Sticky Password to work without issue. It also made many older extensions like Aardvark work which has not been updated in quite some time yet works great in all the newer versions including the nightlies.


    The solution is…… Pale Moon! I repeat……. Pale Moon!
    (Firefox the way it SHOULD be!!!!)
    I have been using it exclusively for a few months now….. with…. NO problems!
    Learn more about it HERE—-> http://www.palemoon.org/
    Download from HERE—-> http://majorgeeks.com/Pale_Moon_d6613.html
    And I QUOTE:
    “Why settle for a basic build of your Firefox browser on Windows Operating Systems when you can have one that performs 25% faster? Mozilla does not provide optimized browser packages for Windows, while many Linux (“from scratch”) users get the advantage of a browser built specifically for their system. That needs to change! So, here is the Pale Moon project: Custom-built and optimized Firefox browsers for Windows Operating Systems. Make sure to get the most speed out of your browser!

    Of course, getting a faster browser is not just about optimizing the compilation process (building a program from its source code), but also about carefully choosing features and how to choose the best setup. This means that this browser, however extremely close to Firefox, does not have all the functions that Firefox has. A few, carefully selected, features have been disabled that are not in high demand, and that do not interfere with the way web pages are displayed or function; all to maximize speed and efficiency of the browser. Please see the page with technical details to learn exactly what the browser supports, and what it doesn’t support. In short, if you need accessibility features or parental controls, then please visit the Firefox homepage and get the official, non-optimized build.”

  23. Gabriel


    Thanks for the recommendation! The Author seems to be releasing the new 8.o Firefox version this Monday. (I’ll give it a try, since it appears to utilize all the firefox addons without problem.

    “This will be fixed in v8 to be released this coming Monday, and if you can’t wait you can grab 7.0.2 (unreleased) from the Archived versions page which also has this fixed as it’s based on a slightly later version of the source code.”

  24. groovey

    I wish I could upgrade to the latest version but nothing above Firefox 3.6 or Internet Explorer 8.0 is supported by my online classes (I can use Chrome but it can get funky after a while well I’m in the course room) . So, I’m stuck at 3.6.12 for now. Only good thing is my add-ons still work with this version.

  25. Jim_in_Erie_CO

    Had a few times with version 7.x where I would get a (Firefox not responding) notification at the top of the Firefox window. However, if left alone, that is no action taken at all, the ‘problem’ always seemed to resolve itself. Don’t recall that I have had that happen since the upgrade to version 8. Although with my luck, I’ll have nothing but problems with it now!! :)

  26. Falco

    Firefox 8 working great for me. With 29 add-ons (22 activated), seems to use less memory and a little speedier than previous versions.Have you made any changes in the “about:config” Ash? Got to be careful there! FF8 seems to be the best of the heap so far.

  27. chuck (detailer)

    no problems here-I still use Memory Fox,but rarely have more than 10 tabs open,and run @ 8 extensions and plug-ins each.If I were you,I’d rip the whole thing out with Revo in advanced mode,run CCleaner (and/or whatever your preference), reboot and get a fresh DL

  28. Gabriel

    Seems to freeze on me quite often. Every day or every few hours of intense use(goes light grey .. with app window freezing)

    – By the way I have like 65 tabs open during research and common work. I use session manager addon https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/session-manager/ because I can open 65 tabs without loading everything at once. It loads all 65 tabs, but only fully loads tabs when I click on them to use.

    I’m wondering if it isn’t java script related, as it happens after I load certain things more often. My primary suspect is the NEW Gmail webmail interface update. Most likely Java intensive, and there is a natural reason to mess up Firefox browsers :) so we switch to Chrome.


  29. Riezo

    Just update to firefox 8 for a while ago. Coz mediafire can’t be opened by mozilla version i have before(forgot which version). For now nothing goes wrong. Oh well, i’m just reguler surfer on the net.