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How to start Firefox in Safe Mode

How to start Firefox in Safe Mode

by AshwinJanuary 30, 2016

Is your installation of Mozilla Firefox giving you trouble? Have you diagnosed the issue?

Restart with Add-ons Disabled

The browser is incredibly customizable, thanks to the innumerable plugins it has. Yes, there are thousands of add-ons, themes available for Firefox today.

But this also means there are two problems. Firstly not every add-on is available on the Mozilla Add-ons Repository, some of them could be hosted elsewhere. Secondly there are chances that the add-on may not have been well optimized, it could have memory leaks or bugs. This also applies to themes.

And since Firefox is open source, all forks of the browser (Waterfox, Comodo IceDragon, Palemoon, etc) also suffer from similar issues.

Naturally, when Firefox begins to freeze or eat up a lot of RAM, your only choices are to either uninstall the malfunctioning add-on, or to re-install the browser. The latter is quite the tedious task, since it will mean you re-download all your add-ons, themes, again. And chanes are that the same buggy add-on could be reinstalled, if you did not check which one was causing the issue.

A better idea, is to narrow down the issue, and to do this, the best way is to disable all add-ons and use the browser to see if its working fine. You don’t have to manually do this though, for Mozilla has a safe mode built right into Firefox.

How to start Firefox in Safe Mode

As always, save your work before you proceed.

1. Click on the menu button in the top right corner of Firefox.
2. Select Help, and then click on help.
3. Now select the option which says “Restart with Add-ons Disabled”. A prompt will pop-up, asking you to confirm click on restart.
4. And now Mozilla Firefox will start up with all extensions disabled. You can confirm this easily, as the browser will display a safe mode dialog.

start Firefox in Safe Mode

There is an alternative way to do this, but for it to work. The browser must be closed first. All you have to do is just hold down the Shift key, and click on the Firefox icon.

If the browser seems to work fine in Safe Mode, then the problem lies with one of your add-ons or themes. You will have to manually find which one is the culprit.

How to exit Firefox in Safe Mode

Simply close the browser, and the next time you start it, Firefox will start normally with all your add-ons enabled.  Or just click on the menu button and select “Restart with Add-ons Disabled”.

Add-ons enabled

Now you can disable the add-ons one at a time and diagnose which one of them is causing the issue.