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Mozilla fixes bug in Firefox which caused AdBlock Plus to consume excessive RAM

Mozilla fixes bug in Firefox which caused AdBlock Plus to consume excessive RAM

by AshwinSeptember 29, 2015

Mozilla has fixed a bug in its browser, Firefox, which reportedly was the reason, why one of its most popular add-ons was a huge RAM hog.

AdBlock Plus Logo

Yes, we are referring to the famous AdBlock Plus add-on.

The advertisement blocker boasts a userbase of 20 Million users, on Firefox alone. That number was referenced from Mozilla’s add-on repository. Of course that number could be much greater if you consider the number of users the extension has on Google Chrome.

It isn’t really surprising that ABP, as it is commonly called, has so many users. Blocking ads. does save precious data/bandwidth, whilst adding a layer of security, which in turn prevents the chances of infections which may be caused by malvertising (malicious ads).

Mozilla released Firefox 41 last week, which added support for Instant Messaging in Firefox Hello, the built-in messenger app in the browser. It also allowed users to add a user profile photo to their Firefox Account (Sync account). Apparently the update quietly fixed a bug related to a memory handling issue in the browser. AdBlock Plus has officially acknowledged that the update finally fixes the issue, which was supposedly causing its add-on to leak the RAM. The issue was so critical that it resulted in around 2GB of RAM used by the browser, with the AdBlock Plus add-on installed.

Ironically the bug which Mozilla fixed, isn’t exactly a new one, in fact it as first reported over 14 years ago, says VentureBeat. It is astounding to know that it took them so long to fix it. If you are interested in knowing more about it, the bug is called bug 77999, and was reported in April 2001.

But the issue with Firefox-ABP memory leak, was only found about a year and half ago, with Mozilla acknowledging that the AdBlock Plus add-on causes the browser to experience lag spikes (when there is a sudden lag), because the bug chews up on the RAM, with the latter confirming it, and requested the browser maker for a fix.

Personally, I have ditched AdBlock Plus in favour of AdGuard, also a free add-on, and I must admit the change has been quite a pleasant experience, sans of freezes or lags. Nevertheless, it is certainly good to see Mozilla fixing up issues, and i hope the upcoming changes like the Electrolysis Tech, and WebExtensions will improve the browser’s performance, while continuing to provide the same user experience, that we have been accustomed to.