Firefox/Crash Protection

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Crash protection is the name of the Firefox capability based on Gecko's out of process plugins technology. It first shipped in Firefox 3.6.4 for Windows and Linux only, running Adobe Flash, Apple QuickTime and Microsoft Silverlight in a separate process called plugin-container.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens when a plugin crashes in Firefox with crash protection?
When a plugin crashes or freezes while using Firefox with crash protection, the browser will stay running while the portions of websites controlled by the plugin will be disabled. The plugin content can be restarted by refreshing the page.
What is the difference between a crash and a freeze?
A crash is when a plugin unexpectedly stops running and terminates. A freeze is when a plugin stops responding, and can no longer be interacted with by a user. Firefox waits 45 seconds before terminating a frozen plugin with the crash protection feature (this default used to be 10 seconds).
How many Firefox crashes are caused by plugins?
Our data on Firefox crashes shows that as many as one in three browser crashes are currently caused by problems with various third-party plugins. We have been beta testing crash protection in Firefox 3.6.4 for a month and feedback indicates that users are now being protected from these crashes.
Why can’t the crashing plugin be updated or fixed?
Sometimes there is no fix available for plugin crashes, and sometimes the problem resides in the website itself. In these cases, the best protection for users is crash protection. Keeping plugins up to date is important, though, and Firefox 3.6 users will be automatically alerted when they have out of date plugins. Users of all Web browsers can keep their plugins up to date using the Mozilla Plugin Check page.
Why is there no support for Firefox with crash protection on Mac OS X? When will it be available?
The technology used for crash protection requires major changes to Firefox on Mac OS X, and so we are unable to provide this feature to users on that operating system at this time. Crash protection will be available for Mac OS X in Firefox 4.
Will crash protection be offered for older Firefox 3.5 or older?
Crash protection will not be made available for older versions of Firefox. All Firefox users are highly encouraged to upgrade to the latest version of Firefox for free by visiting or by using the "Check for Updates" function in the Help menu.
Firefox crash protection is a new capability - why was it added to a security and stability update?
Mozilla is always looking for more ways to bring users valuable features and improvements as quickly as possible. Crash protection offers significant stability enhancements, and product drivers wanted to make it available to Firefox users as soon as possible.