Firefox Unresponsive Workaround #7 for Flashing Minimize, Restore, Close Buttons

PROBLEM

We had a lengthy discussion previously about the problem with Firefox 3.5.3 - 3.5.5 about the situation where Firefox Minimize, Restore, and Close Buttons in the window frame start to flash and Firefox becomes unresponsive. For long periods of time. There is more discussion about this problem here.


I found yet another workaround (numbered #7) for this problem. There are six(!) other workarounds presented here. I am curious how this workaround #7 works for your guys. We still do not have the solution.

I found this to be the least painful workaround so far. What you do when you have Firefox Flashing Buttoms on Vista or Windows 7:

WORKAROUND #7

Go Start/Control Panel. Go Systems and Maintenance, then Performance Information and Tools. Go Adjust Visual Effects in the left pane. Then under the Visual Effects tab, unselect Enable Desktop Composition and hit Apply. I bet it was selected originally! That's it, wait maybe 30 seconds. Blinking should go away. Now you can select Enable desktop composition again, hit Apply,  and wait another 30 seconds. No more blinking with fancy windows.

THIS WORKAROUND WORKED FOR ME, WHAT ABOUT YOU?

Let me know in the comments below if this worked for you. It is the quickest and least destructive workaround yet.

P.S.: FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO HAVE NO IDEA WHAT WE ARE TALKING ABOUT HERE:

29 comments:

Mentor Matt said...

kentcabe, thanks for commenting. Please use English only. Thanks.

Worth said...

This worked for me so far, in Vista,
START, Control Panel, Performance Information And Tools. Could not find it under Systems and maintenance. And I had to leave Enable Desktop Composition unselected though. Man. Microsoft needs to fix this. At least now I have a reliable workaround, Thanks to the person who discovered the workaround above! Maybe you should contract with Microsoft and help them fix their OS! lol! Thanks Again!

Mentor Matt said...

Worth, Great find. Yeah, I have a feeling leaving Enable Desktop Composition unchecked might be a permanent workaround! Keep in touch, let us know if you EVER get blinking buttons problem again!

Worth said...

Definitely!

Anonymous said...

I tried it, and it seems to work but my windows are a little uglier. When I turn it back on, the problem comes back. I can reproduce the error almost all of the time as follows:
Go to Facebook and load Bejewelled Blitz. Try to minimize the window. If that doesn't do it, put the window back, put another within in front of it (but not covering the minimize button) and try again. It almost always does it when another window is on top (and thus has focus until I click the minimize button). It doesn't seem to matter which tab is displaying.

Mentor Matt said...

Anonymous, Thank you for this tip. This problem is mostly quite random. We need a case like you presented that is apparently quite reproducible. I have recently found how to pack more tabs into a Firefox window without scrolling and am testing this configuration with "prettier" windows, that is with Desktop Composition turned on. The idea being, if you only have one window, the problem may not happen. If somebody encounters the problem while only one window is open, please report here!

startupguy said...

Making the change as described above does stop the blinking, but it does not make Firefox function--unless "Enable Desktop Composition" remains disabled.

What programs will break if this is left disabled?

Here's my system info (from FF Help/About):
Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 6.0; en-US; rv:1.9.1.6) Gecko/20091201 Firefox/3.5.6 (.NET CLR 3.5.30729)

Do I need to (God forbid!) go back to IE 8?

Mentor Matt said...

Startupguy, What you can do while the blinking problem is gone is #1 consolidate all tabs into one window #2 close unnecessary windows, then switch back to enable desktop composition. I have posted a simple tweak on how you can reduce the size of a firefox tab to fit more tabs into one window and still keep them all visible. How many windows and how many tabs total did you have open when your problem happened?

Anonymous said...

this is awesome, thanks so much for posting. I have been looking for a solution to this issue for months now. Found this, disabled the desktop composition and it seems to have fixed the issue entirely. Will let you know if I see it pop up again.

Andy

Anonymous said...

Thanks. Have been looking for a solution to this for quite a while. The only problem is that now my desktop is pretty fugly. Do we think the problem here is with Firefox or Windows? I have the same problem happening with both Win Vista and Win 7, and it just started happening with Firefox around FF 3.5, I think, so probably a Mozilla issue? I'd like to be able to run FF without disabling this, someday.

Mentor Matt said...

Andy and Anonymous, Thanks for contributing. As I replied in an above comment, you CAN use this workaround to get the Firefox operating again. Then I suggest consolidating all tabs in one window. Since I do that, I have never had a problem in two months now. I routinely have 40-60 tabs open in firefox, with the desktop composition enabled.

P.S.: If you consolidate all tabs in one window, look for the simple tweak mentioned in a comment above. It will reduce the size of the FF tab if needed.

Larry Mac said...

Thanks, the Desktop Composition workaround helps. I had a chance to try it because I'd downloaded some files and then the download window wouldn't close. In the past, if I've sometimes been able to right-click the taskbar icon for the offending window and select Close from there.

For the record, this was with FF 3.6 running on Vista Home Basic.

Mentor Matt said...

Thanks Larry Mac for sharing your success with us. Come back if you have other success tips.

Anonymous said...

I have ran into this issue in the past, and just recently ran into it again about 5 minutes ago. I only had one window open with 4 tabs running Windows 7 Ultimate. So it seems that the one window idea is out. If I can remember correctly the last time(s) it happened to me it was also with just one window open. I manage to get it to work by closing out a flash based page. I believe that maybe flash player 10 might not be playing nice with win 7/vista and firefox because I have seen many issues with the new flash such as many flash apps not loading and it's not just me, my friends pc is the same as well as my laptop. Just an idea...

Mentor Matt said...

Anonymous, Thanks for sharing! What version of Flash do you have? I have version 10,0,42,34 installed according to Adobe. I have not seen any problems for two months since switching to a single firefox window. I may not be a big Flash user though. If your problem persists with Flash or without, let us know again! Very useful information!

Anonymous said...

Hey Mentor, I'm running the same version of flash as well. I've noticed certain flash (slideshows/games/whatever) come up loaded but show a pure black space. Really annoying, also some flash videos have caused this and once i close out that tab, I'm good to go.

Matt @ annoyances resolved said...

Hi Anon, Can you give me one webpage with flash where you have problems? Maybe I can reproduce the problem and the solution?

Worth said...

Hey, I have been running workaround 7, and no more problems! I don't mind not having prettier windows, had worse on win 95 and win 98. Makes feel nostalgic! Anyway, been running the workaround since December 8, 2009, and no more problems!

Annoyances Resolved said...

Hey Worth, I remember! Maybe it is time to go back to undo the workaround 7 and try the pretty frames? I found no problems as long as I keep just one window open. Others, however, found problems with just a single window... So, do whatever works for you!

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much.it worked for me quite well.No problem at all.I'm using windows 7 Professional 64-bit edition.

Anonymous said...

Has this bug been filed with Mozilla? They have put out several releases since this original blog entry was written (the whole 3.6.x series, for instance). I'm currently running 3.6.3 and it still has the issue.

Annoyances Resolved said...

Hi, This has been a thread on Mozilla Firefox website for quite a while as well. Not sure what they are doing about it if anything. Thanks for your concern. And thanks for your information on 3.6.3! I'm still on 3.5.9 for now.

SingenDrake said...

I find on Windows 7 just pressing Ctrl-Alt-Delete to bring up the interface where you can launch the task manager or lock your workstation also helps in alleviating the problem.

Disclosure said...

SingenDrake, thanks! This seems the simplest workaround so far! Everyone, please confirm that it works for you, both for Vista and Windows 7.

Disclosure said...

I today confirmed that CTRL-ALT-DELETE workaround by SingenDrake worked for me on Vista! It is indeed the fastest solution so far. Can anyone confirm its validity on Windows 7? Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Workaround 7 didn't hold for me. Lasted one day. The offending pages have google reader, gmail, and yahoo mail open in separate tabs, so that's a lot of Flash right there.

Disclosure said...

Sorry to hear about the workaround lasting only one day. I have not had the problems since I switched to Non-Aero Vista. It seems I am stuck there since I am using the 2nd display... But at least I have no problem with Windows Buttons Blinking.

Isn't it weird Microsoft and Firefox still, after about a year or so, still don't have a true solution!

Anonymous said...

Just thought you should know that you're my hero.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I know this is an old thread but I had this same problem and this is what worked for me.

The problem was with a security setting that somehow got out of whack. I did this:

* Go to Start and run regedit, then find this folder:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings\Zones\0

* Look at the value for Key 1802 -- it should be "0."

* Check the same value for the other zones.

Making this change resolved my problem.

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