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Mozilla Launches Firefox 3.6.4 With Tab Crash Protection

Gordon Kelly


Mozilla Launches Firefox 3.6.4 With Tab Crash Protection

Much like the late, great Marlon Brando, when Firefox appeared on the scene it was dashing, lithe and hugely exciting. In recent years, however, it has similarly become overweight, unreliable and its star has started to fade. Step one: reliability.

Dealing with perhaps the browser's most pressing issue, today Mozilla has launched Firefox 3.6.4 which bring the much anticipated/needed tab crash protection we've long seen in Google Chrome and more recently in Safari 5. The result is when a plugin crashes or freezes only the particular tab in use will be affected and refreshing it will get things moving again.

This tab protection covers Adobe Flash, Apple Quicktime and Microsoft Silverlight on Windows and Linux computers. Mac OS X users are out of luck since Mozilla says it would require an overly extensive rewrite of its code to add this support. Instead OS X that benefit with the launch of Firefox 4.

"Mozilla recognizes that third-party plugins provide important functionality in many of today’s websites," said the company in an official blog post. "At the same time, plugins can lead to problems for users as they browse. With the ability to automatically alert users when they have out of date plugins, and now crash protection, Firefox 3.6.4 allows users to experience all the content they love without any of the hassles."

On top of tab crash protection, 3.6.4 also brings the usual rash of bug fixes and security patches. All of which means hopefully Mozilla can now focus on Firefox problem #2: getting its bloated carcass whipped into shape again...

Link: Firefox 3.6.4


June 23, 2010, 6:00 pm

'tab crash protection' - I though it was plugin crash protection and that if the one of the actual tabs crashes then it still crashes the browser itself and that it is the plugins that operate in a sandbox environment.


June 23, 2010, 6:25 pm

Something related, and a small tip.

I've been using Chrome for a while now and it's crash protection is really good. But another feature you might not know about with Chrome is Chrome's Task Manager. I had Adobe's PDF reader constantly coming up with an Error Dialog box, if I clicked, it just came back, so I wasn't able to close the TAB or go back to all my other TABS. So I opened another instance of Chrome, pressed Shift-ESC and was able to Kill the TAB that Adobes PDF was running in, very handy.


June 23, 2010, 9:41 pm

I was using the beta for 3.6.4 (alongside using Chrome as my primary browser) and found it so much more stable than 3.6.3

@Keith Cheers for the Chrome Task Manager tip!

Chatan Mistry

June 23, 2010, 11:27 pm

Is crash protection available on Mac (i.e. does Safari 5/Chrome for Mac have crash protection). I'm finding that Flash on my MBP seems to cause a signficant performance decrease of the whole machine


June 23, 2010, 11:29 pm

@Andy - it's semantics, but Mozilla's official term is 'tab crash protection'

@Keith - yep, I'm also a happy Chrome convert. With v6.0 coming to beta testers soon even more pressure will be heaped on Firefox.


June 24, 2010, 12:01 am

I was getting SO SICK of flash taking out my browser, usually making the CPU sit at 50% but it doesn't seem to matter whether I'm on IE or Firefox and what PC. Any more than a couple of tabs and burnt lap with laptop until I bring it down in task manager and relaunch.

THANK YOU Mozilla!

Adobe get your shit together...


June 24, 2010, 4:07 am

Apple can talk about all the crash minimisation measures they want, but returning to tabs running Flash video, not opened after an extended duration of time, is still the most frequent cause of the whole of Safari freezing on my Mac.


June 24, 2010, 7:24 am

Well.. I updated and Firefox completely crashed about an hour later. Banghead.

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