Make Facebook stop annoying me!
April 16, 2014 9:51 AM   Subscribe

Typing anything in a Facebook entry box (search bar, status update, comment field) that causes a list of possible things I might want to link (friend's name, company, page I've "liked") to come up freezes Firefox. Completely. Except not every time, and not consistently. Help!

So, within the past week or so, I've been encountering this REALLY ANNOYING* behavior in Facebook where typing in any entry box will inconsistently cause Firefox to completely hang. The only similarity to the incidents is that Facebook guesses what I'm trying to link/search for and "helpfully" provides a list. So, for example, if I'm typing "Wow, it's really sunny out today!", as I type "sunny", Facebook will pop up a list of friends named Sue, businesses that start with "Su", etc. Sometimes Firefox will freeze on that list, sometimes it won't. If it freezes, I exit and restart, and type the EXACT SAME THING, it doesn't freeze.

It has made Facebook almost completely unusable for me. Sometimes the freezes happen within 5 minutes of each other, sometimes an hour or two apart, and I forget that it happens - until it happens again. It is not predictable at all. Needless to say, this is really frustrating. Yes, I've restarted the computer and updated my extensions and add-ons.

Has anyone else encountered this behavior, or can offer a solution? I would prefer not to reset Firefox - I did that some months ago, and I don't want to start over AGAIN. I have Googled for solutions with no joy. I've got a Windows 7 laptop, Firefox 28.0, the latest style of Facebook. I am fairly certain that I've had new Facebook longer than the issue, so I don't think they're related.
posted by booksherpa to Technology (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Have you tried it in another browser yet? that would be troubleshooting step #1 for me.

Does it ever UN-freeze if you let it sit for a while? 5 minutes?

If it works fine in another browser, i'd say you need to completely nuke and reinstall firefox. Delete the directory in application data, etc. this. Looks to be pretty simple.

And for what it's worth, my anemic work computer does this sometimes... and every time it does this it's swapping tons of stuff to disk from ram, as if loading up that list was actually somehow browser and data intensive locally. It will unfreeze itself if you wait long enough though.

What extensions do you have installed? any noscript-y?

Does your router block anything? DXOmark(also a stupid overly script/effect laden site, ugh) was basically locking up my browser until i realized that some parts of the page were being blocked by a content filtering setting i hadn't noticed had flipped on with a firmware update or something.

Failing all else, i'd start playing around with noscript type extensions, and trying to kill just that SmartBox from doing anything but being a dumb box i could type things into and hit post. Dunno how much success you'd have, but it's probably worth a try.

As a side note, i freaking hate what facebook has become. It's seriously the most system-intensive website i ever load up anymore. So many stupid scripts/css effects/etc. It will lag out for a second or two on even the most intensely powerful systems. i really wish there was a "basic html" option for facebook the way there is with gmail.
posted by emptythought at 12:35 PM on April 16, 2014

I have this same exact problem! I thought it was just something weird on my computer. I've tried nuking and reinstalling to no avail. I haven't tracked RAM usage yet. But, for me at least, it doesn't eventually unfreeze; I have to restart the browser. I do have AdBlock installed, but I haven't yet been able to identify the "SmartBox" element, though I admit, I'm not super good at this stuff.
posted by bluefly at 6:39 AM on April 17, 2014

Response by poster: Facebook behaves fine in another browser. Tried letting it sit after the freeze, didn't work. Don't have NoScript installed. I deleted a bunch of unused add-ons, no joy. I'm reluctant (as I said) to nuke and reinstall because I did it not that many months ago, and even more so based on bluefly's experience. I can't believe I haven't been able to find an answer, or even other people reporting this problem, from the googles. All I have router-wise is your standard home router, and I haven't changed any settings on that.

I suppose I'll have to switch to Chrome for Facebook, which is ridiculous, because I already have a perfectly good browser open. On the other hand, far less profanity and table pounding.
posted by booksherpa at 9:56 AM on April 18, 2014

what happens when you run facebook in firefox safe mode?
posted by QuakerMel at 7:53 PM on April 20, 2014

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