Sit, Firefox! Stay.... good boy.
October 12, 2007 6:24 AM   Subscribe

Firefox keeps disappearing from my task bar.

When I minimize Firefox the application disappears from the task bar. It only happens sometimes and it's only when I minimize the window. However, if I run Task manager I see that it's still running and I can select it to bring the browser back (and it reappears in the task bar). Anyone know what's going on here? It's only Firefox (v, it's done this in a previous version as well) and this is on an XP machine.
posted by like_neon to Computers & Internet (12 answers total)
Is it being minimised to the system tray? There is an add-on that allows this to happen, and when you minimise it puts it in the sys tray, rather than the task bar.
posted by the_epicurean at 6:51 AM on October 12, 2007

@the_epicurean: The Extension is called MinimizeToTray. There is an option that says "Always minimize to the tray instead of taskbar." Maybe it's acting a little wonky, if it's installed.

My suggestion would be disable your extensions and see if it still exhibits the behavior you describe.
posted by EastCoastBias at 6:59 AM on October 12, 2007

I don't have this extension and the same thing happens from time to time (XP, FF 2.0).
posted by bru at 7:03 AM on October 12, 2007

I do not have the extension to minimize to the system tray.
The only extensions I have are IE view and Sage... neither of which has anything to do with minimizing, but I'll try disabling them to see if that does the trick. If it that does work I'll update this AskMe but if I don't it means that didn't work. :)
posted by like_neon at 7:10 AM on October 12, 2007

i have seen this a couple of times on XP, with FF 2 and earlier versions. I believe it happens when RAM gets tight and Windows has to do a lot of swapping. Firefox is a noted RAM hog and there are extensions that are known to leak memory, so I see memory issues fairly often. How much RAM do you have?
posted by tommasz at 7:44 AM on October 12, 2007

Try installing the newer version: (v over the old one. This just takes a minute or two, and often eliminates glitches.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 8:10 AM on October 12, 2007

I have a gig of RAM. I'm usually running Visio and a couple of Office programs like Outlook and Powerpoint. Combined with these is Firefox enough of a memory hog to credit tommasz guess?
posted by like_neon at 8:50 AM on October 12, 2007

Right now, Firefox is consuming over 120 Meg. I have only one window open, no tabs. My machine also has 1 GB RAM and I run a similar application set as you do. Check Task Manager and see how much Firefox is using along with your overall memory usage profile.

Unfortunately, whether it's Firefox itself or one of its extensions leaking memory, the only real solution is quitting and restarting Firefox. I do that a couple of times a day. It's crude but it works.

Firefox fanboys: yes I know "it's not a bug, it's a feature!" But does any web browser really need 120 Meg to display one AskMe page?
posted by tommasz at 9:47 AM on October 12, 2007

On XP I have long had the problem that very occasionally (once a week maybe) one FF window disappears from the task bar. Say I know I have 5 windows but only 4 are listed. Rarely I get FF appearing twice in the task bar - 1 lists 4 windows and the other lists 2 windows.

I always presumed it was a windows bug.

If I have a lot of Notepad windows, sometimes they get lost or split into multiple groups.
posted by MonkeySaltedNuts at 1:34 PM on October 12, 2007

I have the same problem. I can get Firefox to reappear by pressing alt + tab until it comes back.
posted by fvox13 at 1:43 PM on October 12, 2007

This also happens to me on my office PC. I just alt-tab to firefox at that point, so I've never really bothered to investigate. It seems common enough to attribute it to a bug. I have 4GB of RAM, so I doubt things are really getting tight, but I do often notice FF taking up an inordinate amount of space, hundreds of MBs. I'm with tommasz on the ridiculousness of the memory consumption, but on the other hand I don't think I've seen a banner ad in six months. It might be worth it.
posted by dreadpiratesully at 1:47 PM on October 12, 2007

Ok, just came back to my desk. I have a chat client, MS Outlook and Firefox open and Firefox is gone. 120MB! Crikey! I was really hoping someone knew of a fix but I guess this will need to go down in the annals of unanswered AskMes for now.
posted by like_neon at 2:02 AM on October 15, 2007

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