Ultra-rare Firefox "issue": multiple instances with one profile (I want it!)


Senior Squad
I never knew Firefox runs usually only one instance. I've always used it with multiple instances and one profile.

I posted this on MozillaZine and could not get help -- more because it's rare than because it's difficult, it seem. That's why I'm posting here also.

I don't know if it is a "feature" of Firefox or something I may have enabled through some extension... but I've only noticed it recently.

Thing is... no matter how many windows I open, only one instance of Firefox keeps running. I used to have one instance per window and I think that way was better, because I could, for example, close one "heavy" window to free some memory up while leaving other window open. And when one of the windows froze, I could kill it thorugh the task manager and nothing would happen to the other(s) window(s). Last night I got that problem and had to kill the process -- then all the windows were gone!

What could I do to make Firefox work the way it used to do, with multiple instances (one instance per window)?

Thanks in advance.

PS: I'm using Firefox with the following extensions: Talkback, Adblock Plus, Tab Mix Plus, IE View and Extended Statusbar.
For instances I mean processes running.

I used to work with one process per window. It used to work like this: each window of Firefox I opened, a new firefox.exe appeared under the Process tab on Task Manager. Like if I open three windows of Internet Explorer, I will see three IEXPLORER.EXE running.

I always used only one profile (default). Worked like a charm.

Now, for each window I open, there isn't a new firefox.exe running. Instead, it seems the new window became part of the already open firefox.exe (the memory used by the process increases).
I swear I used to have multiple instances of Firefox running. And I'm not the only one, see: http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/showthread.php?t=361238&pp=10

(Ironically the guy wanted the exact opposite of what I want!)

By the way, Tab Mix Plus is not the reason of my "problem", I just uninstalled it and Firefox kept working with only one instance.
t's normal for me to have more than 10 tabs per window. Multiple instances make the browsing so much easier, at least for me. I had better control over the amount of memory Firefox took.

Stupid examples:

"Damn, my PC is so slow. Oh, well, I think I'm done with those heavy webpages, but I gotta keep these light ones open. Since I have separated process for each, I can close the window with heavy webpages and free some memory up. Cool."

"Damn, my PC is so slow. Oh, well, I think I'm done with those heavy webpages, but I gotta keep these light ones open. Since I don't have separated process for each, I need to close both windows to free some memory up. Now... what were the light pages open? What a waste of time..."

"**** this flash animation, the window is frozen and I can't do ****! At least my other windows remain open with no problem."

"**** this flash animation, the window is frozen and I can't do ****! To make Firefox work properly again I gotta close all my windows!"

Multiple instances is something so natural and necessary for me. If I am not wrong, Internet Explorer 3 or 4 used only one instance, then Microsoft added an option so we could open more than one instance. Later, it became activated by default.

I am so frustrated, really. I did lots of research and could not find an answer to my question. It's certainly something very rare, something not even the programmers expect to happen. I got two PCs with Firefox working that way and now it's gone. And, unfortunately, I don't even know why/how! The worst thing is I don't have any idea how I could get Firefox to work that way again, I got so used to it... damn.

What I have done to make it happen, I wonder. Installed some Windows updates, changed some network configuration, upgraded Firefox to It seems I will never have an answer. Sad

Just hope some day Firefox allow multiple instances without any major concerns.
I'll try to explain again the memory thing.

When I used more than one instance, I could control by myself the amount of memory taken by Firefox. How? Planning what I was going to open in which instance -- because each process would use RAM differently.

So I could have one window for light pages, basically text with few images, and other with some heavy embedded stuff, scripts, etc. Usually the light ones takes more time to read, are more important, more interesting. So to free some memory up I could close the process with heavy content which was taking much more RAM than the one with light pages.

Finally, I didn't open this thread just to ask how I do something that came out of my mind. I actually used Firefox the way I'm talking! Probably something on my PCs was causing Firefox to act like that before version (sad that I went back to older versions and couldn't get it to work the old way, so it's something kind of complex, I suppose). Multiple process is not something I just want, it's something I do miss!

By the way, if I let the Task Manager open and I click several times on the Firefox icon (opening many windows), it's possible to see (for less than a second) a new firefox.exe appearing under the process tab, then kind of "joining" the "main" firefox.exe (increasing the memory used by this one). I believe something on my PCs let the new process running separated from the one already open, or it was "blocking" that from joining this. I really don't know. It seems there's no info about that so obviously it's a very uncommon thing. But it was natural for me... So natural I always thought Firefox worked that way.

Am I the only one here who have used Firefox the way I described?

The thread on MozillaZine is at http://forums.mozillazine.org/viewt...tdays=0&postorder=asc&postsperpage=15&start=0

Any help is appreciated. A candy for the hero who can solve my "problem".

By the way, does Opera usually works with only one instance too?

Thanks in advance.


SG Sheffield Authority
If I get the gist (I didn't read all the post, almost time for work :$) opening lots of tabs means you get more than one instance of FF in the task manager? Never happens here, and I often have 20+ tabs in one window :S

Kibe Kru

Starting XI
I can't give much info about FF, though in Opera you can have different "windows", with several "tabs" in each of them. You can close one and have the other ones open, though there's only one "opera.exe" under process in task manager...