Firefox problem cannot run or start

October 18, 2010 by PetuaTerbaik
Filed under: Software 

This thread is about situations where you click on the firefox icon and nothing happens – you may perhaps get the hourglass for a moment or two, but no program appears, no message, nothing.


It is worth trying this first as it may fix your problem.

If that happens, the usual first step is to try safe mode. Go to Start (then Run if using XP) and type:

firefox -safe-mode

then OK.

(you can also find Safe Mode under My Computer then Drive C, then go to c:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox)

Sometimes all you have to do is to start in safe mode, close it down, then start it again, normally and everything is okay, it fixes itself.

If that doesn’t work it may be a problem with a plug in so start in safe mode again, and disable all the plug ins from Tools : Add Ons and try again.


Then the next stage afer that would usually be to delete or rename your firefox profiles as there may be a problem with them.

However if you do this you may lose your Firefox customizations such as bookmarks etc.

To find these you type start (then Run if using XP) then enter

For more about profiles see:…


Sometimes even if you do that it still won’t work. Or maybe you want to try something else first instead of deleting or renaming your profiles (that was my motivation).

If so then you can try out the trick in this thread.

Go to the FireFox folder again.

My Computer then Drive C then Program Files then Moilla Firefox

You may get a warning asking if you want to look in the Program Files folder – if so then it is fine to do that, so long as you don’t delete anything important.

Now just rename Firefox.exe to Firefox3.exe. Double click on it to start it up.

You may find it runs okay. Close it down again.

Then try renaming it back to firefoxexe and start it up again. If everything is okay then you have fixed it!

If it runs okay as firefox3.exe but won’t run at all as firefox.exe, that’s a puzzle and may possible be a sign of a virus infection of some sort. Make sure your computer is well virus protected e.g. by Norton, McAffee, or the free AVG and that your anti virus is up to date and not reporting an error condition – then do a complete scan of your computer. Also you can try Spyware Doctor – the free version in Google Tools – and remove any viruses or spyware found.


The other thing you can do is to uninstall firefox, and during the uninstall say that you want it to delete everything, then reinstall

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