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Firefox browser problems can often be solved by a re-install of Firefox itself. Otherwise, any of the top three browsers will do the trick.


Right now, I've got Firefox version 3.0.19 on my computer and I've got to upgrade because I can't do a lot on the computer for stuff like Facebook or sometimes emails and so forth. Now my question is what can I get? I cannot upgrade to the newest as it makes my computer freeze and the internet will close on me. So what can I get that's close to and isn't an upgrade so it works on my computer? And I do NOT want to have private browsing options on my computer either!

In this excerpt from Answercast #73, I look at problems with a Firefox browser install and some options for fixing it or moving to a different browser.

Firefox browser problems

So I'm not really sure what your concern is about private browsing options. That is an option that comes with the browser. All of the major browsers actually have it right now. My suggestion is that you simply ignore it... don't use it if you don't want to use it. It doesn't really harm anything to have that feature around and not use it.

Choosing a browser

So, the big three browsers (I currently believe) are all fairly equivalent and fairly safe and secure.

Those three are Firefox, Microsoft's Internet Explorer (which you may already have on your machine), and Google's Chrome.

I happen to use Google Chrome as my primary browser - but to be honest, all three of Firefox, Chrome, and IE are pretty much on a par. They all have their pros and their cons. They all have their supporters and their detractors. But, by and large, I take it to be more of a personal choice/personal taste kind of a decision as to which one you want to use.

So in your case, I'd probably give IE a try first since it's probably already on your machine. If that doesn't do it for you, then I would download and install Google Chrome.

Updating Firefox

Now, let's talk about Firefox for a minute because I'm concerned that you can't update it. I think that is something worth exploring and worth trying to fix.

What I would recommend you do is to actually uninstall Firefox completely - first. In other words, don't try and upgrade it.

Get rid of it completely. In fact, go so far as to grab Revo Uninstaller and use it to do a complete and thorough uninstall of Firefox. Then go to the Firefox website and get the latest copy. Download and install it.

I would be shocked if, at that point, it just didn't work. In which case, you may not have to change browsers at all.

So, those are my three recommendations: see if you can't fix Firefox, consider using Internet Explorer, or consider downloading Google Chrome.

(Transcript lightly edited for readability.)

Article C6070 - November 26, 2012 « »

Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

Not what you needed?

November 27, 2012 9:07 AM

A good alternative to firefox would be Google Chrome. I have both the browsers, but notice that firefox hangs up often. Chrome on the other hand loads pretty quickly. Opera is also good if your internet connection is not fast enough.

You can also download the older versions of firefox from if you don't want to upgrade to the latest version.

November 27, 2012 9:20 AM

Actually, all the poster really needs to do is create a new profile. Since he/she is jumping from 3.0.9, which is about seven years old, to 17 the is likely a lot of trash in the profile that the current version of Firefox is attempting to deal with. See

November 27, 2012 10:05 AM

Opera is another good browser choice.

November 27, 2012 10:59 AM

Opera is a great browser choice. Speed Dial and navigating with mouse gestures have made it indispensable for me.

James S
November 28, 2012 2:16 AM

I've used Firefox since it was called Firebird, with very few problems. But I now prefer Opera - it seems to be quicker. I too use Speed Dial a lot, and in contrast to Gil, I'm somewhat mouse averse and find it very keyboard friendly.
And when I tried Chrome, it didn't seem to offer anything.

November 28, 2012 6:30 AM

Opera here too. Fast, safe and reliable. I would definitely recommend it over any version of IE. (the only time in years now that I have disagreed with Mr.Notenboom) I understand that IE is vastly improved but....... ahem. Onward, I totally agree that if you like F.F. and just want to fix it, then a reinstall will most likely help. Revo is always a recommendation.

November 28, 2012 7:32 AM

Palemoon is a Firefox clone, is faster, slimmer and stable, and I use it with many Firefox extensions

November 30, 2012 5:56 AM

I like your articles, simple and very helpful

Billy Bob
December 2, 2012 7:14 PM

I have the same problem on one of my computers: I'm running Firefox 3.6.28 and can't update. But I know what my problem is: I'm running an old version of Mac OS--10.4--and later versions of Firefox won't run. Could something similar be happening with this questioner?

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