Mozilla Adds Firefox Plug-in Crash Protection

In Firefox 3.6.4, Mozilla has included protections to keep crashes caused by third-party plug-ins from disrupting the user's browsing experience. Right now, this feature is only available for Windows and Linux users.

Mozilla's Firefox security update June 22 brought more than just a bevy of patches for the Web browser. It also brought new protections against crashes caused by plug-ins.

In Firefox 3.6.4 for Windows and Linux, if a plug-in crashes or freezes, the browser will continue running while portions of the Websites controlled by the plug-in will be disabled.

"Results from our beta testing show Firefox 3.6.4 will significantly reduce the number of Firefox crashes experienced by users who are watching online videos or playing games," blogged Mike Beltzner, director of Firefox. "When a plug-in crashes or freezes while using Firefox, users can enjoy uninterrupted browsing by simply refreshing the page."

According to Mozilla, as many as one in three Firefox browser crashes are caused by problems with various third-party plug-ins. There are plans to make the feature available for Mac OS X users in Firefox 4. The feature will not be made available for Firefox 3.5 or older versions.

In May, Mozilla updated its Plugin Check page to add support for other browsers, including Google Chrome and Apple Safari. The page allows users to check to see if they are running the most current and secure versions of the plug-ins they are using.

"Mozilla recognizes that third-party plug-ins provide important functionality in many of today's Websites," Beltzner said. "At the same time, plug-ins can lead to problems for users as they browse. With the ability to automatically alert users when they have out-of-date plug-ins, and now crash protection, Firefox 3.6.4 allows users to experience all the content they love without any of the hassles."