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Why does moving my mouse in firefox slow down my computer

Last response: in Windows XP
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May 12, 2012 6:25:37 AM

Hi there.
I am usually above average tech-savvy, but have struck upon a weird problem.
I use Firefox 12, and I have noticed that moving my mouse pointer around drastically reduces my pc speed. If I move it rapidly back and forth, I can increase the Task Manager's CPU usage on the performance tab from 18% all the way to full 100% usage, if Firefox has been running long, or with multiple tabs. It is most noticeable in the framerate of animated gifs, such as the smileys to the right of this text entry box. By moving it quickly, I can make the animations slow down to just over a frame a second.
Task manager's Process tab shows a specific increase in Firefox's CPU usage up to 40% more, even if it is on a single, low mem page.
I am running a Pentium Dual Core E5300 @ 2.6 Ghz, with 4 gigs of memory installed, and a user-defined page file size of the max 4096 Mb
My "mouse" is a MS USB trackball optical 1.0, running the standard Trackball Optical (Intellipoint) USB drivers.
I do not notice such an extreme performance hit when firefox is not running.

Is this a common issue? I find few pages at the Mozilla site about this, and none for newer versions of the MoZilla/Firefox engine. Google only seems to return results relating to the speed of mouse response, and that is not an issue, as the mouse itself is very precise in its control, even at the expense of the reaction of pages I am moving it on.
Seriously flustered, and too tired to keep searching through hundreds of other non-related issues elsewhere.

Thanks for the time,
Lee Maynor
May 12, 2012 8:25:51 AM

Keyrlis said:
Hi there.
I am usually above average tech-savvy, but have struck upon a weird problem.
I use Firefox 12, and I have noticed that moving my mouse pointer around drastically reduces my pc speed. If I move it rapidly back and forth, I can increase the Task Manager's CPU usage on the performance tab from 18% all the way to full 100% usage, if Firefox has been running long, or with multiple tabs. It is most noticeable in the framerate of animated gifs, such as the smileys to the right of this text entry box. By moving it quickly, I can make the animations slow down to just over a frame a second.
Task manager's Process tab shows a specific increase in Firefox's CPU usage up to 40% more, even if it is on a single, low mem page.
I am running a Pentium Dual Core E5300 @ 2.6 Ghz, with 4 gigs of memory installed, and a user-defined page file size of the max 4096 Mb
My "mouse" is a MS USB trackball optical 1.0, running the standard Trackball Optical (Intellipoint) USB drivers.
I do not notice such an extreme performance hit when firefox is not running.

Is this a common issue? I find few pages at the Mozilla site about this, and none for newer versions of the MoZilla/Firefox engine. Google only seems to return results relating to the speed of mouse response, and that is not an issue, as the mouse itself is very precise in its control, even at the expense of the reaction of pages I am moving it on.
Seriously flustered, and too tired to keep searching through hundreds of other non-related issues elsewhere.

Thanks for the time,
Lee Maynor

got a p/s2 port ?
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May 13, 2012 4:11:45 AM

I do, and in fact have tried using a USB to PS/2 adapter with the trackball, but the same thing happens, and only makes it so it the wire doesn't reach all the way around the computer desk to me. :) 
Also, I have plugged in an optical mouse with a native PS/2 connect, and have the same results: Mouse movement on any web page slows firefox (and the PC in general) down to a crawl. Could my mouse polling speed be set too high somewhere?
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May 13, 2012 9:24:15 AM

Keyrlis said:
I do, and in fact have tried using a USB to PS/2 adapter with the trackball, but the same thing happens, and only makes it so it the wire doesn't reach all the way around the computer desk to me. :) 
Also, I have plugged in an optical mouse with a native PS/2 connect, and have the same results: Mouse movement on any web page slows firefox (and the PC in general) down to a crawl. Could my mouse polling speed be set too high somewhere?


Is this an issue that just recently developed ? Does the same issue present itself when in Safe Mode ?
Doubtful it is a software (firefox) issue, but try another browser to see.
Might take a look in "event viewer" just to see if you can make sense of any MS cryptic error messages. Would also try another p/s2 mouse, with a straight connection to the port, without USB adaptor - Just the old tried & true connection without any adaptor.
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Best solution

May 13, 2012 2:24:17 PM

I'm not sure if it can help, but it's worth to try. I had something similar related to add-ons.

Try opening your Firefox without add ons and see if the problem is still there:
Start> run
type
firefox -safe-mode
and check Disable Add-ons , apply it and restart firefox.

:hello: 
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May 14, 2012 5:32:23 AM

Event viewer has no related info, and the optical mouse I referred to as native is an actual direct PS/2 mouse, no adapter.
I noticed it was affecting the video on YouTube, causing stuttering in videos (but not audio) as well, but not when I maximize them.
I tried firefox in safe mode, and there is not nearly as much of a CPU hit. Although I had thought it was happening in IE as well, it appears just to have been an effect of never updating Iexplore. I guess I can go looking to see what add-on is causing it. What was the offending program in your case, Me 1?
And why didn't I think about safe mode (DOH!)
Thanks for the practical assistance, guys. Now to attack the problem directly :) 
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May 14, 2012 6:00:38 AM

Got it!
Google's Search by Image plug in.
Installed it about the same time I started using the trackball, and completely forgot it wasn't part of firefox to begin with. As soon as I disabled it, I noticed improved response times and less CPU usage. Animated gifs display annoyingly correctly now, and YouTube videos display properly. Guess it wasn't hardware related after all, so cost me nothing to fix. YAY! :pt1cable: 
I replaced the google plug in with the TinyEye plug in, and have had no issues yet.
Thanks again for the proper direction focus!

Wonder if it would be more useful in the long run to send a bug report to Google, Firefox, or just my garbage... :heink: 
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May 14, 2012 6:01:34 AM

Best answer selected by Keyrlis.
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May 14, 2012 3:13:33 PM

Hi again!
I've encountered such weird stuff related to mouses...
In my case, after all the trial and error, I remember it was a translation toolbar.

I'm glad that it worked for you, Keyrlis!

:hello: 
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