Firefox dropdown menus are flickering on 2nd monitor

in firefox shortcuts, tweaks, and tips

The Problem: Firefox Menus Flicker and Go Blank

Had a very weird problem with Firefox on my Windows 7 box. (It might also happen on Ubuntu desktop.) I switched the connection on my second, extended desktop monitor to use DVI instead of VGA. Suddenly, all the Firefox drop-down menus went blank. They would flicker briefly and I could see the contents, but then they would go blank.

For example, when typing in a URL in the Firefox wonderbar, I get a code completion drop down list with all matching URLs and locations I’ve recently visited. The drop down list is there and appears for a split fraction of second, but then it goes blank and I can’t see it. It’s just a big blank rectangle. Oddly, I can select items from it and they appear in the wonderbar, but I don’t see them until I select them and all remaining items remain blank.

The same thing happens for the search box, some Firefox menus, etc.

The Solution: Turn off Firefox Hardware Acceleration

This was driving me nuts and I had a hard time googling the answer. But I finally found the solution:

Firefox dropdown menus are flickering

How to fix Firefox flickering dropdown menus: turn off Hardware Acceleration (click image to enlarge)

Got to the Firefox Options –> Advanced tab –> General tab. In the “Browsing” section uncheck the box marked “Use hardware acceleration when available”

Cha-ching!!! Problem solved.

Joel August 31, 2011 at 2:56 pm

GREAT!!! like you stated, it was driving me nuts but now it’s working; the only thing is that the sub-menus take a little longer to display but I can live with that…

Felix September 6, 2011 at 3:35 am

Thx for the post – Really helpful

Vladimir October 3, 2011 at 5:42 am

Thanks a lot! Solved the problem.

Hassan October 18, 2011 at 8:18 am

Thanks for the post; this helped.

HVYMTL October 19, 2011 at 6:35 pm

Worked like a charm…was driving me crazy…thx!

Bill November 18, 2011 at 1:15 am

Thanks for the solution!

Need to add, this occurs since I installed the nVidia driver

n November 29, 2011 at 1:35 pm

To solve the problem without disabling hardware acceleration…
1: Start Firefox
2: Drag Firefox in the extended monitor.
3: Maximize Firefox (little square on top right)
4: Restore down Firefox (2 little square on top right) (This will tell Firefox to open in the extended monitor)
5: Close Firefox.
5: Start Firefox. It will open in the extended monitor and will correctly work in both monitor.
NB: Windows7 64, firefox 6 and 8.01, Lenovo x200 laptop with latest drivers.

Editor November 30, 2011 at 8:38 pm

Thanks N!

su January 11, 2012 at 6:14 pm

Thanks a mill! It was driving me nuts too.

Sebastian Wehr January 13, 2012 at 12:01 am

Holy :) Thank you very much for this fix ! too bad i didnt find it for quite some time

Thanks SO much :)

Ross January 13, 2012 at 6:34 am

Thanks for posting this. I had the same problem and I thought it may be my video card but I’m glad it was a Firefox issue.

Justin January 19, 2012 at 5:54 pm

Thanks a lot, this problem was getting really annoying!

TerrorT February 6, 2012 at 7:46 pm

Brilliant…had also been driving me nuts. Thanks for the post.

Kastor Lieberung February 10, 2012 at 8:37 am

Another way to solve the problem without disabling hardware acceleration :

I solved it by unchecking the box marked “Use hardware acceleration when available” (as explained in the first post).
Then I returned in Firefox Options and checked the box again : it was still working fine after that, so you can keep the hardware acceleration.

Ryan B February 10, 2012 at 5:22 pm

Thank you!!! This has been driving me nuts.

Paddy February 20, 2012 at 9:45 am

Thanks for this article, I was having this issue for some days and it was driving me mad (don’t know why it appeared in the first place). But thanks a lot anyway :)

Mike February 21, 2012 at 4:04 am

Thanks a lot, so happy now ;-)

chantal February 22, 2012 at 9:33 am

thanks sooooo much! you are my hero. this was driving me crayz!!! :)

Jacque February 29, 2012 at 10:59 am

Confirming that this solution works on Win7, FF 10.0.2, as of Feb 29 2012.

However, @Kastor Lieberung’s solution did not work for me; the behavior changed and was _better_ than it had been, but still a problem with inconsistent and flickering dropdowns (specifically when a dropdown contained a side-menu, as in a folder in the bookmarks dropdown). I’m leaving the option unchecked.

Joe Loiacono March 5, 2012 at 9:56 pm

Thanks! That was quick.

Christopher West March 6, 2012 at 11:01 pm

I have been battling this for ages. Thanks mate!

john March 8, 2012 at 6:37 am

AHHHhhh! thanks so much.

Warrick March 12, 2012 at 2:31 pm

thank you, this fix worked like a charm.

Fiaz Idris March 14, 2012 at 5:36 am

Thank you so much… this was bugging me for months… and voila.

lucky guy March 15, 2012 at 3:22 am

thx man!

E. Toering March 16, 2012 at 6:47 am

You are my hero! Thank you for creating this page!

(I’ll stop using exclamation marks now ;) )

Susan March 16, 2012 at 4:05 pm

Thanks so much for this solution to a very *annoying* problem!

JB March 21, 2012 at 1:03 pm

Thank you. This was driving me crazy. You pretty much just saved my computer from being dropped kicked out the window!

James March 21, 2012 at 11:29 pm

YAY!! I’ve been pulling my hair out trying to figure out what has been causing this. It has affected firefox versions all the way back to Version 8. Thank You SOOO much!

em March 23, 2012 at 12:26 pm

Thank you so much for this post ! I was about to go crazy with my bookmarks flickering, very counter-productive…

BongoBox April 2, 2012 at 6:15 pm

The OPs solutions as well as the n’s solution seem to work ….

ZT April 15, 2012 at 5:22 pm

Thanks so much, that flickering was driving me CRAZY!!!! ha ha, but seriously, it worked like a charm, Thanks!

vadelmo April 24, 2012 at 12:23 pm

Thanks a load!! Problem got so annoying, surprised and happy that it was so easy to resolve :)

Mark Tschacuello May 3, 2012 at 5:15 am

Thank you so much for that information and your work to find a solution for that … prob!
That makes it much more comfortable for me. When ever you will be near Bonn in Germany I spend at least a beer or two :-)

chengguan June 14, 2012 at 11:20 pm

Thanks!! it was rather irritating!!

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