Process Plugin-Container.exe on task manager

Firefox users with eagle eyes might have spotted a new process that pops up from time to time when they are running the web browser. The process plugin-container.exe appears and disappears sporadically depending on the websites visited.

Mozilla has added so called out-of-process plugins to the Firefox web browser. This feature runs specific Firefox plugins, like Adobe’s Flash Player, Quicktime or Silverlight, in their own process whenever they are needed to run elements on a web page
The plugin-container.exe process is that extra process that is launched whenever one of the supported plugins is started in Firefox.

The process remains active once it has been started. It is for instance triggered when the Firefox user starts to view a Flash or Quicktime video and closed when Firefox is closed or its manually killed.

Mozilla currently uses one plugin container for all supported browser plugins. This is unlike Google Chrome where every plugin is launched in its own process. Future Firefox versions will be modified so that the plugins are run in their own process as well.

Check out Run Custom Firefox Plugins In Their Own Process to find out how to run additional plugins in Plugin-Container.exe instead of the main Firefox process.

Plugin-Container.exe currently supports the following three popular plugins:

  • Adobe Flash
  • Apple Quicktime
  • Microsoft Silverlight

Support is tied to plugin crash reports that Mozilla receives from user systems who have opted in to submit those information automatically whenever a plugin on the system crashes. New plugins may be added to the Plugin Container process if their crash rate increases significantly.



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