How to Fix: Script Errors in Firefox, IE, Chrome

Dennis Faas's picture

Infopackets Reader 'dbrumley' writes:

" Dear Dennis,

I've had a problem lately with Firefox when visiting Amazon's website. I get a pop-up window saying a 'script on this page is either busy or not responding'. There are 3 buttons that say Stop script, Ignore error, and Debug script, along with an option that says 'Don't ask again'. I've tried using the 'Stop script' button, which closes the window, but the browser slows down and the window re-appears. The 'Ignore error' button does the same thing. The 'Debug script' button opens a window with what looks like HTML, but I can't make heads or tails of that ... If I use Google Chrome, I don't have a problem visiting Amazon's page. I thought perhaps it was an add-on or extension causing this, but I haven't added any new ones lately. Any ideas? Thanks for the excellent newsletter. "

My Response:

There are many reasons that can cause a browser to display a script error, including messages such as: "Warning: Unresponsive script", or "A script on this page may be busy, or it may have stopped responding," and similar. I'll explain how to fix these problems using Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Chrome.

How to Fix: Script Errors in Firefox, IE, Chrome

Here are some common reasons why you may receive a script error in your web browser - and how to fix it:

  1. A script error will often appear if your browser is out of date and does not provide certain functions found in newer browsers. In that case, make sure you're using the latest version of your web browser. It is also a very good security practice to ensure that your browser is up to date in order to stay protected against online threats.
  2. Other plug-ins and extensions installed on your browser (such as a cookie / ad blocker) can interfere with scripts running on a page. In that case, try disabling ALL of your plug-ins and extensions, then revisit the page in question to see if that fixes the problem. If you're using Firefox, you can also achieve this by restarting Firefox is Safe Mode. To do so, click the Help menu, then select "Restart with add-ons disabled." You can also start Internet Explorer in safe mode, as well as Chrome.
  3. Some scripts may also have problems with Hardware Acceleration related to video cards. In this case you can try disabling the hardware acceleration feature to see if that helps. In Firefox, click the Tools menu, then Options. A new window will appear; click the Advanced menu on the left. Under the General tab, un-check mark the "Use hardware acceleration when available" option. There are similar steps to disable hardware acceleration for Internet Explorer and Chrome.
  4. Sometimes a script on a page can cause an error if the browser thinks it's a 'hung process', then ask if you want to continue or stop the script. In this case, you can try clicking on the continue button to see if that helps. It's also worth noting that anti-malware / antivirus programs can cause scripts to take longer to load as they are vetted through the system.
  5. Script errors can also occur if your security level is set to high on the browser, including antivirus / anti-malware settings. For example, you might receive the error that "Your security settings have blocked an untrusted application from running." In that case, try resetting the browser's security to default and see if that helps. If you can't figure that out, you may also want to try resetting the browser itself. Here's instructions on how to: reset Firefox; reset Internet Explorer, and reset Chrome. If you still have issues, you can also try temporarily disabling your antivirus protection and reload the page in question - but only if you trust the site.
  6. Some scripts on websites use Java (applets) instead of Javascript to run scripts, but either one can generate an error message. If you have downloaded and use Java from Sun Microsystems, make sure you download the latest version to ensure it is up to date. You can check to see if Java is installed on your machine by going to the Control Panel in Windows, then double click Programs and Features, and then look to see if "Java" is installed on the machine.
  7. The script running on the website you're visiting can also have bugs in it, which is beyond your control. Some scripts may also slow your system down to a crawl. In this case, you might want to use a third-party plug-in that can disable scripts from running on certain sites. One such plug-in is called YesScript for Firefox, which lets you make a blacklist of sites that aren't allowed to run JavaScript. This will prevent error messages from popping up on the pages you visit, but may also break functionality of some websites.

I hope that helps.

Still having Problems with Script Errors? I can help.

If you're getting script error messages on websites and you've read the instructions above (or if they are over your head), I can help to resolve the problem for you as part of my remote desktop support service. Simply contact me with your question and we can set up a time to meet online to discuss the issue.

Got a Computer Question or Problem? Ask Dennis!

I need more computer questions. If you have a computer question - or even a computer problem that needs fixing - please email me with your question so that I can write more articles like this one. I can't promise I'll respond to all the messages I receive (depending on the volume), but I'll do my best.

About the author: Dennis Faas is the owner and operator of With over 30 years of computing experience, Dennis' areas of expertise are a broad range and include PC hardware, Microsoft Windows, Linux, network administration, and virtualization. Dennis holds a Bachelors degree in Computer Science (1999) and has authored 6 books on the topics of MS Windows and PC Security. If you like the advice you received on this page, please up-vote / Like this page and share it with friends. For technical support inquiries, Dennis can be reached via Live chat online this site using the Zopim Chat service (currently located at the bottom left of the screen); optionally, you can contact Dennis through the website contact form.

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dbrumley3077's picture

Thanks very much for your very thorough and informative reply. A recent Java update has seemed to solve the issue. I shall be sure to save this information for any future problems of this nature.