Windows Computer Error Cannot Load XPCOM 2018

How to Fix the Cannot Load XPCOM message in 2018

Cannot Load XPCOM error is usually caused by a corrupted or missing dynamic-link library (DLL) file or files. Errors related to it usually occur when a program does not handle the file during use. This common problem happens within the Windows registry, where applications look up the location of DLLs they need to operate. Because these are critical files, when one becomes unavailable (corrupted, missing or the wrong one), all sorts of things can go wrong.

Common issues are program lock-ups, slow PC performance, system freezes, blue screen errors (BSOD), startup or shutdown problems, and installation errors. In the worst-case scenario, if the DLL is required by Windows, your entire system could become unstable or unbootable.

We would advise against fixing Cannot Load XPCOM errors manually. In doing so, it could take several hours, do more harm than good, and end up not even resolving the underlying problem.

Some people may recommend, as a solution, for example, downloading a program such as “Advanced System Repair Pro”. The problem with this approach is the possibility that the software program can do more harm than good. Programs such as “Advanced System Repair Pro” run a variety of troubleshooting and diagnostic tests on your computer in order to pinpoint and fix almost all known issues. If you wish you can read some more information and the practical use of this software.

Cannot Load XPCOM and Firefox

We have seen the error “Cannot load XPCOM” with the following program: Firefox. Firefox couldn’t open and the following error is displayed on the screen: “Couldn’t load XPCOM”, usually in a box in the middle of the screen. The XPCOM error is caused on a Windows-based computer whenever a user tries to open Mozilla Firefox after a Windows Update or if the Firefox’s profile folder is corrupted. Firefox’s profile folder corruption may happen after a virus attack or after installing a third-party extension on your Firefox browser.

How to Fix the Problem In Firefox

Below we list several options to correct this problem;

Option1. Reinstall – Upgrade Firefox to the latest version

From another Web browser (e.g Chrome, Edge or Internet Explorer) download and install the latest version of Firefox onto your computer.

Do not uninstall the present version of Firefox, just run the Firefox Installer and follow the on-screen prompts to repair/upgrade the current Firefox application.

Option 2. Start Firefox in Safe Mode and Disable Firefox’s Extensions (Add-ons)

Start Firefox in Safe Mode by following this procedure:

Hold down the shift key and then click or double click the Firefox icon to start the application. Then choose the “Start in Safe Mode” button.

If Firefox starts without the XPCOM error message, then it is probably a Firefox extension (add-on) which is causing the error message (“Cannot load XPCOM”). As this may be the case, disable each “add-on” one-by-one then close and start Firefox normally. With all “add-ons” disabled try to start Firefox again.

If Firefox starts with no error message go back into “Start in Safe Mode” and enable each “add-on” one by one until the problem is found. After each enables you would need to shut down Firefox and then restart Firefox. A little time consuming but there is no other thorough way to do it.

To disable a Firefox “add-on” from the main screen, click on the 3 horizontal bars on the right and then click on the jigsaw piece which says “Add-ons”

At the Extensions windows (under the tab Add-ons Manager) disable all items. Probably best not to remove any at this stage. The “bad add-on” can be removed later when it is determined which it is.

So having disabled and then enabled “add-ons” the problem can be found and when the error is again displayed you will need to start Firefox in “Safe Mode” again.

If after disabling all “add-ons” the problem still there then go to Option 3 below. 

Option 3. Reset Firefox Settings to Default

Start Firefox in “Safe Mode” as before then click the “Refresh Firefox” button instead of the “Start in Safe Mode” button. This refreshes Firefox.

It is suggested by Mozilla that you refresh Firefox a second time. So do as they say.

When refreshing Firefox what will happen is:

  1. Firefox browser settings are set to default
  2. A new user profile is created and all “add-ons”, plug-ins, search engines are removed. So any customisation is wiped out in other words.
  3. What a refresh does not do is: remove Bookmarks; Browsing History; Passwords; Cookies; web form auto-fill information and personal dictionary. 

Option 4. Uninstall and Re-install Firefox on your computer

If none of the above options resolves the XPCOM error when starting Firefox, then:

  1. Backup your Firefox Passwords, Bookmarks, Settings and anything else you may need.
  2. Completely remove Firefox with its folders from your computer
  3. Download and install a new version of Firefox
  4. Restore your Bookmarks etc as above.

Option 5. Restore Your Computer To An Earlier Working State by using System Restore

  1. By using System Restore you can try to restore your computer to a previously working state in order to resolve the XPCOM error in Firefox. We don’t cover using Microsoft System Restore in this article, please see that article on our website.
  2. Using System Restore (accessed through the Control Panel; System and System Protection) will undo any changes you have made to the computer in the last xx days. Xx being today’s date and the date of the System Restore point. This method can have advantages and disadvantages so “think before you leap”, you can do significant damage to your Operating System.
  3. In some instances where Hard Disk space is at a premium a System Restore point may not be available.

Option 6. Ditch Firefox and use something else

Other browsers available for a Windows computer are Chrome, Safari, Edge, Internet Explorer or Opera.

Do you still want help?  If you live in Brisbane, you can bring your computer, laptop or Mac to us at 48 Octantis Street, Brisbane, you may want to check our repair rates which I am sure you will find, as most of our customers do, are in fact quite affordable. Please contact us on 3397 1215 or 0409 974 707 before you arrive.

Cannot Load XPCOM

Affordable Computer Repairs and Service Brisbane