Firefox is an invisible application

I have been using Comodo for over two months now. I primarily use Firefox as my Internet browser, and I usually start it up with Stardock’s ObjectDock (so it’s the “parent”). For these last two months, every single time that I start Firefox, I have to click to accept 4-10 Comodo alerts (and I always check the box to remember the action). I would think that it would be trained by now, hence my writing this post. It usually tells me one of two things: either that “firefox is an invisible application,” or that there are hidden components (or something like that). This is happening on a clean system. I have no viruses, spyware, adware, or anything of the kind. I am sure of this as I recently had the system checked by my local computer store, and I run Bitdefender (which is always active, except for the firewall), and use other programs to check on a regular basis (Ad-Aware, Spy Sweeper, Hijack This!, & Spybot Search & Destroy; as well as JV16 Power Tools to clean the registry).

Will this behavior ever stop? Is there anything I can do to get it to stop? This is happening every time I simply start my browser, and ends up slowing things down so much! It literally takes up to 5+ minutes just to get Firefox started. I don’t have the fastest computer in the world, but it’s a Pentium 4 2.2 Gig processor, with 2 GB of RAM, and no hard drive is over 50% full (and they are always defragged).

Someone please, please help me. If I cannot get this resolved, I am going to have to give up on Comodo, as it just takes entirely too much time to start up Firefox.

Hello fox_upzujf.

A few things to check.

  1. Look at the entries for Firefox in the Application Monitor and check the name in the ‘Parent’ field. Although you may have ‘remembered’ rules for ObjectDock as the parent, its possible, particularly if Firefox has been launched via another method (A link, from the start menu, a short cut, the desktop etc>, that the ‘Parent’ will be different.

  2. In Application Monitor check each rule for Firefox. Select a rule, right click, then choose Miscellaneous. Is there a tick in the box for 'Allow Invisible Connection Attempts.

  3. Check the ‘Alert Frequency’ slider in ‘Advanced\Misc’. If its se to High or Very high you will receive many more prompts. Move it down to Low.


Reviving the tread I’d just mention getting the same invisibility alert for firefox.exe. Does anyone understand and can explain in simple terms why would firefox.exe be invisible. As far as I know anyone can see the process in task manager. Also, why would it try to make Invisible Connection Attempts. I’ve always thought spyware does that, so why would firefox, or any other legit application. I am quite surprised there is an option to allow invisible connections. Isn’t a firewall installed to block them?

I usually get this if a firefox extension updates.
The program path and the parent path will be the same and invisible will be set to allow instead of ask. If I block this request firefox can’t connect. So, I allow and then delete that rule.

I found this post re invisible apps,1926.msg14422.html#msg14422

There’s nothing bad with firefox guys. Every application that re-executes itself is considered as “invisible” because of the loopback use. Firefox does that trying to maintain the pages was loaded before restart. It’s more handy than dangerous. So 2 rules must be created :
1.Parent Explorer / Firefox Allow TCP-UDP/In-Out and
2.Parent Firefox / Firefox Allow TCP-UDP/In-Out.
Should be ok with no more popups in the future.

That makes it a bit clearer.
I could never get a real handle on what the alert meant. Firefox with explorer parent and firefox with thunderbird and with a couple of others I’ve got I could understand, but firefox with firefox ??? and usually after extension or firefox updates.
Don’t ask me why I kept deleting that rule. :-[
In a post on the forum I noticed a suggestion that for a single pc you could enable “skip loopback for TCP” .
Parent Firefox / Firefox Allow TCP-UDP/In-Out.

Even if you skip loopback connections, you’ll still get the invisible alert when firefox (or IE, or any other app) automatically re-executes itself and reconnects without you clicking (such as after an update).

Just Allow without checking “Remember” (or uncheck it if it’s already checked), and you won’t create another rule. You don’t have to allow the invisible connection on an ongoing basis for your browser. Normally the only case where I see that is with an AV email scanner, since it works as a proxy for the email client when sending/retrieving emails; thus you may need to allow invisible there, in order to maintain smooth operations. But that’s the only case (off the top of my head) where it might need to be allowed.

The invisible aspect of the connection basically comes from the application executing itself in its connection to the internet.

Changing Alert Frequency, looking at the Parent, etc, will not impact the alert for an invisible application. If you want to keep from getting those alerts on a given app, you will need to Edit the application rule, go to the Miscellaneous tab, and check the box, “Allow invisible connections.” Note: This will need to be on the specific rule that fits - ie, the appropriate application executable, parent, etc. If your alert is for firefox.exe with parent firefox.exe, and you set the rule for firefox.exe with parent explorer.exe to allow invisible, that won’t help. :wink:

Hope this helps,


Thanks Little Mac

I prefer to be alerted about the invisible connections, this is one of the things I like about this firewall, bit of a nosey bugger I suppose.