I made the switch from Google Chrome to Firefox at least a year ago, and I thought the Mozilla-coded browser’s performance improvements were enough to allow me to eliminate one spy-ish element from my computing life.
Never mind that I use a lot of Google services, especially in my work life. That’s another issue for another day. I just wanted a privacy-focused browser that doesn’t necessarily phone home everything I do to Mountain View.
But on my HP Envy laptop running Windows 10, I’ve noticed the fan running a lot more, and a look at the Task Manager shows Firefox grabbing a lot of CPU, as does a process that only seems to run (and hog 20 percent of CPU) along with it:
I’ve since learned that
flow.exe has something to do with the Conexant sound card in my laptop, and it is running all the time when Firefox is running, supposedly because the Conexant software can’t figure out how to configure itself when presented with whatever it is that Firefox is doing. There was a recent Conexant driver update for this laptop, and I think that’s when the problem began.
I could try to figure this out, try to figure out how to revert the Conexant driver, or something like that, or I could just run Chrome, which sips CPU by comparison, and wait for the situation to somehow resolve itself with fixes by Conexant, HP, Microsoft or Mozilla.
In terms of a fix, I won’t hold my breath. I will keep checking Firefox, which I’m still using on my Fedora laptop. That older HP computer doesn’t have Chrome at all.
That said, here is the best post I’ve seen about how to deal with
My Windows 7 PC at the office doesn’t seem to be affected by this Firefox issue at all, but it’s things like this on the Windows laptop that send me running to Chrome.
Update: I’m going to try this solution.
What I did was go to the Services Control Panel (go to Control Panel and then search for Services) and changed the status of
CxUtilSvc from automatic to manual. Then I rebooted.
What happened: This worked. Sounds works fine, but no flow.exe and CPU usage is normal.