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I use Firefox as default browser. When I need to reindex data like Catalog URL Rewrites, it completely blocks magento browsing in Firefox. The indexing can take a long time and can result in a timeout, but that's OK for me. When I open another tab, I get the same timeouts, and I cannot do anything else.

I thought this was a magento thing, that while indexing the site became unresponsive. However, when I open the magento admin in Chrome, on the same computer, it works like normal. Minutes later Firefox works again. I can close tabs, reopen the admin dashboard in another tab, but no change.

How does this work and what can I do to get Magento work normally in Firefox again? I've thought of one way, to reindex in Chrome, but I would prefer to have it all working in Firefox.

Update: it seems to work the other way around as well. So reindexing in Chrome makes Chrome unresponsive and Firefox can be used. So that is a workaround, but I don't understand why you can't do this in one browser.

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When you open some page or start some process (reindex) you can't do another actions in current session. Each browser start own session.

You can try use Fast Asynchronous Reindex for move reindex process to cron or run shell command for reindex php shell/indexer.php --reindex catalog_url_rewrite

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