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FF 29.0.1 bug - filled-out-forms
Hi, ever since I started using Firefox, I'd often have tabs already-open with already-filled-out-forms that would, every single day without fail, have my data retained (I'd fill out the form, hit the Back button, and the data would still be seen in the form. Every morning, I'd open the same tabs with the same data and the tabs would have my data prepopulated in the forms as I left it the day before). This was very important because I do some activity every morning and don't want to have to fill out my forms on a daily basis.
The 29.0.1 upgrade this weekend broke the preservation of this data. Now, I have to manually fill out the forms again. I do like the UI and UX upgrades, but why is it that this critical "feature" to me has been removed? The preservation of data was a paramount part of the Firefox experience for me.
If this is intended behavior, I'd like to hear it. If this is not intended behavior, I look forward to 29.0.2 fixing the issue. It was never a problem in versions 15+ up until 29.0, but 29.0.1 is a game changer for me.
(And by the way, I know there are ways around it, but having to manually click on autocomplete buttons or use form filler tools defeats the purpose of this already existing up until this version.)
All Replies (20)
Sorry you are having problems.
Not a proper answer but possible workarounds. This is not something I have looked into, although it sounds like a bug.
I will mention a couple of things that could be relevant or helpful to those looking at or suffering from this.
- Firefox 29 did have a bug that messed up the Open Tabs, if you stumbled across that you just will not open tabs restoring and showing up again.
- That should have been fixed in the point release on Friday: Fx29.0.1 . I hope it did not introduce any other bug.
- The original bug did have a workaround see my comment /questions/999842#answer-573253 for the workaround and bug detail.
- There is an addon that helps with saving text input it may be helpful in your situation until the problem is solved properly . I personally use it as this forum may lose information easily if you inadvertently navigate away from an input box.
- Lazarus Form Recovery : https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/addon/lazarus-form-recovery/
Never lose anything you type into a web form again! Lazarus securely auto-saves all forms as you type, so after a crash, server timeout, or whatever, you can go back to the form, right click, "recover form", and breathe a sigh of relief
Thanks John. Glad to hear it's probably a bug. I hope it can be investigated further.
I'll consider the form recovery tool, but I guess if we can get this bug fixed, we'll be on our way to not having to worry about the workarounds.
Such form details stored in the cache, so make sure that the cache is enabled and working (see about:cache).
In case you are using "Clear history when Firefox closes":
- do not clear the Cache (Firefox will disable the disk cache in this case, see about:cache)
- Tools > Options > Privacy > Firefox will: "Use custom settings for history"
I found that after Firefox v29, a LOT of my settings and
add-ons were changed / reset. Try this; Start Firefox in Safe Mode
While you are in safe mode;
Firefox Options > Advanced > General.
Look for and turn off Use Hardware Acceleration.
Then check ALL of your settings. Browser and add-ons. Then restart.
Go to the Mozilla Add-ons Web Page (There’s a lot of good stuff here)
and look at the auto form fill add-ons.
So hang on - are we saying that this is only happening because of some cache settings or similar? Or is this a persistent bug? I see it as a bug, not as any specific settings.
My settings look the fine the way they were before I upgraded to v29. Doesn't look like the issue from here. It looks like a bug to me. Am I wrong?
Hi again tamarsw,
So you are seeing this as a continuing problem.
Maybe try something simple and see if it works for you.
- In a Firefox window open a tab for the support forum, and navigate to this question https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/1000443#question-reply
- Type some text into the box
- Check you have Firefox set to restart with Show my windows and tabs from last time
- Close down Firefox using NewButton → Quit
- Leave Firefox a couple of minutes to closedown properly, then restart.
Firefox should be able to restart and not lose text such as in the above example. What happens when you try that ? Do you have the text saved still ?
If you see a problem then try next in safe mode and a clean profile.
Hi John, you're asking me to do something a bit different here. I've always had "When Firefox starts, show my homepage." And then I'd click "Restore previous session" and the forms would be filled.
Interestingly enough, right now, both applications of this (show my homepage and show previous tabs/windows) work. Perhaps it's only becasue I restarted a few minutes ago. The data isn't retained over long periods of time, or so it seems. I guess I will have to check tomorrow if the data is persistent or not. I haven't changed any other settings so I'd be surprised that it all of the sudden "behaved better" today than yesterday, but that's how it's looking. (I promise it's not user error so far. Maybe this form data has an expiration date?!)
Note that form data expires after three months.
- browser.formfill.expire_days = 180
cor-el - that's a default I can change. (And I just did, in all honesty.) But the issue is happening between about a 24 hour interval.
I still have the form I did the troubleshooting for John with intact. All other forms I filled out yesterday are already missing the data.
If it happens that quickly then something else is causing this and you may have to check security and cleanup software and also make sure that you aren't clearing this data via "Clear history when Firefox closes".
So this is strange. I think there's a limit to how many forms Firefox 29 can save data for. I had no issues until I started populating tabs (bear in mind, I have maybe 60?) and closed and reopened FF. They're ALL gone. I have to start again.
So again, seems to me this is a bug, perhaps because FF 29 has a finite number of forms it can save data for (and if it exceeds that number, EVERYTHING purges from whatever "cache" this is stored in). It only started with FF 29. I haven't changed settings (except increasing the formfill.expire_days setting) or increased the number of tabs.
Still having this problem.... :( Please don't say it's not a bug - it is, I promise.
btw it's not a 24 hour thing. All the forms I filled out yesterday at about 9-10pm EST are now empty again (8am EST).
It's also not a "finite number of forms" thing. I was trying to test the theory that there were a number of forms I would need to fill until the threshold was reached, but I did one single form, closed Firefox, and reopened it 30 seconds later, and the form is empty again.
so am I just wasting my time now, guys? Have you all but given up on me because you can't reproduce this? I repeat, this did NOT happen until I got to FF 29.0.1.
I guess you've all given up on this issue. I repeat, it's still there, and it's a valid issue. I would really appreciate some reply. John, Cor-el, is the issue that you don't think it's a problem, or you're not able to help me anymore?
Sorry tamarsw. Guess I was hoping someone else would have better ideas. These intermittent and difficult to demonstrate issues take a bit of effort to troubleshoot.
Like you say I did not reproduce. I am expecting it may turn out to be something specific to your setup. Rather difficult to check if it is intermittent and only with many tabs open.
I presume that the steps I suggested above are not causing any problem to be seen
What happens if you
- ) Create an additional profile to use for test purposes
- ) Open Firefox with the new profile
- )Open a tab. I suggest a copy of one of these question replies eg. https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/1000443#question-reply
- ) Add text to the post a reply box
- ) Copy the open tab using Ctrl+Drag
- ) Add additional text to the tab so that it differs from the original maybe add a digit n in this case one: 1
- ) repeat steps (5) & (6) incrementing the number, until you have 60 or sufficient tabs.
- Does that reproduce the problem ?
- and does that also reproduce with less; say 5 or 30; tabs open ?
If that does reproduce we would need to check it was a clean config, maybe use a separate OS account so that Firefox could be reset without affecting them working profile, or manually taking steps to clear the test profile and disable all plugins.
Hopefully while doing this you will find something others can reproduce, or you will find a change that allows you to workaround or resolve the issue.
Alternatively If it is reproducible in a basic Firefox configuration we will be able to file a bug for the problem to get it fixed.
Another method to test this out and to show its a Firefox 29 issue is to try the third party unoficial Firefox portable build. That can be installed and used without affecting the current install of Firefox. It is also available as the ESR build that is pre Fx29 and the Fx29 Release. If you see the problem only in the release but not ESR it would suggest there is a regression
Thanks. Will start working on this. Unfortunately this is a pretty important Firefox profile (the history is paramount) so I'm not sure how much flexibility I have in using a new one 100%, so I'm glad this would only be for test purposes ;)
Yes that is the advantage of separate Test Profiles.
Testing: Using Multiple Profiles
Have a look at a previous post I made about previous profiles, they are pretty handy but you do need to take basic precautions, normally it is good practice to never delete or rename a profile once created. (At least until you fully understand them and are able to manually create & use them)
You can have more than one test file if it helps.
It would be trivially easy to include the current History and current bookmarks in any other profile. Simply copy over the database file places.sqlite and overwrite the existing file in the new profile, both profiles then have the same history.
It is easiest to find the files whilst Firefox is open, but do any copying and overwriting with Firefox closed.
My suggestion for a test was not intended to be for general working and use it was just so that you could try to demonstrate the problem.
If the problem goes away in a new profile that should be something you could easily use as a solution by recreating a profile without whatever the problem files were.
Presumably if try to do the test I propose in an additional Window using the current Firefox profile, you do loose information, even trying with just a handful of test tabs.
Thanks John. Any chance I can start a brand new profile and keep my current profile's *history* and recently closed tabs (sessionrestore.js, I guess) only? If so, how do I do that?
(Still haven't gotten around to doing the heavy troubleshooting, but maybe this is the best way to try...)
Yes. That or something similar is easy to do. I can understand you would rather just use Firefox than have to try troubleshooting it but the effort and results should pay off in the longer term.
It is just a matter of transferring and overwriting files in the new profile. It is also possibly worth keeping backup copies maybe put a spare copy somewhere safe such as the Desktop or Documents.
Remember you could for instance have the current profile retained for historic reasons. A totally clean profle for testing purposes, and a clean profile but with current open tabs and history/bookmarks.
The new sync is worth using that will keep backups on a server. However it has sometimes been unreliable and troublesome in the past it would be wise not to become over-reliant and rely on it totally for anything very important. When you start Firefox from the profile manager you choose the profile to use. Or you have icons/shortcuts that use specific profiles
Open Tabs The recently opened tabs can be kept. That is the file sessionstore.js
Firefox does itself try to keep a backup copy of those sometimes but the system may not always be 100% reliable.
History This is kept in the same database as the Bookmarks. The file is places'sqlite The bookmarks do have separate backups even without you making manual bookmarks. The History does not have backups.
Sync & Firefox Accounts (FxA) The new Firefox Accounts from Firefox29 will backup opentabs and History to the server, AND allow you to use those backups even if you only have a single machine or even stop using one machine and register another single machine. The old sync was not designed to be used as a backup or with single devices.
- How do I set up Firefox Sync?
- How to update to the new Firefox Sync