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Firefox address bar under remote control. No solution found in community or on web yet.

  • 14 ردًا
  • 1 has this problem
  • آخر ردّ كتبه mbuk2

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Greetings. I have scoured the web and read all the community posts on this robot head, under remote control, and orange stripes in the address bar problem that so many people seem to be having. There are a few answers, but almost all of them use very technical terms that are way above my head and not defined. None of them provide a sequence of steps to fix the problem that a browser novice might be able to follow. Surely there must be a way to fix this or to explain to frustrated users why it is there and not removable. None of my other Firefox browsers have this on other machines.

Is there a series of steps to solve the problem? That would be so helpful especially without undefined terms. Thanks so much. This type of answer will help so many frustrated users (me included of course) :)

الحل المُختار

You can do a malware scan just to be sure.

Boot the computer in Windows Safe mode with network support to see if that has effect in case security software is causing problems.

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What reason does it mention in the tooltip that shows if you hover the robot icon ?

You can check the target line in the Firefox desktop shortcut (right-click: Properties) to make sure nothing is appended after the path to the Firefox program.

When the browser is being controlled from out-of-process,
e.g. when Marionette or the remote debugging protocol is used,
we add a visual hint to the browser UI to indicate to the user
that the browser session is under remote control.
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Thank you for responding! How kind of you.

The tool tip says "Browser is under remote control (reason: DevTools)

My target line is ""C:\Program Files (x86)\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe"

You noted:

"When the browser is being controlled from out-of-process,

e.g. when Marionette or the remote debugging protocol is used, we add a visual hint to the browser UI to indicate to the user that the browser session is under remote control."

I have seen that explanation several times in the community posts, but don't know what any of it means. I don't know what "out-of-process", "Marionette", "debugging protocol" terms mean.

I so appreciate your trying to help me.

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I just noticed that your current profile has a user.js file.

Your System Details list shows that you have a user.js file in the profile folder to initialize prefs each time Firefox starts. The user.js file will only be present if you or other software has created this file and normally won't be present.

You can check its content with a text editor (right-click: "Open with"; do not double-click). The user.js file is read each time Firefox is started and initializes preferences to the value specified in this file, so preferences set via user.js can only be changed temporarily for the current session.

You can delete the user.js file if you didn't create this file yourself.

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We're making progress! I Googled what the preference folder is and found a way to find it on my computer. I then found the user.js file and opened it as per your instructions with Notepad and got this:

user_pref("devtools.chrome.enabled", true); user_pref("devtools.debugger.prompt-connection", false); user_pref("devtools.debugger.remote-enabled", true);

I certainly did not knowingly make this file. I think I should get your input before deleting it.

I appreciate your ongoing help. I will check again in the morning. Have a nice evening.

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Those three lines are about enabling some developer tools features. "devtools.chrome.enabled" is about enabling the command line in the Browser Console.

"devtools.debugger.remote-enable" is about enabling the advanced Browser Toolbox.

You can remove this user.js file as user.js server no real purpose apart from initializing a profile each time time start Firefox (i.e. you can only change a pref temporarily for the current session and not permanently).

"devtools.debugger.prompt-connection" is always best left as its 'true' default to make you aware if a remote debug sessions is started and you can deny or accept this connection. You need to reset the three involved prefs on the about:config page once you have removed user.js.

Note that I wrote above that you can easily go to the profile folder via the "Help -> More Troubleshooting Information" (about:support) page.

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Good morning (at least for me here!)

Thank you so much for your detailed response and explanation. I have followed your instructions and deleted the user.js file and then gone to about:config and found the three lines you and the user.js file referred to. I did notice that there were small reset arrows on these three which suggested to me that they had somehow been changed in the past (now that is a mystery). I took your advice and changed the lines to:

devtools.chrome.enabled", false devtools.debugger.prompt-connection", true devtools.debugger.remote-enabled", false

Then restarted browser

HAZAH!!! Problem solved. The robot head is gone. The orange stripes are gone.

Another problem I was having and did not mention to you with the browser also was solved. Before these changes, a desktop internet shortcut would always bring up a "close Firefox" dialog box which was driving my crazy. Also the same behavior would happen if I clicked on a safe link in an email. After making the changes you suggested, these two bad behaviors were also fixed and I have back my wonderfully working Firefox browser. I documented all of this completely here for future readers who may be significantly helped by your comments and my positive experience.

So, thank you very much for your excellent ongoing help and being very complete in your instructions and definitions. These manipulations are quite foreign territory for users who have not delved into the inner workings of the browser and need hand holding to identify and access the needed controls for the first time. Thanks for your patience and help!

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Unfortunately I am back. The solution that I thought we had above has not lasted. When the computer is rebooted, all the problems recur, the use.js file reappears, and the settings that we corrected in about:config have returned to their previous values that we changed to fix the problem.

There is also an unusual behavior on reboot. When I launch Firefox it briefly opens without the dev mode problems but then immediately closes again. There then is a slight pause and then it reopens with the remote control, dev mode, robot head, orange stripe problem.

Hmm something seems to be running this behavior. Can you help? Thanks in advance

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الحل المُختار

You can do a malware scan just to be sure.

Boot the computer in Windows Safe mode with network support to see if that has effect in case security software is causing problems.

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You can try to clear the content of user.js and make the file read-only to see if that prevents creating a new file that sets the prefs or possibly edit the file and set the prefs to the default value.

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Very wise advice, Sensei.

I started with a Malware scan with Malwarebytes and was shocked to see 20 items all of which were clearly not belonging on my computer after reading all the file names and directories. I am usually very careful with my surfing and have a full paid Norton subscription which is clearly not catching these. After removing these objects and rebooting, the browser worked great as did desktop and email shortcuts (only "safe ones") but I noticed the the user.js file and the wrong settings were still there. I deleted that file and changed the settings back and then rebooted again and now everything is working, the settings did not change back to the wrong values and there is no more user.js file. Whew!

I would like to thank and acknowledge you for your help. It has been an adventure and actually quite interesting.

Do you have any comments for me about what this malware might have been doing or attempting to do? I would appreciate any education you might wish to convey.


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It is likely that this malware has been injecting itself in Firefox and has been monitoring and spying your internet traffic. If you have logins stored in Lockwise then you should change all passwords.

If you know the name(s) of this malware then you can do a Google search.

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None of this helps. I want to use a browser that doesnt have a red stripe warning and indicate that it is under remote control by dev tools. I dont code. I've done an uninstall and reinstall - no change. Concern is that it only happens inconsistently about 50% of the starts. I've tried maximum security settings and editing the devtools - no change Is anyone from Mozilla support listening? Help please.

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correction to previous. I did not finish reading the last entries. Downloaded Malwarebytes and found 23 undesirable files. These have gone undetected by Webroot. Deleted and followed the same process and Photonic. Checking now.

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Deleting the malware indicated by Malwarebytes appears to have solved the issue. Thanks,