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Why are double windows opening in Firefox when clicking on a link?

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Every time I click a link, Firefox opens two (2) windows. One with the URL link and one just with my FF home page. And fixes with easy to follow steps? Happens with both my MacBook Air, the old one and the new one. Both are running OS Catalina V10.15.2

Thank you!

Izabrano rješenje

TY:) You are the best and this ole gramma wannabe doesn't believe there's anything 'cranky' about you! LOL! You restored my faith in this Mozilla Community Support page as past ?s, plus this one, just did not get any responses or replies.

Keep up the great work you're doing here for all of us!

Pročitajte ovaj odgovor sa objašnjenjem 👍 0

All Replies (20)

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Gosh, is anyone out there? Of the 10 years I've been using FF I've never experience this - not getting one reply or possible fix or question answered.

For the first time in 10 years I am considering quitting FF as this problem of double windows is so frustrating.

Any one have a possible idea or fix?

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That won't really help. :)

Unfortunately I haven't seen the same problem and not the best person for Mac guidance. This could be an OS issue, although i don't really find anything about similar occurrences.

You 'are' using the 64-bit Firefox?

Had you tried starting FF in safe mode? Menu → Help → Restart with add-ons disabled. Does the issue persist?

Also: Where are you clicking links which open two windows? In an existing instance of Firefox? And it then opens two whole new windows? You have three Firefox windows with one tab each?

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Gosh, I'm just overwhelmed with thanks that YOU even responded! This is the first time ever that I've posted and posted and not gotten any responses. Well, one guy wanted to 'sell' me support, which I thot odd as I didn't realize 'consultants' could do that from this support site!

Yes, it is the 64-bit FF. Its a new MacBook Air but its also happening on my old one, which also has the 64-bit FF.

Yes, have done in 'safe mode'. Have disabled add-ons. At this point I think the only extension I have is LastPass, my password manager. But I've re-installed without it and the double windows still happen.

Happens when I click on a link in email or texts. No, if FF is already open and, for instance, I click on a link in my email from the NY Times then it just opens another tab. But if FF is not open, then it opens 2 windows; one with the NYT article and one normal FF window with my normal homepage.

If I am in FF and click a link from 'pocket' or my home page or another bookmark then it just stays in that one FF window.

If you have any ideas or thots or fixes pleeeeeeeze keep me in mind?

Gratefully, susan

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FYI I just double checked and the only extension I left is LastPass. There are no other extensions or add-ons that I can see.

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We are mostly just volunteer users, i can only guess someone volunteered to try and "sell support". @@ How nice.

Can you check your Firefox preferences, on the first (General) page? At least temporarily, un-check Restore Previous Session in the Startup section at the top, if it is not already. Under the Tabs section, check the box for Open Links in Tabs Instead of New windows.

Here is also a Firefox KB article i just found:

If you have had the same profile for Firefox for a long time, the above might help. Old profiles tend to get a little weird.

If you should choose to Refresh Firefox, see this for the warning :)

If you do have an old profile and a lot stored in LastPass, i would suggest a safety backup before Refreshing, just in case. From the about:support page (you can just enter that into the address bar), you can easily click through to your profile folder and save a copy to your desktop or however you like. You can also click Refresh Firefox on that same page.

Failing that, I hadn't yet seen and references to applications starting twice like that on Mac, but historically i have seen it on Windows and usually has something to do with the settings for the default applications to open files and protocols. This, especially since you confirm this happens only when the FF application is not already running.

Unless we have a magical regression to a ~10 year old bug:

OK, one more, this for stuck weird settings on Macs: Power off the Mac. Press and hold Command + R + P and the power button for 15 seconds or until you hear the second startup sound. This clears settings stored in non-volatile memory. It may clear your time zone, display, or other settings, so you would have to check those. Suggestion from here: Info here:

Best wishes!

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Again, TY so much for spending any of your time on this! All of that has already been done except for 'same' or 'old' profile, which I've done nothing with, didn't know anything about. So I will try that and if it does anything will post it here. But you did give me another good idea which is I'll post on the apple forums. Those links are a few years old and apple may not longer to FF questions. That's the line we get when we call apple's tech help so I didn't want to even try... but I'm so frustrated that I might. Will let you know if I get any fixes.

Thanks again!

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Best of luck. If i run across anything i haven't seen yet, I'll post back.

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Hey hi! Thanks again, and guess what? Via the Apple help community I found out I'm not the only one. Someone replied and this is their response to my query. Looks like it'll be fixed with the next update. Although I'm not holding my breath:

"Based on the status of Bug 1600153 which I opened, this won't be fixed until at least Firefox 73. Mozilla is aware of the problem. It has been reported to Mozilla and they are working on it.

Tracking Status

firefox71 --- wontfix

firefox72 --- wontfix

firefox73 --- affected"

If I remember and can find this thread again (LOL) I'll let you know if it works when the next FF update happens.

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FYI, if your 'geekiness' is still curious, I just found this on the same Apple thread altho I did NOT try the links. Guess it helps to know how to do a 'bugzilla':

"You can add comments to this bug at

Florencia Di Ciocco changed Bug 1600153 at 2019-12-04 05:49:57 PST:

WhatRemovedAddedComponentUntriagedNew Tab PageEver confirmed 1ResolutionWORKSFORME---StatusRESOLVEDREOPENEDstatus-firefox72unaffectedaffectedstatus-firefox73unaffectedaffected

Comment # 7 on Bug 1600153 from Florencia Di Ciocco at 2019-12-04 05:49:57 PST


Thanks for the details. I apologize for the inconveniences, you are correct, I was able to reproduce the bug on Mac Catalina on the following versions:

Release 71.0 (64-bit), and Nightly 73.0a1 (2019-12-04) (64-bit)."

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I am glad you found that out, and i hope it is rectified with the next release. Either my Bugzilla search-fu or my eyes need help, i didn't see that bug when looking.

If you like, you can test and see how it goes with a Firefox Developer version (it was at 73, i keep declining updates for Developer as i want it as close to the regular current version as possible). Neither the installed version nor a PortableApps version will interfere with any other installed Firefox. The program and profile are separate.)

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For me, the best thing so far with this crazi-making double window conundrum, was getting to the answer/info as a result of collaborating! So, again, thank you.

That'd be cool to test something like that, but I don't feel I know enough technically to decipher the changes or its effects? So I dunno what to say, but its probably the last thing I need right now in the way of 'distraction' as I'm on the survival end of things.

If it would assist you, and the other 'Bugzilla' 'Contributors' here, then I'll definitely do it?

At the very least I'll try to remember to update you when the new FF arrives.

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Ah, i only meant you can install it (or use a portable version) and see if that solves your double-opening windows for now. The Developer version is at 73 beta 6. The release date for "regular" Firefox 73 is slated for February 11. Having the Developer version alongside for the time being might offer a reprieve from crazy-windows if they are causing issues.

Otherwise, happy browsing!

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Odabrano rješenje

TY:) You are the best and this ole gramma wannabe doesn't believe there's anything 'cranky' about you! LOL! You restored my faith in this Mozilla Community Support page as past ?s, plus this one, just did not get any responses or replies.

Keep up the great work you're doing here for all of us!

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Hi again, not sure if you know or don't know, but the update did not work, nothing changed. Firefox still opening double windows with the one on top not fully functioning.

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This is April 16, 2020.

I have the same problem with the double windows. My old iMac Firefox version is 75.0 (64-bit).

I also have a new iMac computer with Firefox 75. It is the same problem. I do not add anything from Add-ons on my Firefox browser.

I believe that it's Firefox software programmer's bugs.

Izmjenjeno od strane jeffeyer

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Hi jeffeyer, there is a bug on file saying that (1) on MacOS Catalina, (2) when there are no existing Firefox windows open, (3) when you launch an external link, (4) Firefox opens an extra window in addition to the linked page

So yes, it is a bug.

If you can tolerate it, a possible workaround is to keep at least one Firefox window open as much as you can. The external link should open as a new tab in that window, and there should not be any new empty windows.

(However, as a Windows person, I can't test that myself.)

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I thought that Windows and Mac OS have the same Firefox design.

I looked at Firefox preferences. I think that it has to do with this two selections in the picture (Homepage and new windows). It is a dumb design/programming because there is no option for turning it off the new window such as check and uncheck marks. I realized that this has been going on the same problem that never fix the program.

I am surprised that there is no email contact for informing to the engineering or programming department about the issue.

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jeffeyer said

I looked at Firefox preferences. I think that it has to do with this two selections in the picture (Homepage and new windows). It is a dumb design/programming because there is no option for turning it off the new window such as check and uncheck marks.

Everyone has those settings, but as far as I know, the bug is just under the specific conditions I mentioned. The bug is already in the queue and there is no point emailing anyone about it. Duplicate bugs are closed promptly.

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I'm using MacOS 10.15.4: When launching my default browser, Firefox 75.0, from a link or webloc, it opens the link in a separate window from my home page. Upon reviewing this support page, I see that many others have had this problem and it has been continuing, at a minimum, since January. When will it be resolved?

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The problem has been happening since at least last summer, maybe longer but my memory hormones are often MIA. AT the beginning of the year I was told a fix would happen with the Feb 7 update, which came and went and there was no fix. Frustrating especially for those of us Mac users who have been with FF since its beginning.

Firefox is just demonstrating, again, that Mac computers, Apple products, are not valued by Mozilla. So that means us, the users who happen to love Macs do not get their issues resolved. So don't hold your breath cause the mozilla folks won't even respond, let alone fix this.

Izmjenjeno od strane time2sit

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