Firefox redirects my local virtual server website url to an external url
I am a web developer who makes websites on my local work station. I use XAMPP (Apache & PHP) on Windows. I edit my Windows hosts file to include server aliases like:
...and then I add a virtual server to the Apache httpd.conf file, so that when I type:
...in my address bar, it will take me to the local website on my workstation hard drive.
This has been working for years on Firefox, but now, after upgrading to PHP 8 in XAMPP and some fiddling around, Firefox no longer respects the local domain, but instead will redirect me to
...which doesn't exist, yet.
Firefox does the same thing with all my local, virtual domains. Chrome, Edge, and other web browsers continue to work normally, so I know my Apache and Windows hosts settings are correct.
What I have tried: - Cleared content cache, restarted Firefox. Didn't fix the problem. - "Refresh" Firefox. I think this was a mistake, as I lost all my logins, but too late now. Even so, it didn't fix the problem. I type the local address into address bar, and Firefox doesn't read it, or doesn't look up the local domain, or I don't know what.
I used to be able to fix the problem by going to Privacy & Security -> Cookies and Site Data -> Clear Data -> check Cached Web Content -> Clear, and that would usually fix the problem. Now it doesn't fix the problem.
How do I force Firefox to look up the domain on my local machine, instead of redirecting me to an external (and usually unrelated) url?