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Why is my browser spawning invisible windows?

Posted

Operating system: OS X 10.9

Starting about four months ago, I began to see untitled and non-selectable windows spawning after my browser had been open for a while (i.e. after I visited a few sites). The number of these invisible windows grows over time, but are removed if I close the browser and start a new session. This has persisted through many new versions of Firefox.

I tried turning off all of the add-ons. Still happened.

I tried keeping track of what sites caused the problem. No correlation.

Today I uninstalled Firefox, using AppZapper -- which should have removed everything -- then did a new install. The only thing that I imported were bookmarks from the backup directory in my old Profile folder.

...and it's happening again. Here is a screen shot: http://imgur.com/ojcODd1

Any help would be appreciated.

Operating system: OS X 10.9 Starting about four months ago, I began to see untitled and non-selectable windows spawning after my browser had been open for a while (i.e. after I visited a few sites). The number of these invisible windows grows over time, but are removed if I close the browser and start a new session. This has persisted through many new versions of Firefox. I tried turning off all of the add-ons. Still happened. I tried keeping track of what sites caused the problem. No correlation. Today I uninstalled Firefox, using AppZapper -- which should have removed everything -- then did a new install. The only thing that I imported were bookmarks from the backup directory in my old Profile folder. ...and it's happening again. Here is a screen shot: http://imgur.com/ojcODd1 Any help would be appreciated.

Chosen solution

By default "privacy.clearOnShutdown.cookies": false, is usually true. and network.cookie.lifetimePolicy": 1, is usually 0.

I do not know exactly if this is the result of cookies not being removed, however these are the about:config entries that stand out from version 34.

Read this answer in context 2

Additional System Details

Installed Plug-ins

  • Version 5.38.6.0
  • Shockwave Flash 15.0 r0
  • The QuickTime Plugin allows you to view a wide variety of multimedia content in web pages. For more information, visit the QuickTime Web site.
  • Provides information about the default web browser
  • RBlue Jeans Installation Plugin
  • RBlue Jeans Video Plugin
  • Adobe® Acrobat® Plug-in for Web Browsers, Version 10.1.12
  • Blue Jeans Video Plugin
  • Blue Jeans Installation Plugin
  • Displays Java applet content, or a placeholder if Java is not installed.
  • Unity Web Player version 4.3.5f1. (c) 2013 Unity Technologies ApS. All rights reserved.
  • Coupons Inc., Coupon Printer
  • 5.1.30214.0
  • Plugin that detects installed Citrix Online products (visit www.citrixonline.com).
  • The Flip4Mac WMV Plugin allows you to view Windows Media content using QuickTime.
  • A plugin to detect whether the Adobe Extension Manager is installed on this machine.
  • WebEx64 General Plugin Container Version 205
  • Amazon MP3 Downloader Plugin 1.0.17
  • eMusic DLM 4.1.3
  • iPhoto6
  • npmnqmp 071101000050

Application

  • Firefox 33.0
  • User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10.9; rv:33.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/33.0
  • Support URL: https://support.mozilla.org/1/firefox/33.0/Darwin/en-US/

Extensions

  • Adblock Edge 2.1.6 ({fe272bd1-5f76-4ea4-8501-a05d35d823fc})
  • Troubleshooter 1.1a (troubleshooter@mozilla.org)
  • Adobe Acrobat - Create PDF 1.2 (web2pdfextension@web2pdf.adobedotcom) (Inactive)

Javascript

  • incrementalGCEnabled: True

Graphics

  • adapterDescription:
  • adapterDeviceID: 0x fd5
  • adapterDrivers:
  • adapterRAM:
  • adapterVendorID: 0x10de
  • driverDate:
  • driverVersion:
  • info: {u'AzureCanvasBackend': u'quartz', u'AzureFallbackCanvasBackend': u'none', u'AzureContentBackend': u'quartz', u'AzureSkiaAccelerated': 0}
  • numAcceleratedWindows: 1
  • numTotalWindows: 50
  • webglRenderer: NVIDIA Corporation -- NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M OpenGL Engine
  • windowLayerManagerRemote: True
  • windowLayerManagerType: OpenGL

Modified Preferences

  • accessibility.typeaheadfind.flashBar: 0
  • browser.cache.disk.capacity: 358400
  • browser.cache.disk.smart_size.first_run: False
  • browser.cache.frecency_experiment: 2
  • browser.places.smartBookmarksVersion: 7
  • browser.search.useDBForOrder: True
  • browser.sessionstore.upgradeBackup.latestBuildID: 20141011015303
  • browser.startup.homepage_override.buildID: 20141011015303
  • browser.startup.homepage_override.mstone: 33.0
  • browser.urlbar.default.behavior: 2
  • dom.mozApps.used: True
  • extensions.lastAppVersion: 33.0
  • media.gmp-gmpopenh264.lastUpdate: 1415731118
  • media.gmp-gmpopenh264.version: 1.1
  • media.gmp-manager.lastCheck: 1415731117
  • network.cookie.cookieBehavior: 3
  • network.cookie.lifetimePolicy: 1
  • network.cookie.prefsMigrated: True
  • places.database.lastMaintenance: 1415732130
  • places.history.expiration.transient_current_max_pages: 104858
  • plugin.disable_full_page_plugin_for_types: application/pdf
  • plugin.importedState: True
  • privacy.clearOnShutdown.cookies: False
  • privacy.donottrackheader.enabled: True
  • privacy.sanitize.migrateFx3Prefs: True
  • privacy.sanitize.sanitizeOnShutdown: True
  • storage.vacuum.last.index: 0
  • storage.vacuum.last.places.sqlite: 1415732130

Misc

  • User JS: No
  • Accessibility: No
FredMcD
  • Top 10 Contributor
4245 solutions 59390 answers

Possible Mal-Ware Scan For Macs {web link}

Adblock Plus {web link} Blocks annoying video ads on YouTube, Facebook ads, banners and much more. Adblock Plus blocks all annoying ads, and supports websites by not blocking unobtrusive ads by default (configurable).

'''[https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/forums/support-forum-contributors/710576 Possible Mal-Ware Scan For Macs]''' {web link} '''[https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/adblock-plus/ Adblock Plus]''' {web link} Blocks annoying video ads on YouTube, Facebook ads, banners and much more. Adblock Plus blocks all annoying ads, and supports websites by not blocking unobtrusive ads by default (configurable).

Question owner

I did have Adblock Plus installed. Currently I am running Adblock Edge.

I did have Adblock Plus installed. Currently I am running Adblock Edge.
FredMcD
  • Top 10 Contributor
4245 solutions 59390 answers

Have you tried the mal-ware scan?

Have you tried the mal-ware scan?

Question owner

Yes. ClamXav found heuristic matches in gmail archives, but nothing that seemed like an active threat.

Yes. ClamXav found heuristic matches in gmail archives, but nothing that seemed like an active threat.

Question owner

I believe that I have found a clue:

If I leave only a single tab open, I do not get the invisible windows. It's only when there are multiple tabs. This leads me to believe that opening a new tab creates this window instance.

Now I'm just not sure what to do with that information...

I believe that I have found a clue: If I leave only a single tab open, I do not get the invisible windows. It's only when there are multiple tabs. This leads me to believe that opening a new tab creates this window instance. Now I'm just not sure what to do with that information...
FredMcD
  • Top 10 Contributor
4245 solutions 59390 answers

Helpful Reply

Your System Details shows;

Installed Plug-ins

RBlue Jeans Installation Plugin RBlue Jeans Video Plugin

Blue Jeans Video Plugin Blue Jeans Installation Plugin

Having more than one version of a program may cause issues.

Your System Details shows; Installed Plug-ins RBlue Jeans Installation Plugin RBlue Jeans Video Plugin Blue Jeans Video Plugin Blue Jeans Installation Plugin Having more than one version of a program may cause issues.

Question owner

That's really interesting. App Zapper was supposed to remove everything related to my previous installation, but it appears that all of my plug-ins are there. I'm going to manually delete those and see if that helps.

Thanks! I'll report back.

That's really interesting. App Zapper was supposed to remove everything related to my previous installation, but it appears that all of my plug-ins are there. I'm going to manually delete those and see if that helps. Thanks! I'll report back.

Question owner

I removed the earlier instance of BlueJeans plug-in and everything seemed to be going well, but today the invisible windows are back :-(

I removed the earlier instance of BlueJeans plug-in and everything seemed to be going well, but today the invisible windows are back :-(
FredMcD
  • Top 10 Contributor
4245 solutions 59390 answers

I've called the big guys to help you. Good luck.

I've called the big guys to help you. Good luck.
guigs 1072 solutions 11697 answers

Does your sessionstore file have a large number of blank entries? (textedit or notepad) Profiles - Where Firefox stores your bookmarks, passwords and other user data

Looks like this is a test version of Blue Jeans? https://community.bluejeans.com/bluej.../firefox-equivilant-of-google-chrome-extension

Does your sessionstore file have a large number of blank entries? (textedit or notepad) [[Profiles - Where Firefox stores your bookmarks, passwords and other user data]] Looks like this is a test version of Blue Jeans? [https://community.bluejeans.com/bluejeans/topics/firefox-equivilant-of-google-chrome-extension]

Question owner

The file called sessionCheckpoints.json has this in it:

{"profile-after-change":true,"final-ui-startup":true,"sessionstore-windows-restored":true}

and, interestingly enough, I do not see a file called "sessionstore.js" in my profile folder. Other .js files are not hidden. Could that be the issue?

You are right that there is a more recent version of the bluejeans plugin. I have installed it, and hopefully there won't be two versions this time (though now I know how to manually remove the old one).

The file called sessionCheckpoints.json has this in it: {"profile-after-change":true,"final-ui-startup":true,"sessionstore-windows-restored":true} and, interestingly enough, I do not see a file called "sessionstore.js" in my profile folder. Other .js files are not hidden. Could that be the issue? You are right that there is a more recent version of the bluejeans plugin. I have installed it, and hopefully there won't be two versions this time (though now I know how to manually remove the old one).
guigs 1072 solutions 11697 answers

That is because they moved to session-backups folder. There are the last 5 or 6 sessions.

Mine says the same, sorry wrong path: {"profile-after-change":true,"final-ui-startup":true,"sessionstore-windows-restored":true}

Ok, what else can we try as I type aloud. Try to rename recovery.js to recoveryold.js and rename the recovery.bk to recovery.js and restart Firefox.

That is because they moved to session-backups folder. There are the last 5 or 6 sessions. Mine says the same, sorry wrong path: ''{"profile-after-change":true,"final-ui-startup":true,"sessionstore-windows-restored":true}'' Ok, what else can we try as I type aloud. Try to rename recovery.js to recoveryold.js and rename the recovery.bk to recovery.js and restart Firefox.

Question owner

No luck. I'm going to try removing everything - the app, the extensions, the add-ons - whole shebang - then reinstall.

If that doesn't work, do you have an exorcist on duty?

No luck. I'm going to try removing everything - the app, the extensions, the add-ons - whole shebang - then reinstall. If that doesn't work, do you have an exorcist on duty?

Question owner

-( I deleted all of my add-ons. Removed any folder in both the all users and my username's Libraries that was related to Mozilla or Firefox. I used AppZapper to remove the application and its associated files.

The only thing that I put back in was 1Password.

STILL getting spawned windows.

Here is the Troubleshooting dump:

{

 "application": {
   "name": "Firefox",
   "version": "33.1.1",
   "userAgent": "Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10.9; rv:33.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/33.0",
   "supportURL": "https://support.mozilla.org/1/firefox/33.1.1/Darwin/en-US/",
   "numTotalWindows": 65,
   "numRemoteWindows": 0
 },
 "crashes": {
   "submitted": [],
   "pending": 0
 },
 "modifiedPreferences": {
   "browser.cache.disk.capacity": 358400,
   "browser.cache.disk.smart_size.first_run": false,
   "browser.cache.disk.smart_size.use_old_max": false,
   "browser.cache.frecency_experiment": 4,
   "browser.places.smartBookmarksVersion": 7,
   "browser.sessionstore.upgradeBackup.latestBuildID": "20141113143407",
   "browser.startup.homepage_override.mstone": "33.1.1",
   "browser.startup.homepage_override.buildID": "20141113143407",
   "dom.mozApps.used": true,
   "extensions.lastAppVersion": "33.1.1",
   "media.gmp-gmpopenh264.lastUpdate": 1417211654,
   "media.gmp-gmpopenh264.version": "1.1",
   "media.gmp-manager.lastCheck": 1417211654,
   "network.cookie.prefsMigrated": true,
   "network.cookie.lifetimePolicy": 1,
   "network.cookie.cookieBehavior": 1,
   "places.history.enabled": false,
   "places.history.expiration.transient_current_max_pages": 104858,
   "plugin.disable_full_page_plugin_for_types": "application/pdf",
   "plugin.importedState": true,
   "privacy.sanitize.sanitizeOnShutdown": true,
   "privacy.clearOnShutdown.cookies": false,
   "privacy.donottrackheader.enabled": true,
   "privacy.sanitize.migrateFx3Prefs": true
 },
 "lockedPreferences": {},
 "graphics": {
   "numTotalWindows": 65,
   "numAcceleratedWindows": 1,
   "windowLayerManagerType": "OpenGL",
   "windowLayerManagerRemote": true,
   "adapterDescription": "",
   "adapterVendorID": "0x8086",
   "adapterDeviceID": "0x 166",
   "adapterRAM": "",
   "adapterDrivers": "",
   "driverVersion": "",
   "driverDate": "",
   "webglRenderer": "NVIDIA Corporation -- NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M OpenGL Engine",
   "info": {
     "AzureCanvasBackend": "quartz",
     "AzureSkiaAccelerated": 0,
     "AzureFallbackCanvasBackend": "none",
     "AzureContentBackend": "quartz"
   }
 },
 "javaScript": {
   "incrementalGCEnabled": true
 },
 "accessibility": {
   "isActive": false,
   "forceDisabled": 0
 },
 "libraryVersions": {
   "NSPR": {
     "minVersion": "4.10.7",
     "version": "4.10.7"
   },
   "NSS": {
     "minVersion": "3.17.2 Basic ECC",
     "version": "3.17.2 Basic ECC"
   },
   "NSSUTIL": {
     "minVersion": "3.17.2",
     "version": "3.17.2"
   },
   "NSSSSL": {
     "minVersion": "3.17.2 Basic ECC",
     "version": "3.17.2 Basic ECC"
   },
   "NSSSMIME": {
     "minVersion": "3.17.2 Basic ECC",
     "version": "3.17.2 Basic ECC"
   }
 },
 "userJS": {
   "exists": false
 },
 "extensions": [
   {
     "name": "1Password",
     "version": "4.2.5",
     "isActive": true,
     "id": "onepassword4@agilebits.com"
   }
 ],
 "experiments": []

}

:-( I deleted all of my add-ons. Removed any folder in both the all users and my username's Libraries that was related to Mozilla or Firefox. I used AppZapper to remove the application and its associated files. The only thing that I put back in was 1Password. STILL getting spawned windows. Here is the Troubleshooting dump: { "application": { "name": "Firefox", "version": "33.1.1", "userAgent": "Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10.9; rv:33.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/33.0", "supportURL": "https://support.mozilla.org/1/firefox/33.1.1/Darwin/en-US/", "numTotalWindows": 65, "numRemoteWindows": 0 }, "crashes": { "submitted": [], "pending": 0 }, "modifiedPreferences": { "browser.cache.disk.capacity": 358400, "browser.cache.disk.smart_size.first_run": false, "browser.cache.disk.smart_size.use_old_max": false, "browser.cache.frecency_experiment": 4, "browser.places.smartBookmarksVersion": 7, "browser.sessionstore.upgradeBackup.latestBuildID": "20141113143407", "browser.startup.homepage_override.mstone": "33.1.1", "browser.startup.homepage_override.buildID": "20141113143407", "dom.mozApps.used": true, "extensions.lastAppVersion": "33.1.1", "media.gmp-gmpopenh264.lastUpdate": 1417211654, "media.gmp-gmpopenh264.version": "1.1", "media.gmp-manager.lastCheck": 1417211654, "network.cookie.prefsMigrated": true, "network.cookie.lifetimePolicy": 1, "network.cookie.cookieBehavior": 1, "places.history.enabled": false, "places.history.expiration.transient_current_max_pages": 104858, "plugin.disable_full_page_plugin_for_types": "application/pdf", "plugin.importedState": true, "privacy.sanitize.sanitizeOnShutdown": true, "privacy.clearOnShutdown.cookies": false, "privacy.donottrackheader.enabled": true, "privacy.sanitize.migrateFx3Prefs": true }, "lockedPreferences": {}, "graphics": { "numTotalWindows": 65, "numAcceleratedWindows": 1, "windowLayerManagerType": "OpenGL", "windowLayerManagerRemote": true, "adapterDescription": "", "adapterVendorID": "0x8086", "adapterDeviceID": "0x 166", "adapterRAM": "", "adapterDrivers": "", "driverVersion": "", "driverDate": "", "webglRenderer": "NVIDIA Corporation -- NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M OpenGL Engine", "info": { "AzureCanvasBackend": "quartz", "AzureSkiaAccelerated": 0, "AzureFallbackCanvasBackend": "none", "AzureContentBackend": "quartz" } }, "javaScript": { "incrementalGCEnabled": true }, "accessibility": { "isActive": false, "forceDisabled": 0 }, "libraryVersions": { "NSPR": { "minVersion": "4.10.7", "version": "4.10.7" }, "NSS": { "minVersion": "3.17.2 Basic ECC", "version": "3.17.2 Basic ECC" }, "NSSUTIL": { "minVersion": "3.17.2", "version": "3.17.2" }, "NSSSSL": { "minVersion": "3.17.2 Basic ECC", "version": "3.17.2 Basic ECC" }, "NSSSMIME": { "minVersion": "3.17.2 Basic ECC", "version": "3.17.2 Basic ECC" } }, "userJS": { "exists": false }, "extensions": [ { "name": "1Password", "version": "4.2.5", "isActive": true, "id": "onepassword4@agilebits.com" } ], "experiments": [] }
guigs 1072 solutions 11697 answers

Chosen Solution

By default "privacy.clearOnShutdown.cookies": false, is usually true. and network.cookie.lifetimePolicy": 1, is usually 0.

I do not know exactly if this is the result of cookies not being removed, however these are the about:config entries that stand out from version 34.

By default "privacy.clearOnShutdown.cookies": false, is usually true. and network.cookie.lifetimePolicy": 1, is usually 0. I do not know exactly if this is the result of cookies not being removed, however these are the about:config entries that stand out from version 34.

Question owner

I will change those entries and see if it makes a difference.

I will change those entries and see if it makes a difference.
guigs 1072 solutions 11697 answers

Definitely an issue on shutdown as well. I will ask someone to take a look at this too/

Definitely an issue on shutdown as well. I will ask someone to take a look at this too/

Question owner

I have been running the browser all morning and thus far no invisible windows :-)

It did delete all of my cookies after I shut down the browser, which meant any two-factor sites that I signed into previously were once again suspicious of me. I will undo that bit of privacy control and see if the problem returns.

I have been running the browser all morning and thus far no invisible windows :-) It did delete all of my cookies after I shut down the browser, which meant any two-factor sites that I signed into previously were once again suspicious of me. I will undo that bit of privacy control and see if the problem returns.

Question owner

Still no spawning invisi-windows for a couple of days. I'm re-adding add-ons one by one (but only the most critical - some of those were leftovers that should have been deleted a long time ago).

I am adding Adblock and will see how that goes.

Thanks!!!!

Still no spawning invisi-windows for a couple of days. I'm re-adding add-ons one by one (but only the most critical - some of those were leftovers that should have been deleted a long time ago). I am adding Adblock and will see how that goes. Thanks!!!!

Question owner

Problem seems solved. Thank you muchly for sticking with this one until the end.

Problem seems solved. Thank you muchly for sticking with this one until the end.