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why did the "options " window change and how do I change it back?

  • 15 replies
  • 9 have this problem
  • 144 views
  • Last reply by Floie

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I went to open my options window under the Tools tab which I do everyday because I have to empty the cache manually to fix wifi problems. today when I opened it, instead of opening the familiar little floating window it opened a webpage in a new tab. I'm wondering if this is supposed to be happening and if there is a way to change it back to "normal" as I really don't like the way it looks and it isn't working now when I clear my cache. Thank you!

Chosen solution

By the time that day comes, someone might grab the code for the old dialog and launch it as an add-on. Wouldn't be the first time something like that happened.

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All Replies (15)

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Yes, this is the new design released in Firefox 38. All the options are still in the same place, and all still do the same thing. I think your WiFi problem is interesting, let's try to fix that so then you aren't stuck fixing the symptoms but actually fix the problem :) Do you care to elaborate on what the issue is?

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Well, the real problem is that I'm cheap and won't buy a new router/gateway. The one I'm using is a Netgear CG814WG which is an end-of-life, no longer supported, on it's last leg, machine that I got on Amazon for $25. I'm pretty sure if I replaced that with a new one I wouldn't have to mess with this little ritual I have to do once or twice a day. The ritual is logging into the routers page and either refreshing the channel or changing it (back and forth between ch. 1 and 5). Then clearing my browsing history and cached web content, so that my Android tablet and son's Wii U game console can get back on the internet. It's a pain, but as long as it works, I'm pinching my pennies.

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Firefox's web cache has nothing to do with your tablet or Wii, so you shouldn't have to do that to get back online.

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I don't know whether it will help with your router, but to bypass cache for the current displayed page, you can use either:

  • Ctrl+Shift+r
  • Shift-click the reload button in the address bar

You also could consider using a private browsing window for administering your router, since private windows have their own cache that is discarded when you close all private windows.

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No Tyler, it doesn't effect the tablet or console, it effects the wifi signal being transmitted to them. Either way my internet provider is the one who told me to try those steps and it works every time, and only works if I do all the steps, so I'll keep doing them. Really just wanted my old options window back, but I guess if it ain't broke, fix it? C'est la vie.

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Well, there is a preference to return to the old style Options dialog:

(1) In a new tab, type or paste about:config in the address bar and press Enter/Return. Click the button promising to be careful.

(2) In the search box above the list, type or paste pref and pause while the list is filtered

(3) Double-click the browser.preferences.inContent preference to switch it from true to false

Note: I don't know whether that will be in Firefox forever or is a transitional feature. As you've probably noticed, the long-term trend is to remove things that pop up.

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I was quite mystified and angry having to spend time trying to work out what I had done to cause the 'problem'. Having installed Version 38.0.1 some weeks ago, and knowing that I had used the TOOLS>OPTIONS as per normal since then, I was blaming myself, thinking it must have been something I did to cause the 'new' change which meant a 'new' interface when executing TOOLS>OPTIONS.

Can someone please tell me:- 1.Is this delayed action (the change only being apparent weeks after installation) intentional/arranged by Mozilla? 2. If so, how is achieved? 3. Did I slip up/miss some warning which told me that a third party was effectively going to surprise me by 'altering my environment' without notice?

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What you are describing isn't possible. You must have still been using Firefox 37, or didn't use the options menu immediately after updating to 38. This change was deployed to all users with 38

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It absolutely IS possible because that's EXACTLY what happened to me. That's why it was such a shock. I had not updated or changed anything in well over a week and use the Tool>Option EVERY day. And the day I posted this was the first time it ever appeared this way. I've adapted now, but really wonder why it was changed when it improved absolutely nothing. Seems like such a waste of time that could be spent on any number of FF's other issues.

Modified by genghisbob

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The only reason that could have happened is if you had set the preference to enable old style options, and it got switched back, you had an add-on that was interfering, or you hadn't actually updated (maybe you didn't restart Firefox?).

This is a feature that has been under development for over a year, and offers many improvements, including the ability to keep the options window open while doing other things in the browser (previously impossible). Also note that the pref to disable old style options will be going away.

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Thank you all! Especially Genghisbob who appears to prove what I said about the TOOLS>OPTION change being delayed after installation - in my case some weeks, in his case more than a week. None of us wants an argument but I take issue with Tyler Downer. He suggested that I may have been using Version 37. Because I understand the change came with Version 38, and I only installed once, and shut down and reloaded, the problem could not have arisen by ‘accidentally' using Version 37! Or is he suggesting that after I installed and up to the time I spotted the 'change' I had a bug which loaded version 37 instead of 38 ? (I dont think an installation run will allow this possibility, but I may be wrong) As I use TOOLS>OPTIONS almost every day (I close down every day too), I know it was working 'the old way' until 01/06/15. He seems to have climbed back from the 'isn't possible' after Genghisbob endorsed my findings and now offers additional possibilities "had set the preference to enable old style options" or "an add-on that was interfering" or "hadn't actually updated (maybe you didn't restart Firefox?)". I have dealt with the latter in things I already said above. As for setting preferences, I never knew of such a thing until, AFTER the problem, I read about the topic on this forum, so that is a non-starter. As for add-ons, I have simple requirements; I avoid them like the plague. But I have to ask: If add-ons can cause this 'error', are we talking about Mozilla add-ons (which should not conflict) or 'foreign' add-ons (for which there perhaps should be some advise/warning)? Finally, Tyler says "Also note that the pref to disable old style options will be going away”. Assuming a typographical error that disable should read enable, Please tell me if opting to change the pref is taken before it 'goes away' will it be permanent - i.e. will survive future Firefox upgrades? Thank You!

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DonCorbata,

The new Options / Preferences display is known as "inContent" (vs the old pop-up window) and currently controlled by this preference as mentioned above by jscher2000.

browser.preferences.inContent

I don't expect that pref to be around very long. The trend over the last few years has been to make all the old "pop-up windows" into "inContent" displays.

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Chosen Solution

By the time that day comes, someone might grab the code for the old dialog and launch it as an add-on. Wouldn't be the first time something like that happened.

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Really not that big a deal, just annoying how things that don't need to be "fixed" get "fixed" with no warning and then you ask the "community" to see what's up and get told that you didn't experience what you experienced exactly the way that you experienced it, but thanks anyway.

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The pref was changed in v 38 but didn't show up in my browser until 38.0.5. I think it may be because of an add-on. It bothers me to hear they may be doing away with the Options window. Other browsers irritate me because everything from bookmarks to preferences open in a new tab. It's a clumsy method that causes me wasted time navigating to a tab to check or uncheck a box only to have to close that tab and find my way back, through the many, many other tabs open, to the tab I was originally working in. Thanks for the info, my browser is now back to "normal". But, leaves me with another question.....do we always have to "wear" what the other browsers are "wearing"?