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40.0.2 update changes order of Window menu items on Mac. How to control or undo this?

  • 11 replies
  • 4 have this problem
  • 42 views
  • Last reply by jscher2000

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Following an update, the order of the Firefox "Window" menu has changed (probably to last z-index before close, rather than the static order I need to keep track of all the windows I need to keep open). Is there a way to determine this order or undo this change?

All Replies (11)

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When Firefox automatically restores your last session, whether after an update or after a crash, the window order (at least on Windows) seems to get shuffled around. Unfortunately, I don't know of a way to control that through the normal UI.

Possibly it could be set in or at least influenced by the session history file (recovery.js / sessionstore.js) but its internal structure is a JSON data object which is difficult to read and edit. And an editing error could invalidate the file.

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Thanks for taking the time to answer, but prior to this last update, that was not the FF Mac behavior. Window order was preserved across launches; I've been shuffling windows around and restarting the browser, and can't figure out what the algorithm is ... I have one window that appears to be fixed (set) as the first window, but the foreground window at quit becomes the random-th window at relaunch.

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I think that we have seen this issue with the Mac Windows menu reported before and this may have changed in the current release.

Found it here, but no feedback from the original poster.

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Thanks. I think the first step would be if someone from FF could tell me what the intended Mac 40.0.2 sort order is, so I can tell if I'm seeing a bug or aberration, or if it's working as intended. That way I know whether to debug, or seek a work-around. Ideal would be to preserve window order. Alpha sort seems like a terrible idea for multi-tabbed windows, as the active tab would change all the time. Mac UI guidelines are basically "if you're looking for something, it's wherever you left it last" i.e. preserve window order (the same way tab order doesn't change between launches).

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As far as I can tell, this is the current behavior (Mac 40.0.3):

  • The "deepest"/first window in the menu is "pinned". No matter what else happens, this window doesn't re-sort.
  • The second window in the menu becomes whatever was the last window I minimized before quitting.
  • On odd numbered launches, the remaining window order is random.
  • On even numbered launches, the window order becomes the same order every time for windows #3 - #N (N=total number of windows, each with multiple tabs, generally).

This can't possibly be the intended behavior. Can someone tell me what this is supposed to do now? Can I put in a request to not change window order between launches, which is the only reasonable solution (and the old behavior).

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I'm also on 40.0.3, but I'm still on Mavericks so maybe I'm seeing slightly different behavior as you. I see the menu order seems to sometimes "rotate" and sometimes just scrambles. I have had a couple of instances where the order returned to being in order that they were opened, except with the oldest window 3 or 4 down in the list. I have done the trick of opening a new window, dragging all of the tabs off of an older window, and then closing the older window. When all of those windows are deleted my preferred "top" window (which is the oldest) ends up on top. But then my computer crashes, or I relaunch FF, and then they are changed again.

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OSX 10.9.5 . FF 43.0.3. This is worse than ever. The only predictable thing is the first window in the menu is stuck there. The rest of the windows now seem fully randomized. Does anyone know what intended behavior is? I see several related bugs in the bug database, all of which describe variations of this issue, all of which were merged into a single issue (even though there are variations on window order), which has been closed as "fixed", even though several people have said it is not.

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buggyisalreadytaken said

I see several related bugs in the bug database, all of which describe variations of this issue, all of which were merged into a single issue (even though there are variations on window order), which has been closed as "fixed", even though several people have said it is not.

What's the bug number?

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There are too many window-order-related bugs to mention, but I was specifically referring to this: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=712763

If you read through the bugs, it's clear that even the devs aren't clear on how this should be handled, the problem has come and gone and come and gone in various browser revs., and many of the discussions seem suspiciously Windows specific ... but it would appear that there are competing concerns in some cases: open (and load) windows in the least resource-intensive manner, vs. opening windows in their prior order so that the menu list (on the Mac side) and whatever the window-shuffling equivalent is in Windows side is preserved. Unfortunately, the solutions sometime discuss using Windows hooks and tools to solve the problem.

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I'm confused -- is there any manual way to rearrange the windows? (In FF 43.0.3, on osx 10.9) Is there some file I can hack in my profile folder?

A couple of times the windows have come up almost in the order I want, and I have created a new window (that shows up on the bottom of the list) and dragged all of the tabs from the window at the top of the list to the new window, which bumps everybody up one. That's tedious for sure, and now that the windows or scrambled rather than rotated around it won't even work. And then the next time FF crashes or my machine crashes (which is multiple times per week for me) they are all scrambled again.

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Hi cathyf, when restoring a previous session, Firefox uses a file named sessionstore.js which it finds in your currently active Firefox profile folder. If that file is missing, Firefox looks for a file named recovery.js in the sessionstore-backups subfolder of your profile folder.

I haven't studied this file to see whether the order changes around, or whether there is a timestamp or some other indication used to determine the window creation order during restoration.

If either of us or anyone else reading is going to conduct tests, it may be most convenient to create a new profile. See: Profile Manager - Create, remove, or switch Firefox profiles. Since Firefox may wait up to 15 seconds to update your session history files, you may need to allow a little time before exiting/quitting Firefox to make sure your activity (changing active window, changing active tab) is recorded.

Modified by jscher2000