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Firefox now "always on top" & interfering with using other programs

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Doesn't matter whether or not FF is at full screen, or in a smaller window, it is always on top. I cannot switch between any other windows that might be open, for example, I can't be using FF and then click at the bottom of the screen where the taskbar is, and use Word, or Paint, or any other running program without having to fully minimize FF. If FF is in a smaller window (not full screen) then it still stays on top of everything else. I can't even click on anything on the desktop without minimizing FF completely. If FF is full screen, then the only way to use or view any other program is to fully minimize FF.

What's the solution to this? What settings in FF have to be fixed so this goes away? And no, you don't need to know what OS, computer brand, monitor brand, version of FF, or any of those other irrelevant details, because they have nothing to do with how FF operates. One day this week everything was perfectly fine, and the next morning FF stopped operating correctly. That means it is FIREFOX, and not anything else, since it updates automatically without my permission, and nothing else changes.

Opening in "safe mode" does nothing to fix the problem. A reinstall is not acceptable, since I don't want to have to spend all day replacing all my settings and bookmarks, and everything else only to find it didn't work either.

Doesn't matter whether or not FF is at full screen, or in a smaller window, it is always on top. I cannot switch between any other windows that might be open, for example, I can't be using FF and then click at the bottom of the screen where the taskbar is, and use Word, or Paint, or any other running program without having to fully minimize FF. If FF is in a smaller window (not full screen) then it still stays on top of everything else. I can't even click on anything on the desktop without minimizing FF completely. If FF is full screen, then the only way to use or view any other program is to fully minimize FF. What's the solution to this? What settings in FF have to be fixed so this goes away? And no, you don't need to know what OS, computer brand, monitor brand, version of FF, or any of those other irrelevant details, because they have nothing to do with how FF operates. One day this week everything was perfectly fine, and the next morning FF stopped operating correctly. That means it is FIREFOX, and not anything else, since it updates automatically without my permission, and nothing else changes. Opening in "safe mode" does nothing to fix the problem. A reinstall is not acceptable, since I don't want to have to spend all day replacing all my settings and bookmarks, and everything else only to find it didn't work either.

Additional System Details

Installed Plug-ins

  • Shockwave Flash 25.0 r0

Application

  • User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64; rv:52.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/52.0

More Information

John99 971 solutions 13138 answers

I doubt this is a Firefox issue.

I do not see that sort of problem in Linux or in Windows 10.

I think if a lot of people have this problem we may be be aware of it, but I can't say I have noticed questions about this,

What happens if you try Windows 10 in its safe mode ?

If you wish to try reinstalling Firefox I suggest you back up your Firefox profile first as a belts and braces policy to ensure you do not lose information. Also if reinstalling do what we refer to as a clean reinstall that involves deleting the program files.

Clean Reinstall

Certain Firefox problems can be solved by performing a Clean reinstall. This means you remove your Firefox program files and then reinstall Firefox. This process does not remove your Firefox profile data (such as bookmarks and passwords), since that information is stored in a different location.

To do a clean reinstall of Firefox, please follow these steps: Note: You might want to print these steps or view them in another browser.

  1. Download the latest Desktop version of Firefox from mozilla.org (or choose the download for your operating system and language from this page) and save the setup file to your computer.
  2. After the download finishes, close all Firefox windows (or open the Firefox menu New Fx Menu and click the close button Close 29 ).
  3. Delete the Firefox installation folder, which is located in one of these locations, by default:
    • Windows:
      • C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox
      • C:\Program Files (x86)\Mozilla Firefox
    • Mac: Delete Firefox from the Applications folder.
    • Linux: If you installed Firefox with the distro-based package manager, you should use the same way to uninstall it - see Install Firefox on Linux. If you downloaded and installed the binary package from the Firefox download page, simply remove the folder firefox in your home directory.
  4. Now, go ahead and reinstall Firefox:
    1. Double-click the downloaded installation file and go through the steps of the installation wizard.
    2. Once the wizard is finished, choose to directly open Firefox after clicking the Finish button.

More information about reinstalling Firefox can be found here.

WARNING: Do not use a third party uninstaller as part of this process. Doing so could permanently delete your Firefox profile data, including but not limited to, extensions, cache, cookies, bookmarks, personal settings and saved passwords. These cannot be easily recovered unless they have been backed up to an external device! See Back up and restore information in Firefox profiles.

Please report back to say if this helped you!

Thank you.

I doubt this is a Firefox issue. I do not see that sort of problem in Linux or in Windows 10. I think if a lot of people have this problem we may be be aware of it, but I can't say I have noticed questions about this, What happens if you try Windows 10 in its safe mode ? If you wish to try reinstalling Firefox I suggest you back up your Firefox profile first as a belts and braces policy to ensure you do not lose information. Also if reinstalling do what we refer to as a clean reinstall that involves deleting the program files. *Please see [[Back up and restore information in Firefox profiles]] ==Clean Reinstall== Certain Firefox problems can be solved by performing a ''Clean reinstall''. This means you remove your Firefox program files and then reinstall Firefox. This process does not remove your [[Profiles - Where Firefox stores your bookmarks, passwords and other user data|Firefox profile]] data (such as bookmarks and passwords), since that information is stored in a different location. To do a clean reinstall of Firefox, please follow these steps: '''Note:''' You might want to print these steps or view them in another browser. #Download the latest Desktop version of Firefox from [https://www.mozilla.org mozilla.org] (or choose the download for your operating system and language from [https://www.mozilla.org/firefox/all/ this page]) and save the setup file to your computer. #After the download finishes, close all Firefox windows (or open the Firefox menu [[Image:New Fx Menu]] and click the close button [[Image:Close 29]]). #Delete the Firefox installation folder, which is located in one of these locations, by default: #*'''Windows:''' #**C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox #**C:\Program Files (x86)\Mozilla Firefox #*'''Mac:''' Delete Firefox from the Applications folder. #*'''Linux:''' If you installed Firefox with the distro-based package manager, you should use the same way to uninstall it - see [[Installing Firefox on Linux]]. If you downloaded and installed the binary package from the [http://www.mozilla.org/firefox#desktop Firefox download page], simply remove the folder ''firefox'' in your home directory. #Now, go ahead and reinstall Firefox: ##Double-click the downloaded installation file and go through the steps of the installation wizard. ##Once the wizard is finished, choose to directly open Firefox after clicking the Finish button. More information about reinstalling Firefox can be found [[Troubleshoot and diagnose Firefox problems#w_5-reinstall-firefox|here]]. <b>WARNING:</b> Do not use a third party uninstaller as part of this process. Doing so could permanently delete your [[Profiles|Firefox profile]] data, including but not limited to, extensions, cache, cookies, bookmarks, personal settings and saved passwords. <u>These cannot be easily recovered unless they have been backed up to an external device!</u> See [[Back up and restore information in Firefox profiles]]. <!-- Starting in Firefox 31, the Firefox uninstaller no longer lets you remove user profile data.Ref: Bug 432017 and https://support.mozilla.org/kb/uninstall-firefox-from-your-computer/discuss/5279 [Fx31] Windows uninstaller will no longer offer the option to remove personal data --> Please report back to say if this helped you! Thank you.
jscher2000
  • Top 10 Contributor
8785 solutions 71851 answers

I haven't noticed this on Windows 7 with Firefox 53 (or any earlier version).

Windows has a feature programs can use to force a window to stay "on top" but most applications do not include a setting to select or deselect that behavior.

In past forum threads, beside various extensions that added this function, a possible cause was a corrupted settings file.

Possibly Corrupted xulstore.json File

Sometimes the file that stores window positions and sizes becomes corrupted with unhelpful or even nonsensical data. You can rename the file and let Firefox rebuild it. Here's how:

Open your current Firefox settings (AKA Firefox profile) folder using either

  • "3-bar" menu button > "?" button > Troubleshooting Information
  • (menu bar) Help > Troubleshooting Information
  • type or paste about:support in the address bar and press Enter

In the first table on the page, click the "Open Folder" button. This should launch a new window listing various files and folders in Windows Explorer.

Leaving that window open, switch back to Firefox and Exit, either:

  • "3-bar" menu button > "power" button
  • (menu bar) File > Exit

Pause while Firefox finishes its cleanup, then rename xulstore.json to something like xulstore.old. If you see a file named localstore.rdf, rename that one to localstore.old.

Start Firefox back up again. Do windows display normally again?

To restore the display of the Bookmarks Toolbar or classic Menu Bar, you can use one of these methods to show the toolbar list and select the desired bars there:

To turn on the Menu Bar, Bookmarks Toolbar, or other bars, click it on the list.

If that doesn't help...

Other questions

  • Is there anything special about how Firefox starts up on your system, for example, in a VM or sandbox?
  • Do you have any programs that might modify how other programs launch? For example, I saw a reference one utility that added Always on Top to a program shortcut's right-click context menu.
I haven't noticed this on Windows 7 with Firefox 53 (or any earlier version). Windows has a feature programs can use to force a window to stay "on top" but most applications do not include a setting to select or deselect that behavior. In past forum threads, beside various extensions that added this function, a possible cause was a corrupted settings file. '''''Possibly Corrupted xulstore.json File''''' Sometimes the file that stores window positions and sizes becomes corrupted with unhelpful or even nonsensical data. You can rename the file and let Firefox rebuild it. Here's how: Open your current Firefox settings (AKA Firefox profile) folder using either * "3-bar" menu button > "?" button > Troubleshooting Information * (menu bar) Help > Troubleshooting Information * type or paste about:support in the address bar and press Enter In the first table on the page, click the "Open Folder" button. This should launch a new window listing various files and folders in Windows Explorer. Leaving that window open, switch back to Firefox and Exit, either: * "3-bar" menu button > "power" button * (menu bar) File > Exit Pause while Firefox finishes its cleanup, then rename '''xulstore.json''' to something like xulstore.old. If you see a file named localstore.rdf, rename that one to localstore.old. Start Firefox back up again. Do windows display normally again? To restore the display of the Bookmarks Toolbar or classic Menu Bar, you can use one of these methods to show the toolbar list and select the desired bars there: * right-click a blank spot on the tab bar (or the "+" button) * tap the Alt key to activate the classic menu bar > View > Toolbars * in Customize mode > Show/Hide Toolbars (see: [[Customize Firefox controls, buttons and toolbars]]) To turn on the Menu Bar, Bookmarks Toolbar, or other bars, click it on the list. If that doesn't help... '''''Other questions''''' * Is there anything special about how Firefox starts up on your system, for example, in a VM or sandbox? * Do you have any programs that might modify how other programs launch? For example, I saw a reference one utility that added Always on Top to a program shortcut's right-click context menu.