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"Email Link" email not on top. Hiden by browser.

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  • Last reply by springheel

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It took a bit of troubleshooting to isolate the cause of this. But apparently after my most recent Firefox update, when I click on the "Email Link" function, which I have in my overflow menu, the email itself does not pop up on top of the browser, instead it is hidden beneath it when it used to be on top.

I have done a couple of restores, tested all recent Windows updates, and upon a final restore and more or less disabling the Firefox updates, I believe the problem is with my most recent Firefox update. As long as I don't update, the email appears on top of the browser.

Short of disabling Firefox updates entirely, of which I wish i could do, I would accept responsibility for that, I can find no other workaround except to minimize the browser in order to address & send the email.

Thank you.

Chosen solution

Hi springheel, userChrome.css files date back to very early days, but because there were powerful extensions that made it much easier to modify the toolbar area, it wasn't needed until Firefox 57. Anyway, that's behind us now.

The edit you need to make would be in your existing userChrome.css file, wherever you find a line starting with

@-moz-document url(chrome://browser/content/browser.xul) {

Change those to

@-moz-document url(chrome://browser/content/browser.xhtml) {

It's just a couple characters but means the difference between being applied and being ignored.

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All Replies (20)

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Hi springheel, when I use Email Link to send a link to MS Outlook, the new message still appears in front of Firefox. In case it makes any difference, I have Firefox set to Ask me every time which mailer I want to use in case I want to use Gmail or Yahoo instead of Outlook (that's mostly for testing and no day-to-day).

Which mail program or site isn't taking the focus when you use Email Link?

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I apologize, I neglected to include my email client. I am using Outlook from Office 2007. I did not know I could use Gmail or other clients.

I did a system restore before the last Windows Update & Firefox updates. I then updated Windows & Firefox. The problem was still occurring. Before I did another restore, I checked the box next to "check for updates but allow me to choose" and then did a second restore.

Of course it worked fine both times when I didn't update Windows. Although this time I only updated Windows and didn't allow Firefox to update, and the email appears on top of the browser.

If I allow Firefox to update, I am sure the problem will happen again. There is some bug or conflict that I cannot figure out.

Thank you.

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What version of Firefox do you have now (which is working)? You can check on the Troubleshooting Information page. Either:

  • "3-bar" menu button > "?" Help > 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, it should be the second line.

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I'll also mention two other methods for accessing a window that is hidden behind Firefox:

  • Taskbar: hover the mouse pointer over the Outlook icon and then click the thumbnail for the new message
  • Alt+Tab: Hold down the Alt key, then press and release the Tab key. Windows will display an overlay of open windows. If the one you want is selected, release the Alt key to switch. If you want a different one, press Tab enough times to highlight it and then release the Alt key.
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68.0.1 (64 bit) with 64.0.2 pending. That is the version that I am having the issue with.

I'm am aware of other ways to display the mail hidden beneath the browser, I could simply minimize the window, but I shouldn't have to use them when it has conveniently displayed on top of the browser for years and does so even now as I don't update to the next build.

Thank you.

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Hmm, there weren't a huge number of changes between 68.0.1 and 68.0.2 so it must be some non-obvious thing.

There is a known issue with some external applications receiving broken links if there is a #blahblah fragment on the end of the URL, but that should be pretty rare when using Email Link and it sound as though the message is composing correctly, but the Outlook 2007 window either is not coming to the front or Firefox is reasserting focus.

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Some of that went over my head. :)

It's not a URL, it's not web mail. Its creating the email from my Office 2007 Outlook client. I ran a repair, but it didn't seem to matter. When the newest build of Firefox is installed, the emails keep appearing beneath the browser window.

It's weird, I know. I don't know what else to do, but if I want the mail to be composed on top of the browser, at least at this point, I have to disallow Firefox updates.

I can try it again, but I've done three restores already and the update, as near as I can tell, is the culprit. It works fine with the update not installed.

Thank you.

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I have to tell you--I'm having a difficult time even wording my problem for a Google search. But I must tell you, because i have looked, and I see no option, as you say, to always ask what to do, except for how I want to download files on the web. I an find no clear preference in Options that would allow me to designate another mail client. That said, I never really "designated" Office to be my default email client in the browser, it has just simply always been that way. In all my browsers.

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Hi springheel, when I refer to Firefox sending a URL to the system, what I mean is this: when you use Email Link, Firefox sends Windows a mailto link with the page title in the subject and the page URL in the body. For example:


However, your Outlook 2007 seems to be received the intended data, there's just some weird problem with which window ends up getting focus. I don't have that problem with the latest Outlook (2016? 365?).

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springheel said

I see no option, as you say, to always ask what to do, except for how I want to download files on the web.

Check out the following article: Change the program used to open email links.

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Possibly Firefox has finally updated beyond my version of Outlook. I was afraid this would happen someday, and I have considered disallowing Windows updates with the pending non-support of Windows 7. We are reaching a point with technology, that sadly, people simply can't afford to keep up with the "game." I know that I have had to drop services because it's not getting any cheaper, it's only getting more expensive. And eventually--something has to give.

I am very disappointed in the direction a lot of our technology has taken. It seems we have lost more jobs because of it that not. I know when I got my first computer, being legally blind, I was told tech would help me in the future, sadly that is not the case. For the most part, technology has become my handicap. I bought assistive tech to go to college in 2010. And though I qualify for a break on updates, that very technoloty that I barely spend 400 dollars on, would cost meover a grand to update today. Doesn't make much sense, does it?

Sometimes I wonder, if the days of the internet aren't numbered. I don't feel the dismissal of that net neutrality thing is going to fair very well for any of us. The way we get our media is already changing, I see cable going by the wayside, and the cost or internet access only climbing. There are already millions of people in this country who can't afford internet access as it is. Most steal it using mobile data on unlimited plans, I am not that lucky to surf the net on my phone, it is visually impossible.

Perhaps it's time we all unplug, and force these "monopolies," these big players like AT&T, Apple, Amazon, Google, Samsung (and the list goes on) to be more competitive with their services, because right now their shooting fish in a barrel, and the future doesn't look so bright to me.

Thank you for your help. People here are always very friendly & helpful and it's very appreciated. If any one has any better ideas, besides upgrading Office or my OS, I am open to suggestions.


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Hello jscher

Sorry about the techno rant.

I have tried reinstalling the updates one more time this morning. So far so good. Will see how it goes. Perhaps someone read this and made a tweak. I don't know, but for whatever reason, I wanted to than you for your help & your insight. The support here is truly outstanding.


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I digress, the problem still persists. At first I thought it was prone to certain sites or pages, but that is not the case. It's completely random. I have done a final restore. Works fine. Can find no other resolution except to disallow any Firefox updates from here on out. Might try it again with a later update and see how it goes, but for now I've disallowed any Firefox updates.


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Hi springheel, if you don't need the changes in Firefox 68.0.2, you can stick with 68.0.1 until Firefox 69 is released next month.

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It is possible that (anti-virus) security software is causing the problem. Try to disable security software temporarily to see if that makes a difference.

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I assume you mean after the latest update is installed, cor-el. Because it is only happening after I install the update.

Let me get back with you on this.


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I reinstalled the update. The problem started occuring again, and again randomly.

I disabled my Anti-virus. Now the problem occurs everytime I try to Send Email.

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Hi springheel, when I tested last Sunday, the new Outlook message came to the front, but today, when I tested again, the Outlook icon flashed on the Taskbar. Not sure what changed; same Firefox but as bunch of Office and Windows updates that required a restart.

So I wrote all that and tested again, and now it's fine.

Not sure why the inconsistency.

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Not too surprisingly, I took a Windows update the same day or the day before the Firefox update. They normally do updates the first Tues of the month, but I have gotten them on Thurs before so I didn't question it oo much, and most of was an Office update, because I reviewed them as well as having done multiple restores since the conflict. Maybe it's all been a matter of timing, but all I can say, with the current Windows/Office updates installed, I keep having this, random, conflict with the updated version of Firefox. I did reinstall them again and tried disabling my Anti-Virus (AVG 2019) I even made sure the AVG was up to date, and, somewhat ironically, it took an update as well, but when i have it disable, I consistently get the error, when it is enabled, I only get it randomly. Nevertheless, with the new update to Firefox install, I am having the conflict. So I did another restore, and everything works fine when the latest Firefox update isn't installed. I'm willing to try any suggestions, but until then I'll not install the Firefox update because frankly, it's just annoying. when the Send Email can't make up it's mind where to focus. I obviously perform this function a lot, but I use it as alternative to bookmarking. I can find the email quicker than I can the bookmark and they're very random. I bookmark specific things for specific reasons, but when I'm on the fly, I will simply email myself the link.

Thanks for all the help guys.

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I filed a bug report:

Please don't add comments there at this point. I'll update this thread if they have something for you to test or need further information.

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