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Firefox won't open and won't uninstall so I can re-install and start anew. HELP!


I'm on a Dell laptop with Windows Vista using the latest version of Mozilla Firefox. My son was playing a game online (addicting games website I think) and the whole game screen didn't show up, he had to scroll. I went to the top of the page and right clicked and closed the address bar and menu bar so they weren't in the way. I've done this in the past and it worked fine. Not this time! When I went back to put those bars back on I couldn't do it. I had no address bar, no forward, back, refresh and home buttons, no file, edit, view buttons etc. I looked in my internet settings and all over the place and couldn't figure out how to replace those bars. I uninstalled Firefox and reinstalled it but those bars still were not there. I did this again after deleting browsing history (cookies and all) in case this problem was saved in my preferences. Still, no bars or buttons. I tried to uninstall again but now it won't even uninstall! It stubornly stays right there! It also won't even open now! I click on the icon and it sits. I right click the icon and hit open and it sits. I'm dead in the water. I can't even sign in to Pogo anymore because IE crashes everytime. I hate IE.....HELP!

Additional System Details

This happened

Every time Firefox opened

This started when...

I uninstalled it and reinstalled it a few times.

Installed Plug-ins



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More Information

njutac 0 solutions 5 answers

Right... Back to square one.

- Open Internet Explorer, go to "www.mozilla.com" and download the installer for Firefox 3.6.12 and save it to your desktop.

- To uninstall Firefox, first make sure no "firefox.exe" processes are running on your machine: Open the task manager (invoke it by pressing ctrl-alt-del and choosing the appropriate option), click on the "Processes" tab, click on the heading "Name" to sort all running processes by name.

Scroll down the list and right-click on the first "firefox.exe" process picking the "Kill process" option. If there's more than one of them, repeat for all instances of "firefox.exe".

- Now go to the directory C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\uninstall and double-click "helper.exe". This should uninstall Firefox completely.

- Now we're in for the hard part: Go to C:\Dokuments and Settings\[Your User Name]\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles. That's where your profile resides. Unless you're using the Profile Manager, chances are you're seeing just one directory "[random string],default". (In my case it's called "4sr92zjz.default", f. ex.).

If you got any bookmarks you'd like to keep, open this folder, find the file "places.sqlite" and move it to your desktop.

Now delete the entire contents of your profile folder--you'll need to configure firefox anew. Do keep this window open, you'll need it again in a few moments.

Go to your desktop, run the installer, start Firefox once, close it again and move your "places.sqlite" file from your desktop to your profile folder.

Now double-click Firefox and reconfigure it according to your preferences.

N.B.: Do get "MozBackup". With this application you're able to save and restore a working Firefox profile--for your next mishap ;-)

Question owner

Hi njutac,

Okay, I checked the task manager and there were no instances of firefox running at all.

Then I clicked on start, and run and I typed in C:\program files\mozilla firefox\uninstall and clicked ok.

There were only two options here. Helper and shortcuts_log. I clicked on helper. When I click on something and my computer is 'thinking' or busy doing the task I get a little blue circle that chases it's tail like the old hour glass of days past. When I clicked on helper the little blue circle showed up for a split second and then disapeared and nothing happened. This is the result I get when I click on the Firefox icon as well.

So, is it impossible to delete this from my computer?

  • Top 10 Contributor
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10776 solutions 96959 answers

There is probably no need to remove all the Firefox Profile Folders

Do a clean (re)install:

  • Download a fresh Firefox copy from http://www.mozilla.com/firefox/all.html and save the file to the desktop.
  • Uninstall your current Firefox version and remove the Firefox program folder before installing that copy of the Firefox installer.
  • Don't remove personal data when uninstalling.
  • It is important to delete the Firefox program folder to remove all the files and make sure that there are no problems with files that were leftover after uninstalling.

In Firefox 3.6 and later on Windows you can hide the "Menu Bar" via "View > Toolbars" or via the right-click context menu on a toolbar.
Press F10 or press and hold the Alt key down to bring up the "Menu Bar" temporarily.
Go to "View > Toolbars" or right-click the "Menu Bar" or press Alt+V T to select which toolbars to show or hide (click on an entry to toggle the state).

See also:

Modified by cor-el