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The back button stops working intermittently although clicking back on the right-click menu still works


I have Firefox 15.0.1 on Win 7 Pro 64-bit. After browsing for a while, the back button sometimes stops working although it's not greyed out. It just does nothing. Back on the right-click menu is still fine and this is not site-specific. I've tried recreating the places.sqlite database and that doesn't help. The only thing that fixes it is a reboot, but it happens often enough so that this is a problem.

Additional System Details

Installed Plug-ins

  • Google Update
  • The QuickTime Plugin allows you to view a wide variety of multimedia content in Web pages. For more information, visit the QuickTime Web site.
  • Shockwave Flash 11.4 r402
  • Adobe PDF Plug-In For Firefox and Netscape 10.1.4
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  • NVIDIA 3D Vision plugin for Mozilla browsers
  • Intel web components updater - Installs and updates the Intel web components
  • Intel web components for Intel® Identity Protection Technology
  • Plugin for Wacom tablets.
  • Wacom Dynamic Link Library
  • The plug-in allows you to open and edit files using Microsoft Office applications
  • Office Authorization plug-in for NPAPI browsers


  • User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64; rv:15.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/15.0.1

More Information

Michalis 18 solutions 193 answers

Try the Firefox Safe Mode to see how it works there. The Safe Mode is a troubleshooting mode, which disables most add-ons.

(If you're not using it, switch to the Default theme.)

  • You can open the Firefox 4.0+ Safe Mode by holding the Shift key when you use the Firefox desktop or Start menu shortcut.
  • Or use the Help menu item and click on the Restart with Add-ons Disabled... menu item while Firefox is running.

Don't select "Reset Firefox", just use "Start in Safe Mode." To exit the Firefox Safe Mode, just close Firefox and wait a few seconds before using the Firefox shortcut (without the Shift key) to open it again. If it is good in the Firefox Safe Mode, your problem is probably caused by an extension, and you need to figure out which one.

Please follow the Troubleshoot extensions, themes and hardware acceleration issues to solve common Firefox problems article for that.

When you figure out what's causing your issues, please let us know. It might help other users who have the same problem.

Modified by Michalis

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10737 solutions 96600 answers

Problems with bookmarks and history not working properly can be caused by a corrupted places.sqlite database file.

You can check for problems with the places.sqlite database file in the Firefox Profile Folder.

You can try to check and repair the places database with this extension:

Question owner

Hi, thanks for the responses. I had tried disabling addons and renaming places before posting but neither helped. Most of the articles I've found about this say those also disable Back on the right-click menu, and mine is fine.

FF updated to 16.0.1 and it seemed better but happened again today - again the right-click menu is fine but not the back button. I tried disabling addons and renaming places.sqlite again, but the only thing that worked was a reboot. I have a feeling it happens after visiting sites which use a lot of AJAX (the last thing I was doing before this incident was commenting on something at Amazon). It seems to be less frequent so difficult to debug, but I'll keep watching.

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10737 solutions 96600 answers

Which security software (firewall, anti-virus) do you have?

Try to boot the computer in Windows Safe mode with network support (press F8 on the boot screen) as a test to see if that helps.

jdeatsch 0 solutions 2 answers

I've had the same issue since 15.0.1. Now on 17.0.1 and it continues.

Clicking the back button once does nothing, clicking it again does, in fact, go back a page.


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10737 solutions 96600 answers

Did you hold down the mouse button on the Back button to see if there are multiple entries (possibly redirects) and you may have to skip some?

Start Firefox in Safe Mode to check if one of the extensions (Firefox/Tools > Add-ons > Extensions) or if hardware acceleration is causing the problem (switch to the DEFAULT theme: Firefox/Tools > Add-ons > Appearance).

  • Do not click the Reset button on the Safe mode start window or otherwise make changes.
jdeatsch 0 solutions 2 answers

This is with only one page open, USAToday.com for example.

I have tried safe mode with no luck.

I am on the default theme.