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Unable to open a new window.

  • 15 replies
  • 10 have this problem
  • Last reply by PeteThirdEye

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If I press ctrl + n nothing happens. If I go file > new window nothing happens When i try to open a page that needs to open in a new window nothing happens

All Replies (15)

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Do you have that problem when running in the Firefox SafeMode?
Don't select anything right now, just use "Continue in SafeMode."

When in Safe Mode...

  • The status of plug-ins is not affected.
  • Custom preferences are not affected.
  • All extensions are disabled.
  • The default theme is used, without a persona.
  • userChrome.css and userContent.css are ignored.
  • The default toolbar layout is used.
  • The JIT Javascript compiler is disabled.
  • Hardware acceleration is disabled.

If not, see this:

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in safe mode i am able to open new windows

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I figured it out... i went to recent updates in my add ons menu and firefox had updated my persona. I deleted that and restarted firefox now i am able to open new windows.

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I am unable to open New window, same Problem for me too

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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.

If it works in Safe mode or with all extensions (Tools > Add-ons > Extensions) disabled then try to find which is causing it by enabling one extension at a time until the problem reappears.

Close and restart Firefox after each change via "File > Exit" (Mac: "Firefox > Quit"; Linux: "File > Quit")

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The same situation for me.

With ALL extensions disabled (safe mode or disabled by hand) it perfectly works. If you enable a couple of them then it blocks!!!! Whichever two of my extensions are enanbled, the browser ends up NOT being able to open new windows. Only new tabs!

This situation started after updating in version 20 of Firefox. What's more. After meshing around with enabling-disabling, installing-uninstalling extensions it ended up that the majority of them (employing aspects of browser window) doesn't "appear" to work.

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Same problem with me.

Open in New Window works correctly in safe mode. In normal mode it doesn't; furthermore if I click on a link that is supposed to open in a new window, nothing happens, and then if I close Firefox and try to open it again it says the process is already running so I have to use Windows Task Manager to end the process (firefox.exe *32).

I have tried disabling all the add-ons, however, Add-ons Manager only shows the plugins (11 of them). Firefox Health Report shows that all 11 plugins are disabled but that 6 add-ons are enabled and one is disabled. I can't find any way to list these add-ons (the Extensions option shows a blank pane), let alone disable them - none of the options in Add-ons Manager lists them (and, by the way, if I select Get Add-ons it just hangs with the circulating dots and the message 'Loading...').

Interestingly, in my search to try to list these add-ons, I got to the Troubleshooting page to find the location of the Firefox Profiles folder and pressed the Show Folder button - which of course did nothing, since it tries to open a new window!! However, using the non-Firefox method of locating the folder did not help, since there was nothing obvious there listing the 6 enabled and 1 disabled add-ons.

I've also tried un-ticking 'Use hardware acceleration when available' in the Options/Advanced/General tab, to no avail.

Appearance in the Add-ons manager shows Default 22.0.

This is driving me crackers. I'm having to use a different browser for some sites where it's imperative to have a link open a new window. Firefox is the only browser I really like (or did until this started happening!).

Modified by PeteThirdEye

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Hi PeteThirdEye, did this problem just start recently? Can you associate it with any changes to Firefox, to add-ons, or to Windows?

The Show Folder button should launch a Windows Explorer window (not a Firefox window), so it seems the problem extends even beyond the usual Firefox problem. Have you tried rebooting Windows in case there is some glitch in memory?

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You can check for problems caused by a corrupted localstore.rdf file.

In Firefox Safe mode these changes are effective:

  • all extensions are disabled
  • the default theme is used (no persona)
  • userChrome.css and userContent.css are ignored
  • the default toolbar layout is used (localstore-safe.rdf)
  • the Javascript JIT compiler is disabled
  • hardware acceleration is disabled
  • plugins are not affected
  • preferences are not affected
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Thanks, jscher and cor-el, for your trouble.

The problem started about 3 weeks ago; I noticed it with the Times Cryptic Crossword site (I print the crossword and try to do it in bed before I sleep!). Clicking on the link has always opened the crossword in a new (small) window; this stopped working and I had to select 'Open in new tab'. However, the Times had very recently introduced a small change to their web site and I assumed the problem was caused by this, so I didn't take much notice. However, it might well have co-incided with an update of Firefox itself. I hadn't made any changes to Firefox or my system for several months. I only realised the problem was with Firefox when I went to a 'French news clips for English speakers' site, where there is a button to open a (small) new window with a transcription of the video dialogue. Since I try to follow the transcription while listening to and watching the video, it's no good in a separate tab.

The only thing I did notice happening for some time (at least a month) before this problem started was that when Firefox decided to update itself, it would hang when 'checking add-ons compatability'; however, after stopping and re-starting Firefox all seemed to be working normally. I don't THINK it did this just before the problem started.

I shut my computer down and power off everything every night, so I can say that re-booting Windows makes no difference.

I've tried re-naming localstore.rdf to cause a new one to be created; this has not cured the problem. In fact it's made matters slightly worse: now selecting Tools/Add-ons doesn't open anything anywhere!

I've also tried uninstalling Firefox, deleting the Mozilla Firefox folder from Program Files (x86) and re-installing. Still the same.


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AHA!! I've just done a 'Firefox Reset' (I was loth to do this in case it lost all my passwords etc. - it didn't) and that's cured it. Not only does it now open links in a new window when it's supposed to, but the Add-ons Manager page now shows 3 Extensions (it showed none before) and Get Add-ons doesn't hang; Firefox Health Report now shows the correct number and status of my Add-ons and Plugins. Hurrah.

So thanks again, jscher and cor-el, for taking the trouble to reply, and I offer my apologies for not trying this before: my only excuse is that, reading the various problem articles, I got the impression that one should only do a Reset as an absolute last resort; in fact after I'd done it, it took me about 2 minutes to get Firefox back to the way I like it!

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If it happens again then try to open a new window to see if that window works better.

See also:

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Cor-el, do you mean start another execution of Firefox while the (hypothetical, I hope!) future faulty one is still running, to see if it, too, has the problem? Will do, but fingers crossed I shan't need to.

Thanks for the link - very interesting article and other articles from links within it!

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No. What I meant is to use "Firefox > Open File > New Window" to open a new window.
If that new window works then you can lose the old window.

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OK, sorry! Shall remember to to that if needs be. Thanks.