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Firefox 32 always gives "Document expired" every single time I hit the Back key to return to search results. Firefox 31 did not. Why?

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  • 249 zinale nkinga
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  • Igcine ukuphendulwa ngu jscher2000

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Ever since the update for Firefox 32.0 installed, doing a search that uses a post (which I have done for many years with no trouble with any other browser OR with Firefox 31) yields "Document Expired" whenever I hit the Back button to return to my search results. Since I use my browser to, like, search fairly often, obviously this utterly destroys the user experience. I have not done anything at all to about:config settings. How can I make this version function correctly?

To reproduce: go to startpage.com, search for anything; click on a result. Hit Back. You will see the Document Expired message (and then have to interact with a popup as well!). Every. Single. Time.

Again: This behavior is *new* with version 32. I am running Windows 7.

Thanks for reading.

All Replies (16)

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Thankfully I am not getting that problem on Startpage.com myself.

Have you customized anything about Firefox's history settings?

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More generally: When you have a problem with one particular site, a good "first thing to try" is clearing your Firefox cache and deleting your saved cookies for the site.

(1) Bypass Firefox's Cache

Use Ctrl+Shift+r to reload the page fresh from the server.

Alternately, you also can clear Firefox's cache completely using:

"3-bar" menu button (or Tools menu) > Options > Advanced

On the Network mini-tab > Cached Web Content : "Clear Now"

If you have a large hard drive, this might take a few minutes.

(2) Remove the site's cookies (save any pending work first). While viewing a page on the site, try either:

  • right-click and choose View Page Info > Security > "View Cookies"
  • (menu bar) Tools > Page Info > Security > "View Cookies"

In the dialog that opens, you can remove the site's cookies individually.

Then try reloading the page. Does that help?

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Thanks for the reply. Removing all the site's cookies did not have any effect. However, regarding your first suggestion, I did notice something interesting: I tried the Ctrl+Shift+r on startpage's search results page (not its introductory search screen), and when I clicked on a search result and went Back, I didn't get the Document Expired message. Clicked on another, went Back, still no Document Expired. So, that was promising.

However, when I went to startpage.com again and did a new search, I was back at square one: clicking on a search result and hitting Back again gave me the Document Expired message.

Let me ask: I know you said it worked for you -- but (and only bother with this if you don't use startpage often) if you did your first search at startpage to test for my problem, go back and do another search. Do you see the problem now?

Thanks for looking into it.

(Oh, and to answer your first question - no, I have done nothing whatsoever to customize anything about my History)

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Are you using a bookmark to open that page initially?

If you do then try to open the main page by typing the URL in the location/address bar and bookmark that page. It is usually (never) a good idea to bookmark pages that were reached by sending a (possibly hidden) form with POST data. Such a bookmark will give problems if you use the Back key.

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There is no possibility that bookmarks are involved, especially since the troubles are centered around a search results page.

The problem happens regardless of how I navigate to startpage.com -- typing it in, using it has my built-in search engine, anything.

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I probably use the search bar plugin more than the startpage.com home page, but I am not getting the POST warning when going Back either way. I wonder why the difference?

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Er, yes, I wonder why the difference too. :-) Seriously, you may have been on to something with the cache issue you mentioned in your first reply. So what could be different between users that would change that behavior? Is there some flag in my settings that I need to do something with? People used to say to change some browser.sessionstore.postdata flag, but I don't see it in my settings.

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You can find a list of the most important customized preferences on the page that opens when you use 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

There is a button in the upper left corner to copy the page to the clipboard for pasting here. Although usually there is no personal information in that text, please use "Preview Reply" and check for any email addresses or other sensitive data before posting.

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Try to clear your disk cache and see if it works.

Myself have very similar problem with POST and back, but not in startpage.com.

However I do have problem on lots of other sites that using POST... check my bugzilla report: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1060082

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Oh, I can reproduce it on startpage.com too now!

In my case, you need to at least search two keywords (i.e. send POST twice), then back - then document expired happens.

As I mentioned in bugzilla, this problem could be reproduced on two of my computers, both with beta or nightly, CLEAR profile (you need to reduce disk cache to very small in order to reproduce it faster).

Okulungisiwe ngu fireattack

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Hi fireattack, you wrote:

Oh! I can reproduce it on startpage.com too now!

In my case, you need to at least search two keywords (i.e. send POST twice), then back - then document expired happens!

Okay, now I see that, too.

Okulungisiwe ngu jscher2000

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Huh. In my case, it happens regardless of how many keywords (I tried one search term just now, and had the same thing happen).

fireattack, were you talking about the *browser cache* when you asked if I'd cleared my cache? Sorry, just confirming ... seems like everybody's got a cache. :-)

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For those using startpage.com this worked for me… on the “startpage” home screen go into settings, (top right of page) uncheck “Use POST vs GET”

Make sure to save your setting!

  • Note: startpage.com description for this option: For additional privacy - keeps your search terms out of the logs of webmasters of sites that you reach from our results.

Okulungisiwe ngu Uncle-Jed

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Hi Uncle-Jed, yes, that's right, the Document Expired message only affects pages returned when you use POST.

Hi jakff, yes, the cache is Firefox's cache. There is further discussion of possible changes to cache settings in this thread: https://support.mozilla.org/questions/1018237

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i am on startpage. i get this problem 5 to 7 times a day. from what i have seen on these forums there are multiple "fixes" which do not effing work. firefox treats this as if it were not a problem. it is a huge problem. i do not like being online anymore. i get 'document fucking expired' then delete all cookies and have to re-sign in for every account i have and perform two other recommended rituals that do not work for more than five minutes. firefox is fucked up. that is what i am not seeing on these stupid threads. firefox was not fucked up a month ago. but it is now and now i have to try all these different fixes myself, some of which i do not even understand, while firefox remains unaccountable. fuck this. either tell me what to do to fix this permanently or tell me what the best alternative to firefox is. this is insane.

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Hi peggyn, it turns out this has nothing to do with cookies. It is somehow related to how Firefox manages a full cache (it does not cache the results page when the cache is full, so Firefox cannot go back to it).

Did you try the steps to clear Firefox's cache or manually set a different size? Start by calling up the Options/Preferences dialiog:

For Windows:

"3-bar" menu button (or Tools menu) > Options > Advanced > Network mini-tab

For Mac:

"3-bar" menu button (or Firefox menu) > Preferences > Advanced > Network mini-tab

On that tab, in the second section, which should be labeled Cached Web Content, you can try either:

  • Clear Now (if you have a large hard drive, this may lock up Firefox for a couple minutes)
  • Check the box for "Override automatic cache management" and, if desired, increase the cache size from the default of 350 megabytes