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Google "People Also Ask" drop-down boxes won't open/expand

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In Google Search, there is often a "People Also Ask" section with drop-down answers. In last few weeks they won't open for me, but they do in Safari. There are some other minor things with other sites.

  1. Numbered list item I searched in about:config for "java" and there are no edited settings like that.
  2. Numbered list item I disabled all extensions, restarted Firefox, problem persists.

I don't know what other settings to check.

In Google Search, there is often a "People Also Ask" section with drop-down answers. In last few weeks they won't open for me, but they do in Safari. There are some other minor things with other sites. # Numbered list item I searched in about:config for "java" and there are no edited settings like that. # Numbered list item I disabled all extensions, restarted Firefox, problem persists. I don't know what other settings to check.

All Replies (11)

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Hmm, what kind of other minor things? Maybe there is a pattern to the randomness.

Thank you for trying Firefox's Safe Mode -- assuming that was how you tested with all extensions disabled. Here are a couple other common things to try when one site is behaving oddly:

If a site is generally known to work in Firefox, these are standard suggestions to try when it stops working normally:

Cache and Cookies: 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) Clear Firefox's Cache

See: How to clear the Firefox cache

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, click the lock icon at the left end of the address bar. After a moment, a "Clear Cookies and Site Data" button should appear at the bottom. Go ahead and click that.

In the dialog that opens, you will see one or more matches to the current address so you can remove the site's cookies individually without affecting other sites.

Then try reloading the page. Does that help? Any difference when you are logged in to your Google account and when you aren't? (Google often runs UI experiments on its users...)

Double-check the Shield: Firefox's Tracking Protection feature shouldn't affect the Google results page, but it's worth a glance at the shield icon toward the left end of the address bar. It usually turns a bit purplish when content is blocked. Click the icon to learn more or make an exception. See: Enhanced Tracking Protection in Firefox for desktop.

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Thank you for your response. The only other site where I had any trouble looks like a bug on the site - it also occurred in Safari.

1. No I had manually turned off extensions. So I dug and eventually found Safe Mode - didn't help. 2. Cleared the cache. 3. Deleted all Google cookies (dozens of them)! 4. Reloaded the page after every step - still doesn't work. 5. Checked the Shield - says "No trackers known to Firefox . . ." Also tried disabling the enhanced tracking protection and reloading, still no joy.

I have googled the crap out of this repeatedly. Never found any hits for Firefox. Some users reported it from Chrome but it was never solved and some said it eventually worked.

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Hmm, I don't think Macs have a touchscreen, which can sometimes cause a little confusion for Firefox about which UI elements should be operable by your finger versus your mouse.

You could check for messages in Firefox's Web Console. You can open the Web Console in the lower part of the tab using either:

  • "3-bar" menu button > Web Developer > Web Console
  • (menu bar) Tools > Web Developer > Web Console
  • (MacOS) Command+Alt+k

Click the little trash can above the list of messages to clear the decks, then in the upper part of the tab try clicking the People Also Ask topics and watch for error or security messages appearing in the console. Anything that sounds like it could be relevant?

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Thanks for checking that. Your post is delayed in appearing due to the URL filter (anti-spam feature), but it should show up eventually.

When I check the Network Monitor (Network tab), I see that the script which your Firefox isn't loading triggers the loading of several other URLs, so it appears to be pretty important. (Screenshot attached.)

Does your Firefox access the web through any filtering software that not like that URL?

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Thanks. The only filtering software I know of is the uBlock Origin extension. But no javascript is blocked, and it didn't make a difference whether extensions were disabled or not.

It's getting more mysterious, but certainly not a crippling issue.

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External filters would be programs like Avast, AVG, Bitdefender, ESET, and Kaspersky which intercept your browsing to screen out threats. Not sure what would be common on Mac.

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No, nothing like that.

I notice that the rs=ACT09 . . . file doesn't always end with the same characters, for whatever that's worth.

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Hmm, I don't what could cause it to be corrupted. If you click that row in the Network Monitor and view the Response section, does it look like normal JavaScript or ... ?? (Screenshot attached for reference.)

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Yes, it looks pretty much like yours. I'm not sure the random characters in file name are the same because yours are cut off, but as far as I can see they are.


try{ var s_,s_aa=function(a){if(Error.captureStackTrace)Error.captureStackTrace(this,s_aa);else{var b=Error().stack;b&&(this.stack=b)}a&&(this.message=String(a))},s_ba=function(a){return a[a.length-1]},s_ca=function(a,b,c){for(var d="string"===typeof a?a.split(""):a,e=a.length-1;0<=e;--e)e in d&&,d[e],e,a)},s_aaa=function(a,b,c){var d=0;s_a(a,function(e,f,g){,e,f,g)&&++d},c);return d},s_ea=function(a,b,c){b=s_da(a,b,c);return 0>b?null:"string"===typeof a?a.charAt(b):a[b]},s_da=function(a, b,c){for(var d=a.length,e="string"===typeof a?a.split(""):a,f=0;f<d;f++)if(f in e&&,e[f],f,a))return f;return-1},s_baa=function(a,b,c){b=s_fa(a,b,c);return 0>b?null:"string"===typeof a?a.charAt(b):a[b]},s_fa=function(a,b,c){for(var d="string"===typeof a?a.split(""):a,e=a.length-1;0<=e;e--)if(e in d&&,d[e],e,a))return e;return-1},s_ha=function(a,b){return 0<=s_ga(a,b)},s_ia=function(a){return 0==a.length},s_ja=function(a){if(!Array.isArray(a))for(var b=a.length-1;0<=b;b--)delete a[b]; a.length=0},s_ka=function(a,b){s_ha(a,b)||a.push(b)},s_la=function(a,b,c){s_caa(a,c,0,b)},s_daa=function(a,b,c){s_ma(s_caa,a,c,0).apply(null,b)},s_oa=function(a,b){b=s_ga(a,b);var c;(c=0<=b)&&s_na(a,b);return c},s_na=function(a,b){return,b,1).length},s_eaa=function(a,b){b=s_da(a,b,void 0);return 0<=b?(s_na(a,b),!0):!1},s_faa=function(a,b){var c=0;s_ca(a,function(d,e){ 0,d,e,a)&&s_na(a,e)&&c++});return c},s_pa=function(a){return Array.prototype.concat.apply([], arguments)},s_gaa=function(a){return Array.prototype.concat.apply([],arguments)},s_qa=function(a){var b=a.length;if(0<b){for(var c=Array(b),d=0;d<b;d++)c[d]=a[d];return c}return[]},s_sa=function(a,b){for(var c=1;c<arguments.length;c++){var d=arguments[c];if(s_ra(d)){var e=a.length||0,f=d.length||0;a.length=e+f;for(var g=0;g<f;g++)a[e+g]=d[g]}else a.push(d)}},s_caa=function(a,b,c,d){return Array.prototype.splice.apply(a,s_ta(arguments,1))},s_ta=function(a,b,c){return 2>=arguments.length?, b),b,c)},s_wa=function(a,b){b=b||a;for(var c=function(k){return s_ua(k)?"o"+s_va(k):(typeof k).charAt(0)+k},d={},e=0,f=0;f<a.length;){var g=a[f++],h=c(g);,h)||(d[h]=!0,b[e++]=g)}b.length=e},s_iaa=function(a,b,c){return s_haa(a,c||s_xa,!1,b)},s_haa=function(a,b,c,d,e){for(var f=0,g=a.length,h;f<g;){var k=f+(g-f>>>1),l;c?,a[k],k,a):l=b(d,a[k]);0<l?f=k+1:(g=k,h=!l)}return h?f:-f-1},s_ya=function(a,b){a.sort(b||s_xa)},s_jaa= function(a,b){var c=s_xa;s_ya(a,function(d,e){return c(b(d),b(e))})},s_za=function(a,b,c){if(!s_ra(a)||!s_ra(b)||a.length!=b.length)return!1;var d=a.length;c=c||s_kaa;for(var e=0;e<d;e++)if(!c(a[e],b[e]))return!1;return!0},s_xa=function(a,b){return a>b?1:a<b>c*(f-e))return[];if(0<c)for(a=e;a<f;a+=c)d.push(a); </b>

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I don't think I want to try to compare these long scripts to see whether they are the same... Perhaps there is some other angle we haven't considered.