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Findbar suddenly not working anymore

User Help for Mozilla Firefox
Jose Hidalgo
 
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Joined: April 17th, 2013, 5:30 am

Post Posted December 28th, 2020, 3:17 pm

Hi everybody,

Firefox, latest version 84.0.1 (64 bits), running stable under Windows 7 SP1 x64.

Today, trying to access the findbar via Ctrl+F, I probably pressed the wrong keys, because Firefox showed me a pop-up window about modifying or deleting the current bookmark.
Anyway, since that precise moment, the findbar doesn't work anymore. Not via Ctrl+F, and not via the Edit menu. It doesn't show at all.

I have checked if it could be window-size related. My Firefox is usually in full-screen, but reducing it to a smaller size changes nothing.

Starting Firefox in safe mode shows that the findbar does work in safe mode. So something went wrong in my profile.
I know the usual procedure would be to start with add-ons disabled and enable them one by one. However, my config has proven completely stable for months/years, so I doubt it's one of my add-ons.
Let me emphasize that everything went wrong right after I pressed the wrong keys. Right before, everything worked, and right after, the findbar didn't work anymore.

I've read that it could be a corrupted localstore.rdf file. I haven't checked that yet.
My Firefox is heavily customized, so I'm afraid I'd lose a lot of stuff in the process (plus I'm not even sure that it's the localstore.rdf file). Creating a fresh new profile isn't an option either.

I use Hekasoft Backup & Restore to backup my Firefox configs. Luckily I had a very recent backup, so I tried restoring it. Unfortunately the findbar problem is still there.
I don't know if Hekasoft backups the localstore.rdf file though.

Could you please help me assess my options here ? I use the findbar all the time, so I'm feeling pretty bad without it.
Thanks in advance !

jscher2000

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Location: Silicon Valley, CA USA

Post Posted December 28th, 2020, 8:02 pm

Maybe you pressed Ctrl+d, which either adds a bookmark for the current page or opens the bookmark editor for the current page's bookmark.

That definitely shouldn't break Find in page. Very puzzling.

The localstore.rdf file is obsolete; the current equivalent would be the xulstore.json file. Mostly that file stores window positions and dimensions, so you won't lose much if you rename it. Of course, if it doesn't help, you can remove the new test file and rename the old one back.

dickvl

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Post Posted December 29th, 2020, 6:46 pm

Did you try to close and restart Firefox or reboot the computer?

Jose Hidalgo
 
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Joined: April 17th, 2013, 5:30 am

Post Posted December 30th, 2020, 12:48 pm

Thanks for your replies.

Yes, it could be Ctrl+D. But it wouldn't explain this weird behaviour. Maybe my fingers pressed something else in that area, I don't know.
I have tried exiting Firefox, renaming xulstore.json and restarting Firefox. Indeed I didn't lose much (except noticeably all the menus, from File to Help). But Ctrl+F still doesn't work. So I reverted to my original xulstore.json.
Maybe xulstore.json doesn't handle the Findbar anymore. Would there be another file in charge of that part ?
I haven't tried rebooting yet.

malliz
Folder@Home

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Post Posted December 30th, 2020, 3:43 pm

Take it from an old tech the very first thing you should try is a cold restart of your computer. A warm boot (just a restart) is not as good
What sort of man would put a known criminal in charge of a major branch of government? Apart from, say, the average voter.
"Terry Pratchett"

Jose Hidalgo
 
Posts: 20
Joined: April 17th, 2013, 5:30 am

Post Posted January 2nd, 2021, 5:34 am

Thanks. So, I have tried a real cold start, after at least 5 minutes of power off. Unfortunately the problem's still there I'm afraid. No findbar, either via Ctrl+F or via the menu.

Jose Hidalgo
 
Posts: 20
Joined: April 17th, 2013, 5:30 am

Post Posted January 2nd, 2021, 6:05 pm

Also, I have just manually disabled all extensions one by one (except Session Manager) and restarted Firefox. The problem's still there.
So whatever it is, it has nothing to do with my extensions, as initially suspected. It's something else.
The normal behaviour is restored unly under Safe Mode.
So what does Safe Mode do, besides disabling all extensions ?

Wouldn't there be some kind of verbose debugging tool that would allow us to understand what happens when I press Ctrl+F or go to the menu option ?

Jose Hidalgo
 
Posts: 20
Joined: April 17th, 2013, 5:30 am

Post Posted January 2nd, 2021, 6:15 pm

Here's some progress : the findbar automatically appears (without being invoked by Ctrl+F) when I press F12 to make the developer tools appear in the bottom part of the screen.
It appears ON the developer tools, hiding the tabs, and disappears as soon as I press F12 again.
That is a weird behaviour indeed. Here's a screen cap.

Image

Let me make this clearer :
- If I don't invoke the findbar in the first place, it doesn't appear when pressing F12 (nor when I press Ctrl+F after pressing F12)
- If I invoke the findbar in the first place, it doesn't appear in the regular Firefox workspace, BUT it shows ON the developer tools when pressing F12, like it was always there since it was invoked

Bottom line : something went wrong, and now the findbar is being wrongly displayed ON the developer tools instead of the regular workspace. That is the part that should be reverted back to normal. :)

xanthon
 
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Joined: December 17th, 2005, 11:55 pm

Post Posted January 2nd, 2021, 10:27 pm

Does '/' get you "quick find"?

jscher2000

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Post Posted January 2nd, 2021, 10:44 pm

Do you have a userChrome.css file? That would be disabled in Firefox's Safe Mode.

dickvl

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Post Posted January 3rd, 2021, 4:18 pm

It is possible that the find bar is opened, but not visible as being off screen.

Are you opening Firefox maximized?

You can try to remove xulstore.json in the Firefox profile folder with Firefox closed.
https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/pr ... -user-data

Jose Hidalgo
 
Posts: 20
Joined: April 17th, 2013, 5:30 am

Post Posted January 8th, 2021, 11:04 am

Hi guys, sorry, I didn't get notifications. Here I am.

xanthon wrote:Does '/' get you "quick find"?

Yes, that works perfectly, and it's actually a nice workaround while waiting for a solution. Thank you !
One question : what would be the difference between '/' and 'Ctrl+F' ?

jscher2000 wrote:Do you have a userChrome.css file? That would be disabled in Firefox's Safe Mode.

I do. And it could be the culprit.
Disabling userChrome and userContent restores the original findbar at the bottom of the screen... while of course disabling all my customizations.
Re-enabling them restores all my customizations... but not the findbar.
I need to look further into this.

dickvl wrote:It is possible that the find bar is opened, but not visible as being off screen.

Are you opening Firefox maximized?

You can try to remove xulstore.json in the Firefox profile folder with Firefox closed.
https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/pr ... -user-data

I have already tried opening Firefox not maximized. Couldn't find the findbar anywhere.
I still think that it's not normal that the findbar appears when I press F12, masking the tabs of the developer options. I'm pretty sure that isn't the intended behaviour.
I tried removing xulstore.json and it didn't solve anything.

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