Why does clicking on tabs in Firefox sometimes fail until I hit cmd-Q, and then why does that not quit but instead make clicking on the tabs work, and how do I stop that behavior?

I'm running Firefox 3.5.5 on Mac OS X 10.5 and this has been happening for a while (with previous versions of FF as well). I can't forcibly reproduce the behavior, but every now and then (few days?) I just can't click on tabs or on the x's to close the tabs. I can still ctrl-tab between tabs, though. But if I press cmd-Q, instead of quitting, Firefox seems to seize for a second and then I can click on tabs and click to close them just fine. No clue why this is happening or how to stop it. And I do have tons of extensions installed, so it's plausible one of them is the problem..... Thanks.

  • 2
    what extensions? – warren Nov 29 '09 at 16:17
  • Literally 30. New information though: this happens sometimes when a web page asks for access to my computer when it presents me with a form, and then I can also solve the problem by minimizing the window and then re-maximizing it (without the cmd-q business), which makes it a little less of a headache but still a curiosity. – Philip Dec 31 '09 at 16:48

Something to try is to start Firefox in Safe mode (no extensions), and see if the problem goes away.

If it is an extension problem, you can deactivate them in a binary search, to find the guilty extension.

| improve this answer | |
  • It's a good idea in theory but the problem is that the behavior doesn't necessarily manifest even during an entire browsing session. So the absence of the behavior doesn't necessarily indicate that a turned-off extension is the culprit; it's possible that the behavior just isn't popping up for whatever reason it sometimes just doesn't pop up and not because I eliminated the responsible extension. – Philip May 22 '10 at 14:18
  • @Philip: Might be a good idea to turn off as many extensions as won't cripple you too much for a few days. – harrymc May 22 '10 at 17:54
  • Or to use Google Chrome :) – Philip Jun 14 '10 at 13:27

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