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Firefox 4: Multiple Windows Annoyance

Firefox 4: Multiple Windows Annoyance

I was never so thrilled as when I started downloaded and started using Firefox 4.  But the honeymoon didn’t last long.

Firefox 4 is by far the fastest Firefox to date. I’ve had no problems with leaving it open for long periods of time and unlike previous versions, it doesn’t hoard the memory and slow down to a crawl. I was still a bit disappointed in the fact that not all my plugins were useable, but those sacrifices were small in comparison to what I was getting in the new browser.

Then, as if it were possessed, a few days after I installed it, it became very annoying.

When I opened Firefox 4, I opened any where from 12 to 22 new browser instances or windows. They just kept coming like a browser hijacker from hell!

It took me some time to figure it out, but I think I found the problem. I wanted to report my findings to Mozilla, but I’ll be darned if I can figure out how to tell someone about this on their support site.  So, I’m posting it here to share it with any of you that might have the same problem.

My first troubleshooting steps was to open the browser with all the addons and plugins disabled – safe mode if you will. Then one at a time, I started activating the plugins.  The problem appeared again whenever I enabled Java.

Now, disabling Java is problematic for me since so many of the sites I use daily require Java.

But then I noticed an odd duplication of the problem when Java wasn’t enabled, but I had previously opened many tabs in a session and just closed the browser, expecting that Firefox would remember them when I reopened.

If you left your browser installation untouched when you installed the new Firefox, you may notice a new home page URL on the start-up page. It’s called, about:home.  Something bothered me about this and to be honest, I don’t know why. But I chose to reset my home page back to Google. Since I’ve removed the about:home URL start up page – Java enabled or not – I have been unable to duplicate the multiple windows problem.  In other words, it stopped the problem!

I do not fully understand the programming behind the new Firefox 4 so I can’t tell you why this has any bearing on the multiple windows opening. I just know that it worked for me.

So, if you’re having any problems with Firefox 4 opening multiple windows or multiple browser instances, go into the Options and reset your home page to a real URL – like this one! (Laughing)

Let me know if this fix works for you by leaving a comment!