Gmail and Firefox 3.6.12 Are NOT Necessarily Compatible

imageSince updating to Firefox 3.6.12, just a few days ago, I had been struggling with all my Gmail accounts while running Firefox 3.6.12.

I could not compose new emails, reply to any of my received emails; could not make any adjustments in settings, and a host of other problems. Virtually any command was followed by the “Loading” notice, which simply sat there.

To continue to use Gmail I was forced to switch to basic HTML, which allowed me some functionality. If you have made a comment in the last few days which I have not replied to, or you have sent me private mail and you are still waiting for a reply, please bear with me.

The Gmail help forums are full of users looking for a solution to this aggravating problem, and to this point Google, operating with it’s usual “F*ck You” attitude, is essentially ignoring the issue. Google’s best advice is as follows – Please try clearing your cache and cookies (instruction below) or using a different browser.

If you are dealing with this compatibility issue, then don’t bother with this pointless advice. Instead, proceed as follows and the problem should be resolved. This procedure worked for me – after a huge amount of trial and error, and wasted time.

In Firefox type “about:config” (do not use quotes and there is a semicolon after about).

Ignore the “This might void the warranty” message.

In the filter bar, type “” (do not use quotes – there is a period after dom).

In the “”, you will see “value” – “false”.

Double click on “” – the value will now read “true”.

Restart Firefox.

Finally, here’s a message for Google – Stop thinking like a Government, and pay some attention to the people who are responsible for your success – THE CUSTOMER!

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Filed under Bill's Rants, Browsers, Firefox, Gmail, Google, Software, Windows Tips and Tools

48 responses to “Gmail and Firefox 3.6.12 Are NOT Necessarily Compatible

  1. Esteban

    I have experienced the exact same problem. I will try your solution. Gracias

    • Hey Esteban,

      After trying all sorts of possible solutions, this is the one that worked for me. Hope it works for you as well.


    • JohnM

      I have the same problem unfortunately I tried your fix and found that my was already set to true. I’ve tried the clear cash & cookies without luck. I have Norton virus scan. Could this be a problem?

      Thanks, JohnM

      • Hi John,

        Sorry to hear the fix didn’t work for you. I doubt that Norton is the problem, but to check this out – stop Norton from running at start up, then launch Firefox. Be sure to re-enable Norton after testing.


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  3. Jose

    Hi Bill.
    uff… I didn’t know about this one.
    No problems on this part, but I understand Google’s response; the usual.
    Is it FF fault or Google’s?
    One has to admit that firefox has had flaws with the latest releases; but it offers us the best (by far) browser.
    On the other hand, Google offers us so many free apps, and some of the best: the search engine; Gmail; Google Earth…
    I can get very upset with Comodo (last argument) because I can live without C.
    But I can’t live without Firefox, and especially without Google.


    • Hi Jose,

      Well, I can’t see that it’s a problem with FF – I can operate without issue, using FF 3.6.12 in Ubuntu. Curiously, I had the same problem using IE 8. This doesn’t mean that’s it’s not a FF issue of course. But, it seems to me, and you’ve put your finger on it “I can’t live …………….without Google”, that Google has the greater responsibility here to at least advise users, *that there is an issue*. In this respect, Google has failed miserably, in my view. Frankly, from where I sit, Google’s customer service, when it comes to Gmail, sucks.

      On the plus side, Gmail is the best free Webmail (otherwise, I would have switched long ago), and as you say, despite some issues with FF in recent releases, it’s still my first choice in Browsers.



  4. Roi

    (Translated by google)
    Thank you very much, I could solve my problem.
    I’ve referenced your link on the google forums in which I was consulting for the same problem.

  5. Siam

    Bill, you are now officially my favorite person! This has been driving me nuts for days! I just couldn’t find any way around it and have been operating on the basic FF view as a last resort. I even reinstalled the previous version of FF and still had the same problem. But now it’s back to normal. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  6. vasa1

    A point I noted was that in my FF 3.6.12, the “” default was true so I didn’t have to do anything and I hadn’t a problem accessing G-Mail, standard mode, even on a relatively slow connection.

    While Google does have significant “attitude”, part of the problem is due to the sheer volumes of complaints. (I visit the Google Chrome forum frequently.) And many complaints provide no or insufficient information to provide assistance.

    • Thanks Vasa1,

      You’re absolutely right – “many complaints provide no or insufficient information to provide assistance”, and I realize that this makes it difficult. But, Gmail needs to go the extra mile in addressing customer issues. In my experience, they don’t.


  7. Tim

    Seeing as though the problem appeared directly after a FF upgrade, the blame for the error would have to go to FF, unless it is because of some blaring upgrade in tech that Google missed.

    Anyhow, from my experience Google’s customer service has ALWAYS stunk… with ALL their services. Their forums are annoying and so are their help pages. I think perhaps it is because they are too big for their proverbial britches.

    I do still love them so. In fact, for many tasks I prefer Chrome over Firefox and one reason is because it works well with Google offerings. I also like how it handles plugins and themes.

    That’s my opinion so I hope I don’t start a fire-fight 🙂

    • Hey Tim,

      Both Karen (a previous commenter), and I had the same progression – first one account failed to operate, and then another. While this is not evidence that this is a Google problem, it is suggestive of such.

      But, the real issue for me was/is Google’s lack of concern, and you seem to agree – “Google’s customer service has ALWAYS stunk… with ALL their services.” This is very annoying, since so many of us rely on Google for so much.

      Thanks for passing on your experience with Chrome – good to have that.


  8. Karen

    I’ve had this same problem for a week but only on one of my gmail accounts. I googled and saw the info on clearing cookies etc and that did zip. But today it starting doing it on another of my gmail accts which is my main account so I searched and found your post and it instantly fixed it. Many thanks!

    • Hi Karen,

      I had the same experience – first one account then the rest. It was this progression that made me suspect that this was a Google problem. Happy to hear you’re now back to normal.


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  11. Keith Barnett

    I have not experienced any problems using gmail in firefox 3.6.12 Am I just lucky ? Its more likley that it has to do with an add-on. I would put firefox in safe mode and see if the problem still exist if not I’m at a lost. If a add-on is the problem then you’ll have to disable each one intel you find the one that’s causing the problem.

    • Hi Keith,

      You’re right of course – in this type of situation add-ons should be the first issue looked at. In fact, I have 17 add-ons in FF in Windows (the same number as in my Ubuntu system), and the normal process was followed here. That is, all add-ons were disabled, but no change in accessing Gmail occurred. As I pointed out earlier, my Ubuntu based FF had no problem with Gmail.

      While you have not experienced this problem (maybe you are lucky :)), a fair number of readers here, have. As well, based on the high level of Gmail forum inquires, this seems to be a fairly common problem.


      • Keith Barnett

        I would also like to mention that even though I’m not experiencing this problem I am sometimes having a problem when opening web pages.I get what looks like a bunch of program righting showing scripting problems but clears up when I refresh the page. related? I don’t know. It Does seem Likely its problem that will only be fixed with the next update.Also whating patiently fo the new firefox.

        • Hi Keith,

          I haven’t heard of this. Sounds like something that Mozilla should be made aware of. Like you I’m anxiously waiting for FF 4 – looks like we’ll have to wait until next Spring. Bummer!


  12. Bill,

    Funny you noticed this… I also experienced this same issue using the Google Chrome Developers version; however, it was short lived. Hmmm… Wonder if a Microsoft Update could have contributed to this?


    • Hey Rick,

      Oh, I had no difficulty noticing this problem – I had to deal with 3 days of downtime with Gmail. After 3 days, since Google wasn’t coming up with the goods, I developed the workaround myself. So much for Google’s customer service.

      As part of the problem I looked at the MS update issue, but found nothing. The problem was FF (in Windows), could not interact with Gmail icons/buttons. The solution should have been obvious from the start – but hey, I’m old and dumb. 🙂


  13. Wisse

    Hi Bill,
    I am new here but I follow your feeds on a daily basis. Thanks for the solution you figured out.
    I could only send emails using IE but thanks to your advice I can use FF again! Keep up the good work.

    Wisse (NL)

  14. Hi Bill, thanks for solutions.
    Some people from POLAND have that same problem.
    I translate and write to them, I hope work to them as well.

    In my PC your tips WORK.
    THANKS 🙂

    Sorry about my writing in english ;( lot of mistakes.

  15. Macarena

    Thanks for your solution!
    Now I can use my gmail at Firefox

    Grettings from Chile!!!

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  17. Hi Bill

    I added this article to It is in spanish though XD.


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  20. Keith Barnett

    I have commented on not having any problems with gmail in firefox and I checked your solution in “about:config” and my setting wear correct.Now I don’t know if it’s correct because I changed it in the past our not But a nother solution to correcting some problems [besides checking your addons] is to completely uninstall firefox then re-install but before doing that be sure to back firefox up [ I like to use favbackup] then re-install firefox and restore.
    That usually salves some problems.
    I do that every time theirs an update, other wise theirs left over junk in the files that don’t belong their.

  21. Yanoom

    Worked for me!
    Great blog

    10x, and good luck from Israel.

  22. Kate

    YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSS! I had this problem not only with gmail but with youtube too, it was bugging the ROYAL CRAP out of me for days! THANK YOU SOOOOO MUCHHHHH!!!!!! WOOOOOO!!!! 😀

  23. (Now) Happy FF User

    Thanks for the help Bill. That conflict was really frustrating.

    What are the potential downsides of enabling

  24. Stefania

    For me it did not work, I had “” already on “true”. I was several months I have this problem after user and pssw I get a screen asking me if I have ActiveX turned on, but but I like FF browser. I can only load in basic html. I tried everything, but it is as if gmail ever saw as IE browser.

  25. Adam Connor

    Tried this myself but it didn’t work for me — was already true. Tried switching it to false and then true again, but that didn’t help either.

    On the good news front, gmail works in Firefox 4 beta.