Firefox windows disappear from toolbar

For the past few days, my Firefox windows have been disappearing from the taskbar. They don’t squish into that “5 Firefox windows” thing where you can select which window to make active. They just disappear and there’s no way to access them. Tonight I had one Firefox window open (according the taskbar). I closed that, and found another FF window with tabs that I had been browsing about an hour before. I closed that one, and found a FF window with tabs that I had been browsing this morning. I closed that one, and found a FF window with tabs that I had been browsing last night. This isn’t the first time I’ve had this problem with FF.

These windows apparently stay open, but you can’t find them unless you close every other FF window. It doesn’t work with minimizing; it’s as if all of a sudden there can only be one FF button on the taskbar at a time.

I’m using Mozilla Firefox 1.0 on WinXP with no SP2 installed. I ran Spybot S&D and found 2 cookies (BA-LEETED!), and then I ran Ad-Aware and found nothing.

Does anyone have any ideas as to what could be causing this? Thanks in advance for your responses!

As long as there are Firefox pros looking in on this, I’ll bump with a separate question rather than opening a new thread.

.pdf files (Adobe Acrobat) don’t open for me from Firefox. They just return nothing at all when I click on them, or a blank window when I “open in new tab.” Works just fine in IE, but I’m loathe to even open that thing since discovering the wonder of Firefox. Any ideas besides a total removal and reinstall? And, since I’m an idiot about these things, how can I be sure of keeping my precious bookmarks file if I do end up deleting and reinstalling?

Thanks in advance.

Ooooh, good question, manhattan. That happens for me, too, but I had forgotten about it.

Also, I meant to write “taskbar” in the title.

The bookmarks part is pretty easy. Open the bookmark manager (control-B) and go to Tools>Export to save a backup of the bookmarks file (later reimportable with Tools>Import). (Or copy it directly from the profile directory (for Mozilla with the default profile, the file is
“Application Data/Mozilla/Profiles/default/<stuff>/bookmarks.html”;
it’s probably similar for Firefox).

Not sure about the Acrobat part. Which did you install first, Acrobat or Firefox? My thought is that Acrobat might try to register itself with the available browsers at install time; if you installed Firefox after that it might not have learned about the Acrobat plug-in.

I’ve never seen the behavior described in the OP, that I can recall. (Typical Windows question: Does it persist through a reboot? Also, does it happen with other multi-window applications?)

These two questions are very interesting to me. I get the “disappearing tab” thing, but only if I open a .pdf file with Firefox. The window opens just fine, but if I do anything with it, the tab in the taskbar disappears and if I look at another window, I can’t get back to the .pdf one unless I close all other windows.

You didn’t mention which versions of Forefox or Acrobat you were using, but I know certain versions of Acrobat do not work with Firefox. Here is an example. If you do a search there I’m sure you will find the correct version you need.

As for your bookmarks, they stay in your profile and are not deleted when you delete a previos version of Forefox. However, if you are paranoid like me, download Mozilla Backup . Just do a backup before you do any updating and it will save your bookmarks.

Hmmm. Unlike Internet Legend, it happens to me without having a .pdf file open.

To answer Omphaloskeptic’s questions, it does indeed persist after a reboot. As for it happening to other applications, I’m not sure about that. I haven’t had enough of anything else open at a time. Perhaps I will experiment with MS Word and IE.

I don’t know how to make the Firefox windows stop disappearing, but I do know how to get them back when they do (at least under Win XP Pro, other flavors may be similar). Hit CTRL-ALT-DEL to bring up the Task Manager. Locate the missing window in the Running Tasks list, and highlight it, then click the Switch To button. The window’s icon should then reappear in the Taskbar. I’ve not a clue why this happens, however.

Good idea! I wish I’d thought of that, Q.E.D.

Outstanding! Thank you. My 6.0.2 download wasn’t working for some reason (I think there was something wrong with that awful Photoshop Album Starter thing) and I had let it go. Didn’t even notice that the problem probably started occuring when I went from beta to 1.0 on Firefox (who the heck puts a new bug in the gold-ship?). So I killed Album entirely, upgraded to 6.0.2 and I’m back in business with .pdfs again. Thanks again!

I just received Firefox & TBird 1.7.3 on CD. Have yet to load it.
It can be downloaded free at: <>
The web page says V 1, but in actuality it is 1.7.3