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Firefox’s reset button panacea

28th April 2013

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If like me, you find you are pretty attached to your browser to get you through your daily doings, you likely know that particular frustration that is it going tits-up, and refusing to play nice again, usually either at the start of your work day or the wee early hours of the morning.

My browser of choice has long been Firefox, since version 2. Sure, we’ve had our bad patches—the end of 2011 with the rapid-release cycle rolling on was a particularly bad time for us but hey, we got passed that. I’m a natural-born tinkerer, so this open-source browser with its embracing support for add-ons and customisation appeals to me immeasurably.

Reset Firefox to its default state
The reset button. “You basically get a brand new Firefox installation without the penalty of losing all your data”.

That particular browser-going-tits-up frustration caught me in at around the 5 a.m. mark yesterday morning (hey, I’m a nigh-owl) when a PayPal certificate on a site I was ordering from kept getting knocked-back as unsafe with Error code: sec_error_unknown_issuer.

It had started the day before, and I’d just decided to wait it out, assuming it was a hiccup. I trust the site, ordered regularly from them, and hoped things would be on course again tomorrow. But it wasn’t, and I really needed to order!

I certainly wasn’t going to click the “I trust it anyway, tie-me-up-and-rob-me-blind” button, but a trawl of Mozilla support helped me conclude it was likely a Firefox corruption problem. I’m prepared for that though, I’ve long backed up my Firefox settings on a daily basis with an additional Sunday back-backup that I could restore.

But that can be a pain the arse, uninstalling and reinstalling et al. and I needed to hit the sack. But then, this long-time user of Firefox discovered something lovely: Firefox has (and has had for nearly a year) a reset-to-default button! And even better, it will reset but keep your bookmarks and cookies.

The new Reset Firefox feature is like magic

No reinstalling. Sure, I had to re-do my options, reinstall my add-ons, personas and “Here be dragons!” tweaks but that was a couple of minutes work with it all bookmarked and saved. And voilà, back in business with an accepted PayPal certificate.

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Tags: Firefox, Mozilla.


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