Did I break Firefox? And if so, how?

I tried to login to my IHG account at https://www.ihg.com/ (which was then redirected to https://www.ihg.com/hotels/us/en/reservation). At that page, there is a “Sign In / Join” pair of clickable fields near the top right. When I hover over Sign In, I see javascript:void(0) in the lower left where the URL would be if clicking would take me to a different page. When I click, nothing happens.

At Firefox’s about:config page, I checked javascript.enabled. It was true (default) and every option with javascript in the name was set to the default. I clicked on the shield to the left of the URL and turned off all enhanced tracking protection for the site (which causes an automatic reload of the page, but I did that manually, too); still nothing happened when I clicked Sign In. I found nothing useful at the Mozilla help pages, but that could more a comment on my searching abilities than the Mozilla information repository.

My next guess was that the IHG web site was broken, but this morning I had a search failure at cdc.gov (that I cannot remember and so cannot try to reproduce) and it felt (there’s a scientific investigation) like it could be related. Can someone suggest something I could do to Firefox to regain this functionality?

Safari does get me to the login screen at IHG, so I assume I have a workaround, but I would like to use Firefox. Thanks for any help.

I get the correct sign-in popup window. So the site works. It seems to me like your browser suffered a glitch while downloading one or more of the script files that drive the site. And subsequent visits are using cached copies of the (broken) content, causing it to continue to fail.

Try typing CMD-SHIFT-R to force it to refresh the entire page (including linked content) and see if that helps. If it doesn’t go and purge Firefox’s cache and cookies (at least for the IHG site if not for everything).

Thanks for that confirmation. I should have mentioned that I did clear cache, cookies, and force-refreshed multiple times. My guess now is that it’s something in Firefox. I’ll install the new version this weekend and see if that fixes it.

If upgrading to a new version doesn’t help, there are a few other things you can try:

  • Create a new profile. Firefox stores everything (settings, add-ons, caches, etc.) in a profile directory. If a new profile works, then something in your old one was corrupt. You can then try to fix the original profile or manually copy the important settings to the new one and abandon/delete the old one.
  • Refresh Firefox. This creates a new profile and copies some of your configuration (e.g. bookmarks, passwords, cookies) to the new profile. The old one is moved to your desktop so you can copy stuff from it later, if you need to.

Do you have an ad blocking extension? Maybe that is blocking the javascript. (FWIW, on that page in FF I see the same javascript:void(0), but it still takes me to the log in page.)

If that’s not it, on the FF address bar, just to the left of the address. is a privacy blocker badge. If you click that, you can turn off privacy protections for that page. Does doing that change anything?(I didn’t think that this blocked any Javascript from running, but who knows?)

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Thank you. I had known about each of these two options, but you have expanded my knowledge. But I won’t need to do either, at least for this problem.

Yes! One web site I visit (FlyerTalk, if anyone cares) recently started showing me multiple ads per page, and I looked for an ad blocker. I chose Ghostery, which worked like a charm—until it broke IHG. I disabled Ghostery; IHG now works. Also, FlyerTalk no longer pollutes pages with multiple ads, so I won’t miss Ghostery.

Thank you all, and especially @ddmiller!


FWIW, I run AdBlock Plus, along with a fairly large set of their optional filter lists:

  • ABP filters, blocks scripts that try to bypass ad-blockers
  • Adblock Warning Removal List, blocks content that pops up telling you to disable your ad blocker
  • EasyList, the main ad-blocking database
  • EasyPrivacy, blocks trackers
  • Fanboy’s Annoyance List, blocks social-media emebdded content (e.g. Facebook “like” buttons) and other annoyances (e.g. popups containing GPDR and cookie notices).
  • Malware domains
  • NoCoin, blocks browser-based crypto-coin mining
  • Spam404, blocks scam sites

I use its toolbar icon to selectively white-list sites where I either want to see the ads (to support the site) or where ad-blocking breaks content.

There is a mechanism for custom filters which I use to block things that particularly annoy me. I can also selectively disable individual rules that cause problems, if necessary. It adds a tab to the Firefox Inspector window which is very useful when you’re trying to figure out exactly which ad-blocking rule is causing a problem or when you need to identify the right object to block with a custom rule.

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I’m glad that worked!

For Chrome and Firefox, I am a fan of uBlock Origin. Wirecutter has a good review of extensions, and they do pick uBlock Origin as well, if you want to read a little more about it:

Our Favorite Ad Blockers and Browser Extensions for Privacy | Reviews by Wirecutter

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Another good product and it can process the same filter lists that AdBlock Plus processes.