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Cached data in Firefox and other browsers can cause this sort of problem. Clearing it may be the answer.

XP SP3. I have Ymail account since '08. Two weeks ago, it quit loading emails. It has essentially locked up. I logged out; logged back in; same thing. Deleted Firefox 7; reinstalled and logged into Ymail; same result. Tried Firefox 3.4; same result. Installed Chrome; logged in Ymail and it performs correctly. Where am I going wrong?

In this excerpt from Answercast #14, I look at strange problems in browsers and how they are often magically resolved by clearing the browser's cache.

Firefox not working

You're not really going wrong anywhere. I think you're simply overlooking one possible thing to clean it up. By "clean up," I mean quite literally cleaning up the cache associated with the browser.

What I would have you do is clear the browser cache in Firefox. I have an article on clearing the browser cache that I'll point you at.

Uninstalling Firefox

The only thing that's a little weird about suggesting that as an answer is that I would have expected that cache to have been reset when you uninstalled Firefox and reinstalled it.

Now, I don't know how you deleted it and I also don't know if Firefox bothers to clean up its cache. It's possible that it could leave the cache in place when you uninstall it. But that's where I would look.

This feels like one of those kinds of problems that just sort of comes up out of nowhere and then goes back to nowhere magically, once you've actually cleared the cache in your browser.

Article C5282 - May 3, 2012 « »

Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

Not what you needed?

Mack Peters
May 3, 2012 11:50 AM

Firefox maintains user settings in separate “Profile Directories”. The un-installation and re-installation of the program does not affect existing profiles. (There is usually one default profile). The user profile includes all the customizations, add-ons, bookmarks, history and every other possible option that was selected through the User Interface or through the advanced “about:config” options editor.
If you suspect that your user profile has become hopelessly corrupted, you can create a new profile by starting Firefox with the –profilemanager switch. While this procedure is straight forward, it’s a powerful tool and you SHOULD understand its ramifications. You’ll be starting with a clean slate. You have to plan ahead by exporting your bookmarks and importing them into the new profile. This will apply to any extensions (add-ons) as well. Extensions will have to be installed to the new profile. In my opinion, Firefox is by far the most customizable and pliable browser today. You also have the ability to back up your profile directory and restore it later to the same or another computer.
I’m not going to reinvent the wheel here; Mozilla has a fabulous knowledge base and it is imperative that you understand how the program will behave before you make any drastic changes.
Disclaimer: Don’t take my advice at face value, research and understand the issues; Make changes at your own risk.
By the way, Firefox is now running at Version 12.
MozBackup (Free 3rd party tool for backing up and restoring profiles)

Jack Surname
August 3, 2012 8:35 AM

I downloaded to my phone the Android App for Yahoo. My Yahoo account was compromised and I started getting spam from my contact manager. Firefox had been the browser of choice on my laptop. I tried the personal seal recommended by Yahoo but the seal does not appear when using FFox on my laptop, however it does show when using FFox on other computers. When using my laptop the seal works with Chrome & IE8. I tried uninstalling & reinstalling FFox and cleaned the cache but nothing works. I wonder if I should wipe out and reload my laptop or is there something I over looked.

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