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Color change for visited links is working for me with Safari 12.1 in macOS 10.12.6 on the MacInTouch home page (where they turn from blue to purple after being clicked). But behavior is like you describe - not changing color - on these MiT Community pages. I'm not sure what the difference is, but the MacInTouch Home Page is simple, static HTML.
It's working for me as well using the latest update to Safari and macOS 10.12.6. By the way, I never even knew you could use the delete key to jump to the previous page. Thanks for the tip.
 


Finally. I don't know how many times I've spent a lot of effort on a web form, pressed delete to correct a typo, and had Safari unexpectedly go to the previous page, losing all of my work.
Semi-releated…I threw my Magic Mouse in the trash several years ago after one too many instances of swiping the wrong way and having this exact same thing happen to me. Absolutely insane.

I know it can be disabled, but the fact that it was on by default and I fell victim several times before figuring out what was going on sealed its fate. I get along just fine with a standard-issue mouse.
 


It's working for me as well using the latest update to Safari and macOS 10.12.6. By the way, I never even knew you could use the delete key to jump to the previous page. Thanks for the tip.
I essentially only use Firefox, although sometimes I use multiple versions at once via a simple hack, and I was not aware of using the "Delete" key as a back page key either. But since I'm on a 2011 MacBook Pro, I just use the OS X standard of a 3-finger swipe to the left to go back a page. And, of course, the 3-finger swipe to the right takes you one page forward. If you are not on a laptop with a trackpad, this would be moot.
 


My hyperlinks don't change color anymore after visiting a site, but the sites show up in History and the click-hold back button pop-up list. I have a little custom list of links hosted on a personal site and now can't see where I've visited. Safari 12.1 on macOS 10.12.6.
I reported this here a day or so ago. It works for the first page after restarting Safari but not for subsequent pages. Kinda irritating if you are Reddit denizen (don't judge me).
 


I can confirm this issue in Safari 12.1 on my macOS 10.12.6 system. The same is true in macOS Mojave 10.14.4. Apple did not document this change in its update notes.
I may be squarely in the minority here, but I can't find the words to say how glad I am for this change, undocumented or otherwise.

I cannot overstate how many times I thought I clicked in a text field to delete some text, only to discover that I hadn't... when the page suddenly and unexpectedly changed before my eyes. So very frustrating. Good riddance! ;)

I don't mean to offend anyone or their personal navigational preferences, but I have a very hard time seeing this "feature" as anything other than a shining example of bad UI design. I do agree that the Backspace should allow backward navigation – when used with a modifier key.

At the very least, a checkbox to toggle the behavior wouldn't be so much to ask! Then everyone can be happy, no matter their preference.
 


I'm sick of backspace changing pages on me when I thought I was typing in a text box. And besides, I always use Command-left [arrow or bracket] and Command-right [arrow or bracket] for back/forward operations, so I really have no need for any other keystrokes to do this.
I've noticed this very frustrating backspace behavior much more frequently in recent months, particularly in Firefox, and especially since all of my G Suite accounts have finally migrated to the "new" Gmail interface.

On a couple of occasions, the backspace problem has happened in the middle of typing a sentence, and I am reasonably sure I did not accidentally click outside the text entry box. I've been wondering if there is something going on with the new Gmail, or perhaps with an adblocker causing problems with loading code, but I haven't invested the time to figure it out. Thanks for the about:config hack; now I can just avoid the problem, rather than investing/wasting the time to figure out the underlying problem.

(I don't recall if there was a lot of discussion here about the "new" Gmail web interface that was rolled out to consumers and eventually G Suite customers last year. It adds a couple of small, useful features, at the cost of being much heavier, less reliable, and slower to load than the old interface, especially on older machines. It drives me nuts that webmail might be the requirement that leads to the replacement/retirement of otherwise perfectly serviceable machines.)
 



A new temporary signing certificate for the extensions has been issued, and is being pushed out via the Normandy update system as of 7am ET.

If you can't wait for it to show up (it didn't happen for me even though about:config says I have Normandy enabled), you can get it straight away by going to Firefox Preferences > Privacy and Security > Allow Firefox to send technical and interaction data to Mozilla > Allow Firefox to install and run studies.

Within a few seconds my extensions were back. This can be turned off again, if you like, once the extensions are back.
 


If you can't wait for it to show up (it didn't happen for me even though about:config says I have Normandy enabled), you can get it straight away by going to Firefox Preferences > Privacy and Security > Allow Firefox to send technical and interaction data to Mozilla > Allow Firefox to install and run studies. Within a few seconds my extensions were back. This can be turned off again, if you like, once the extensions are back.
In my case, enabling studies did nothing. According to the Mozilla people, it can take up to 6 hours for a study to be installed after you configure Firefox to allow them. I don't know if the browser needs to be running the entire time.

If you can't wait (I gave up after waiting most of the day), I found a discussion thread which includes a direct link to the XPI that Mozilla is pushing out with the Normandy/Studies system (hotfix-update-xpi-intermediate @mozilla.com.xpi). If you install it, you should get the same hotfix that Mozilla is pushing out through the Studies mechanism.

Once Mozilla pushes out a proper fix, you can use Mozilla's manual uninstallation procedure to delete the hotfix, if its continued presence bothers you.
 




Looks like those using the Firefox Extended Support Release (ESR) edition are out-of-luck at the moment. You can follow along with the official progress Mozilla is making on this matter, along with official instructions, here:
I'm using the 60.6.1 ESR version. I turned on the studies option but nothing had happened after a couple of hours. I found the workaround of setting xpinstall.signatures.required to "false", which allowed my extensions to work again, though flagged with warnings. Eventually the studies patch must have taken hold as those warnings went away. I set that signature flag to true again and everything still seems to be working fine for now.
 


A new temporary signing certificate for the extensions has been issued, and is being pushed out via the Normandy update system as of 7am ET. If you can't wait for it to show up (it didn't happen for me even though about:config says I have Normandy enabled), you can get it straight away by going to Firefox Preferences > Privacy and Security > Allow Firefox to send technical and interaction data to Mozilla > Allow Firefox to install and run studies. Within a few seconds my extensions were back. This can be turned off again, if you like, once the extensions are back.
That method worked for me, although I had to quit and restart Firefox to get it to kick in.
 



Firefox 66.0.4 does not solve a problem I ran into in early April with Adblock Plus. Every time I quit or restart Firefox, it forgets all my AdBlock Plus settings and posts an error message
It seems that an issue caused all filters to be removed and we were unable to restore a backup. Therefore we had to reset your filters and Acceptable Ads settings. Please check your filter lists and Acceptable Ads settings in the Adblock Plus options.
I have been in contact with Adblock about this, and they are working on it, but no success so far.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Here's more information from Mozilla about the Firefox certificate/add-ons problem:
Mozilla Add-ons Blog said:
Add-ons disabled or failing to install in Firefox
A Firefox release has been pushed — version 66.0.4 on Desktop and Android, and version 60.6.2 for ESR. This release repairs the certificate chain to re-enable web extensions, themes, search engines, and language packs that had been disabled (Bug 1549061). There are remaining issues that we are actively working to resolve, but we wanted to get this fix out before Monday to lessen the impact of disabled add-ons before the start of the week. More information about the remaining issues can be found by clicking on the links to the release notes above. (May 5, 16:25 EDT)
 


Firefox 66.0.4 was released today, along with Firefox ESR 60.6.2, both of which resolve this matter.
I just did the quick update to ESR 60.6.2 and the extensions seem to report properly. I still have a number of legacy extensions that I haven't been able to replace, but that is an ongoing search.
 


I need help restoring a macOS feature which I find very useful, but many users detest, Safari Push Notifications, after a bizarre office theft - while I was out for lunch, someone entered our office at noon, filled with co-workers, and took my MacBook Pro (which demonstrates the intensity of concentration that can be focused on a computer screen).

I was in need of a replacement and couldn't locate a 2TB model with a delivery time of less than 10 days, so I now have a MacBook Pro with 1 TB of storage and an external 2TB OWC Envoy Pro EX. With half the internal storage, a full restoration from backup was not possible.

Although I now have everything back working as before, I no longer receive Push Notifications from websites in Safari. Notifications are turned on for Safari in System Preferences. 'Allow websites to ask for permission to send push notifications' is checked in Safari Preferences. The websites I have allowed to notify still show up in Safari Notifications, but I no longer receive notifications from these previously added websites, only from newly added websites.

I've tried locating any possibly relevant preferences and refreshing them but can't find a way to reset something in the OS to have these websites either ask for access again or start pushing notifications. I did try deleting a website from Safari notifications, but it did not ask to be added again.

I know the process is based on tokens. Any ideas on how to get reset these?

By the way, 35 years of diligent backing up and password protection proved worthwhile following my first loss to computer theft. You must be 100% sure to prevent unauthorized access to your data!
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Here's another Firefox update with improved fixes for the earlier problem with add-ons:
Mozilla Add-ons Blog said:
Add-ons disabled or failing to install in Firefox
  • We’ve released Firefox 66.0.5 for Desktop and Android, and Firefox ESR 60.6.3, which include the permanent fix for re-enabling add-ons that were disabled starting on May 3rd. The initial, temporary fix that was deployed May 4th through the Studies system is replaced by these updates, and we recommend updating as soon as possible. Users who enabled Studies to receive the temporary fix, and have updated to the permanent fix, can now disable Studies if they desire.

    For users who cannot update to the latest version of Firefox or Firefox ESR, we plan to distribute an update that automatically applies the fix to versions 52 through 60. This fix will also be available as a user-installable extension. For anyone still experiencing issues in versions 61 through 65, we plan to distribute a fix through a user-installable extension. These extensions will not require users to enable Studies, and we’ll provide an update when they are available. (May 8. 19:28 EDT)
 



Safari Technology Preview users who also run the 1Password 7 beta will be gratified to learn that 1Password 7 Version 7.3.BETA-13 (70300013) appears to work as expected with Safari Technology Preview Release 81 (Safari 12.2, WebKit 14608.1.19.5).
 


Has anyone else noticed seemingly fake notification permission prompts? I have Firefox set to deny such permission requests automatically. I recently went to read a Forbes article on iOS 12.3, and such a prompt dropped down. In fine print located in the corner of the prompt, it said "Powered by Jeeng".

Ironically, when I googled "jeeng notification prompt" the first result was another Forbes article: "Quick Chrome Tip: How To Stop Pop-Up Windows That Ask To Send Notifications."

I have Adblock Plus installed, but it didn't catch it, but when I subsequently opened the same article in Safari (also protected by Adblock Plus) the prompt did not appear. I don't know if that's merely coincidental, however.
 



I have an old Mac I use as a test machine. Right now I have the latest Mojave installed, along with Little Snitch. I generally block all connections back to Apple (I don't use any iCloud or other cloud services on this computer). It appears that doing this causes any Safari extensions I have installed to not be loaded, even though I can see the "safariextz" files in the Extensions folder.

If I double-click on one of those extension files and allow Safari to connect to the extensions gallery, the extension is loaded and functions. However, they are again absent on the next launch of Safari.

Do I have this correct, that Mojave reaches out to Apple servers to decide whether any extensions can be loaded? (I don't believe this is as simple as a check for updates.) These are all from the extension gallery, by the way.
 


I have an old Mac I use as a test machine. Right now I have the latest Mojave installed, along with Little Snitch. I generally block all connections back to Apple (I don't use any iCloud or other cloud services on this computer). It appears that doing this causes any Safari extensions I have installed to not be loaded, even though I can see the "safariextz" files in the Extensions folder. If I double-click on one of those extension files and allow Safari to connect to the extensions gallery, the extension is loaded and functions. However, they are again absent on the next launch of Safari. Do I have this correct, that Mojave reaches out to Apple servers to decide whether any extensions can be loaded? (I don't believe this is as simple as a check for updates.) These are all from the extension gallery, by the way.
Mojave dropped support for "unapproved" third-party "safariextz" files - see my macOS 10.14 Mojave Post Install Frequently Asked Questions article:
Q. I use .safariextz packaged Safari Extensions but they no longer work - why?
A. Third party, unapproved legacy Safari Extensions are no longer supported - you should check whether the developer has created a newer/updated "Safari App Extension" version. Safari App Extensions and approved .safariextz packaged Safari Extensions from the official Apple Safari Extensions Gallery should still work as long as you are running the latest version of Safari.
So, this phoning home by Safari on Mojave is probably a security feature, to check that the extension is approved.
 


I'm having problems controlling ad blocking with Firefox on two levels. First, whenever the current (version 67.0) Firefox restarts, it loses track of all settings on AdBlock Plus, reverting to the default of ad blocking everywhere. That's a nuisance, because I allow ads in some places I trust and want to support, but it's easy to do with AdBlock Plus. (I have corresponded with AdBlock Plus and they claim the problem is with Firefox.) However, Firefox also seems to have an internal ad blocker of some sort that I can't find any way to turn off and on, and some web sites block access because I can't turn it off. I have seen instructions for turning off the Firefox ad blocker, but they don't work the the current version.
 




Since Microsoft Edge is now based on Chrome, will it have the same issue?
Microsoft chose to disable or replace many Chrome/Chromium functions in Edge, and the ad blocking mechanism was one of them. That said, I don't have any comment on the strengths or weaknesses of the Microsoft approach to ad blocking, as I simply haven't looked into Edge in any detail.
 


Since Microsoft Edge is now based on Chrome, will it have the same issue?
I don't think so, Ric, at least not in the preview version of Edge that runs on macOS. I have AdBlock Plus running in Edge, and it works just fine. Whether or not that holds true in the final, release version of Edge remains to be seen.
 


I don't think so, Ric, at least not in the preview version of Edge that runs on macOS. I have AdBlock Plus running in Edge, and it works just fine. Whether or not that holds true in the final, release version of Edge remains to be seen.
If I understand correctly, AdBlock Plus will continue running in Chrome, too, although perhaps with some limits. The issue seems to be that Google is dropping support for the specific techniques used by other tools like uBlock Origin and Ghostery, which block certain ads before they are downloaded to your machine. It's a little hard to sort out, though, as I've already seen some contradictory information at various news sites, and some Google folks have been posting "the news articles have it all wrong" messages, even though the subject has been getting discussed in public developer forums for a few months already.
 


The issue seems to be that Google is dropping support for the specific techniques used by other tools like uBlock Origin and Ghostery, which block certain ads before they are downloaded to your machine. It's a little hard to sort out, though, as I've already seen some contradictory information at various news sites
It is my understanding that uBlock Origin works like [the Unix] hosts [file], but specific only to the browser in which the extension is installed. Based on the configuration settings I've made in the the uBlock Origin installed in my currently open Firefox, it's blocking "235,068 network filters + 172,389 cosmetic filters."

The contradictory information I've read about Google's plans indicates restriction of blocked elements to around 40,000.

I've also read that the point of implementation will be the "open source" Chromium browser. Microsoft is moving Edge to Chromium, because Chrome has become dominant. By embracing Google's architecture, Microsoft also gets the benefit of plug-and-play extensions. I consider it unlikely that Microsoft, having chosen Chromium to avoid being isolated, would fork its Edge version to enable better ad blocking than Chrome.
Search Engine Land said:
Bing Ads rebrands as Microsoft Advertising
The new name reflects a broader focus on ad inventory, data and targeting capabilities. (4/29/2019)
I chose Android over iOS early on, because Android really was more a traditional operating system. Google's been locking it down, much as Apple does, citing "privacy" and "security." That's the ostensible reason for limiting blocking elements in Chrome.

There are two main threats on Android.
  • pirated apps which are malware
  • "genuine" apps that arrive with, or switch to, "advertising networks" that distribute malware
uBlock Origin protects both our computers and Android devices from those threats, and Google seems intent on ending those protections.
 


I was given a 2017 iMac 5K 27-inch. It's basic, but it can display 4K video well. I have a 4K video camera that was given to me from my departed father. I viewed a video clip from the video camera and it looked terrific.

Then, what I did was to download a 4K video from YouTube using Wondershare's AllMyTube. I played the file on the iMac 27-inch after converting it using HandBrake, and the video looks stunning. Before the download in Safari, it was just 1080p. 4K looked real.
 


New and baffling tech issue with a co-worker, running macOS 10.13.6: She cannot use Firefox! Every time she launches the app (68.0.1), an alert pops up with a yellow caution sign:
Profile Missing
Your Firefox profile cannot be loaded. It may be missing or inaccessible.
I have used EasyFind (checking the box to include invisible items) to locate all files and folders on the boot drive with the name Mozilla and then another search for the name Firefox, to completely remove items that have those words.

After removing these files and folders, launching Firefox still fails with the same alert.

Help!
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
New and baffling tech issue with a co-worker, running macOS 10.13.6: She cannot use Firefox! Every time she launches the app (68.0.1), an alert pops up with a yellow caution sign:
Profile Missing​
Your Firefox profile cannot be loaded. It may be missing or inaccessible.​
You may want to start Firefox while holding down the Option key for troubleshooting/reset options.

See also:
Firefox Help said:
And take a look in
~/Library/'Application Support'/Firefox/Profiles
 


New and baffling tech issue with a co-worker, running macOS 10.13.6: She cannot use Firefox! Every time she launches the app (68.0.1), an alert pops up with a yellow caution sign:
I presume you've already checked out

Some quick thoughts:
  • If there is another user account on the system, login to that and try to launch Firefox. If it launches successfully, you almost certainly can rule out a problem with Firefox itself.
  • If the user had used Firefox previously and had saved bookmarks, passwords, and other settings, you may want to see if you have a backup of her "old" profile before proceeding.
  • Does Firefox quit after displaying the alert or does it let you open a window? If you can open a Firefox window, type about:profiles in the URL bar, and a page should appear that shows the location of the profile Firefox thinks it should be using. If there actually is a folder at that location, now would be a good time to back it up.
  • Assuming Firefox works, my first guess would be that there is a permissions problem in the user's Application Support directory. By default, the user's Firefox profile would be in a subfolder within /Users/username/Library/Application Support/Firefox/Profiles/. Make sure that directory is readable and writable by the user.
  • My next guess would be a problem with the disk directory. Run First Aid in Disk Utility.
 


A Firefox question: My installation became corrupted and would not allow Cookie to delete cookies nor allow me to delete bookmarks. I had to reinstall from scratch. Unfortunately, Firefox Sync has added back some old extensions that no longer work (those associated with disconnect.me). They are listed in the Disabled Extensions part of the Add-ons page, with red banners and marked "Disconnect could not be verified for use in Firefox and has been disabled".

So I want to remove them. The ellipsis next to them does not have a 'remove' option, only "Report' and 'More Information'. The latter takes you to a Mozilla support page explaining why they were disabled and says, via a link to a further page, that they can be removed by selecting 'Remove' from the ellipsis menu. Grrr!

Restarting in Safe Mode doesn't change anything - I still have no remove option. I tried to go to the Firefox add-ons website and enable Disconnect there, but it remains disabled with no remove option. I have visited
~/Library/Application Support/Firefox/Profiles/my_profile/Extensions
and identified the two extensions (0KB each) I have to get rid of and deleted them, but they still show on the add-ons page. I know they are disabled and harming nothing, but now I'm irritated! How can I get rid of them?

...

Addendum: Fixed! With Firefox quit, I moved the file extensions.json out of my profile folder and restarted Firefox. The zombie extensions are gone!
 


The saga continued, I'm afraid to say. I went through several iterations of a nuke and pave of my Firefox installation, with the following symptoms regularly re-appearing after a fresh installation:
1. Loss of suggestions from history when typing in the address bar​
2. Zombie bookmarks re-appearing, unable to delete them​
3. Failure of exporting bookmarks with just folder titles in the exported html file​
4. Complete failure of bookmark export to html - no file being written​
5. Cookie 5 unable to detect or delete new unwanted cookies.​

I found out that history and bookmarks are stored in places.sqlite in the profile folder, so I suspected it was being corrupted. Replacing it with an older version from Time Machine cured all the above.

I checked with Russell at sweetpproductions.com, and he confirmed that Cookie 5 does write to the places.sqlite file and that doing so with the browser open could corrupt it. So, now I have Cookie 5 set to delete unwanted cookies only on browser quit for Firefox (other browsers allow timed cookie deletion with the browser open with no ill-effects) and have been problem-free for 36 hours. (I also took a copy of my clean fresh profile folder so I can replace it if any issues come up again.)

So, if you use Cookie 5 with Firefox, watch out for this and set it not to delete when the browser is open!
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Folks who enjoy living on the bleeding edge may want to try out test builds of OmniWeb 6 for Mac, a new version of the old web browser from the venerable software company that started on Steve Jobs's NeXT platform:

 


Folks who enjoy living on the bleeding edge may want to try out test builds of OmniWeb 6 for Mac, a new version of the old web browser from the venerable software company that started on Steve Jobs's NeXT platform:
Unfortunately, the build posted there is almost a year old and has serious issues (for myself and numerous other people) with Mojave 10.14.4 and newer.

OmniWeb has been a primary browser of mine since I purchased it along with the other Omni apps at MacWorld New York in 2000.

Perhaps with enough support (the kind with $ preceding them), we can convince Omni to resurrect development. It's been, for a number of years, a labor of love by their CEO rather than a commercial product/project.

For more updates on the current version issues:
 


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