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Firefox Essentials: Fixing The Fox

Editor's note: This is the third installment of InternetWeek's "Firefox Essentials" series. Be sure not to miss the earlier segments on must-have extensions and understanding and managing your profiles.

One of the secrets to making any software work well is knowing what to do when it won't work at all. Firefox is no different: If you know how to isolate, identify, and cure the most common problems, you can get back to surfing without missing a beat.


Troubleshooting Firefox



•  Introduction

•  Using Firefox Safe Mode


•  Using The Standard Diagnostic

•  Performing A Clean Install

•  Extensions From Hell

•  Getting Help, Avoiding Trouble

•  Image Gallery

But we'll get to that in a minute. The first step to avoiding trouble with Firefox is to keep it updated with the latest security patches and bug fixes. Thanks to a new auto-update feature in Firefox 1.5, keeping Firefox up to date is much quicker and easier than in earlier versions. You no longer have to reinstall the whole browser every time Mozilla releases a security patch or a minor bug-fix update.

Using the options you'll find under the Update tab in the Advanced section of the Firefox Options menu, you can configure Firefox to download and install approved Mozilla updates automatically, or (the default option) instruct the browser simply to tell you when updates are available. The auto-update feature will even check for updates to your Firefox extensions, themes, and search engine plugins.

Playing The Numbers Game


Should you always install the most recent Firefox release? That may seem like a strange question, but if you've followed the ins and outs of earlier Firefox releases, it's a legitimate one.
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