Neither here nor there.
March 21, 2011 9:04 AM   Subscribe

Clicking on a link using Firefox takes me to previous, random, and unrelated links in my history. This is getting annoying.

This started a couple weeks ago, and now is happening all the time. Example: I click on a link for making pie, takes me to someone's Facebook profile I had looked at an hour ago. Very irritating. What could be causing this?
posted by DeltaForce to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Does this happen in safe mode or with a fresh profile? If not, then it's probably caused by an add-on, and you can try disabling your add-ons one or two at a time to figure out which one.

If it still happens, then it might be caused by some sort of malware on your system, and you should scan for malware using something like Microsoft's tool or Ad-Aware.
posted by mbrubeck at 9:15 AM on March 21, 2011

I've noticed it, too! Just happened about a minute ago, in fact. It's happened a few times, but for me, only when clicking on a link in facebook. And then it takes me back to the whatever non-facebook page I was on immediately before facebook.

(I think it's trying to tell me something...)
posted by phunniemee at 9:19 AM on March 21, 2011

Have you tried clearing your history / temp internet files? I would try that first.
posted by jeffamaphone at 9:27 AM on March 21, 2011

I think I may have witnessed a similar behavior in Chrome on Facebook. I'll click on something and then suddenly Facebook is gone and then I'm on some other page I was looking at earlier. My guess is that FB has a bug somewhere in their code that's executing a flawed "history()" call, sending you back way further than you were supposed to.
posted by justkevin at 9:32 AM on March 21, 2011

I've been having a possibly related problem with firefox -- it will disable the "back" option when I visit a link to a brand new page.

I think it has something to do with an update to the McAfee site adviser thing, but I don't know enough to stop it.
posted by Think_Long at 10:27 AM on March 21, 2011

Does it happen when you're on any website or just particular ones? What OS are you using? If it's Linux, you can get some oddities because a middle-click (to open in a new tab) can sometimes, depending on settings, paste the current X buffer into the tab which Firefox thinks you want to go to, so will end up at a seemingly random page sometimes.

But, yeah, a clean Firefox profile and knowing what pages it happens on is the best bet.
posted by skynxnex at 11:15 AM on March 21, 2011

This is happening to me too, in Firefox, on both my work machine (XP SP3) and my home machine (Win7). Really really annoying. It's always with links from Facebook. An example - I click on a friend's profile and it takes me 3 pages back in my history. I keep meaning to mouse over every link before clicking, to see if there is a difference in the code (maybe an extra hash or something?) but I keep forgetting.

I really hope this one gets answered, because it's mighty annoying.
posted by routergirl at 12:23 PM on March 21, 2011

People are reporting that it happens to Chrome, too so probably not an extension problem, but clearing the cache is a good bet. (And it does seem to be tied to Facebook.)

If that doesn't help, RC1 of Firefox 4 should be out tomorrow-ish so it's a good time to start thinking about doing a clean upgrade.
posted by anaelith at 12:53 PM on March 21, 2011

I doubt this is a bug. This is pretty similar to the behavior of a number of Browser Helper Object types of malware; most of them would redirect you to ads or download pages for, at best, unhelpful, at worst, even more evil "security" software, but it's possible that it was only partly successful at inserting itself and this is the result.

The usual go-to software around here is Malwarebytes. Run it, just to make sure.

In any case, for anything that's wrong with Firefox, the crucial test is making sure that the behavior continues, or not, when you create a fresh profile.
posted by dhartung at 4:42 PM on March 21, 2011

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