Firefox and Gmail 'standard view' problem.

We recently found a problem with Firefox (and other versions) not being able to use Google Gmail in 'standard view'. Gmail was displaying in HTML mode and everytime you clicked on 'standard view' it would simply load again in HTML mode. A lot of Gmails advanced features were not available to us. Read on to see how we solved it.

We have been experiementing with Google's Gmail as a replacement for our Microsoft Exchange Server and there are a lot of reasons we might end up going that way. This 'standard view' problem though took us half a day to solve. Searching the net showed that many people were in the same boat.

Most forums suggested that simply clearing Firefox's cache or changing 'http:' to 'https:' was all you needed to do. Lots of other people on the same forums tried that and still had no luck.

We found the solution after we gave up.

We had performed a bunch of 'about:config' hacks on Firefox trying to get it to work, and after giving up we found that a bunch of our favourite plugins for Firefox were not working, and some of our favourite websites now reported that our browser was not compatible (Facebook suggested we download Firefox - helpful).

The solution for the browser compatability issue was simple enough. Start Firefox in safe mode and reset the user preferences. That undid all of our hacks in "about:config".

And guess what? It fixed Gmail's 'standard view' too.

If you are facing this same frustration, start Firefox in safe-mode on Windows by clicking "Start" -> "Run" -> type "c:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe" -safe-mode

On a Mac open Terminal and type "/Applications/ -safe-mode"

You will be presented with a menu which includes the option to reset the user preferences. Please note that this will also have the effect of resetting any customisations you have made to Firefox, but they will only take a few seconds to set again - compared to the hours you have already spent trying to solve this Gmail problem.

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