Windows 10: Firefox Shortcuts no Longer Work?? Broken by Update? Solved

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  1.    07 Jun 2018 #1

    Firefox Shortcuts no Longer Work?? Broken by Update?


    Hi all. Firefox was working ten minutes ago, but clicking on the task bar and start menu shortcuts now results in a message that the application can no longer be found.

    According to Windows settings 'add and remove programs' it's still there.

    It seems possible that the recent Windows update troubles are implicated in the problem...

    I can't report the exact phrasing of the messages as the shortcuts themselves disappeared (??) after a few attempts.

    Needless to say I didn't remove the shortcuts or alter anything in Firefox. (other than several days ago to set embedded videos on web pages not to auto play)

    The Windows 10 Pro 1803 update installed last week but wouldn't reboot. Windows seemed to revert to 1709 and testing using the system file checker etc as kindly advised here checked out 100%. Windows update history was reset as also advised using the Brinks .bat file tutorial method as it was messed up.

    Updates were set using Group Policy Editor to require permission to both download, and to install. (Win 10 Pro)

    The only known event that may have triggered this shortcut problem was that Windows offered a small update shortly before the problem arose which I (perhaps foolishly) let download because it wasn't the biggie that caused the last. It seemed to run, but isn't showing in the update history....

    Can anybody advise what's happening, how to fix it and whether there's possibly anything nasty going on like malware please?

    There's various shortcuts, log ins etc saved with the current Firefox install which it'd be good to keep.

    Searching the web brings up various cryptic and less than comprehensive threads describing similar events (which imply that the same problem may affect other apps), but mostly in connection with Win 7...
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    07 Jun 2018 #2

    Your System Specs show that you are using Win 10 home which does not have Group Policy. I would run a complete Virus scan and then try to Upgrade to 1803 again. Then download the latest release of Firefox and re install it.

    But you say in your Post Win 10 Pro? I would remove anything you have in Group Policy nd try again.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  3. Posts : 132
    Windows 10 Pro/Education x64
       07 Jun 2018 #3

    Hi, When you upgraded firefox, did you notice if it installed to the c:\program files directory or c:\yourprofile\appdata\local directory? I've seen this happen to me twice and had to uninstall/reinstall the browser to fix the issue. Even better is if you saved a backup via macrium, you can roll back to previous working configuration and then install the updated browser using the custom settings to install in the original directory.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    07 Jun 2018 #4

    I'm definitely running Win 10 Pro J. The laptop came with Home which was upgraded after about 6 months, perhaps I entered the information then.

    It scanned clear regarding malware, but I'm running it again now just in case. (Kaspersky Total Security)

    Will re-installing Firefox delete existing bookmarks, settings etc ?

    I didn't upgrade Firefox T, only set it not to run automatically embedded website videos. I do have a Macrium backup (but only since the failed WIndows 1803 updated install), and I'm cautious (based on cryptic comments elsewhere on the web) that the issue may involve more than Firefox. eg that it may have been triggered by the recent the Windows update.

    Guess it'd for various reasons be good to know what actually caused the problem...
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    07 Jun 2018 #5

    ondablade said: View Post
    I'm definitely running Win 10 Pro J. The laptop came with Home which was upgraded after about 6 months, perhaps I entered the information then.

    It scanned clear regarding malware, but I'm running it again now just in case. (Kaspersky Total Security)

    Will re-installing Firefox delete existing bookmarks, settings etc ?

    I didn't upgrade Firefox T, only set it not to run automatically embedded website videos. I do have a Macrium backup (but only since the failed WIndows 1803 updated install), and I'm cautious (based on cryptic comments elsewhere on the web) that the issue may involve more than Firefox. eg that it may have been triggered by the recent the Windows update.

    Guess it'd for various reasons be good to know what actually caused the problem...
    I uninstall Firefox every time there is a new version. I have been doing this since Firefox first came out as Phoenix . It will not remove your bookmarks or any thing in your profile unless you use REVO but in add/remove programs you will be fine.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    07 Jun 2018 #6

    I can try that then.

    It turns out that links in e-mails are not working either - it says the application cannot be found...

    The malware re-scan was clean.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7.    07 Jun 2018 #7

    Hmm.

    It won't let me uninstall Firefox.

    Using the Windows settings uninstall tool it pops up the usual windows asking for permission to allow Mozilla to make changes. Clicking yes drops back to the settings uninstall screen, clicking uninstall just goes around the circle again.

    What's happening anybody?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  8.    07 Jun 2018 #8

    See: Firefox Keeps Re-enabling Bing Solved - Page 3 - Windows 10 Forums

    Firefox Keeps Re-enabling Bing Solved - Page 7 - Windows 10 Forums

    Also FF auto updates now install the 64bit version by default (on 64 bit machines) even if you really want the 32bit version or already have it.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  9.    07 Jun 2018 #9

    Ok.... We have progress. A fresh install of Firefox Quantum is now working with my saved bookmarks.

    Thanks guys and C, it's such a help to be able to get some input on matters like this. I've marked it as solved in the hope that that's the end of it.

    Having downloaded Geek uninstaller I used it as advised with other info provided in one of your links C to figure out how to extract a dated bookmarks file from the bookmarkbackups folder. (the folder names were a little different right at the end as I had Quantum)

    Geek uninstaller removed the old installation, but not at first - it took the forced uninstall option to search for Firefox related files first. Installing a fresh copy of Firefox Quantum and importing the above backups file did the rest.

    So thanks again to everybody, and here's hoping....

    I'd love to know what caused the problem, and suspect Windows update possibly had a hand in it.

    Whatever the case (it was as though something nuked every link there was to the original Firefox installation) the shortcuts stopped working and then disappeared on their own, links in e-mails etc requiring to open a browser wouldn't work, Windows add and remove programmes still thought Firefox was there, but wouldn't work - and as above it took the forced uninstall with Geek to finally search out files and folders and remove it.

    Does anybody have any thoughts on whether that's likely to be the end of it, or if something else (unfound malware, adware, the problems caused by the failed Win 1803 update, or the subsequent Defender update) might have caused the problem?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  10.    08 Jun 2018 #10

    Sometimes it's just constantly upgrading Firefox including major upgrades that can cause problems. It's always best to keep a current profile backup plus a few older profile backups and clean install FF in the event of problems.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 
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