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Hotmail Won’t Work in Firefox

Thursday, August 25th, 2005 by | Filed Under: E-Mail Help, Using The Internet
 
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Q:
I can’t use Firefox to check my Hotmail account—must be Microsoft up to their old tricks. Anyway, is there a way to fix it?

A:
Of course the BMSF (Blame Microsoft First) reflex kicks in during a situation like this. But it most likely is due to a User Agent problem.

What’s a Web User Agent? Well it can refer to a web browser, search engine spider or screen reader for people with disabilities. This information can be used by the server of the page you are accessing to tailor information that is browser specific or to exclude search engine crawlers (spiders) from gathering data on the site.

In the case of Hotmail, it is likely that your User Agent is set to Googlebot or some other web crawler. This would explain why you can’t access some pages and why Javascripts and DHTML (Dynamic HTML) won’t work. I don’t know of any way Googlebot can end up as your “cloaked” agent, usually it is a deliberate modification made by the Firefox user.

In any case, here’s how to check for a modified user and fix Firefox so you can access your Hotmail.

In the Firefox address bar type in “about:config” (without the quotes). You’ll get a list of all your settings. Customizations should be in bold type.

Look for “general.useragen.override”. If it’s there, right click then select “Reset”.

If it isn’t, then make sure that “general.useragent.vendor” is set to “Firefox” and click “Reset” if not.

Close out Firefox then bring it back up. See if you can get into Hotmail now.

~ David

David Samuel Thomas

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