"Warn on closing with multiple tabs open" not honored

Bug #583797 reported by tiggsy on 2010-05-21
This bug affects 7 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
Mozilla Firefox
firefox (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

Binary package hint: firefox

1) lsb_release -rd
Description: Ubuntu 11.10
Release: 11.10

2) apt-cache policy firefox
  Installed: 11.0+build1-0ubuntu0.11.10.1
  Candidate: 11.0+build1-0ubuntu0.11.10.1
  Version table:
 *** 11.0+build1-0ubuntu0.11.10.1 0
        500 http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ oneiric-updates/main i386 Packages
        500 http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ oneiric-security/main i386 Packages
        100 /var/lib/dpkg/status
     7.0.1+build1+nobinonly-0ubuntu2 0
        500 http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ oneiric/main i386 Packages

3) What is expected to happen in Firefox, with Edit -> Preferences -> Tabs -> "Warn on closing with multiple tabs open" checkbox checked, is when one click the X, File -> Quit, Ctrl+Q , or Alt+Space -> C, one get's the confirmation box:
Confirm close
You are about to close x tabs. Are you sure you want to continue?

4) What happens instead is one is not warned and the window closes.

PARTIAL WORKAROUND: about:config -> browser.tabs.maxOpenBeforeWarn -> change from 15 to 2. This will pop up the confirmation box clicking the X and Alt+Space -> C only.

WORKAROUND: Disable Ctrl+Q quiting the browser by installing keyconfig add-on:

Then Tools -> Add-Ons -> Extensions -> keyconfig Preferences -> highlight Quit -> Disable

Original Reporter Comments: I found a "workaround" that says to set "open to a blank page" somewhere else, and I set this, but it still doesn't warn me.

I work from home and frequently spend an hour or so putting in data, all on one screen. If I accidentally hit the stupid little x (which is now in the left hand corner just where you don't need it, it is too easy to hit it by accident, but i can't change this, it comes with the distro), i lose all that work.

Please tell me how to fix this terrible bug.

Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux i686; en-GB; rv: Gecko/20100423 Ubuntu/10.04 (lucid) Firefox/3.6.3 GTB7.1

THIS BUG AFFECTS MY SECURITY (INCOME) but i guess would not be classifed as a security bug per se

ProblemType: Bug
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 10.04
Package: firefox 3.6.3+nobinonly-0ubuntu4
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 2.6.32-22.33-generic
Uname: Linux 2.6.32-22-generic i686
Architecture: i386
Date: Fri May 21 14:07:40 2010
 firefox 3.6.3+nobinonly-0ubuntu4
 firefox-gnome-support 3.6.3+nobinonly-0ubuntu4
 firefox-branding 3.6.3+nobinonly-0ubuntu4
 abroswer N/A
 abrowser-branding N/A
InstallationMedia: Ubuntu 10.04 LTS "Lucid Lynx" - Release i386 (20100429)
SourcePackage: firefox

This caused me to lose 50+ tabs today on 3.5.

Steps to reproduce:
1. Create a new profile
2. uncheck Prefs -> Tabs -> Warn me when closing multiple tabs
3. Open up some tabs.
4. Close the browser (File -> Exit)

No warning appears despite browser.warnOnQuit being true. The tabs are not saved.

Yes, both prefs should set to true. I believe it always been like this from the beginning of the Quit dialog.

Here's the use case for having tabs.warnOnClose set to false and browser.warnOnQuit set to true:
I have tabs.warnOnClose set to false so that I can easily close windows via the taskbar previews in windows 7 (knowing that I can get them back through "Recently Closed Windows"). I still want to be prompted when I exit the browser to save my tabs.

This behavior was a tradeoff that we made late in the 3.0 cycle, there are a bunch of bugs that go over this in more detail (bug 433018, bug 428843). There are some open bugs that cover related issues (bug 419009, bug 443396, bug 384907). I think this is a dupe of bug 419009?

I don't think that wanting to be warned when quitting but not when closing a window is that common, though now that we have undo-close-window I guess it's more logical.

I have

browser.tabs.warnOnClose = true
browser.warnOnQuit = true
browser.warnOnRestart = true

If I close a window with multiple tabs I get a warning dialog box. If I choose quit from the meny, I get no warning whatsoever. If I choose "restart Firefox" from the addon update window, I get no warning whatsoever.

If my privacy options are set to "Clear history at restart", even though I have all these options set to true, and even though I have an option stating "Start Firefox with the windows/tabs from last time", an addon/browser update, or a quit due to instability issues wipes out all my open windows and tabs with no hope of recovering them.

This really makes no sense to me, and there should be a safer way to ensure that the expectations of the developers and the users don't clash in this way causing loss of data.

tiggsy (frann-leach) wrote :
Draycen DeCator (ddecator) wrote :

Thank you for reporting this to Ubuntu. Sometimes Firefox profiles can become corrupt and/or extensions can conflict. Could you please try this with a new profile and see if the problem still exists? You do not need to delete your old profile to test. If this helps, you might want to try to disable all your extensions and re-enable them one by one until you find the problematic one.

You can start the profile manager with the following command:
firefox -ProfileManager

Also, in regards to the button placement, the button location is theme-specific, so you can change the button layout by changing from Ambiance/Radiance to something else.

Changed in firefox (Ubuntu):
status: New → Incomplete
tiggsy (frann-leach) wrote :

Is there a way to do this without losing all my bookmarks and passwords? Cos if not, I pass, sorry.

Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

[Expired for firefox (Ubuntu) because there has been no activity for 60 days.]

Changed in firefox (Ubuntu):
status: Incomplete → Expired
Avi Greenbury (bigreds) wrote :

I see the same behaviour, also in a new profile for testing.

I get a warning on using the 'x' in the corner, but not on ctrl+q

hazylazysusan (hazylazysusan) wrote :

I have the same problem when using the x--doesn't show anything.

hazylazysusan (hazylazysusan) wrote :

I had to change this option in about:config, to "2".


I don't know why it's not set to 2 in the first place...

hazylazysusan (hazylazysusan) wrote :

(that fixed my problem)

hazylazysusan (hazylazysusan) wrote :

Update: This only seems to fix it if you click the x. If you choose File->Quit, it STILL doesn't show the dialog box.

Changed in firefox (Ubuntu):
status: Expired → New
In , Pppx (pppx) wrote :

*** Bug 676679 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***

In , Pppx (pppx) wrote :

*** Bug 676677 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***

In , Pppx (pppx) wrote :

*** Bug 641500 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***

In , Pppx (pppx) wrote :

*** Bug 644693 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***

In , Pppx (pppx) wrote :

This problem should be resolved after Bug 550559 landed

Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

Status changed to 'Confirmed' because the bug affects multiple users.

Changed in firefox (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
description: updated
tags: added: oneiric
Changed in firefox (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → Medium
status: Confirmed → Triaged
summary: - Firefox closed multiple tabs without warning
+ "Warn on closing with multiple tabs open" not honored

tiggsy, thank you for reporting this bug and helping make Ubuntu better. The issue you are reporting is an upstream one and it would be nice if somebody having it could send the bug to the developers of the software by following the instructions at https://developer.mozilla.org/en/Bug_writing_guidelines . If you have done so, please tell us the number of the upstream bug (or the link), so we can add a bugwatch that will inform us about its status. Thanks in advance.

Changed in firefox:
status: New → Incomplete

Importance Low due to easy workaround -> keyconfig.

description: updated
Changed in firefox (Ubuntu):
importance: Medium → Low
AliNâ (alinajafi) wrote :

I found that checking the "Warn me when closing multiple tabs" in Preferences affects "browser.tabs.WarnOnClose" in about:config, instead of "browser.showQuitWarning".

Rena Kunisaki (i-am-inuyasha) wrote :

Still an issue with 16.0.2. Accidentally hit Ctrl+Q instead of Ctrl+W (and you will), browser just quits without any warning or prompt. Extremely annoying, extremely obvious design issue that should have been fixed over 2 years ago now.

At least in recent versions it's possible to restore the session, thus making this more of an annoyance than a fatal bug that would make the browser unusable.

Dario Ruellan (druellan) wrote :

Firerox 18.0.1 and Ubuntu 12.10 here:

Clicking the X button: shows confirmation dialog
Selecting quit on the launcher: shows confirmation dialog
ALT + F4: shows confirmation dialog

CTRL + Q: closes right away
Firefox menu -> quit: closes right away

Checking on Windows, Firefox behaves the same way, so, we can't be sure it is a bug or a design thing.

Dario Ruellan (druellan) wrote :
Changed in firefox:
importance: Undecided → Unknown
status: Incomplete → Unknown
Changed in firefox:
importance: Unknown → Medium
status: Unknown → Confirmed
Chris Wilson (notgary) on 2013-02-22
Changed in hundredpapercuts:
status: New → Confirmed
Chris Wilson (notgary) on 2013-05-27
Changed in hundredpapercuts:
milestone: none → papercuts-s-firefox
Damian Yerrick (tepples) wrote :

"Importance Low due to easy workaround -> keyconfig."

The Keybinder extension worked in Firefox 56 but has stopped working since Firefox 57. So I'd recommend "Importance Low" for `firefox-esr` but not "Low" for `firefox`.

affects: hundredpapercuts → ubuntu
no longer affects: ubuntu
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