Firefox and GMail / Google Calendar Blank Pages

I’ve been running Firefox 2 on my Macbook at home, and on Windows XP in the office (where I don’t have a choice of OS). Today I noticed something odd on the Mac – neither GMail nor Google Calendar would display…

Whenever I tried to access either application, the browser would wait for a bit, then simply settle on displaying a blank page (nothing behind the scenes either according to Cmd-U).

Safari worked OK, and, I found so did the secure version of GMail (top tip: if you simply replace “http” with “https” in gmail’s URL, your session and thus your email is encrypted and less likely to succumb to an eavesdropper).

Hmm, I thought. Searching Google for similar problems brought up one other person complaining about this quite recently, but no solutions.

I thought about it for a while. Eventually I decided to try experimenting with a new profile in Firefox. To create a new profile, you can run Firefox from terminal thus:

/{wherever you installed it}/Firefox.app/Contents/MacOS/firefox -ProfileManager

This will bring up the profile manager, whereby you can create a new profiles. It shows you where, by default, profiles are stored.

So I created a new profile, and everything was OK.

I then installed Google Browser Sync on the new profile, and synchronised with my stuff. Problem reappeared. I tried uninstalling Google Browser Sync, but that didn’t help.

OK. I delete the new profile, and create ANOTHER one. This time I copy everything from my original profile into the new profile’s directory. I get all my old settings. I then get a hunch it’s got something to do with cookies, so I delete all cookies from the new profile (which I’d just copied over). This time Google Browser Sync works, and so does Google Calendar. Interesting.

What I haven’t figured out now, though, is that I’ve gone back to my original profile, with all the original cookies in it, and the problem has disappeared. Maybe I’ve forced some setting over at the Google end? Who knows.

If any of this was useful to you because you’ve had the same problem, buy me a beer! See the “donate” section. If any of this was useful to you because you work at Google and you’re trying to figure out why people are having this problem, please donate at least £10,000 :)

2 Replies to “Firefox and GMail / Google Calendar Blank Pages”

  1. Turns out (not sure how) I managed to delete the cookies for my regular profile… that’s how the problem was fixed. FYI, if you see this problem too, you just need to delete cookies associated with google.com (obviously!) and the problem goes away… for a while. I’m still trying to figure out what makes it come back again.

  2. I am having the same problem. It started after I installed Google browser sync. I have Firefox. I will follow your instructions with my fingers crossed, even though it will make typing extremely difficult.

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