Firefox Copy & Paste Bug: (Not) Fixed!!

Ever since we expressed our frustration and outrage about what was potentially the most annoying bug in Firefox to date, several big and small websites around the web picked up the cry, and a flurry of activity ensued on the Mozilla Bug Entry for this particular glitch. More than a thousand users contacted us about their experiences with this bug, and soon enough, the media generated enough attention to warrant this bug a second look. It didn’t take long for the bug to be pinned down and a fix found; and here we are today, only a month later, with links to a Firefox build that makes your copy and paste experience complete!

If you missed out on all the hype, there was a bug in all Mozilla products (yes, each and every one) that would sometimes render the copy functions useless. It made submitting that last minute report for university impossible, it made reply to others on Newsgroups and forums with quotes impossible, and perhaps worst of all, it made many men (and women) with healthy heads of hair tear it out by the acre as it drove them insane.  No OS was safe, every single version whether for Windows, Macintosh, Linux, or more, was afflicted, and formats were of no avail. To top it all off, it had been bugged continuously be various users for over four years!

The Solution:

It turns out there are two different ‘bugs’ in Firefox;

  • The first (and real) bug is that Firefox would *randomly* stop copying, and restarting the program would temporarily help. This bug occurs on all Operating Systems and in all Mozilla products.
  • The second issue is not a bug, rather it is caused by malware on your machine, only affects Windows computers, and results in a complete and indiscriminating inablity to copy in Firefox. This is not a Firefox bug, but a symptom of an infected PC.

The first is the difficult one, but it has been fixed, thanks to your relentless barrage of emails to NeoSmart Technologies and me, your diggs on Digg.com, your blog posts, Bugtrac replies, and obsession with getting it fixed. It is now available in Firefox 1.5.0.4, which is due to be released any day now. You can download it in pre-release form from one of the links below.

The second issue regarding the malware is a bit harder to handle. Thanks to Richard Warrender, we have identified the malware as being the “advertmen” spyware infiltration. Removing it is not all that difficult, the problem lies in that this isn’t one of the more popular infiltrations; and fewer antispyware programs pick it up:

Warning: These steps involve modifying the system registry. Neither NeoSmart Technololgies nor the Computer Guru can be held liable for any damage incurred!!

  1. Important! Close all Firefox, Opera and Internet Explorer windows.
  2. Run “regedit.exe”
  3. Browse to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows
  4. On the right-hand side you should see a String called “AppInit_DLLs” with a value of “pushow*.dll” where * is a random number.
  5. Right-click on this String and click Delete and then exit regedit.
  6. Open “C:\windows\system32\”
  7. In that folder there is a file called “pushow*.dll,” where * is the random number you saw above. Delete all pushow*.dll files.

You’re done! Don’t go to any of the evil sites, and please don’t do download another exe of unknown origin! Remember, prevention is the best cure!

If you would like to discuss this bug/spyware or any other, or ask for support on how to remove it, please use our forums; any support requests below will be deleted.

You can digg this entry here. Please don’t abuse the blog by posting support requests below, they belong in the forum.

127 thoughts on “Firefox Copy & Paste Bug: (Not) Fixed!!

  1. I experienced the same issue Neburu pointed out in 2.0.0.6. I’m still experiencing the issue in 2.0.0.12. Thank you for Neburu for pointing out the exact issue, knowing what creates the problem makes it easier to workaround.
    I had copied some text and when I clicked create a new tab the text was gone.

  2. ChrisJul. 18th, 2007 at 6:31 pm

    Ok, a friend of mine just solved my particular problem with this and it works well. He’s already filed a bug report, though I didn’t get the bug number.

    Apparently, mine had to do with an ajax problem. Only happened on pages using ajax. The work-around is, switch tabs, then switch back again. It seems to break whatever’s locking the clipboard.

    I was very surprised it worked, but hey, not looking a gift horse in the mouth here.

    ———————————————————————————

    A year later and I am still having this issue pop up!

  3. OMG NOT AGAIN…… it’s back in v3!
    And nothing helps. Removing addons, checking for adware, reinstalling..
    The funny thing is it just stopped working one day for no apparent reason. I thought it might have been the update to 3.0.4 so I went back to 3.0.3, and then to 3.0.2.. nothing helped.
    Damn those noob programmers! How can they allow such a critical bug to slip through? >:(

  4. If reverting to an older version didn’t make the problem go away, then it wasn’t something the programmers introduced in the new version.

    When reinstalling older versions to troubleshoot issues, make sure to either rename the install directory (on windows it’s c:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox) or use the custom install to install to a different folder. Not all files are removed when uninstalling, so if something in this folder *is* causing the problem it might still be there.

  5. If reverting to an older version didn’t make the problem go away, then it wasn’t something the programmers introduced in the new version.

    When reinstalling older versions to troubleshoot issues, make sure to either rename the install directory (on windows it’s c:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox) or use the custom install to install to a different folder. Not all files are removed when uninstalling, so if something in this folder is causing the problem it might still be there.

  6. fuck firefox. this has been going on for years and i’m sick of them ignoring it. fuck them, that’s all i have to say. i’m going back to IE for fuck’s sake.

  7. Bug Fixed.
    I recently had my laptop cleaned and Vista reloaded. I downloaded the latest version of firefox from Filehippo and seemed to run straight into trouble, as I was unable to save something on my clipboard. Later in the day I noticed that the cut and paste feature was not available in all programs. The right click failing to bring up any menu.
    I downloaded revo uninstaller ( freeware ) and selected the advanced setting to uninstall firefox. After the uninstall revo scanned the registry and I deleted the leftover files. I then re-installed firefox from the Mozilla site and happily found it to be fully functional
    http://www.revouninstaller.com/
    Im sure some geek could interrogate the leftover files to see what is the cause of this problem

  8. I have found that it is caused by downloading add ons. I deleted my add ons and everything is working perfect now. ( i had downloaded spell check and lang. translator) I hope this will help someone.

  9. I’m having this problem with copy & paste in firefox. It’s not caused by malware though. I’m guessing it’s some retarded extension that’s doing it. It only does it on certain websites. It’s driving me mad. Only have this problem on windows though thank god.

  10. Here is the answer. Uninstall the Yahoo toolbar. Your problem will be solved. I tried all the other suggestions but they do not work. Go to Tools> Options> Main> Manage Add Ons> then uninstall Yahoo tool bar. You will now be able to copy and paste in Firefox.

  11. “Here is the answer. Uninstall the Yahoo toolbar. Your problem will be solved. I tried all the other suggestions but they do not work. Go to Tools> Options> Main> Manage Add Ons> then uninstall Yahoo tool bar. You will now be able to copy and paste in Firefox.”

    i agree. i tried that n it works. or else, “You may need to use Safe Mode to localize the problem. Firefox SafeMode is a diagnostic mode that disables extensions and some other features of Firefox. If you are using a theme, switch to the DEFAULT theme: Tools > Add-ons > Themes before starting Safe Mode. When entering Safe Mode, do not check any items on the entry window, just click “Continue in Safe Mode”. Test to see if the problem you are experiencing is corrected. ” – http://support.mozilla.com/en-US/forum/1/572777

  12. Thanks John & zuraimi
    This just worked for me….at least I have the copy/paste bar now.
    “Go to Tools> Options> Main> Manage Add Ons> then uninstall Yahoo tool bar. You will now be able to copy and paste in Firefox.” Reboot

    (I don’t recall ever having installed the Yahoo toolbar but it was there)

  13. Would be nice if they would fix the damn no copying of text in input fields on web forms where the field is set to read only. ALL braowser allow you to click in these fields, highlight the text and copy it. FF DOESN’T!

  14. firefox developers update and “upgrade” to please themselves. in older versions of ff you can sort your bookmarks by right clicking the dropdown. not in 3.6–oh no, you have to grow a whole lot of nonsense and end up where you started, a long list of unsorted bookmarks.
    Esnips anyone? it has scren capture in its toolbar but F*** you if you want esnips in the “new” and “improved” ff. adblock–some versions, some not.

    come on, i use maybe 5 extensions and they are never compatible across the board.

    BUT the real piss off is copy/paste FAIL in ver. 3. chatting a chinese girl on skype? she texts in chinese, you try to copy/paste into google language tools page and F*** you again, the paste function is just not available–same for gmail, etc, etc, etc.

    new and improved is neither. just the developers jerking off

  15. Easy fix is don’t right click for copy then right click for paste
    Highlight then hit ctrl-c for copy then ctrl-v for paste

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