Can't Sign Out Of Google

Martin Brinkmann
Mar 22, 2011
Updated • Mar 5, 2015

Google changed the header on many of their pages recently from more or less static links leading to often used features, the account, settings and sign out to a menu like interface that opens up when the user clicks on it.

The menu should pop up on a left click, but this has not happened in the past weeks on my PC. A click on the tools icon in the upper right corner does nothing at all.

The sign out is not working when I use the Firefox web browser. It is working fine when I switch to Google Chrome or another web browser.

Nothing happens when I click on the account username or the settings icon once I'm signed into Google. The screenshot below shows how the sign out menu should look like.

google sign-out

I first thought it had something to do with the NoScript add-on that blocks scripts from running. Disabling it completely had no positive effect on the issue at hand: I still could not access either of the links. On a side note, the more link in the header is not working as well in my version of Firefox.

Clearing the cookies and temporary Internet files logged me out of Google, but I noticed that the Settings button was still unresponsive. The Sign In link that was displayed loaded the standard Google sign in form.

google sign-in

I then decided to disable all add-ons to see if this had an effect on the unresponsive links, which it did not. I can still sign out on pages that do not utilize the new header menu, like this page but I cannot get the menu to work.

I'm not sure if this is a bug in Firefox 4, or if it is something else. I'd be interested in your ideas on what it can be, to see if it resolves the issue. For now, I can't use Google the way I did less than a month ago.

What it is not:

  • It is not an incompatibility with an add-on
  • It is not a caching / cookies issue
  • It is not a system wide problem
  • It is not a plugin related problem
  • It is not caused by a security software or other software running in the background

The most likely explanation is either a Firefox 4 bug or a configuration setting in the installed version of Firefox on my computer.

Can't Sign Out Of Google
Article Name
Can't Sign Out Of Google
The option to sign-out of my Google account is not active when I use the Firefox browser. It does work though when another browser is used.

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  1. Syntheses said on January 10, 2017 at 8:51 pm

    It’s time to switch on Yahoo mail :)

  2. Sean said on October 16, 2012 at 10:59 am

    Yup, similar issue with Safari, I log out to check Google ranking on various sites without them being biased to my account, but each time I search, the result shows me logged back in again. It’s a random problem that comes and goes. The only way I can find round it is to use Chrome or FF and never log in with those browsers. Frustrating.

  3. Anonymous said on September 23, 2012 at 12:20 am

    cannot log out of google

  4. Chaffers said on December 17, 2011 at 4:37 am

    I can’t sign out of Google anymore either…. I’m using Chrome.

  5. David said on August 4, 2011 at 4:51 am

    Hey guys,

    I figured out how to fix the problem (or at least my version of it)! I hadn’t been able to sign out of Google for weeks, tried restarting, clearing cookies, my cache; everything I could think of. Nothing worked. I’m not sure which of the following things worked, but do all of them (or one at a time to narrow things down and figure out exactly which it is):

    1) Go to this link:
    2) Follow Google’s steps to signing into your account settings
    3) Change your password
    4) Make sure you turn off “linked accounts” if you have it on <—I Think this is what did it for me, because I think my log-out issue began occurring around the same time that I turned it on.
    5) Save your settings
    6) Log out and BE FREEEE.

    Let me know if this works for you guys.

    1. Potts said on September 19, 2013 at 10:29 pm

      I tried that. Still cannot sign out.

  6. D said on March 24, 2011 at 5:02 am

    Martin, I have experienced the same issue. Clicking on the name in the upper right has no apparent effect. Firefox 4.0

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on March 24, 2011 at 10:41 am

      Well I resolved the issue with a clean Firefox profile, everything else fell short.

    2. D said on March 24, 2011 at 5:05 am

      Email deletion has also been buggy

  7. skidoo said on March 22, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    I’ve experienced the same Gmail with FF 3.6.15 behavior recently.
    In my case it seems to be a script, gapis (?), anyways…after allowing
    it (NoScript) the drop down menu will appear.
    It usually happens after composing an email from a :mailto link.

    1. sombody smart said on March 23, 2011 at 10:35 am

      disable ad block that will solve your problem

      1. Martin Brinkmann said on March 23, 2011 at 10:57 am

        no it did not.

  8. Robert Palmar said on March 22, 2011 at 3:14 am

    (Perhaps Locutus meant a new Firefox profile?)

    Martin, are you using Gmail Notifier?
    It creates a SID cookie in Firefox
    which looks like Google’s cookie to Google and
    it is not disabled/altered when you sign out of Google.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on March 22, 2011 at 10:14 am

      Robert, no I’m not using that add-on, besides I tried to disable all add-ons and it did not have an effect. Yes, a new profile is what I will likely have to do.

      1. noyski said on May 28, 2012 at 3:30 pm

        just click wrench icon and go to settings and under the “sign in” click “disconnect you google account”.

      2. Robert Palmar said on March 22, 2011 at 4:48 pm

        Actually I meant the Gmail Notifier program
        which is not an add-on and not Google’s version either.
        But it looks like you are not using that anyway so that can’t be it.

        I’ll be looking to see how you solve this.
        Maybe it is a Firefox 4 bug as you suspect
        but what it interacts with is a mystery just now.

  9. Locutus said on March 22, 2011 at 1:33 am

    Try creating a new profile.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on March 22, 2011 at 1:39 am

      I do not think it is linked to the Google profile, as Google does not know on sign in that it is me, and the settings menu does nothing no matter if I’m logged in or not.

  10. Paul(us) said on March 22, 2011 at 12:56 am

    Hoi Martin, I just sign in (with main brand new Mozilla FireFox 4 final) and out (thru lastpass) in main google account and everything is going fine.

    1. Tony said on October 30, 2013 at 2:52 pm

      Same problem here. I am using Firefox with Ubuntu.

    2. Martin Brinkmann said on March 22, 2011 at 1:02 am

      Thanks Paulus, that leaves my Firefox version as the culprit.

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