Firefox's Geolocation feature appears broken in recent versions
Update: Sören Hentzschel was nice enough to provide me with a fix for the geolocation issue in Firefox. He told me to run Firefox with administrative privileges -- that means right-clicking on the program icon and selecting run as administrator -- to see if it resolved the issue. It did. Geolocation worked as advertised.
Firefox, just like other web browsers such as Google Chrome, Opera or Internet Explorer supports geolocation, a feature that allows services and sites to locate your location in the world. Most services use this to provide you with better functionality, like zooming in on a map so that it displays your location automatically, or to display offers to you based no your location.
I have to admit that I never really bother with geolocation before, as I had no use for that feature whatsoever. Most websites offered other options to display custom information, so that there was no need to use it at all.
Not a single one worked.
I remembered that Firefox used to display a notification prompt that enabled you to allow the site to use geolocation or deny access to the feature. This prompt was not shown anymore in the browser. I first thought that I had disabled the feature for good, but a quick check in about:config revealed that the parameter geo.enabled was set to true and thus active.
Firefox can remember geolocation preferences on a per-site basis. I right-clicked on all sites, selected view page info, switched to the permissions tab there and checked the access your location preference there. It was set to always ask. I changed that to allow but it did not change a thing.
Next thought: browser extensions. A tap on the Alt-key and the selection of Help > Restart with Add-ons Disabled restarted Firefox without add-ons. The effect on the site was the same, it did not work.
Last resort, another profile. I fired up the new profile and nothing changed. The geolocation feature was broken. I loaded Firefox 24 then to see if it would resolve the issue and it did not help as well.
To verify that the websites worked fine, I opened them in Google Chrome and the geolocation feature on those sites worked without issues. Chrome displayed a prompt that I could accept to make use of it or deny access.
I asked around and the users who replied could not get the feature to work on one of the sample pages as well.
I know that this is all unscientific, but it appears that geolocation is broken in Firefox. If it is working for you let me know. I'm also interested in tips on how to restore the feature if it turns out that a settings or file is responsible for this.
Update: I have tested the feature on a second computer running Firefox, and it works fine on it. The computer was connected to the same network and running Firefox Nightly 27. Other users have also reported that the feature is working for them.
Still not sure why it is not working on my main PC in all versions of Firefox though.Advertisement