How to fix OneTab not working in Firefox - gHacks Tech News

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How to fix OneTab not working in Firefox

The popular tab-saving extension OneTab was updated to 1.45 recently. Unfortunately the latest version of plugin seems to be buggy.

onetab not working in Firefox

Several Firefox users have reported that the update has deleted the history of tabs. Unfortunately, I was one of the users facing the issue.

In fact, I was facing another problem with OneTab. See that blank space between the NanoDefender and Firefox Containers buttons on the toolbar? That's where the OneTab button used to be.

onetab icon missing in firefox

Mousing over the missing icon shows a tooltip that says "OneTab", but clicking on it does absolutely nothing. The local URL used by the add-on didn't load either.

OneTab icon tooltip

Some user reviews at Firefox's AMO suggested that disabling the add-on and re-enabling it fixes the issue. So, I tried that and got the button working. My tab lists were there. But upon the next browser restart, the issue started happening again.

Since there has been no word from the developer of the extension regarding a fix, there was literally only one option left. Uninstalling the add-on and re-installing it. But this would likely result in the loss of data. Is there a way to avoid that? This led me to an idea. Here's what I tried.

How to fix OneTab not working in Firefox

DO THIS FIRST: Before trying the following fix, I recommend disabling OneTab and re-enabling it from the about:addons page, to access and regain your tabs.

1. Click on the Firefox Menu > Help > Troubleshooting Information.

fix onetab in Firefox

2. A new tab will open, locate the "Profile Folder" option in the sidebar and click on the "Open Folder button" next to it. This opens your Firefox profile directory in Windows Explorer.

3. Close Firefox.

4. Switch to the Explorer window, and navigate to the folder named "Extensions".

How to fix OneTab not working in Firefox after recent update

5. The OneTab extension is named "extension@one-tab.com.xpi"

6. Rename it to a different file format for example "extension@one-tab.com.bkp". You can also try copying the add-on to a different folder as a backup, but don't forget to rename it in the extension folder.

7. Start Firefox.

8. Go to the OneTab add-on page on the AMO.

9. Click on the "Add to firefox" button.

10. The OneTab icon should be back, click on it and the extension should work as it normally does. Your tabs will be there as well.

Here's the reasoning behind the steps. I thought I could revert to the backup XPI in case of issues with the new one, but Firefox deleted the file that I had renamed. Technically, the renaming process removes the extension without deleting its data. But reinstalling the add-on fixed the issue.

For Chrome users

The above fix does not apply to Chrome users. From my understanding, Chrome's extension format CRX is an archive type. The browser unpacks the extension and stores them in its own folder. You can try backing up the folder to see if that preserves your tab history. The only other option is to try disabling and re-enabling OneTab, to gain temporary access to your backup. Afterwards,  uninstall the add-on and re-install it.

Extension folder in Chrome C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions

Extension folder in Edge Chromium: C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Edge\User Data\Default\Extensions

It's been over 12 hours since I tried my "accidental fix" in Firefox, and the add-on is still working fine even after restarting the computer. Hopefully this should prove to be a permanent solution until the developers fix the issue.

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How to fix OneTab not working in Firefox
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How to fix OneTab not working in Firefox
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Has OneTab stopped working for you? Don't worry, you haven't lost your tabs. Here is how to fix OneTab not working in Firefox
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Ghacks Technology News
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Comments

  1. anonymous said on September 23, 2020 at 9:50 am
    Reply

    thanks you saved my 1000 tabs :)

  2. Anonymous said on September 23, 2020 at 10:00 am
    Reply

    Fantastic! Thank you! This worked like a charm. Had exactly the same issue in Firefox on a PC and this fixed it.

  3. J Smith said on September 23, 2020 at 2:24 pm
    Reply

    Thank you for sharing this! Like you, I’d noticed that disabling/re-enabling the extension would work for that browser session, but I hadn’t tried anything yet to force a fix. I’m SO glad it was this easy!

    I sure hope the OneTab team issues an official fix ASAP, though. Now that it’s been a few days, they’re starting to get bad reviews, which is unfortunate.

    1. White said on September 23, 2020 at 6:35 pm
      Reply

      Yes! I also tried the workaround. I also reported this bug to OneTab team on the first day I faced this issue.
      Thanks, Ashwin for the fix!

  4. Ken said on September 23, 2020 at 4:17 pm
    Reply

    I was nearing desperation when I found your direction. It worked.

    Thank you so much.

  5. OneTab team said on September 23, 2020 at 4:52 pm
    Reply

    Hi, OneTab developer here. Sorry for this – it’s not clear why this bug is suddenly happening for some people, but we’re urgently investigating this with the Mozilla/Firefox team and will be providing a fix very shortly.

  6. TRS said on September 23, 2020 at 4:55 pm
    Reply

    Thank you so much for sharing this fix! You saved my tabs. The only note/point I would like to add is for Step 2.

    Perhaps put a note stating they should copy Step 3 and forward of your tutorial to Word. Once we close Firefox, we lose visibility to your tutorial. For me, I know I would not be able to remember the .bkp.

    Again, thank you!

  7. OneTab team said on September 23, 2020 at 5:36 pm
    Reply

    Easy temporary fix: To make OneTab work again, type “about:addons” in your Firefox address bar. Then find OneTab in the list of extensions, and click the blue toggle button twice. This will disable and then re-enable OneTab, and cause it to work again.

    We’re working with Mozilla for a permanent fix. Sorry for the inconvenience, this is a very strange issue that is only affecting the Firefox version of OneTab.

  8. don backer said on September 23, 2020 at 5:38 pm
    Reply

    I have found by disabling and then re-enable in the add on menu I get my tab back. Short term fix. Will try yours.

  9. Anonymous said on September 23, 2020 at 5:45 pm
    Reply

    Thank you. I thought I had lost a month of digging. I’ll be a little more attentive about exporting the urls from the extension list now. It’s a great tool but Firefox doesn’t always play nice with its extensions.

  10. OneTab team said on September 23, 2020 at 10:10 pm
    Reply

    Good news – I’ve been working with Mozilla all morning to resolve this. Mozilla have confirmed it was due to a bug in Firefox (related to extension permissions downgrades).

    To fix OneTab, just go to “about:addons” in your Firefox address bar, click the ‘cog’ icon in the top right, and click ‘Check for updates’. This will upgrade you to OneTab v1.39, which fixes the issue.

  11. Anonymous said on September 24, 2020 at 6:20 pm
    Reply

    Darn, I tried everything here and I still can’t get my tabs back. I even did a full system restore to a point last week hoping that my saved tabs would be in the old .xpi file, but no luck.

    I’m pretty disappointed :(

  12. Anonymous said on September 26, 2020 at 6:22 am
    Reply

    Probably I should’ve been more patient, but now I don’t know how to feel about this. I lost about 900 tabs in the recovery process (I reinstalled OneTab), which, incredible as it sounds, weren’t all just a messy dump I’m never going back to, but actually important stuff (yeah, I have a peculiar workflow).

    Trying to suppress the anger and reflecting on what happened, it seems I should blame myself for not having a backup. But surely I couldn’t back it up manually every time I save a tab, it would defy all purpose of having this addon in the first place. A couple of years ago data was stored at “~/.mozilla/firefox/%PROFILE%/jetpack/extension@one-tab.com/simple-storage”, and you could back it up with simple crontab. This is no longer the case, this folder is just empty. And since OneTab is closed-source black box, I couldn’t have done anything else as well.

    So the only reasonable lesson to be learned is that I actually must stop relying on OneTab, since sooner or later it will let me down again. Fuck it.

  13. ckjk said on September 26, 2020 at 5:05 pm
    Reply

    I just disable and re-enable. No tabs lost!

  14. bsdaddict said on September 29, 2020 at 10:21 am
    Reply

    I switched from OneTab to Tab Stash (https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/tab-stash/) months ago and haven’t looked back. I had never experienced any data loss with OneTab, although I was a bit concerned by some reports of data loss I read about. My main issue was with OneTabs performance, it’s a hog. I had been looking for a replacement and testing out a ton of addons for a couple of months when I finally discovered Tab Stash, and am damn glad I did. I really can’t recommend it strongly enough…

    1. Anonymous said on September 29, 2020 at 2:57 pm
      Reply

      Thanks, bsdaddict. Never tried it, looks nice, but I’m a bit concerned by small number of stashed tabs on these screenshots, not sure if it’d be usable when stashing a lot of tabs. How many tabs do you usually have stashed?

  15. bsdaddict said on October 3, 2020 at 3:40 am
    Reply

    Tab Stash is is a great alternative to One Tab, y’all… I made the switch months ago and am very happy with it.

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