How to fix the Firefox Sync Unkown Error in 3 Steps

Recently I’ve been getting an annoying error from Firefox 5.0 at the bottom of the browser saying: Sync encountered an error while syncing: Unknown error. Sync will automatically retry this action.

Solution to Firefox Sync Error Unknown

Don’t delete anything yet! Many people say you need to delete your FireFox Sync account and even reinstall the browser. But here’s the easier the solution that worked for me without the need for any re-installation and it’s all done online. Login, Clear your Sync data, Sync! You don’t even have to close your browser.

The “Before you do anything” solution:

Login to your Sync account online. After the log in, restart your Firefox browser. See if that did the trick. If that doesn’t work. Continue to this next part…

Solution #1 (in case that didn’t work – THIS solution worked for me)

  1. Login to your online Firefox sync account here https://account.services.mozilla.com/
  2. Click Clear your Sync data and then click the button. Once you’ve done this you’ll get the confirmation message “Your data has been successfully removed from your sync cluster”.
  3. Now click the Sync button if the error bar is still showing in Firefox. If not, click on the orange Firefox drop-down and click Sync Now. If you’re using the Menu Bar, you can click on Tools then click Sync Now. (Don’t  know what I’m talking about? Click here to see the image if you’re new to FireFox.)

If that didn’t work, here are some more solutions you can try.

Solution #2 (in case that didn’t work)

For for this solution I’m using the regular menu, not the orange menu button. If you only see the orange button you can hit the “Alt” button on your keyboard and the old style menu will appear. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, see a screenshot here.

  1. Backup your bookmarks to prevent any possible loss. Go the Firefox menu and click Bookmarks > Show All Bookmarks > then click Import and Backup > Backup.
  2. Go to the sync tab in your firefox preferences. In the menu click Tools > Options > Sync. Uncheck everything except passwords and close.
  3. Now sync your data. Click Tools > Sync Now.
  4. Go back to the sync tab in your preferences and enable each box one by one (for whatever you want to sync) and do a sync in between.
  5. Restart your browser, see if that solves the problem!

Solution #3 (in case that didn’t work)

Contact Firefox support. You can do a live chat with them here. They might send you to this page “Firefox Sync is not working” but it didn’t solve my problem. Good luck!

Click this if you forgot your Firefox Sync key and want to know how to regenerate one. Click this to learn how to setup a new Firefox Sync account.

How to add more search engines to Google Chrome

Adding, editing, and removing search engines on Google Chrome is easy. I prefer the steps that I saw on the Google site. Here they are:

  1. To start adding searches on Google, simply click the wrench tool on the top right side of the Google browser.
  2. Then click the option tab
  3. Next is clicking the basic tab on the left upper side.
  4. Go to search and click the manage tab choosing google on the option.
  5. On the search engine, click the add bottom.
  6. Then from the bottom of the dialog, there’s a section that needs to be filled out.
  7. The form is asking for a name (name for the search engine), keyword (shortcut word for the search engine) and URL (the website for the search engine that you want to add).

Or you can go to Google search and simply type the words “how to add search engines on Google”. And there it is, you can now follow the instructions stated there.

How to remove ICQ default search in FireFox

I installed ICQ 7 the other (ICQ 7.2) and it took over my PC a little. It installed a toolbar for FireFox and Internet Explorer and also set itself as the default search engine. To remove it I went into my control panel, clicked on Programs and Features, removed the ICQ Toolbar. But ICQ was still the default search when I typed something in the address bar (instead of the search bar). So I searched and searched and found the solution in the ICQ forums (Too bad, as of April 3rd 2011, ICQ blogs, groups fight and forums are no longer
supported at ICQ.com)

To remove ICQ toolbar from FireFox

  1. Go to Tools->Addons and find the ICQ Toolbar and uninstall it.

To change the FireFox search back to normal:

  1. Open a new tab in FireFox
  2. Type about:config in the address bar
  3. Type keyword.URL to find the entry
  4. Right click on it and choose reset or click modify change that entry to http://www.google.com/search?ie=UTF-8&oe=utf-8&q= to return to the normal Google search. (keyword.URL should currently show http://search.icq.com/search/afe_results.php?ch_id=afex&tb_ver=2.0.0.4&q=)
keyword url function in firefox

keyword.url function in firefox

You can change the default search URL to anything you want instead of Google. Here’s more info about the FireFox keyword.URL

Fix Firefox freezing every 5-15 minutes

I have Firefox 7 and it hangs or freezes about every 10 minutes with all addons disabled. It was driving me nuts! I finally found a solution reading this blog entry and I downloaded the add-on Places Maintenance. I launched the add-on and chose Expire and Execute and after a minute or so my Firefox has been free from this hanging issue (for 2 days now!). It’s an excellent solution but it might not work for everybody.

Save PDFs already opened in Google Chrome

When a PDF file is open and viewable in a window or tab, press CTRL + S to save the PDF file. Or you can right-cilck somewhere on the page and then click save as.

I was doing some online research the other day and PDF files kept opening in a new window when I was using Google Chrome. The problem is I wanted to download the PDF files instead of viewing them within the browser. There are no menus in Google Chrome that look similar to Internet Explorer or Firefox, so I thought I’d treat it like a Word document or text file. I clicked CTRL + S and was prompted where to save the PDF file. I found that you can also right click on the window and choose ‘save as’ which works great if the PDF is open in a framed window. Now it all makes sense! I can view the PDF right away and simply save the ones I actually need.

Allow Google Chrome extensions to run in Incognito mode

Google Chrome is pretty cool. The only annoying complaint I have is how RoboForm floats their bar at the bottom of the screen which blocks some info at times when my browser is maximized. I wish they would take a lesson from LastPass and show it at the top in a thin type of bar. Anyway… when I’m in “Incognito” mode (aka super secret stealth mode!) I want a few extensions to run. Here’s how you can get it done.

  1. Go to the Address Bar and type this:
    chrome://extensions/
    or… click the wrench icon in the upper right corner > click Tools > click Extensions
  2. Check the box that says “Allow in incognito”
  3. You’re all set!
Allow extensions to run in privacy mode