Forward and Back button disappear in Firefox navigation toolbar

by Rohit Khurana on May 22, 2008



For a change today I am going to share one of the problem which I have been facing for last 2-3 days. This issue started appearing after installing just released as Firefox 3.0 RC 1. I have been facing firefox navigation buttons problem.


Whenever I start Firefox both backward and forward button are not visible

( as shown in the image below )

forward-back button dissapear


Let see how can we fix this firefox trouble.



There are two simple methods which you can try.


Method 1:



1. Open Firefox normally.

2. Go to View >> Toolbars >> Customize

3. To restore your forward and back button then click the “Restore default set” button on the newly opened window.


But the above solution could be temporary. If you face this problem again in future, then go for the Method 2.


Method 2:



Note: The localstore.rdf file your firefox profile is corrupted. You need to remove the corrupt localstore.rdf file so that Firefox can generate a new copy. Any toolbar customizations will be gone when you next restart Firefox but future changes will be retained. Before continuing, you may wish to save a screen capture (print screen) which may help in restoring your toolbar customizations.


Follow the procedure listed below:



Automatic Method

1. Exit Firefox and Start Firefox in Safe Mode from start menu (as shown in the image below).

NOTE: This does not mean that you start windows in safe mode. Only firfox is started in safe mode.




2. Select the check box which says Reset toolbars and controls ( as shown in the image below )



3. That’s it, Done! Start Firefox again.



Manual Method:

1. Exit Firefox completely

2. Open C:\Documents and Settings\<Windows login/user name>\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\<profile folder>

3. Delete localstore.rdf

(assuming C: drive is where windows is installed )

Note: Do not delete the localstore.rdf file in the Firefox program installation folder

4. Start Firefox again.


We hope this will help you fix the trouble.

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{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

rex May 23, 2008 at 6:46 am

Good one.

Tim June 4, 2008 at 8:20 am

Wow long way around, here is how to get the buttons back(they disappear if you switch between FF2 and 3 or vice versa) right click toolbar choose customize find the back/fwd buttons drag to where you want them and click done.

Dan June 12, 2008 at 5:58 pm

None of the above techniques work. Tried them all with no new results. The forward, back, stop, and reload buttons gray out on the toolbar and in the right-click context menu. Likewise, the keyboard (ctrl, arrow) strategy fail to work. While using the customize function, the reload button is in color but then turns gray. After using the customize function once, it also is no longer available, as are not the main menu items, which are grayed-out and produce no pull-downs.

In addition, clicking in the address panel no longer selects all text, merely places the cursor. Mousing over a link does not display the address in the bottom of the window. HELP!!!

What’s next? I’ve got this sucker set up the way I want it. Please don’t tell me I have to uninstall and lose all my add-ins and settings. help?

frank June 19, 2008 at 8:20 am

method 2 worked out for me.
many thanx

abhishek June 20, 2008 at 3:59 am

@dan – looks like there is some problem with your firefox profile we would suggest you to back up your profile with Febe add on and then install the latest version of firefox and restore your profile

rajeev July 15, 2008 at 6:57 am

Good one

Turbo July 17, 2008 at 12:12 am

Method 2 worked for me. Thanks!

Gary August 29, 2008 at 7:08 am

I have Firefox and my back/forward buttons are greyed out (not functional and I have lost all my bookmarks.
Any help would be appreciated.

Frank September 14, 2008 at 12:25 am

Thanks very much method 2 worked for me to. I usually customize my toolbars so that everything is on the same line as the menu bar maximizing the screen area. I guess the firefox upgrade couldn’t work this out.

Nechto October 13, 2008 at 7:34 am

I’ve had the exact same problems and every forum i read, everybody gives useless info and they’re not solving the problem and even if they do solve the problem its a long complicated process. its very very simple actually and i figured this out myself:

1) uninstall firefox.
2)delete the ‘mozilla’ folder in c:\Documents and Settings\User\Application Data
3)reinstall firefox

problem solved. its THAT simple

Lewis Litanzios April 21, 2009 at 9:03 am

Thanks mate. Method 1 solved the glitch for me just fine ;] Nice to know I’m not the only one who thought the missing arrows was strange.


Manoj May 4, 2009 at 10:07 am

I have the exact same problem as Dan mentions in the comment. I’ve done everything all the online forums are saying (create new profile, uninstall, reinstall, everything one can think of) and still its nor working. I’m so frustrated that I’m thinking of switching to some other browser :(

Lakiba May 17, 2009 at 12:00 pm

Method 1 worked for me. Thank you so much.

mars August 2, 2009 at 9:02 am

Good day!

My problem is the same with Gary. The Navigation tool bars are not missing, but they appear to be greyed out and disabled. Even when I right click on the screen, the options – Back, Forward, Reload and Stop are not greyed-out too.

Is there any possible way of fixing this that would not require reinstalling of firefox? I hope someone here could help us.


Cognachai September 15, 2009 at 12:29 pm

Method 1 above …. Restore Default Set …. brought back my greyed out Back button. Great and simple fix – thanks

Cindy December 1, 2009 at 5:33 pm


sud June 1, 2010 at 11:49 pm

Thanks. Got my back and forward button back :)

Denise, Baltimore MD June 27, 2010 at 8:05 am

Method #1 worked for me. If it fails again I will try Method #2.

Geri November 1, 2010 at 5:51 am

Your solution; Method #1 worked great. Thanks a million! It is great to have the BACK

ben March 31, 2011 at 9:26 pm

fix method 2 worked perfect…. huge thanks!!

Connie April 28, 2011 at 10:53 pm

When dragging the buttons to the menu bar, the STOP button has to be to the left of the RELOAD button.

babs March 21, 2012 at 4:16 pm

best info on the web, thanks

Bob March 29, 2012 at 3:27 am

Mine are always grayed out.. I did all resets back to default and still grayed out. Like the buttons are disabled. I can use the backspace button to go back to the previous page but I need the buttons up there to work! someone help!

Don June 23, 2012 at 11:55 pm

Thanks for all the help, although nothing worked for me….UNTIL i did one thing and POW! it worked and it was by far the easiest thing to do. Here it is:

Right click on “View” and add a check to the “Navigation toolbar”.

Instantly, all my buttons were back and working fine!

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