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A short post with a handy tip, mostly for posterity but for those that may stumble across this post in the future.

If you are using Firefox 3.6.3 (may work on older versions too) and on Windows XP (not sure about OS X), you may notice an annoying little quirk that was propbably intended to be a helpful feature.

From my experience it seems to occur when my computer has been inactive for an extended period of time to the point where my screen saver kicks in and my screen locks.

When I log back in I tried to refresh my pages in Firefox or navigate to a different page only to be told that I’m working offline.

This auto-offline mode seems to kick in when you’ve been idle for a long period or your screen locks after inactivity.

Once you’ve set Firefox to work online (Untick ‘Work Offline’ under the File menu option), you can prevent it from automatically setting Work Offline by changing the configuration settings in Firefox and it only takes two easy steps.

But before you do anything it would be wise to backup your preferences, just in case. You’ll find your prefs.js at the following directory (amend the sections in bold for your setup):

C:\Documents and Settings\**USERNAME**\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\**ABCDEF1234**.default
  1. Open Firefox and navigate to: about:config (Firefox will ask if you know what your doing!)
  2. Search for: toolkit.networkmanager.disable and set it to true.
  3. If the entry does not exist:
    i. Right-click in the preferences window and select ‘New’ and then ‘Boolean’.
    ii. Give it the name toolkit.networkmanager.disable aand set it to true.
  4. Restart Firefox.

That should be it.

Hope that helps any perplexed Firefox users out there.

Find more information on toolkit.networkmanager.disable at mozillaZine.