Screwy Vista + Firefox Keyboard Character Problem

I’m just about read to rip out my hair here, and I can’t seem to figure out what the problem is: seemingly at random, Firefox will start to incorrectly interpret keyboard characters. The becomes a #. The / becomes an ѐ. When it first started happening, I thought it was Vista-wide problem, but I realized it wasn’t happening in Outlook, Windows Mail, Word, or anywhere else, including the Vista shell. Then I thought it might have been some sort of problem with the Logitech keyboard software, but it’s a Firefox-only problem from what I can see because if I shut down Firefox and re-start it, the problem goes away. In fact, now that I think about it, it seems that it only tends to happen if Firefox has been open all day or multiple days – which makes me wonder if it’s some sort of memory leak issue. Any other Firefox users seen a problem like this?

  • hishamh

    I used to see the same problem a lot, but not since I upgraded to ver2.

  • OSUKid7

    Yeah, make sure you have the latest release, and try running Firefox safe mode (for the program, not Windows). That will show you if Firefox is causing the problem, or if it’s an extension. If it’s an extension, start disabling things until you find the culpret.

    If you’re still in need of help, drop by the #firefox channel on It’s an active channel and they should be able to point you in the right direction.

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  • I was having the same problem myself. After doing a bit of research I realized that after leaving the application open for awhile, windows decided to change my keyboard layout to French Canadian. Thats when the characters started messing up.

    I was able to fix this by going to Control Panel > Clock, Language, and Region > Change keyboards or other input methods. From the resulting dialog I clicked “Change keyboards”. From there I noticed that there were 3 different layouts listed… “Canadian French”, “Canadian Multilingual Standard”, and “US”. I simply removed the two Canadian layouts. This seems to have resolved my issue.

    Hope it helps!

  • Bonnie

    Hi Jason
    Yes I just discovered the same problem. I am using Windows 7. My question mark suddenly became an e with an accent. Glad shutting down will work. Have had no luck finding anything about online other than your blog.

  • I am also getting the same problem in Firefox only in Windows 7 64 Bit with a USB keyboard. Very weird and no fix that I can find.