How to Force Firefox to Load Google in Non-HTTPS

firefoxhttpsredirectionubuntu 12.04

When I type in the URL bar Firefox rewrites it as This is a problem for me as HTTPS is blocked on my network for content filtering purposes.

Until a few days ago this was not the case, but during some experimentation I seem to have visited the HTTPS version of the site once or twice and also had the HTTPS Everywhere addon installed for a time. Now, no matter what I do Firefox redirects there. Sometimes it doesn't; sometimes I load the browser and the HTTP version loads fine, but then the next time it's oddly trying HTTPS again and nothing can shift it until a few session restarts later. I don't understand why it seems to sporadically use HTTP and HTTPS.

I'm using Firefox 23.0 and Ubuntu 12.04.

I've tried a number of things so far:

  1. Setting browser.urlbar.autoFill false, browser.urlbar.autoFill.typed false, browser.formfill.saveHttpsForms false
  2. Clearing everything from history
  3. Resetting Firefox and using safe mode
  4. Deleting all the profile data in .mozilla folder and creating a
    new profile
  5. Completely purging Firefox and deleting .mozilla, /etc/firefox
    and reinstalling

How can I fix this so that Firefox just loads Google in non-HTTPS?

Maybe it's Google doing the redirect, but I just don't understand why it was fine until a few days ago, and also why it only does it sporadically.

Even when I try typing in I get redirected to the HTTPS version!

Lastly, when I log into another user account on the computer, and try Firefox with Google I see no problems with redirects, just as it had always been until recently on the above account.

EDIT: I should also mention I am not logged into any Google account.

Best Answer

I noticed using Fiddler that sending HTTP requests to Google would always return the 302s you mention, redirecting me to the HTTPS url as long as a Firefox user agent string was included in the request header. This is my current user agent string using Firefox 24 on Windows 7 x64:

Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64; rv:24.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/24.0

So for me, a simple fix was to start using the User Agent Quick Switch add-on for Firefox. I changed my user agent string like this - just removed the Firefox/24.0 at the end:

Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64; rv:24.0) Gecko/20100101

I'd guess a similar change to your Ubuntu user agent string would also do the trick, although there is an outside chance that it be problematic on another site.

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