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Every so often drop down menus stop working in applications. This has happened in thunderbird and firefox. A quick fix is to restart the application.

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Please confirm which Ubuntu version. – david6 May 19 '12 at 23:54

You are experiencing this bug probably:

You can follow along by marking "this affects me" on the bug and subscribing to it:

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I can reproduce that bug as well. Although I am experiencing a separate issue. In firefox specifically the url location dropdown menu will stop working. Usually when you type something into url location field a dropdown menu appears of matching items as you type. This doesn't work when the problem occurs. Also clicking on the dropdown arrow for the url location field will activate the dropdown menu but when I move the mouse the dropdown menu disappears before I can select any items. I didn't mention previously that I am using ubuntu 11.10 64bit. – Patrick Dec 1 '11 at 18:55

Do the reporters of the bug/problem use XIM input method(s)?

If so, you might want to check out the mozilla bugzilla entry

Using XIM with Firefox will cause firefox menu cannot popup correctly.

At least, one cause of the problem is traced to uninitialized timestamp in core X library.

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I have found that in my case this happens when I have used a windows program in wine while firefox is open. If I minimize and then restore firefox functionality returns. There is no need to close firefox.

Further testings shows this happens with a wine encapsulated program that allows minimize to taskbar when window close (X) is clicked. It does not happen when the window minimize button is used (_).

It would appear that the problem is that the wine program is not returning control to the firefox window when minimzed using the close button until focus is regained by re-opening the firefox window.

If a different ubuntu window is selected firefox functions again when you return focus to it.

The bug seems to be in the windows program, not firefox or ubuntu.

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