Self Help Step Two: Address browser extension conflicts

If the site does not load properly for you, and you know that your device meets our minimum system requirements, then the second of two key troubleshooting steps is to check for conflicting browser extensions. The first key troubleshooting step is described in the linked resource, "Self Help Step One: Clear your cache and delete your cookies." If you are here because you already tried step one without success, then thanks for persevering. There is a good chance that the process described below will help.

Browser extensions often do conflict with our site code at Daily Kos. Typical symptoms of incompatible extensions range from the failure of a link from a Daily Kos Recommended Email to the failure of a social media share button, and beyond. Here we can explain how to tell if this is the source of your problem and, if so, what to do about it.

Short answer: 

Open a private/incognito window on your browser. If the site behaves well in that mode, then you probably have an extension conflict. Read on for details about why that matters and what you can do about it.

Long answer:

Why browser extension conflicts must be ruled out

At times, extensions update silently, meaning that extensions formerly coexisting comfortably with our site code may suddenly become incompatible. It can happen the other way, too--one of our site updates can abruptly run afoul of a previously-unproblematic extension. And then, most annoying of all, we can have a cache or cookie issue occurring at the same time as an extension issue. (This is why we recommend starting with the linked resource, "Self Help Step One.")

How to diagnose browser extension conflicts

The extensions most likely to cause problems are adblockers and third-party tracking blockers. Very few if any of them do what they are designed to do without causing difficulty with our site features. 

The most reliable way to diagnose the interference from extensions is to open a private or incognito window on your browser, then load the site. If you're following a link from of one of our emails to the site, you'll want to log into your email in a private/incognito tab and then proceed as you usually would from there.

Private/incognito mode typically disables extensions. So, if you see expected behavior on a private/incognito window it strongly suggests the presence of a conflicting extension. That's helpful information, but your work isn't yet done. The next step is to go through yours by trial and error to determine the cause(s) and determining which, if any, you'd like to disable for our site. 

Browser incompatibility

Before you try that trial-and-error step, however, you may want to check whether you have an Avast or Brave browser, or any other browser that promotes itself as having extra privacy protections built in. The highest privacy settings on Firefox, for example, can also be problematic.

First, try to adjust your browser's privacy settings. That information should be available via the Help reference built into your browser. If adjustments are not possible, then the private/incognito mode option won't help you much as a diagnostic. Trying a different browser would consequently be the test case. If the browser's basic design conflicts with our code, adjustments will not be possible. Switching browsers has been the solution that some other users in this situation have adopted.