Quick Find Bar

Note: For this tweak I recommend using the ChromEdit Plus and about:config extensions.

Restoring the “Find” Buttons

For some odd reason in Firefox 2, the Quick Find Bar (activated via “/”) does not display the “Find Next” or “Find Previous” buttons. To restore these buttons, simply add this line to your userChrome.css file located in your profile folder

    /* Add Next/Previous Buttons to Quick Find Bar */
    #FindToolbar > * {display: -moz-box; }

When you are done editing your userChrome.css file, close and restart Firefox and the changes should take effect right away.

Increase the Quick Find Bar Latency

By default the Quick Find Bar’s Latency (the time it remains displayed after you stop typing) is about 5000 Milliseconds (5 seconds). The amount of time can be adjusted via a change in about:config.

  • Click the about:config button (if about:config extension is installed) or open a new tab and type about:config in the address bar and press enter
  • In the filter field type accessibility.typeaheadfind.timeout
  • Double-click on the entry and in the pop-box enter the number of milliseconds (1 second = 1000 milliseconds) to keep the bar displayed after you stop typing
  • Click OK
  • Close the tab or about:config window
  • Changes take effect right away

Source: Mozilla Links


43 Comments on Quick Find Bar

  1. Where the heck is this userChrome.css file? Would be informative if you actually posted where this file is.

  2. @anony
    The file is in your profile folder (location varies for each OS), which is why I link to the document on how to locate your folder. If you used the extension, it finds and opens the file automatically so you don’t have to go hunting for it.

  3. It seems that whenever I hit the apostrophe now my quick find bar pops open so I cannot type an apostrophe in anything. Any thoughts on how to disable this annoying feature or how this came to be?

  4. @iguy not sure, that should only happen if you are not in text field.

  5. Here is an extension that restores the ‘/’ find functionality in Firefox 2.0:


  6. Thanks for the tips. Both these things were curious to me. Seems like bad design. Thanks for this.

    BTW, 5 milliseconds != 5 seconds. I think you either mean “5 ms = .005 sec” or “5000 ms = 5 sec”. 🙂

  7. I am a die hard FireFox fan but I’m considering Opera at the moment. This stupid bug is driving me nuts. I’ve done everything people have said to stop that stupid bug with the / and the ‘ from loading up the quick find. Are Mozilla morons? Why would they do that? Who doesn’t type those things in their blogs and what not when editing. If anybody has anything else for me to try let me know. The chrome thing didn’t do jack.

  8. @Brandon
    I don’t understand why people are having such problems with the “/” key in Fx 2. As long as you are typing in some type of text box the “/” acts as normal. It should only bring up Quick Find if you have clicked outside of the text box. Further if you do bring it up in error, clicking back in the text box removes the Quick Find toolbar.

  9. @ffextensionguru
    Not true! I have had to stop using contractions in webforms simply because the apostrophe refuses to do anything but bring up the quick find.

  10. Im having the same issue, the stupid quick find comes up whenever i hit the ‘ or / regardless if i am in a text box or not, although it does it on some pages and not others. is there no way to disable this in the config? Sheesh

  11. Ok, I fixed my annoyance.
    First make sure firefox is closed.
    Go to
    open that file with winrar or something, and change the lines:

    const CHAR_CODE_SLASH = “/”.charCodeAt(0);
    const CHAR_CODE_APOSTROPHE = “‘”.charCodeAt(0);

    to say:

    const CHAR_CODE_SLASH = “”.charCodeAt(0);
    const CHAR_CODE_APOSTROPHE = “”.charCodeAt(0);

    or I imagine you can change the hotkeys to anything you like. Enjoy.

  12. Luv ya volto! Fixed like a charm, better than ANYTHING in about:config. I changed the slash key to grave accent “`” which I can’t remember using in normal conversation.

    in OSX the path is:

    (Just rename the JAR to ZIP, and archive it back up after. And definitely quit beforehand to avoid a chrome error and Force Quit.)

  13. I am having the same problem with the apostrophe in some text boxes (although not this one), and the audio:config solution isn’t working. So I’d like to try the other fix but I can’t read the whole link in volto’s Feb. 19 post. Could someone resubmit the part of the address that comes after “global”? Thanks!

  14. To disable it, just set accessibility.typeaheadfind to true.

  15. I’ve tried increasing the latency as instructed, but no matter what value I put in, the darned “Quick Find” bar disappears in less than 3 seconds after I stop typing–and that’s much too fast for me to get to the “Find All” button! I guess I’ll have to stick to “Ctrl F,” unless someone has another idea. (I’m using a Windows XP machine.)

  16. Thank you volto, I can now use ‘ in text boxes again! yay!

    Firefox really needs to make this easier to disable.

  17. This has been bugging me for a while so I finally googled for a solution and this post was #2 on the list and #1 in helpfulness. Thanks!

  18. Ok, but what’s the hotkey to CLOSE the quickfind bar?
    Is there one?

  19. Ah, good stuff for the ‘ fix. 🙂

  20. I couldn’t get the userChrome file thing to work so I got the Find Toolbar Tweaks add-on. So, now I have the buttons but it still won’t automatically go to next when I press “enter.” So, I can still on search one at a time unless I use my mouse. What’s the deal with that? (Normal “Find” looks identical but pressing enter will go to the next entry).

    I don’t see why “Quick Find” is necessary. When I start typing I want the full “Find” feature. 😐

  21. Well the problem again seems to have come and to a much more extent in FF I hope this solution will help. In fact nothing can be typed. Even the j shortcut of google reader starts Quick Find!

  22. Kryssindor | August 2, 2007 at 2:42 PM |

    Ok, all the script changes aren’t helping me. I can’t stand when I’m typing in google or blogging that “‘” and “” bring up this stinking “quick find”. It’s maddening.

    I’m working MAC OSX Version 10.4.10. Can someone tell me what preference to change or how to change the “hotkeys” or where exactly I should be able to find this scripting everyone keeps mentioning?

    I’m really frustrated that it’s such a pain in the *** to disable. At least to someone who isn’t knowledgeable in programming. It seems thatsomething that is this intrusive in daily, regular functionality (such as a google search) should be user-friendly in enabling/disabling.

    Thanks for the vent and I hope someone is willing to address this issue YET AGAIN.

  23. Eric Wright | August 9, 2007 at 8:37 AM |


    Esc should clear the Quick Find bar.

  24. I’m with Kryssindor.

    I have tried disabling this stupid quick find feature with all of the above “fixes” and still the quick find pops up whenever I type the ‘ or / in most text boxes (mostly webmail, some forms, etc.). I AM a computer savy tech person and programmer and I still can’t get the stupid thing disabled … nor will Fx listen to the fact that I told it (and keep telling it) to use Tab mix plus over it’s own internal session manager … but that’s another problem. What happened to Fx … I haven’t had any good luck with it since v2 came out.

  25. Sklep komputerowy z tanimi czesciami komputerowymi:
    sklep komputerowy

  26. This is THE WORST FEATURE Ive ever seen!!!! I cant even add apostrophes while I write this!!!! BULLSHIT. I hope mozilla boots the genius programmer who thought this up.

    Is it that tough for us just to do Ctrl+F when we need to find something?

  27. I am trying to find out how to disable the Error Console which spews forth so many chrome errors. Firefox appears to have made it impossible to disable the Error Console. If anyone finds a way to do this, please post it!

    That Error Console significantly slows Firefox for me, and I can hear it working in the background all the time!

  28. im sorry i dont understand any of this stuff this find it is bull —- if i wanted it id ask for it how do i easily get rid of it? switch from mozilla?? im ready

  29. Total aggravation
    Why should a “‘” and a “/” activate Quickfind?
    I finally killed it by toggling the first accessibility line,
    accessibility.accesskeycausesactivation user set boolean false.
    CTRL+F still activates it

  30. alman

    Thanks for the tip, that fixed it nice and easy.

  31. Thanks guys…I think I fixed it.

  32. I finally killed it by toggling the first accessibility line,
    accessibility.accesskeycausesactivation user set boolean false.



  33. Where is the file located to edit the accessibility line?

    Referencing previous post:

    Total aggravation
    Why should a “‘” and a “/” activate Quickfind?
    I finally killed it by toggling the first accessibility line,
    accessibility.accesskeycausesactivation user set boolean false.
    CTRL+F still activates it

    Any help on the location would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

  34. Figured out that “about:config” in the address bar brings it up, but i toggled it to “user set boolean false” and the quick find still pops up but dissapears after three seconds. Any other locations or files that can be edited to resolve this issue?

  35. IdahoBoyDave | December 8, 2007 at 3:38 AM |

    Hey all-

    Thank you for addressing this issue. I finally figured it all out and got if fixed thanks to the insights gained here…

    For those of you still confused, let me try to explain, and I’ll start with my situation:

    I have an HP laptop, which are notorious for problems where the built-in keyboard will miss keystrokes if you type too quickly. One downside of it is that it will sometimes ignore that you released the Shift, Ctrl, or Alt keys after typing another letter… This means that if I had just used Ctrl+A to Select All, and then I go to type something else, it still thinks I’m holding-down the CTRL key.

    The solution to that problem is to hit the offending key again, so that the computer registers that it is no longer depressed. But, sometimes hitting it once won’t make it get corrected. And sometimes, I can’t tell what key it thinks is pressed. So sometimse when the computer is acting strangely, I have to hit the Shift keys twice each, the Ctrl keys twice each, and the Alt keys twice each. Then, the problem is gone.

    This creates a problem within Firefox… Another shortcut for this ANNOYING Quick-Find feature is to hit CTRL twice. So… To fix one problem, I end up unintentionally activating the Quick Find.

    Now, MY problem with Quick Find is that YOU CAN’T GET IT TO GO AWAY ONCE IT’S ON!!! I mean, what the hell!? And no, clicking on a text box won’t let me type, it instead jumps back down to the damned Quick Find field. My only solution before was to copy the address, close Firefox, reopen Firefox, and paste my last address back into the field in order to get back to where I was…

    I tried the about:config fix, setting the accessibility.accesskeycausesactivation value to false (right-click, toggle), but the damned thing still comes up. I tried setting the accessibility.typeaheadfind.autostart to false as well, still comes up. I set the field above that, accessibility.typeaheadfind, to false, and now it has gone away! YAY!!!

    I can still bring it up with the shortcut key, if necessary. But I always used CTRL-F for the Find function, because that works in basically all of Windows based programs, anyway.

    By the way, if you, like another user mentioned (same with me), are unable to read an entire line on this page because the words scroll beyond the edges of the frame, try this: Click and drag to highlight the entire message, press CTRL-C (copy) and then paste it into Notepad, Wordpad, Word, or whatever other text editor you want to use. You can read it in there and not be missing any text!

    I hope this helps y’all… Those of you needing the fix, and those of you not understanding what some of us are complaining about! 😉

    Thank you, one and all, for your assistance in determining a fix!


  36. Thanks Dave! I killed Firefox and had to reinstall it before your cut and dried explanation. Not the sharpest tool in the shed. O:)

  37. I dont have a problem with quick find but I want to change it to doa straight keyboard search via google for superquick searching. I found a link to a “google my keyboard” extension but it was dead anyone know how to do this?

  38. Thanks for this page — it’s been driving me crazy too. It’s only just started for me too, very odd.

    I wonder if some add-on update messed with it, but I can’t be bothered to go through all my add-ons switching them off and testing.

    Thanks again.


  39. @pottingshead:

    Running firefox in “Safe Mode” disables all addons.

    Now, how about finding a shortcut key for opening the Error Console?? They have one for DOM Inspector, but not the Console…

    If anyone knows a shortcut key for opening the console, or if you know what the code would be for a custom button (I have the custom buttons addon), please let me know here:

  40. “Here is an extension that restores the ‘/’ find functionality in Firefox 2.0”

    Thanks for that info Seth… I needed that add-on!

  41. Firefox 3 needs

    /* Add Next/Previous Buttons to Quick Find Bar */
    .findbar-container>* {display: -moz-box !important;}


  42. Thanks Glen, I have been looking to get this working in Firefox 3 and wondering why the other solution wasn’t working… Cheers!

  43. gry planszowe | August 10, 2008 at 1:33 AM |

    Ciekawa strona, trafilem tu przypadkowo, ale od dzis bede wpadal czesciej, pozdro

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