How To Turn Off Quick Find In Firefox – Why?

My wife was explaining to me about a blog post she was writing, and explained that she couldn’t use the apostrophe key anymore.


It turned out that when she was typing in the Post box in WordPress, every time she entered an apostrophe the ‘QuickFind’ box appeared at the bottom, and text went there instead.

I’ve used Firefox for several years, and WordPress for longer than that, and I’ve never heard of that problem. But sure enough, she had it – and nothing seemed to fix it.

So I researched – and doing a search on ‘turn off quick find firefox‘ yielded the best results, such as:

  • Turn off a setting in Firefox (after first creating it!). Enter about:config directly into the URL box (with no spaces between the words), and then right-click anywhere on the listing in the browser window below to bring up a popup box. Select New -> Boolean and then enter searchkeys.disable.all (again, all together); and for the value, true. This turns on the ‘disable’ setting – very confusing.
  • Go away from full screen. In my wife’s case, she had the Firefox window open full screen. When I reduced it to a floating window, the problem went away, never to return.
  • Use the ESCAPE button. I couldn’t test if it worked, but apparently using the ESC key (top left corner of keyboard) will get you out of this mess. However, I'{esc}m not sure it'{esc}s worth the trouble!

Of course, turning it off doesn’t hurt – the option CTRL-F will always call it up the web page search at any time, so the apostrophe/tick (‘) version seems a waste (and of course an annoyance).

Still not sure why it happened, or if it will occur again – but if you’re using Firefox 2, and you find your apostrophes are sending you to the search box, give these a try.

And also, I’d appreciate hearing which ones worked best – please feel free to comment on your results trying these (or other) methods.

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41 thoughts on “How To Turn Off Quick Find In Firefox – Why?

  1. Oh, boy – I don’t know when this (‘) started the Quick Search, but it’s so annoying. I seriously can’t remember when it started doing that….I thought only the “/” did the Quick Search thing.

    I’ll try this and see if it helps me. Will comment after I get this.

  2. Oh my! It worked! Simple, and easy. I’m on FF2, I do have the FF3 Install file sitting on my desktop…I’m lazy, lol.

    Thanks, and will use this trick if it happens when I upgrade to FireFox 3.

    Thanks again, and appreciate your blog post, I came across it while searching for a solution to my annoying problem, lol, well at least one of my problems. This will help me from going insane while typing apostrophes.

  3. The seachkey.disable solution does not work in firefox 3.03
    (It did in ff2)
    I cant remove it(?) so I put it on false again just in case

  4. Thank you!!

    I was having this problem in Gmail and it was driving me batty! I was getting very upset but I found this.

    The first solution (about:config) worked like a charm.

    Firefox 3.0.10

  5. Thanks! Quick Find was driving me nuts in Gmail, and solution #1 took care of it. Thank you–I was afraid I was going crazy.

  6. These directions are clear as mud for those of us who are not techies.

    After typing in the about:config it brought up a whole chitload of things. All I see in directions is “right click on link below”. There’s a million things I could click on, SO WHICH ONE?

  7. Actually, it was click on LISTING below, not LINK – the right-click (anywhere) brings up a popup box of options, and you select the ‘new’ option in there to continue. I’ve edited the article to be clearer – hope this helps.

  8. the first solution works for me, the only issue is that i have to keep doing it at least once a week, it randomly deletes the boolean and i have to do it all over again. i hope firefox gets this fixed… i hope they know there ARE other competing browsers out there….

  9. This one messed me up pretty good. every time i pressed a letter without have something selected quick find would pop up in F.F. 3. it took me a while to find it but this fixed it.

    accessibility.typeaheadfind… it was set to true so i set it to false

  10. THANK YOU!!!

    There’s several tricks for turning this off… but I have a feeling this article finally outlined a permanent solution. Thanks. What a stupid feature for firefox to keep haha

  11. My problem started when I upgraded to 3.5.3. Quick find came up in floating window every time I hit the apostrophe (a commonly used key BTW). The about:config method worked like a champ. I was about to the point where I was going to uninstall because it was such a pain. Problem solved, thanks very much!

  12. In FF 3.5, “searchkeys.disable.all true” didn’t work for me either, but “accessibility.typeaheadfind false” worked fine. Thanks, Trey.

  13. Hey guys, Under Options -> Advanced -> General Tab there is a check box which says ‘Search for text when I start typing’ un-check the check box and save it/ok. This fixed the issue of disabling the quick find in firefox 3.5.3 for me.

  14. i was going to user the original solution “about:config” however i got a pop up which i was unfortable with, since i didn’t know what i would be disabling… anways i went to options–> Advanced –> General Tab and unchecked the box. This worked for me (FF3.0),
    so Thank you

  15. Thanks! All I did was reduce the window size to the floating window and the problem went away. Was so annoyed I did a google search, found your site and problem solved 🙂

  16. The about:config solution worked like a charm. Now I can use all of the apostrophes that I want! Thanks for the great advice.

  17. This problem started suddenly for me and I dealt with it at first by using the about:config solution, which I’d read about somewhere else, but that only worked temporarily. What works for me now is to reduce the window size as you suggested (thanks!). You can even go back to full screen afterward.

  18. the about:config solution worked fine! this never happened to me before, so no clue why it was a problem all of a sudden, but it’s fixed now 🙂

    (and I run Firefox 3.0.15)

  19. I’m on FF 3.5.7 –
    Tried the top option – all set.
    But still the little box pops up ?
    Has this to do with my version of FF ?

    Any other options?

  20. thanks a mil!

    the first suggestion worked immediately:

    Turn off a setting in Firefox (after first creating it!). Enter about:config directly into the URL box (with no spaces between the words), and then right-click anywhere on the listing in the browser window below to bring up a popup box. Select New -> Boolean and then enter searchkeys.disable.all (again, all together); and for the value, true. This turns on the ‘disable’ setting – very confusing.

  21. You can turn it off unders tools – advanced options – search when typing left unchecked and it stops!

    Had problems when chatting w/ guys who wanted to see my cam and kept searching over till I went bonkers LOL

  22. I have tried both the about:config and menu options, although both of mine are set right, I still have the problem. I’m about ready to go back to IE. The minimize/maximize thing works, but, really, I’m just trying to type an e-mail. If FF could really fix this, that would be great…

  23. Personally I use the about:config version every time. And I say *every* time because whenever I delete cookies and browser history (which I do every so often to keep my computer running smoothly) the (‘) quickfind thing TURNS BACK ON!!! Why Firefox? Why?

  24. Using the ESC key only makes the box go away…which it will anyway, just by clicking anywhere else on the page.

    I used both methods described here and it stopped when typing letters, but still pops up when using the apostrophe.


  25. There’s a much easier way to make the QuickFind search bar go away. In order to do this you just need to click ToolsOptionsAdvancedGeneral and deselect “search for text when I start typing.”

  26. Yes, the config worked for me, too. I will see if it’s permanent. Started mysteriously in gmail a few minutes ago and found your fix quickly. I’m even evernoting it for future reference. Yay!! Helpful.

  27. for those of us who have the latest version of firefox… none of these methods fix the issue. Not the going into about:config, not unchecking the “search for text when I start typing” box because it’s unchecked at default.

  28. vers.3.6.16 firefox

    above didn’t work, but did this and worked immediately!!!!!!!!

    uncheck toolsoptionsadvancedgeneral: start search when I start typing

  29. There is one more easier way to do it…
    Click on Firefox Settings (the 3 bars icon on the right-top)>>>>Click on Options>>>>Advanced>>>>General now uncheck the box which says “Search for text when I start typing” voila.. thats it no more (nagging) automatic quick search box.

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