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Pressing Enter in empty search bar doesn't work anymore

  • 19 replies
  • 33 have this problem
  • Last reply by taina1

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I used to be able to press Enter in the empty Firefox search bar to bring up the (DuckDuckGo) search page and enter my search from there. Don't ask me why I like doing that, but now after the latest Firefox update, 128.0, on my MacBook Air I can't do that anymore. I have to type in the search bar to bring up the search page.

I know it's a small thing but I wonder if it can be put back to the way it used to be.

I used to be able to press Enter in the empty Firefox search bar to bring up the (DuckDuckGo) search page and enter my search from there. Don't ask me why I like doing that, but now after the latest Firefox update, 128.0, on my MacBook Air I can't do that anymore. I have to type in the search bar to bring up the search page. I know it's a small thing but I wonder if it can be put back to the way it used to be.

Chosen solution

I think it was an intentional clean-up of functionality they didn't think anyone cared about. Whether it will come back, I don't know. If your thumb can reach, hitting spacebar then Enter/Return is pretty quick.

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Same problem here. Nothing I do seems to cause it to change back. Yes, seemingly minor, but extremely annoying when it's been part of your workflow for years. First noticed on July 9, 2024.

Firefox 128.0, MacBook Air M2.


[EDIT] I had typed the wrong year. Corrected now. This started just a few days ago.

Modified by younkint1

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This change only occurred in the last week or so on my laptop. Interesting that you had the problem for a year now.

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Sorry, taina1. I had typed "2023" rather than the correct "2024." I edited my reply to reflect that.

The issue started for me at the same time it started for you. It's evidently something with FF version 128.0, as everything worked fine until then.

I've noticed that version 128 takes nearly twice as long to start up as previous versions of Firefox, but I can live with that. My Mac is so fast that it's not an issue, but I do notice the slowness to start.

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Yeah, a bit slower start for me too, now that you mention it. Maybe they'll fix these issues. We can always hope.

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As a workaround you can just type a query into the address bar and press enter, and this will open the results of your search in your default search engine.

Although of course I understand that people might prefer the original way of opening the search page and then searching from within it.

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I've got the same issue too, and its 100% because of recent updates since it still functions on my secondary computer that hasn't updated yet. I really hope this is a bug and not an intentional change, or if it is a deliberate change that we get an option to restore the previous functionality.

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Note that you can type an '@' or append a '?' to initiate a search.

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Chosen Solution

I think it was an intentional clean-up of functionality they didn't think anyone cared about. Whether it will come back, I don't know. If your thumb can reach, hitting spacebar then Enter/Return is pretty quick.

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Well, hitting spacebar then Enter/Return is about the easiest sub for me, thanks for the tip. At least there's nothing to delete in the search bar this way.

As an aside, I also noticed that in the Mozilla email alert I received that said there was a reply, I had the option to mark the thread as solved. I figured with all the suggestions I received I would press this button and call it a day. When I pressed that button I got a totally blank page at support.mozilla.org.

So I'll mark your reply as solving my problem as I can easily live with it. (Though I would love it if it were put back to the way it used to be.) Thanks again.

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The "spacebar then enter" tip seems okay to me, although personally I'd rather not have to learn a new routine.

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I don't usually like new routines either (who does?) but I "practiced" a couple of times and it's very easy to do and remember. And as an added bonus, it works in the address bar as well as the search bar. Now as long as they don't go changing this, I'll be reasonably happy. Give it a shot, you'll pick it up in a flash.

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Hope they bring this back, it was an important feature for me. it was the first thing i do after opening the browser, to see internet is working. Also i was using the search bar for some selective searches only (searches i need in history to auto-fill next time), for general search i just press enter and it opens google and search there, since i use full size keyboard pressing enter(on number pad) is easier with thumb (even with mouse on hand). Firefox is slowly taking away the little things that keep me using it, first the pdf file opening handling now this :(

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ar.v said

Firefox is slowly taking away the little things that keep me using it, first the pdf file opening handling now this :(

PDF handling changed in Firefox 98, but some new alternate settings have been added since then. Do you want to start a new question about how you would prefer it to work?

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@ jscher2000 , thanks for the reply, started new question, pls check this link https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/1452683

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In reference to the search bar thing, I just discovered a new trick that makes this whole thing worth it (for me anyway). Since I always like my searches to be in a new tab, I found that after putting the cursor in the search bar if I hit Option and Return this opens the search page in a new tab. It actually saves me a step!

July 19 - For some reason it doesn't work every time! Too weird. Back to being bummed.

Modified by taina1

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Just information from other platform, this functionality also gone on windows version. Still there before newest update tho.

On "space then enter", it will bring me to search result while i want to main search engine page. In example i want to go google main page so i can get "feeling lucky" button. Anyways, i start preparing myself to have a peace with this now-gone feature.

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Yes, space bar + enter is better than nothing I guess. It's too bad the option + enter doesn't always work. I quite like having it open in a new tab automatically.

Like you say, we should make peace with its demise. But Firefox should bring it back!

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If you want Mozilla to make a change (or undo a change) then the best place to voice your opinion is on their official feedback forum.

For those who haven't already seen it, there is a thread on this subject on that site: https://connect.mozilla.org/t5/discussions/independent-search-box-toolbar-no-longer-lets-you-hit-enter-to/td-p/62106

So if you wanted, you could give kudos to (i.e. upvote) the opening post on that thread and / or state your opinions on it, as Mozilla uses that site to gauge interest in ideas via karma and comments.

Modified by TechHorse

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Thank you very much, I'll go look.

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