Tab Key Not Working in Firefox?

A few days ago, my tab key stopped working in Firefox. I use tab all the time to move through form fields, so that perplexed me a bit. I had a hunch, though, that one of my extensions might have been causing the mischief. Sure enough, after checking the Firefox forums at MozillaZine, I discovered that Paste and Go was the culprit.

After I disabled that guy, things went back to normal — I guess that one of the extension’s recent updates broke something. So, if your tab key has been acting up too, that could be worth a try. (For those who may be curious, Paste and Go adds an item to the URL bar’s context menu which allows you to paste from a URL from the clipboard and load it in one step.)

31 thoughts on “Tab Key Not Working in Firefox?

  1. Thanks for the post! I was having the same issue and wondering why it was happening… I didn’t have “Paste and Go” installed but I did have a few other things (Zend Studio Toolbar, DOM Inspector) and I disabled these and TAB worked, and it also solved the problem of the cursor not BLINKING even though the field was focused (ie if you type text goes into a field). Not sure which was the culprit, but my guess is that LOTS of extensions probably cause this problem.

  2. My TAB key, and sometimes ENTER key frequently stop working in Firefox. A few times per week at least. Restarting Firefox has been the only workaround so far.

    I have a brand new 17″ MacBook Pro, with Mac OS X Leopard (10.5.2). Firefox Firefox All of my coworkers have the exact same machine, but with the prior OS. None of them have the problem.

    My last experience of this, today, was this sequence:
    – About 6 browser tabs open
    – Apple-T to open a new browser tab
    – Hit tab key, intending to go from address bar to search box to GoogleBar. Never made it, and the cursor did not blink in any of those fields. Back in Web forms, I confirmed that the tab key was not responding.

    I never had Paste & Go. Over the past 3 weeks, I eliminated all add-ons one by one, and the problem kept occurring. I gradually disabled all of the following:
    All-in-One Sidebar
    DOM Inspector
    Google Toolbar for Firefox
    Web Developer Toolbar

    The last thing I tried was disabling Firebug. I left it off for only three hours, because I need it in my work.

    None of my 5 prior machines exhibited the Firefox TAB key bug. Most of them were Windows XP, one OS X Panther. No other application on this Mac has the problem, even when Firefox has it.

    My current job involves Web form design, construction, and testing. The tab key is crucial for that.

    Any ideas? Anyone experience tab key loss on Firebug with Leopard?

  3. I reported the bug in Or rather, confirmed the experience reported 2007-11-02.

    Bug 402280 – Enter and tab keystrokes cease to be captured in form interaction after multiple tabs and forms are being use

  4. I have the same issue. It’s sporadic and always Tab and Enter at the same time, never one or the other.

    I’m on a Windows XP machine at work and Leopard at home. It happens both places, so it isn’t OS dependent.

    I don’t have Paste n Go. I do have several other extensions installed, though. Firebug, Web Developer Toolbar and Tab Scope. Tab Scope is only on the Windows machine and it was doing it before I installed it anyway, so it isn’t that. I have the other two in both places, so I guess that means it’s either Firebug or Web Developer, or it could just a standard Firefox bug.

    Any other insight out there?

  5. I have an issue with my tab key which goes across all programs. It won’t skip to the next field or do anything in any TAB key sort of a fashion except for when I press Command + Tab to switch between programs ( I know for sure the key is not broken ). Any ideas? I’m running Leopard. This has been going on for since I had Tiger though.

  6. I’m having the same issue. I have the following extensions:

    – Firebug
    – Foxmarks
    – Web Developer
    – iMacros
    – DOM Inspector
    – Talkback

    The intersection of this and the post above indicates that Web Developer may be the culprit. Stopping and starting the browser fix this for me as well.

  7. Monte,
    I have exactly the same problem you have defined.
    I also work with web forms and it drives me nuts.
    Same system specs as well (1 year old MBP with 10.5.2)

    Same version of firefox.
    I’ve also had the problem running various builds of firefox, as well as Flock. Seems like a mozilla engine bug.

    Hopefully someone figures it out.

  8. Same thing here – my ENTER/RETURN and TAB keys both stop working and I have to restart FireFox. This happens on both my Window XP and my Mac Leopard machines running FireFox 2.x and FireBug.

  9. i’m so glad to see ethis thread as my CAP and TAB keys recently stopped working. Do yours work in Safari? Mine don’t so now I’m eliminating firefox as the problem…

  10. “firefox tabs will not open’ After hours I found the problem. Go into tools, add ons, and disable “avg security toolbar”. You must disable it not just unclick it in the “view” section on the top of the browser.


  11. I had the same problem. I googled it came to the page. i have checked the plugins installed. My problem was the AVG antivirus. It automatically adds the extension to the firefox. I have disabled that and now working fine.

  12. Same here.. it was working just fine, I updated delicious and it stopped working. ! Disabled the addon for now..

    Ubuntu 8.04
    FF 3.6.8 with Ubuntu Firefox Modifications 0.9rc2

  13. For me it was Delicious as well. After disabling that plugins it works fine again :)

    Also the cursor keys where not working, and work fine now again.

    Thanks a lot!

  14. delicious for me too …
    big problem here, I do not remember how to use the Internet without delicious …
    what is incredible is that it is several days it is broken and no solution for the moment …

  15. Firefox version 3.6.8
    Mozilla Firefox for Ubuntu canonical – 1.0
    Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux x86_64; en-US; rv: Gecko/20100723 Ubuntu/10.04 (lucid) Firefox/3.6.8

    -> Delicious Bookmarks version 2.1.102

    Delicious here too!

  16. Same problem here! I tried disabling all the extensions one by one until I searched this page and hit the culprit:

    Delicious Bookmarks 2.1.102

    I wonder what lines of code can possibly eat up whole Tab keypresses! ?

    We should report the bug.

  17. Delicious 2.1.102 caused this for me on Firefox 3.0.11. Updating the Delicious add-on to 2.1.106 fixed the issue.

  18. i had a similar problem and it turned out to be phraseexpress — as soon as i changed the setting “route enter and tab key through phaseexpress” it went away. my guess would be this could happen with any program you have installed that reads your keystrokes

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