I search on Google a lot. I find it very annoying to have to move my mouse to the search box and click once so that I can input another search term.

I did Google for some time, but no one seems to be quite as annoyed with this, surprisingly.

I'm using Firefox 8 and Chrome 16, on Windows 7.

If you know Atlassian Confluence, you might probably know that pressing / will move input focus to the upper right search box, very convenient for a keyboard shortcut hobbyist . Try it here.

Atlassian Confluence provides / as "go to search box" shortcut


According to slhck's statement. I tried it on several PCs(5+, including virtual machine). The strange thing is that only one of them exhibits the stated behavior. Others(I call them dumb ones) exhibit a weird behavior. Even if I select Always show instant result and save, it reverts to Only when my computer is fast enough, and the keyboard navigation still does not work.

google preference weird behavior

Poking around for some moment, I finally managed to make it work. The trick is: Select Never show instant result , save, then select Always show instant result again. Now it remains there and keyboard navigation works .

Confirmed on Chrome and Firefox, and Windows 7 IE8.

Anyway, don't you think there should be a keyboard shortcut(or any key) to jump to search box no matter instant predication is on or off?

  • Is that Confluence thing just an example of how you want it to be? Are you talking about Google search in general?
    – slhck
    Apr 10, 2012 at 14:20
  • 1
    I talked about Confluence in order to show to the effect/feature I hope to have on Google's web page, --as an analogy, in case someone cannot understand what I mean.
    – Jimm Chen
    Apr 10, 2012 at 14:51
  • 1
    I am always amazed that people aren't aware of CONTROL+K. I couldn't survive for 5 minutes without it!
    – jahroy
    Nov 8, 2012 at 2:06
  • / shortcut does work to me on google.com webpage.
    – soyuka
    May 26, 2014 at 9:36
  • superuser.com/questions/509192/…
    – chtenb
    Dec 31, 2014 at 9:08

17 Answers 17


As of 2021, apparently you need to type a slash to get back to the search box.

Google will show this in the bottom-left corner:

(I didn't get this to work on latest Chrome on macOS with a German keyboard, so your mileage may vary…)


Ctrl+K in Chrome not only moves your courser to the Google ommibox, but it also clears it, saving you the extra keystroke.

F6 is another way to get to omnibox, and will always work, whereas key combinations may also depend on where your mouse courser or focus is; for example, on SE, Ctrl+K is the shortcut to add code to a question or answer.

  • 2
    Seems like Ctrl+E is an alternative on SE :) support.google.com/chrome/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=157179 Apr 10, 2012 at 15:32
  • 1
    Pressing Ctrl+K clears the Omnibox but leaves a question mark for some reason.
    – DMan
    Apr 10, 2012 at 22:57
  • 5
    @DMan: the question mark ensures that the text entered is to be searched, not gone to. For example (and to clarify), typing "?www.StackExchange.com" will make a Google search for "www.StackExchange.com". Its actually a really great feature when you think about it for a minute.
    – wizlog
    Apr 11, 2012 at 5:17
  • @wizlog - Oh cool, I didn't know that. Will certainly save me a few keystrokes as I always hit down down a couple times after using Ctrl + L and typing in something I want to search.
    – DMan
    Apr 11, 2012 at 5:25
  • 2
    As I underderstand the question, "to move my mouse to the search box" means the search box in the Google.com site directly. Your answer set the focus in the Google CHROME address bar (omnibox) that can be used to search too, but it doesn't answers the question. Moving the focus to the Google website search box directly has benefits like using the previous search to add a new
    – Metafaniel
    Sep 7, 2017 at 18:12

In Google Chrome, you can press Ctrl+L to focus the address bar. This would allow you to perform a new search instantly.

In case you want to focus the search box on the actual Google website, please refer to slhck's answer.

You can also enable Instant inside Google Chrome by checking the following setting:
enter image description here

  • I might clarify that this isn't so useful for Firefox in this particular context.
    – Shinrai
    Apr 10, 2012 at 14:36
  • 3
    Sorry, that's not quite the same as in-page search box. For example, I first search "ipad gps", but not satisfied with the result, then I want to append "bluetooth". If I use search box, I can just append "bluetooth", but for address bar, I have to key in "ipad gps bluetooth" from the beginning. Also, Google Instant predictions does not work from address bar.
    – Jimm Chen
    Apr 10, 2012 at 14:46
  • 3
    @Shinrai in firefox, you can use Ctrl+K to jump to the upper right search box.
    – houbysoft
    Apr 10, 2012 at 19:34
  • 1
    @Chen: But that's not how Confluence's search works. All Confluence's search page seems to do is let you re-focus an empty search box. This would be no different from searching via the address bar or via the Firefox search tool. Also, Google Instant does work in Chrome's address bar. You can also enable this in Firefox using InstantFirefox. Apr 11, 2012 at 9:36
  • 1
    @ChenJun When using CTRL+E, at least in IE, takes you to the address bar, and replaces the url with ? last-search which you can then modify. Chrome doesn't remember the search, at least not for me.
    – frozenkoi
    Apr 11, 2012 at 18:30

The CTRL+E shortcut works for Firefox, I.E. and Chrome (in Windows) to move the focus to the search box (well, in IE and Chrome to the address bar, clear it and start with ?, which is the same as a search box).

For Ubuntu, Firefox doesn't seem to pay attention to CTRL+E (at least not for me), but CTRL+K works.

Then depending on how you've configured your browser is the search engine that will be used to perform your search.

  • 1
    +1 on the ? reference. Also, OP could install vimperator on firefox and just type :o <searchtext> Apr 11, 2012 at 7:40
  • CONTROL-K works for Windows, Ubuntu, AND Mac (COMMAND-K)...
    – jahroy
    Nov 7, 2012 at 19:54
  • @jahroy Cool. But not for all browsers. In Windows IE CTRL+K duplicates a tab. In Win. Firefox it does move to the search field.
    – frozenkoi
    Nov 8, 2012 at 0:41
  • @frozenkoi - That is correct. I was responding to this: For Ubuntu, Firefox doesn't seem to pay attention to CTRL+E. Obviously there's no IE in Ubuntu (thank goodness). Either I overlooked your mention of CTRL+K or it was added/edited today. CTRL+K works for Firefox and Chrome on all platforms. CTRL+L seems to be the most universal way to get to the address bar (ALT+D doesn't always work).
    – jahroy
    Nov 8, 2012 at 1:56
  • @jahroy Yeah I added your info into the answer when I saw your comment.
    – frozenkoi
    Nov 8, 2012 at 2:58

Control+K is probably the shortcut I use the most every day.

It works for Firefox and Chrome on Linux, Windows, and Mac (use the Command key on Mac).

Control+E is the equivalent for IE.

For Safari, it's Command+Shift+F (far less convenient).


Pressing Esc while on a Google search cycles between selecting all of the current search text and selecting none.

  • This is not an answer. Please add a comment when you have enough reputation
    – FiveO
    Jul 11, 2014 at 16:00
  • 4
    I believe it is an answer: pressing the Esc button cycles between the search box and the rest of the content. Jul 11, 2014 at 16:33
  • @DoktoroReichard Agreed. This appears to work for me so far. Nice answer.
    – Dog Lover
    Oct 18, 2016 at 6:40

I am a heavy Ctrl+K (and Ctrl+L) user, but this is not sufficient for this use case. Often I want to adjust my search with additional refinements. To do this what I found easiest is to use Chrome (instead of Firefox) with the so-called Vimium extension, see: http://vimium.github.io/

The key combination that brings you to the search box is gi.

Note: This is by the way not the only speed-up you get. I love their way of addressing links in the browser, just type f and you will have a few letter combinations that bring you to any link on that page. You will never go back.

  • 2
    Thank you - I don't know why you have been downvoted - this is one and only proper answer here for the question formed like this. I'm adding Vimium to my toolbox :)
    – yatsek
    Nov 7, 2016 at 16:20

On a Mac, Command+L moves focus to the search bar.


Since the search box in a website is not identified in a standard way across all websites, there isn't a dedicated keyboard shortcut to jump straight to it. What you'll have to do is just keep hitting Tab (or Shift+Tab to go backwards) until you end up in the search box again. These keyboard shortcuts will cycle through all the website's links and input forms.

Some search engines will let you begin typing immediately to do another search if you don't click anything else. Other than the method above, sometimes they'll code their site with some javascript that captures keyboard input. Experiment and see what the site provides.


As of 2017-07-31, Google removed this feature entirely from search.

I created the open source Web Search Navigator extension to fix this and add extra features (like configurable keyboard shortcuts).

See installation instructions.

Hope you find it useful, but in any case - feedback is welcome!

  • 1
    I am using this extension and I must say it works great, you can focus search and move around the SERP very easily
    – Aurelio
    Nov 7, 2017 at 17:59
  • Could not install in Opera. Any help?
    – IqbalHamid
    Oct 9, 2020 at 12:47

For Google Chrome

Address Bar
Ctrl + L

Google Search
Ctrl + K

Search Box of any Website
Use Search Box Focus


Aside from all the good answers already posted, you can always install a keyboard macro processor like AutoHotKey in Windows or AutoKey in Linux. Once you do that, you can define hot keys that do anything you can do from the keyboard (and a lot more) regardless of what the applications or Window manager provide for you.

  • I use Autohotkey daily to to Ctrl+V paste into CMD windows etc. But I'm not very versed in it and it seems a bit overkill. Frankly speaking, Autohotkey's syntax is not very elegant and hard to remember so hard to compose. Anyway I'll be thankfull if you can present a workable Authotkey script to do that.
    – Jimm Chen
    May 3, 2012 at 0:33
  • @JimmChen Sorry, I just know of Autohotkey. I use AutoKey on Linux. It rocks, but won't help you.
    – Joe
    May 3, 2012 at 14:29

If I just type something, it jumps to the Google Search Box. Also Backspace moves to the Google Search Box. The spacebar does something different (it is like pushing PgDn?).


For your intended use case (search, and then search again without using the mouse), you can use 'Esc' which will select the search box again so that you can type.

  • The initial question is "Is there keyboard shortcut to move input focus to the Google Search box?". The answer is yes: the Esc key moves focus to the Google Search box. How is that not an answer? Or did you not realize that "select the search box again" is synonymous with "move input focus to the Google Search box" in this context?
    – Andrew
    Jan 16, 2016 at 19:42
  • Go to duckduckgo.com search "something", type H. That's the question all about but for Google.
    – Metafaniel
    Sep 7, 2017 at 18:18

Could might try hitting "ESC" and then just start typing; the typing will probably be appearing appended to whatever string you've already typed in the search bar. This works for me on Firefox on OSX.

Also since anything that isn't recognized as a URL is interpreted as a search on my browser (default search set to google.com), if you don't want to append to the text, but, rather, replace it entirely, then you might as well do CNTRL-L (COMMAND-L in OSX) and use the address/search bar combo in Firefox / Google Chrome.

  • Go to duckduckgo.com search "something", type H. That's the question all about but for Google.
    – Metafaniel
    Sep 7, 2017 at 18:19

I too felt the same way while using the google search box often.

There is no shortcut for such function, But there is another way for it.

You can use the method of using the mouse on the keyboard buttons with the help of mouse keys option.

Once you did this, place your cursor over the search engine box and left it untouched.

Now you can press "5" button which is the replacement of a left click in the mouse.

I hope this would be useful when you watch English movies, series (especially The Big Bang Theory) or other videos and you want to find the meaning of any word.


Its 2020, but Google does not support it yet :(. its works very well in Youtube with '/' key and am fan of this. None of the answers above worked for me through but Anyhow i found a useful chrome extension you can use to focus google search box and modify search keywords. Quick Focus Search Boxes Hope this help.

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