# Is there keyboard shortcut to move input focus to the Google Search box?

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.

EDIT:

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.

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 '12 at 14:20
• 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 '12 at 14:51
• I am always amazed that people aren't aware of CONTROL+K. I couldn't survive for 5 minutes without it! – jahroy Nov 8 '12 at 2:06
• / shortcut does work to me on google.com webpage. – soyuka May 26 '14 at 9:36

Update: This does not seem to be working anymore. Press ESC to move the cursor back into Google's search box.

If you search for something in Google Search …

… just begin typing again. For example, writing "unicorns", then " magic" (that is, space, then the next keyword) will automatically focus the search box again.

Note that you need to enable instant search from your settings:

Finally, you can also press (Tab) to get a manual selection for the results – navigate through them with or , and open them with .

• Sorry, it does not work in my browser. What browser/version are you using? – Jimm Chen Apr 10 '12 at 14:41
• Chrome dev, but you need Google Instant enabled. Should work in any Chrome though. – slhck Apr 10 '12 at 15:03
• it worked in firefox too, for me... – Mallik Apr 10 '12 at 15:05
• I've ended up on this answer because it does not work for me anymore. Is it related to the recent end of Google Instant? – Matthew Jul 30 '17 at 18:14
• @Matthew You're right... it does not work anymore. – slhck Jul 31 '17 at 7:56

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.

• Seems like Ctrl+E is an alternative on SE :) support.google.com/chrome/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=157179 – Der Hochstapler Apr 10 '12 at 15:32
• Pressing Ctrl+K clears the Omnibox but leaves a question mark for some reason. – DMan Apr 10 '12 at 22:57
• @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 '12 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 '12 at 5:25
• On Mac Chrome, Option + Cmd + F clears the address bar and precedes with "?". Press escape to cancel the clearing of address bar and show the current URL again. support.google.com/chrome/answer/157179?hl=en – Baker Mar 7 '16 at 3:02

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:

• I might clarify that this isn't so useful for Firefox in this particular context. – Shinrai Apr 10 '12 at 14:36
• 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 '12 at 14:46
• @Shinrai in firefox, you can use Ctrl+K to jump to the upper right search box. – houbysoft Apr 10 '12 at 19:34
• @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. – Lèse majesté Apr 11 '12 at 9:36
• @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 '12 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 on the ? reference. Also, OP could install vimperator on firefox and just type :o <searchtext> – Lieven Keersmaekers Apr 11 '12 at 7:40
• CONTROL-K works for Windows, Ubuntu, AND Mac (COMMAND-K)... – jahroy Nov 7 '12 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 '12 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 '12 at 1:56
• @jahroy Yeah I added your info into the answer when I saw your comment. – frozenkoi Nov 8 '12 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 '14 at 16:00
• I believe it is an answer: pressing the Esc button cycles between the search box and the rest of the content. – Doktoro Reichard Jul 11 '14 at 16:33
• @DoktoroReichard Agreed. This appears to work for me so far. Nice answer. – Dog Lover Oct 18 '16 at 6:40

On a mac, COMMAND+L moves focus to the search bar

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.

• 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 :) – yatsa Nov 7 '16 at 16:20

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).

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

• I am using this extension and I must say it works great, you can focus search and move around the SERP very easily – Nobita Nov 7 '17 at 17:59

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 '12 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 '12 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 '16 at 19:42
• Go to duckduckgo.com search "something", type H. That's the question all about but for Google. – Metafaniel Sep 7 '17 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 '17 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.