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Keyboard stops working when Firefox is running

  • 9 replies
  • 2 have this problem
  • Last reply by FredMcD

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I installed Firefox 50.0 with no add-ons or extensions. I've never had Firefox on this laptop. I didn't change any settings except to import my bookmarks/favorites from Internet Explorer.

I am using a Windows 10 Professional HP Envy laptop. I have a full-sized USB keyboard. Using Kaspersky Internet Security.

The problem I am having is that when Firefox is running, periodically my keyboard stops working on OTHER applications that are running.

How I recreate this is:

1. Restart Windows.

2. Launch an application. For example, in my scenario, it is any of a Remote Desktop session, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Outlook, and/or Skype.

All is working fine, keyboard-wise. And has always worked fine as far as I know. This includes the USB keyboard and the laptop keyboard.

3. Launch Firefox and visit, say, this page or GMail or any site really.

After a period of time, minutes or even up to an hour, suddenly any typing I perform in, say my Remote Desktop or in Word will just stop. For example, I type "the" and "the" doesn't enter in to Word or Remote Desktop or any other application that is running. All applications just stop accepting keyboard input. Any keys - letter or numbers or number pad numbers just don't register.

It will remain this way until the moment I close Firefox. The moment I do, all applications begin responding to keyboard input.

If I redo this scenario, it will occur again minutes or even an hour later.

Things I tried but didn't resolve this. I restarted my laptop before each attempt.

1. Searching here. 2. Reinstalling Firefox. 3. A new keyboard. 4. Use the laptop keyboard. 5. Visiting ONLY ONE page to see if it could be magically related to a specific web page, say GMail or a news site. 6. Searching the internet for "firefox keyboard stops working" which does have related hits with the most current that I've found being 2009. None of the things I found there or here seem to have helped.

The only thing that DID work was not using Firefox.

If I don't run Firefox the problem does not appear. The longest I've gone between restarts is 36 hours so I can't say "never", only that the problem hasn't appeared. I sometimes hibernate or sleep in those gaps. If I run Firefox, the problem will appear within one hour, which is what leads me to think the problem is somehow Firefox related.

Any ideas?

Thank you in advance!


Modified by RSloan

All Replies (9)

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It sounds like an issue with the CPU on your system.

When you have multiple processes running on your system and your CPU usage increases, you may experience moments where your keyboard is unresponsive. This is because all USB connected devices (including keyboards) requires a tiny bit of the CPU to process your keystrokes and other actions. If the CPU is being used to the maximum, your USB keyboard may not be able to access the CPU and will need to wait until it is no longer busy.

If possible, please try opening the Windows Task Manager and set it to always be on top. Do some browsing and other actions that would normally trigger the issue. When the issue occurs, look at the CPU reading on the Task Manager and record what percentage is being used.

If the CPU usage is abnormally high or at the maximum, then your CPU may be overloaded. If this is the case, you can try this Mozilla support article for some tips on how to reduce Firefox's CPU usage.

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Hi and thank you for responding.

The CPU remains flat between 3% and 9%, no spike spikes or unusual activity.

Whenever the problem happens, none of the other applications are affected in any way except loss of keyboard actions. Copy/Paste operations are fine, button handling fine, everything fine that doesn't require a keyboard.

Thank you for your time.

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Start Firefox in Safe Mode {web Link} by holding down the <Shift>
key, and then starting Firefox. A small dialog should appear. Click Start In Safe Mode (not Refresh).

Is the problem still there?

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Interesting.... in Safe Mode, the symptoms of lost keyboard do not appear. To your question, the problem seems to disappear in Safe Mode.

I wonder what the difference is. I haven't any extensions or add-ons. It's just vanilla Firefox.

Thank you for your time.

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Type about:preferences#advanced<Enter> in the address bar. Under Advanced, Select General. Look for and turn off Use Hardware Acceleration.

Type about:addons<enter> in the address bar to open the Add-ons Manager. Hot key; <Control>(Mac=<Command>) <Shift> A)

On the left side of the page, select Appearance. Then select Default.

Now restart Firefox.

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I did all that, restarted, but the problem persists in 'regular' mode.

However, in all this testing, I did narrow the scope of the problem to these small steps.

1. Restart Windows 10. 2. Launch a Remote Desktop session. 3. Launch Firefox.

After a while (as soon as 30 seconds, as long as 5 minutes), I lose my keyboard in my Remote Desktop session. It will only be given back to me if I exit Firefox.


Modified by RSloan

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Why are you using the 'Launch an Remote Desktop session ?'

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Because that is one place the keyboard reliably stops working when Firefox is running. And I'm in it all the time (I work remotely).

Thank you.

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I called for more help.

Perhaps something is wrong with that setup.

Perform a System File Check to fix corrupted system files Win 7, 8, 10, Vista: Win XP: