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how to set focus of cursor to Web Page search box when opening a new tab

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  • Last reply by gbrew584

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I have been searching the internet changing about:config settings, and sifting through files for the past two day. But now I am totally at a loss what to do next. I'm hoping someone can help me find the original help article or tell me what setting I need to adjust to fix my problem. I have Firefox 45.0, Installed with the New Tab Homepage add-on. I use Bing as my Homepage and my web search provider. I am running windows 10.

My problem is: When I add a new tab, The new tab opens to my Homepage (Bing) and the cursor appears at the top of the page in Firefox's address/location/url bar. It just drives me crazy, because I can't just start typing my search string in Bing's search box. i have to click in Bing's search box before I can start typing in the box. There is probably a keyboard short cut I can use, but a keyboard short cut is not what I'm looking for.

When I first open Firefox, Bing appears and the cursor appears in Bing's Search Box (located in the middle of the page). But when I add a tab the cursors focus shift the to the new tab, and appears in the Address/location/url bar.

About 6 months ago I found an article that explained how to change a setting in the about:config area which would make the cursor move to the Bing's search box when a new tab was started. I used the information in the article to set up my laptop and home computer. It worked great. Anytime I opened a new tab the cursor would move straight to the webpage's search box.

Recently, I had to refresh Firefox on my desktop computer. After refreshing, the cursor will no longer move to the Homepage search box automatically. The cursors will only appear in the URL/address bar at the top of the page and it only moves to the homepage search box when I click in the box.

I forgot what line I had changed in about:config to get the cursor to go to the Bing's web page search box when a new tab is opened. I compared the config setting on my desktop and the laptop but I can't find anything that is set up differently.

If anyone knows what setting I need to adjust in about:config to get the cursor to go to the Homepage Websites search box, when a new tab is opened, I would appreciate it!!

Chosen solution

If there is a predefined preference for this, it should appear in about:config and start with extensions.

Alternately, I think this might be the only one that can move the focus into the page:

There is a somewhat distracting switch between loading the built-in new tab page and then loading your preferred replacement. To speed that up, first set the built-in page to show a blank page instead of tiles.

To set the URL of your desired page for the extension, you can click the Options button for the extension on the Add-ons page. Either:

  • Ctrl+Shift+a (Mac: Cmd+Shift+a)
  • "3-bar" menu button (or Tools menu) > Add-ons

In the left column, click Extensions. Then on the right side, find Custom New Tab and click its Options button. (This screen shot is a bit old, but gives the general idea.)

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Chosen Solution

If there is a predefined preference for this, it should appear in about:config and start with extensions.

Alternately, I think this might be the only one that can move the focus into the page:

There is a somewhat distracting switch between loading the built-in new tab page and then loading your preferred replacement. To speed that up, first set the built-in page to show a blank page instead of tiles.

To set the URL of your desired page for the extension, you can click the Options button for the extension on the Add-ons page. Either:

  • Ctrl+Shift+a (Mac: Cmd+Shift+a)
  • "3-bar" menu button (or Tools menu) > Add-ons

In the left column, click Extensions. Then on the right side, find Custom New Tab and click its Options button. (This screen shot is a bit old, but gives the general idea.)

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Okay, I installed the add-on you suggested and it didn't change anything. I disabled the New Tab Homepage add-on which I had previously installed and the Custom New Tab add-on worked. Thanks! for the tip the cursor now goes to the Homepage search bar.

Do you know of a way to produce the same results just using config? Like I mentioned before, my laptop goes to the homepage search bar every time, and I don't use the Custom New Tab add-on. In my laptop, I changed a setting in config to make the cursor go to the homepage but I don't remember what setting I changed. Is there anyway to find the setting?

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gbrew584 said

Do you know of a way to produce the same results just using config? Like I mentioned before, my laptop goes to the homepage search bar every time, and I don't use the Custom New Tab add-on. In my laptop, I changed a setting in config to make the cursor go to the homepage but I don't remember what setting I changed. Is there anyway to find the setting?

Hmm, you can sort the customized ("user set") settings to the top of the list in about:config by clicking the Status column heading (once or twice). But there are many to sort through, and I do not have a good guess as to what it is that you changed. You may need to compare the two "side by side" or screenshot-to-screenshot if they can't be brought into physical proximity.

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thanks again, for replying to my questions. I have been trying to find a way to compare the settings between the two computers but so far no luck. Thank you for taking the time to help. Have a good one.

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If you use a built-in about: page as the new tab page with an extension then the cursor might end up on the web page. I don't know if JavaScript used by a web page overrides this and is able to set the cursor to the search bar on the web page.

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cor-el - thanks for taking the time to answer my post. Sorry but I don't know very much about programing and i'm not sure how to use new tab with an extension? could you clarify for me?