How to Fix Arrow Keys Navigation Problem in Mozilla Firefox?

Today in this topic we are going to discuss a weird problem which is faced by Mozilla Firefox users. Normally when you are visiting a webpage and want to scroll up or down in the page, you can use arrow keys of your keyboard but sometimes when you are using Firefox web browser and try to use arrow keys to move up, down, left or right in the page, it doesn't scroll. Instead it moves the cursor character by character in the text of the webpage similar to what you see in a text editor such as Notepad or Microsoft Word. It looks like you are typing some text and moving left, right, up or down in the typed text. In fact you can see the typing cursor as shown in following screenshot:


It becomes quite irritating if you frequently use arrow keys to scroll in webpages. Recently an AskVG reader "Eric" also asked about the same problem. Here is what he posted in his comment:

VG there's something bothering me with Firefox, you see, a couple of days ago I noticed the cursor is acting differently as it used to be.

the cursor looks like when you are tying, now the problem is. I always use the arrow keys to scroll on pages but now with the cursor acting like that, it jumps to the end of the page and sometimes it doesn't work at all. How can I make the arrow keys work the way they used to?

So what to do? How to fix the problem and most important why does it happen?

Here is the answer! Actually this problem occurs when a built-in accessibility feature of Mozilla Firefox called "Caret Browsing" gets activated accidentally or by an add-on. You just need to turn the feature off to fix the issue.

If you are also facing this annoying problem and want to get rid of it, just follow these simple steps:

1. Open Firefox and click on Options present under Firefox Menu button.

2. Now go to "Advanced" tab and disable "Always use the cursor keys to navigate within pages" option present in "General" tab.


3. Apply the changes and your problem will be fixed.

Now you'll be able to scroll in a webpage using arrow keys without any problem.

Update: You can also toggle this option on/off quickly by pressing "F7" key. Thanks to our reader "Serge" for the tip...


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Posted in: Mozilla Firefox, Troubleshooting

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  • You can also toggle this feature on/off by pressing F7.

  • doesn't occur to me on firefox and chrome, but IE yeah sometimes... thx for the post

  • Hey nice article, you really helped me back then, Maybe I turned it on by pressing F7 without noticing it like Serge says. Well again thanks, I always find your site very useful.

  • OMG! This was irritating me. I knew it was something simple. I must have accidentally hit the f7 key. I like to read and it was becoming annoying when I use the arrow keys it jump straight to the bottom or top of the page. THANK YOU SO MUCH!

  • I accidentally turned on caret browsing. The cursor jumped to the address line and started to print h's I pressed f-7 again. the dialog box came up and I said no. the h's continued to scroll in the address line. It did the same when I opened Word and internet explorer? What is wrong?

  • Thank you for your tip! I was having the same problem with the arrow keys not working. But by following your fine directions I was able to once again scroll within web pages using the arrow keys. Thanks again.

  • thank you soo much , I 've not been using firefox for awhile due to this problem
    and I dont like any other browser !! thanks again

  • Thank you so much for making my life much better! Power to you!

  • Brilliant. How irritating when it happens and you have no idea why. Do a search with hopeful terms and this page comes top and fixes it.

  • Like descending into a cleansing spring. THANK YOU!

  • Thank you so much, it was so annoying, I even did a clean install of FF twice and the damn thing was still happening over and over and I was on the verge of changing web browser for for good.

  • tried it.....but still have the didn't fix it. Anybody have any ideas? using Windows 8,1 on an HP Envy

  • Same problem here. I have tried this and it works until I click on the page. After that it goes back to moving the cursor instead of scrolling...

  • Thank you so much. This problem had me thinking there was a virus on my computer. I went everywhere in the control panel and Firefox options mention and could find nothing that made sense. It is so weird. Why would they label that option "Always use cursor keys to navigate within pages." That only makes the cursor drop straight to the bottom of the page instead of navigating within the page which is what one would want to do. It should be labeled "Never use cursor keys to navigate within pages."

  • Firefox on my computer was recently upgraded to version 38.3 and this doesn't work. I can't disable caret browsing, regardless of settings, F7, google settings, etc.

    It is infuriating.

  • Doesn't work at all on some sites. Possibly inline frames or something..

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