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Fix Firefox Not Scrolling with Up/Down Arrow Keys or Home/End Keys

If you’ve encountered a problem where your Firefox installation no longer scrolls when you use the up or down arrow keys, and even the Home or End keys don’t work anymore, there’s an easy fix.

When this problem happens, you’ll notice that moving the arrow keys around just moves the cursor around the page. Annoying!

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The problem is because you tripped the Caret Browsing feature at some point, and accidentally hit Yes.

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To fix this, you can just hit the F7 key again. Or, if you want to do it the about:config way, filter by accessibility.browsewithcaret and make sure it’s set to false.

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Remember, you can double-click on any boolean value to toggle between true and false.

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 04/12/10

Comments (27)

  1. SquareWheel

    You’d have to be pretty inexperienced to switch on caret browsing accidentally.

  2. joe

    agreed. but i have had the problem sometimes when i just cant scroll with any of the keyboard keys. i dont think it was this….it happens quite frequently….

  3. ePastorJames

    You are my hero(ine)! Thank you. My grandmother, who’s improving on her skills, was checking her e-mail and accidentally hit something. She was afraid to say No, so she clicked Yes for Caret Browsing. She always uses the mouse, so it wasn’t until I got back on tonight that I noticed this flub.

    But I didn’t even know what it was called to Google it properly, so I’m lucky that I finally found your page. You’ve been bookmarked for the future!

  4. ePastorJames

    You are my hero(ine)! Thank you. My grandmother, who’s improving on her skills, was checking her e-mail and accidentally hit something. She was afraid to say No, so she clicked Yes for Caret Browsing. She always uses the mouse, so it wasn’t until I got back on tonight that I noticed this flub.

    I always use Home/End to scroll a page faster, especially on forums and blog comments, and the like. But I didn’t even know what it was called to Google it properly, so I’m lucky that I finally found your page. You’ve been bookmarked for the future!

  5. Jane

    Thank you so much! I am not an expert by any means, but I am not computer illiterate either, but when my cat walked/sat on my computer and I ended up with this issue, I was going CRAZY!

    You’re the best:)

  6. michael

    Thank you ! this works now i can scroll up/down using arrow keys again

  7. lasbor

    thank you so much for you,, i can fix this annoying thing now,, :D

  8. duncan

    I’m here because my FF stopped responding just now to the up and down cursor keys.

    They work now, I did nothing to change this, and since this has been an every now and then issue I’m certain it will return.

  9. tracey

    My arrow keys are not working at all and the fix described here didn’t fix it. None of the arrow keys work on FF4.0, They work only in Skype chat.

  10. lori

    Thanks! My husband left my laptop on the table and my 2 year old twins got to it. In the 20 seconds it took me to get the computer away from them, they had screwed up my key scroll!

  11. dman977

    The arrow keys, home/end keys, the Home/End keys, and the Tab key does not work and caret browsing is not to blame. What is wrong?!?!

  12. Just what the doctor ordered

    “You’d have to be pretty inexperienced to switch on caret browsing accidentally.”

    Or maybe your finger brushed F7 by accident just as you were hitting enter, and you saw a brief glimpse of a dialog box but didn’t know what you did!

    Thanks for the post.

    Just what the doctor ordered

  13. party boy

    thank you so so much…this has been bugging me for long time.

  14. cary392

    Thank you so much. I have been wondering for the longest time why I am not able to scroll up and down in my browser. I always believed I had a virus. This helped so much. Thank you again.

  15. caswanson0

    My cat also turned it on, then I noticed the catnip charged to my account ;-)

  16. jim

    exactly what i needed

    completely forgot that i accidentally turned cabaret browsing on, which was causing it

  17. wow

    awesome .. this is what i was looking for … i was tired of not being able to use up and down arrows … i pressed f7 and viola .. everything is back to how it should be … this should have been documented better by firefox .. or atleast more info … thanks again ..

  18. Stephen

    Thank you so much for this fix. I work with computers and yet this totally perplexed me. I thought it was a result of upgrading to latest Firefox and so put it on the long finger to look for a fix.
    Then I was googleing other stuff and googled this and Voila a simple F7 keystroke did it.
    At no time in the past was I asked about accepting the caret browsing or I would have probably said no so somehow I accidently switched it on.
    Many thanks for this post.

  19. Merete

    I just joined your fan club: Now I’m scrolling away again!

  20. jp

    yessssssssss. 7 month old walked over the keyboard and it was all over

  21. Iain

    Ta, 16 month old pressing keys randomly caused this for me :( Now I still need to get the mouse scroll wheel working again in Firefox…

  22. denise

    I cant thank you enough for posting this. I’ve been dealing with the arrow keys not working for 3 years and just thought that was the way they worked.. today i thought i’d google the problem, and here i am. Happier than ever!

  23. Earl

    >>You’d have to be pretty inexperienced to switch on caret browsing accidentally.<<

    Or an imperfect typist. Or, as in my case, the keyboard could have been pre-configured with carat browsing switched on right out of the box.

  24. Smi

    Nope,
    Using Nightly 10.0a1 and caret is disabled. Yet, whenever using the down-arrow to select the next suggestion in the address bar, it jumps to the very end of the list.
    Am I missing something?

  25. Tony Payne

    I rebooted FF8.0 (Beta) this morning and I have the same problem with the scroll keys.
    It doesn’t seem to be the Caret issue, and as well as the scroll keys not working, Home/End/Arrows don’t work when editing a text box, all of which is really frustrating.

  26. David

    I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen that caret browsing prompt, but one way or another caret browsing did get switched on. It was off until recently.

    You rock! Thank you!

  27. Sue

    The cursor is not working in Firefox using Yahoo calendar or Facebook. It does, however, work in IE or Chrome. Anyone have any ideas? It’s not the F7 key – I’ve changed that numerous times…

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