Firefox Scrolling Problem

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For future reference (in case I forget) and for anyone who might ever experience this particular problem: I've been wondering for the past several days why my Firefox browser wasn't allowing me to scroll down web pages with my spacebar the way it usually allows me to. I thought there might be something wrong with my keyboard, but the spacebar worked for inserting spaces. Then I realized I could see whether it was Firefox or something else by checking Internet Explorer. It worked fine for scrolling in IE. That meant it had to be some setting in Firefox or some setting elsewhere that would somehow affect Firefox but not IE. The former seemed much more likely.

So I looked through every option in the various menus Firefox has, and only two seemed to have to do with scrolling. Neither changed anything. I even looked through the help file to see if these two functions were supposed to do something that they weren't doing. No, they did things that were unrelated to my problem. In the process I did notice something else strange. It listed Page Up and Page Dn as moving to the top and bottom of a web page. They didn't do that. They moved to the end of whatever line I was on. That should have been a clue. A little later I noticed that when I clicked on parts of a page with no text the browser was acting as if I had clicked on a line with text. That was clue #2, and I reminded me of a menu option that I had dismissed as irrelevant, which turned out to be exactly the problem.

So here is the solution: Under Options, select the Advanced tab. Accessibility Options will appear. Under Accessibility Options, one choice says "Allow text to be selected with the keyboard". That option was checked. I unchecked it, and the problem was solved. Now I can use my spacebar to scroll down web pages.


Thanks for this. This had been driving me mad as well-wading through the options & the about:config file.
Easy when you know how!

thanks, your tha man

Very smart.

Thank you. My 3 year old nephew somehow managed to activate that checkbox from the keyboard... Don't ask me how it happened. He has a way of messing up computers by just one quick jab of his little hand. Anyway, your solution fixed the problem. So again, thaks a lot.

Thanks a bunch dude. This was driving me insane.

This has been driving me nuts forever. Thanks for the solution.

Another major headache solved. Thanks a bunch.

This must be a toddler problem - one of my toddler twins played with my keyboard and all of a sudden I couldn't scroll.

Thanks for the help!

thanks, my 9m old managed to do the same thing!

I don't seem to have that option, under Tools/Options/Advanced
I only have the following tabs:
General | Network | Update | Encryption

Later versions of Firefox work differently. I'm not sure the same issue arises in the current version, but other things might be causing the same problem.

In my current version of Firefox, the problem arises when the "use autoscrolling" option is checked and then doesn't occur when it's not. This is under Options: Advanced: General: Browsing.

Thank you very much, a great help of me. I spent two day struggeling two days with that.... thanks again buddy


I've had this problem for months, it's driving me crazy, I'm so glad I fixed it. I have the latest version of Firefox (I looked for the thing most likely to be it), here's where you get it:

Tools->Options->Advanced->General tab.

Uncheck "Always use the cursor keys to navigate within pages".

It should be fixed now. I'm so happy. :D

This is called "caret browsing". You can enable it or disable it by pressing F7 in Windows. No need to bring up the menus at all.


I must have done the same thing myself.

I have a lot to read these days, and I definitely need arrows to scroll instead of navigate thru text.


I know I hit the F7 mistakenly recently.

well spotted - thanks


THANK YOU!! OMG I enabled it when I was drunk, and now I love you

If you are using Firefox 3, it's slightly different. Tools > Options > Advanced > General tab > Accesibility section: Uncheck the option that says "Always use the cursor keys to navigate within pages". The other two checkboxes are also unchecked.


Brilliant Ta!
Read the first reply that lead me to it on a later version.
The last answer was the one I was about to type!!!!

Thankyou, this has been annoying me for a few days now! lol.

Thankyou so much, my stupid dog trod on the keyboard and managed to check that box somehow. It's been driving me mental.

Thank you so much!!! It has been doing my head in allllllllll day today and yesterday.

Thanks again.

Mark H

thanks a lot man. my firefox started doing this out of nowhere and it made scrolling painful.


wow thanks so much!! the most helpful 4 year year old thread ever!! I was about to punch my monitor in the neck this problem was pissing me off so badly.

Thanks a lot.

It works




fantastic, this has been helping people for 5 years, i just had this problem as well, seems like accidentally pressing F7 is to blame

Thanks this article solved my problem :)

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