Disable Google Instant Search to Return to Old Google Search

   Posted by David Kirk in Google

I am a big fan of google’s new instant search. However, a lot of people do not like the change. This tutorial shows how to return to the old google search either temporarily or permanently. By turning Google’s instant search off, your old google search is safe and intact.

Wow. Several people have emailed me today wondering why the google search is jumping around and refreshing the screen automatically. Well, the new version of google search searches as you type.

I like the new search, but many people do not. If you want to disable instant search follow these directions:

Disable Instant Search Temporarily:

To the right of the search bar, just click Instant is on and click Off (press ENTER to search)

disable google instant search for a browser

This will disable instant search for your current browser.

Disable Instant Search Permanently:

1. Log into your google account
2. Visit your Google Preferences page
3. Down toward the bottom of the page, select Do not use Google Instant

Turn off google instant search in preferences

4. Then press the Save Preferences button


About David Kirk

David Kirk is one of the original founders of tech-recipes and is currently serving as editor-in-chief. Not only has he been crafting tutorials for over ten years, but in his other life he also enjoys taking care of critically ill patients as an ICU physician.
View more articles by David Kirk

The Conversation

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  • BobJ225

    This needs to be opt-in not opt-out. I don’t want to have to be logged into my google account to disable it and if you either don’t allow cookies or clear them regularly the first option is not a fix. When will google learn?

  • FreemonSandlewould

    Are you only getting 10 search results when you google ? Have you tried setting your number of search results on your search preference page a over and over again only to get 10 results?!

    The problem is someone at google massively goofed. They have a new thing called “Google Instant” that if it is clicked on your preference page no matter what you do you will only get 10 results!

    Now mind you they say google instant will save gobs of time. Except I just spent about 2 hours trying to find how to get 100 results per page! And to add insult to injury I did not select this setting. Google must have foisted it on me with no option flagged to me. AWFUL!

    Added Note: When I finally realized that the problem was not my computer and was indeed a problem engineered by google I thought that was the end of it. I could set my preference away from google instant and they would leave me alone.

    This is not the case. I woke up this morning and first query of the day what do I see? Only 10 results! So I open the search preferences page again and there it is! Google instant is selected again!

    Hey Google stop changing my search settings!

    No wonder you Google creeps like Obama. You are social engineers just like him! You should take note of his plummeting approval polls. This is not good for business! Stop fudging with my search settings!

  • Rl_junk2010

    They need an off button on the front page. I have had Google as my default web page for years because of the lack of garbage they do not put on it, this instant search is worses pecifically on lower end pcs/laptops. Today I just changed my default web page to Bing, sorry Google your loss.

  • Felecia

    this crap is only temperary, once you clean cookies, etc. instant search and search filter go back to doing there own thing!

    • Maurice777_7

      not if you do this:

      . Press the “Ctrl” and letter “N” keys to open a new Firefox browser window. Type “About:Config” in the address bar. Press the “Enter” key.

      2. Read the warning. Press the “I’ll Be Careful, I Promise!” button.

      3. Type “Firefox” in the blank field labeled “Filter.”

      4. Double-click on the following entry to open a dialog box: “general.useragent.extra.firefox.”

      5. Type “www.google.com” into the blank field. Click the “OK” button to close the dialog box. Exit out of the browser window.

      6. Open a new Firefox browser session and navigate to Google’s search engine page. Begin typing in search terms and notice that the “Instant Search” feature is disabled and not showing.

      • Qr

        totally worked. thanks!

      • Philotimo6

        Worked like a charm-thanks a lot!!!

  • Anonymous

    I’ve tried this 5 times now and it has not worked.

  • Guildj0

    I’m looking for a new browser. Google has gone off. The complex advanced boolean searches no longer work. Also, I normally disable cookies, so saving my preferences (to switch Instant off and to open links in new tabs) is no longer permanent. Each time you start a google session you now have to fiddle about doing routine setup tasks which should be automatic, or put up with the unwanted and disliked default settings..

  • ady

    I tried but not working. In search bar it was a little virtual keyboard .I want it back and I do not know how to do. In chrome there is an addons but in mozzilla I can not find