Solution to Firefox 3.0.8 Search Bar Bug – Enter Not Working

A long time ago, back when I used Firefox 1.5 the enter key stopped working in all forms. I had to use shift-enter to submit and get new lines. Back then I was a little less geeky and I just reinstalled and faced the loss of all my extension and bookmarks. Well it happened again recently, but this time with 3.0.8 and only for the Firefox search bar and I wasn’t so keen to throw in the towel this time.

Always backup your profile folder before trying anything with the files. You have been warned!

After looking around I found various mentions of this bug, but never a fix that worked for me. I had been poking around in my profile folder quite a lot and decided (after making a backup) that changing various files names and restarting might get me a solution. Well you never know what will happen do you!

There is a file called ‘formhistory.sqlite’ in your firefox profile folder. How to find your Firefox Profile Folder.

I quit Firefox, changed the file name to formhistory.sqlite.bak and started her back up. Everything worked fine, except I had obviously lost all my form suggestions. So I quit again, deleted the newly created formhistory.sqlite and renamed my backup to remove the .bak extension. After starting back up everything is now back to normal.

I guess Firefox just needed a quick shove. Phew.

I have also heard that a similar bug can be fixed by following very similar steps using the search.sqlite file.


  1. solution that works! Thanks !

  2. Thanks for this solution. It worked for me on Firefox 3.6.

  3. After MONTHS of frustration…PROBLEM SOLVED!!!! Thank you.

  4. This is still a problem, months later, with new versions of Firefox. But your solutions works perfectly. Thank-you!

  5. Oooohh yes! You provided the right hint. In my case it was a screwed up ‘permissions.sqlite’ file that prevented a single (but frequently used) web page search button from working in Firefox 3.6.26, even the left mouse click has no longer worked. This was so nasty. Fixed now. Thanks a bunch, man!