Disable Google Instant Search - gHacks Tech News

Disable Google Instant Search

Google Instant is being rolled out and will become available to users in select countries in the next few days.

The new feature displays search results while you are typing to speed things up for you.

As with every major change there are users who do not want to use the new feature. Some of the reasons for disabling Google Instant may be the additional bandwidth requirements, or that Google Search has become "to fast" for the eyes.

Whatever the reason, there are currently two options to turn off Google Instant. Both solutions are not perfect, but more about that later.

Update: The first option is no longer available.

The first option is probably the one that most Google users will prefer. The link "Instant is on" is displayed on search result pages. A click on that link opens a menu with the option to switch from Instant On (type to search) to Instant Off (press enter to search).

This writes a cookie to the user system that contains the information that Google Instant has been turned off. The problem with this approach? Google Instant will be back in action if the cookie is deleted on the system, or if another web browser is used where the cookie has not been set.

The second option has the same effect. This one however is accessible in the Settings by following the Settings link in the upper right corner of the screen. It appears as if users need to be logged into a Google account before the Google Instant setting becomes visible.

To disable Google Instant, you need to switch the setting from Use Google Instant - predictions and results appear while typing to do not use Google Instant. The effect seems to last, even after logging out of the account.

Update 2: The Google Instant preference is still available albeit slightly changed. You find three instead of just two options now under Google Instant predictions:

  1. Only when my computer is fast enough
  2. Always show Instant results.
  3. Never show Instant results.

google instant predictions

It is not clear why the setting becomes only available after logging in. This may have something to do with the roll out of the feature. The setting is cookie based as well. If the cookie is deleted Google Instant search is turned back on, regardless whether the user is logged into Google or not.

Please let us know if you found another way to disable Google Instant search.

Disable Google Instant Search
Article Name
Disable Google Instant Search
Find out how to turn off Google Instant predictions to block search results from being updated while you are still typing.

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    1. Chris said on September 8, 2010 at 10:47 pm

      “Please let us know if you found another way to disable Google Instant search.”

      Yes; I use Bing. ;)

      1. Joe Enos said on September 9, 2010 at 1:26 am

        Bing is one of my favorite ways to google…


    2. bf said on September 9, 2010 at 4:45 am

      I will wait for userscripts to come up with something.

    3. BalaC said on September 9, 2010 at 5:17 am

      I use search bar in my Firefox, so i guess i don’t have to worry about my bandwidth.

    4. tuna said on September 9, 2010 at 4:29 pm

      Remove Goog from NoScript whitelist. If you need maps or apps, temp allow Goog & Goog static as needed.

      1. Martin said on September 9, 2010 at 5:00 pm

        Ah you are right, everything that blocks JavaScript will block Google Instant search.

    5. Turko said on September 9, 2010 at 5:45 pm

      For those using Adblock Plus (Firefox) or Simple Adblock (IE) you can add the script to your personal blacklist.

    6. Scott said on September 9, 2010 at 7:49 pm

      Use Encrypted Google (https://encrypted.google.com).

      Also, if you use HTTPS Everywhere (https://www.eff.org/https-everywhere), you can set it to always default to Encrypted Google…

    7. adblock said on December 1, 2010 at 11:44 am

      Get AdBlock Plus. Block everything from this directory:


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