Automatically close Firefox's find bar after inactivity

Martin Brinkmann
Aug 14, 2012
Updated • Aug 16, 2012
Firefox, Firefox add-ons

All web browsers support a find on page feature that you can use to to search for text on a web page that you are currently on. In Firefox, you simply press Ctrl-f or F3 to open the find on page toolbar at the bottom of the browser window and start typing. Firefox will automatically highlight the first instance of the text that you have entered provided that at least one instance of it is available on the web page.

You can then cycle through all instances of the text you have been searching for with the F3 key or Shift-F3. F3 will cycle through all hits from top to bottom, while Shift-F3 reverses the direction.

What you will also notice is that the find bar will be displayed on all tabs open in the same browser window so that you either need to close it manually with a click on the close button or by closing the Firefox window.

If you perform many find on page operations on a regular basis, you may be interested in a solution that automatically closes the Firefox find bar after a set amount of inactivity. Once you have installed Hide Find Bar, you will notice that the toolbar gets closed automatically after ten seconds of inactivity. The time only counts when the bar is not active.

If you think that the default time interval is too short or too long for your requirements, you can modify it in the add-on preferences. Enter about:add-ons in the address bar of Firefox to load the Add-ons Manager window. Locate Hide Find Bar here and click on the Options button.

Here you can change the interval, select to enable or disable the extension, and select whether you want a toolbar icon to appear in the browser's status bar if the add-on is disabled in the options. You can use the status bar icon to enable or disable it in this case.

The extension is fully compatible with recent versions of the browser, even though it has been abandoned by its author who complained about the lengthy review process and criteria put forth by different reviewers.

Update: Damirora pointed out that you can also use / to bring up the find form, and that it will auto close after a certain time of inactivity.


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  1. Damirora said on August 15, 2012 at 10:36 pm

    Aside from using the Escape Key to close the find text bar, if you use the “/ Key” to bring up QuickFind, it closes by itself after 5 seconds or so. An add-on isn’t required for this.
    Also, FFox’s wait duration can be changed in the about:config, I forget what you search for, but I’m sure someone will know it.

  2. Roman ShaRP said on August 14, 2012 at 9:03 pm

    Good useful add-on, I use it for a while.

  3. Ken Saunders said on August 14, 2012 at 8:47 pm

    That’s cool.

  4. Seban said on August 14, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    I love the setting in firefox \ options \ advanced \ general (or something like that, I’m using a non-english version) where you can enable search during typing. so while on a website you simply type the word you’re looking for and a searchbar similar to ctrl-f opens. with ctrl-g you can move forward to the next match. the bar closes by itself


  5. qgacqkrm said on August 14, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    You can get the add-on from Mozilla here:

  6. Yoav said on August 14, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    I think a link is missing to the addon.

    In any case, isn’t weird that ctl+f or f3 don’t hide the find bar?

    Thanks for the tip.

    1. cezi said on August 14, 2012 at 10:31 pm

      Escape closes find bar

      1. Martin Brinkmann said on August 14, 2012 at 10:55 pm

        You are right, great tip.

    2. Martin Brinkmann said on August 14, 2012 at 3:08 pm

      It likely seemed more important to let users jump quickly to all instances of text on a page. link has been added.

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