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While I do appreciate numerous Google search innovations and I have previously reviewed some great features including uses of Google Suggest 9 Cool Uses For Google Suggest That You Probably Didn't Think Of 9 Cool Uses For Google Suggest That You Probably Didn't Think Of Read More and some cool interpretations of Google Instant for YouTube 3 Websites To Enjoy A YouTube Instant Experience 3 Websites To Enjoy A YouTube Instant Experience Read More , I do believe people need to have a choice.

Google is well-known for making it hard for people to opt out of some of its new features. Even if there seems to be a way to disable some new options Google introduces, they are not permanent.

This post summarizes some non-official ways to permanently disable Google’s hot new features: Google Instant, Google Instant Preview and (not really a new one) Google Suggest.

1. Disable Google Suggest

Disable Google Suggest

Since the introduction of Google Instant, Google has removed the option to disable search suggestions – now it’s a default feature that can’t be turned off. Unless you make some effort.

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Here are a few ways to disable Google Suggest (none of them are perfect and all of them naturally disable Google Instant as well).

Change Your Default Browser Home Page

There are still a few Google search landing pages that have Google Suggest disabled:

  • complete=0 URL parameter disables suggestions. You can use it with your local search as well: http://www.google.com/webhp?complete=0 / http://www.google.co.uk/webhp?complete=0 / etc
  • http://www.google.com/m – Google interface for mobile devices;
  • https://encrypted.google.com/ – Google Search that uses SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) – this interface has no Google Instant feature and still has an option allowing you to disable suggestions:

Disable Google Suggest

FireFox

One of the following methods might work for you:

  • Install AdBlock Plus and block everything from this directory:
    http://www.google.com/extern_js/
  • Install YesScript or NoScript addon and blacklist Google (this will disable Javascript throughout the site for you).
  • Install this Greasemonkey script (Note: you’ll have to modify the script to work for your local Google version. Navigate Tools -> Greasemonkey -> Manage User Scripts, select the script in the list and click “Add” next to “Included Pages” field. There, provide your Google URL, for example http://www.google.com/*)
  • Another possible fix is to modify general.useragent.extra.firefox in about:config for Google not to recognize you as a FireFox user (this is a widely suggested fix). To learn why this might be a bad fix for the problem, check out this forum thread.

Google Chrome

With Google Chrome things are much more complex:

There’s no good way to selectively block Javascript on some sites (you can read this post and this thread for more details). I’ve been browsing around and found this extension called NotScripts that did disable Google Suggest in Google Chrome for me (note: I haven’t used the extension long enough to figure its limitations though but it did work for my main purpose).

If you are aware of other better ways to disable Google Suggest in Google Chrome, please comment!

2. Disable Google Instant

(Without disabling Google Suggest).

Disable Google Instant

I for one don’t really like the feature and prefer to have it mostly disabled. We seem to have a clear-cut way to disable the new feature, however if you try using it, you’ll notice Google Instant reappear regularly (once your browser clears its cookies or you log out and log into Google again).

FireFox

To permanently disable Google Instant, I use this FireFox addon that remembers my Google preferences while I can freely log in and log out (other options of the addon can be disabled). The addon won’t help if you clear the browser cookies though.

All other suggested methods you are likely to stumble across if you search for ways to disable Google Instant, also disable Google Suggest – so to get the (more or less) complete list of them, refer to the above section of this article.

Google Chrome

I wasn’t able to find a way to permanently disable Google Instant while still keeping Google Suggest in Chrome, so you are likely to have to get rid of both the features if you really don’t want to use Google Instant (again, refer to the above section).

Disable Google Instant Preview

Disable Google Preview

AdBlock Plus mentioned above can block Google Instant Preview Google Launches Instant Preview To Make Searching Easier [News] Google Launches Instant Preview To Make Searching Easier [News] Read More as well. All you need to do is to add the following filters in the addon preferences:

google.com##.vspi
google.com##.vspib
google.com###vspb

Hat tip to Lifehacker.

This Greasemonkey script also disables the Live Preview but it will keep the magnifying glass (which won’t work though).

Have you had any of the above Google features disabled? Please share your tips and tricks!

  1. Rskeats
    January 3, 2016 at 7:51 pm

    I have found a solution now that they have forced Suggest on https://www.google.co.uk/webhp?complete=0

    Install adblock:

    Add these to your filter list:

    google.co.uk###sbse0
    google.co.uk###sbse1
    google.co.uk###sbse2
    google.co.uk###sbse3
    google.co.uk###sbse4
    google.co.uk###sbse5
    google.co.uk###sbse6
    google.co.uk###sbse7
    google.co.uk###sbse8
    google.co.uk###sbse9

    Unfortunately I am still looking at what elements to block with Google news.

    Also read about how arrogant Google staff are about this issue:

    https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!mydiscussions/websearch/txs-AJDSZmM

    They have merged all the complaints to one thread and locked it despite the issue still going on. They are trying to keep this quiet and silence the issue.

  2. prasanth
    May 8, 2015 at 8:58 am

    i have idea for an set of website......but i don;t have any money..how can i start my web site....plz tell me

  3. dashesy
    March 5, 2011 at 10:08 pm

    Great article, how much I hated this stupid instant and instant preview. Both are really buggy and slow and useless.
    I just wish I could keep the Google suggest but get rid of the instant.

  4. dashesy
    March 5, 2011 at 11:08 pm

    Great article, how much I hated this stupid instant and instant preview. Both are really buggy and slow and useless.
    I just wish I could keep the Google suggest but get rid of the instant.

  5. Ann Smarty
    January 3, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    Thanks, Paul!
    I did mention the tip in the article and linked to the thread discussing it:
    http://forums.mozillazine.org/...

  6. Paul Reibold
    January 3, 2011 at 10:33 am

    A SOLUTION for Firefox users:

    #1
    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.

  7. Paul Reibold
    January 3, 2011 at 11:33 am

    A SOLUTION for Firefox users:

    #1
    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 "http://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.

  8. Devin G Rhode
    January 2, 2011 at 11:12 am

    Or you can just open the site to the right! fly through results instead! Sweet search keeps your google results on the left and loads them on the right. http://bit.ly/searchkrack

  9. Devin G Rhode
    January 2, 2011 at 10:12 am

    Or you can just open the site to the right! fly through results instead! Sweet search keeps your google results on the left and loads them on the right. http://bit.ly/searchkrack

    • Ann Smarty
      January 3, 2011 at 9:33 am

      Thanks! I'll check it out!

  10. scarves
    December 31, 2010 at 9:09 am

    Scarves Scarves
    It's funny, but this blog has literally changed my life

  11. Hawk44Gent
    December 25, 2010 at 2:43 am

    I'm a Firefox 3.6.6 user. I am very pleased to have been able to disable both the Google Instant & Suggest. Annoying they were. I changed my Google home page to Encrypted Google and added the 3 filters mentioned above into the preferences in my AdBlock.

    The tips are appreciated :-)

    • Ann Smarty
      December 25, 2010 at 8:29 am

      Great to he we were some help! Thanks for stopping by to comment!

      • Mantonin6
        January 2, 2011 at 6:20 pm

        Ack, it's stopped working for me! It worked like a dream for a week and a half. What's going on?

  12. Hawk44Gent
    December 25, 2010 at 3:43 am

    I'm a Firefox 3.6.6 user. I am very pleased to have been able to disable both the Google Instant & Suggest. Annoying they were. I changed my Google home page to Encrypted Google and added the 3 filters mentioned above into the preferences in my AdBlock.

    The tips are appreciated :-)

  13. Hangdawg
    December 24, 2010 at 2:52 pm

    thanks great tips

  14. Ann Smarty
    December 22, 2010 at 6:33 pm

    Fully agree with that, Barry! The only two things I can say in my defense is that (1) I not always search to analyze (when I am analyzing, I am using a new FireFox profile with clean search history, no addons and scripts) and (2) this was post meant not (only) for marketers (I write those as well!) :)

    Thanks for stopping by!

  15. Barry Adams
    December 22, 2010 at 11:24 am

    Hi Ann, good tips but I'm not sure it's a good idea for SEO and PPC people to disable these default Google functions. I'm a firm believer of analysing the query space that you're working in, which means you need to see what the average user sees and experience the same user experience. By disabling these features, where most users will always have them enabled, you're limiting your perspective on what's happening on Google SERPs and may miss some vital insights somewhere down the line....

    • Ann Smarty
      December 22, 2010 at 5:33 pm

      Fully agree with that, Barry! The only two things I can say in my defense is that (1) I not always search to analyze (when I am analyzing, I am using a new FireFox profile with clean search history, no addons and scripts) and (2) this was post meant not (only) for marketers (I write those as well!) :)

      Thanks for stopping by!

  16. Dr Robert Dsouza
    December 21, 2010 at 4:26 am

    I use google chrome browser.. I type the queries in the url type bar. Hence I indirectly do not use google instant..

    • Ann Smarty
      December 21, 2010 at 8:04 am

      Yes, these tips are only needed if you use Google's interface to search.

  17. Mark
    December 20, 2010 at 9:34 pm

    Instant is cool! Not turning it off!

    • Ann Smarty
      December 21, 2010 at 8:05 am

      No need to if you like it! :)

  18. Anonymous
    December 20, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    Here's another reason to turn off Google Instant: it disables the setting to show more than 10 results per page (in Google Search results). For those who long changed that to a higher number, you may have wondered why it "suddenly" changed back to 10 and you couldn't modify it anymore. The new Instant Search feature is why, so turning it off is the answer. But note that you have to first turn it off, and save that, and THEN you can change the number of results. You can't do both on the page at once.

    I discuss this need to turn off Instant Search as an update to a blog entry I'd done a long time ago on changing the number of results shown, which many miss. See:
    http://www.carehart.org/blog/client/index.cfm/2009/3/9/see_more_google_results

    • Aibek
      December 22, 2010 at 10:14 am

      thanks for heads up on the number of search results. I wonder why it makes a difference too them, why can't the person keep say 30 results on a page regardless of whether the instant is on or off.

    • Ann Smarty
      December 22, 2010 at 11:13 am

      Yes, the number of results limit is the main reason why I prefer to keep Instant off

  19. carehart
    December 20, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    Here's another reason to turn off Google Instant: it disables the setting to show more than 10 results per page (in Google Search results). For those who long changed that to a higher number, you may have wondered why it "suddenly" changed back to 10 and you couldn't modify it anymore. The new Instant Search feature is why, so turning it off is the answer. But note that you have to first turn it off, and save that, and THEN you can change the number of results. You can't do both on the page at once.

    I discuss this need to turn off Instant Search as an update to a blog entry I'd done a long time ago on changing the number of results shown, which many miss. See:
    http://www.carehart.org/blog/c...

  20. Chris
    December 20, 2010 at 2:09 pm

    Can't stand instant, I'm going to try and turn it off. Thanks for the tips

    • Ann Smarty
      December 20, 2010 at 3:00 pm

      Hey Chris, if you come up with more ways to turn it off, please share them here!

  21. Mel Webads
    December 19, 2010 at 4:15 am

    I really don’t want to use Google Instant but I can’t turn it off now especially I am using Chrome. I guess I just have to make use of it somehow until I found a way to disable it.

    • Sudarshan Bhat
      December 19, 2010 at 4:24 am

      there is a simple button next to google's search bar to switch instant on/off.

      • Ann Smarty
        December 20, 2010 at 3:01 pm

        Yes, but that button will hardly disable the feature permanently. You are most likely to see Instant back again and again.

      • Retrograde62
        January 1, 2011 at 9:32 am

        Yes, there is that button. However, after a period of time, "instant" turns itself back on and you have to turn it off again.

  22. Mel Webads
    December 19, 2010 at 5:15 am

    I really don’t want to use Google Instant but I can’t turn it off now especially I am using Chrome. I guess I just have to make use of it somehow until I found a way to disable it.

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