Google Instant not working in Firefox

Identifying the problem
Since a day or two I noticed that the auto-complete search field on Google was not working in Firefox (version 3.6.9 at least). Another problem that I was facing was that the Settings link was not working. Change background image was also missing (not that I ever use it).

My first intuition was that some plugin was updated and was causing the error. After disabling all the plugins and restarting firefox, the problem was still present. Some digging in the Error console in Firefox brought up the following error, which of course is causing all the unhappiness:

Error: uncaught exception: [Exception… “Security error” code: “1000” nsresult: “0x805303e8 (NS_ERROR_DOM_SECURITY_ERR)” location: “http://www.google.com/extern_js/f/CgJlbiswRTgBLCswWjgALCswDjgALCswFzgALCswJzgELCswPDgALCswUTgALCswWTgOLCswCjh_QC8sKzAWOAAsKzAZOCAsKzAhOD9AASwrMCU4z4gBLCswKjgLLCswKzgRLCswNTgELCswQDgTLCswQTgFLCswTjgGLCswVDgBLCswYzgALCswHThXLCswXDgXLCswGDgALCswJjgOLIACGZACGw/SdYmPxFHWrc.js Line: 114”]

So the problem is really with this Google script that you cannot do much about, but there is a workaround however that I will describe below.

Disabling DOM storage workaround
I came across a few pages [1][2] where the same problem is discussed and where a workaround is proposed. The solution is that you have to disable DOM storage in the configuration options in Firefox. You can do it as follows:

  1. Type in a new tab and open: about:config
  2. Then search for dom.storage.enabled and set it to true.
  3. Google instant should be working now.

Just auto-complete
If you just want auto-complete working again, you can visit the preferences page where you can select Do not use Google Instant as your preferred choice.

Note that Google instant is currently only working on google.com and not for example google.nl or any other country specific domain. So if you just use your countries domain, you can also avoid the problem.

Update
The error seems to be fixed now. It is now wise to switch the dom.storage back to false. πŸ™‚

Remove Google background image

Today I was surprised by the Google background image when I launched my browser. After I figured out that this was a permanent change, I immediately wanted to get rid of it and get to the minimalist style that I liked so much. Anyway, here are a few quick solutions to get the style back:

Update (14:30):

  • You can also disable javascript on the Google page.
  • Firefox users can use a Greasemonkey script that is nicely removing the background image. If you don’t heave Greasemonkey get it here.
  • In last case, you can just wait a few more hours since Google announced this is only a 24-hour promotion of their wallpaper future.

Update (19:09):

  • You can also block images on Google. In Firefox open the Google page: Right click on the background >> View page info >> Permissions >> Uncheck Use default and select Block. Et vΓ³ila. πŸ™‚
  • Firefox users (yes, again), can try to block the image with AdBlock Plus.

Update (19:24):

Update (19:30):

  • The Google background image is removed and everything is back to normal. πŸ˜€