How to Navigate Browsers Without a Mouse or Touchpad


Imagine that you are clicking away in you favorite browser visiting links, reading a few sentences here, looking at some pictures there. And then, all of a sudden, your mouse or touchpad stops working. You click, you tap, but nothing happens. Can you still continue browsing?

The answer is — yes.

You keyboard can easily replace your mouse or touchpad. Of course, you want to repair your mouse or touchpad, too. But in the meantime, here are a few keyboard shortcuts that might come handy.

Opening and Closing

To open a new tab, press Ctrl+T.

To close the tab currently in focus, press Ctrl+W.

To close all open tabs at once, press Ctrl+F4 in Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome, Alt+F4 in Internet Explorer.

Switching Tabs

To switch tabs, press Ctrl+PageUp. This keyboard shortcut will switch focus from the current tab to the tab to the right to it. Ctrl+Tab achieves the same goal.

To switch to the tab to the left of the current tab, press Ctrl+PageDown.

Both Ctrl+Home and Ctrl+1 switch to the first tab.

Both Ctrl+End and Ctrl+9 switch to the last tab.

If you have multiple tabs open, you can use Ctrl+Number. You can use the numbers 1 to 8 to switch to one of the first eight open tabs. If you have more than nine tabs open, you have to press Ctrl+PageUp to go further up.


The arrow keys move a page up or down by one line at a time.

To scroll down faster on a page, press PageDown or the Spacebar.

To scroll up faster, press PageUp or Shift+Spacebar.

To jump to the beginning of a page, press Home. To jump to the end of a page, press End.


To go to your preset home page — the page that automatically opens when you launch your browser, press Alt+Home.

To go back one page, press Alt+Left Arrow. To go one page forward, press Alt+Right Arrow.

To reload the current page, press F5.

To jump from one link to another, press Tab. To open the link currently in focus, press Enter. This opens the link in the current tab. To open the link in a new tab, press Ctrl+Enter.


To search on a page, press Ctrl+F. To find the next instance of the same search item, press F3. To search for the previous instance of the item, press Shift+F3.

Bookmarking and History

Press Ctrl+Shift+D to bookmark all open tabs at once. Ctrl+D bookmarks only the tab currently in focus.

Ctrl+B shows and hides the list of your bookmarks in the sidebar. Ctrl+Shift+B opens and closes the Library window focused on your bookmarks.

Similarly, to show or hide the list of items in your history in the sidebar, press Ctrl+H. Ctrl+Shift+H opens and closes the Library window focused on your history.

Final Thoughts

All of the keyboard shortcuts mentioned above work in Mozilla Firefox.

Almost all of them work in Google Chrome, too. There are some exceptions, though. Ctrl+B and Ctrl+Shift+H don’t do anything. Press Ctrl+Shift+O to bring up the Bookmark Manager.

The list of keyboard shortcuts not working in Internet Explorer is considerably longer: Ctrl+PageUp, Ctrl+PageDown, Ctrl+Number, Ctrl+Home, Ctrl+End, F3, and Shift+F3.

Also, Ctrl+Shift+D immediately bookmarks (or “favorites”) the current tab.

Internet Explorer has one extra keyboard shortcut that I like — Ctrl+K which duplicates the current tab into a new one.

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