How to Fix Firefox Typing Backwards
This article discusses how to fix a frustrating bug with the Firefox internet browser, where what you type comes out in reverse, with the characters appearing on the screen from right to left.
Has everything you type suddenly started to come out backwards? Normally, when you type something in the address bar or search box, such as an internet address or other text, the characters or letters should appear from left to right. Sometimes, for no apparent reason, everything you type comes out in reverse.
For example, let's say you want to do an internet search on Google. Normally you would type Google's URL in the address bar of your browser like so:
But all of a sudden everything you type comes out backwards like this:
What the is going on? Why is Firefox Typing Backwards?! Why are all the words coming out in reverse?
A Video of Firefox Acting Weird
Is it a Virus Making Your Keyboard Type Right to Left?
Do You Have a Virus?
When this happened to me the other day, my first thought was that my computer had picked up a virus. But my virus program is up to date and it did not detect anything. Also, I noticed that the backwards typing only affected the Firefox browser. I could type normally using a text editor such as Microsoft Word or my old version of Microsoft Internet Explorer. Who would have thought that Explorer would come in useful. Without it I would not have been able to troubleshoot the issue.
Turns out the problem is not caused by a virus or any malware. It's just a glitch in Firefox caused by running Java. This simple explanation took me hours to figure out so I thought I would share this with you to make life easier for you if it happens to you.
How to Fix the Firefox Typing Backwards Problem
Your Firefox browser is the culprit. Exiting the browser or even rebooting the computer will not fix the problem. The reason is that the program has gotten stuck on some bad Java code and even when you exit the browser, there is a copy of it running in the background that you do not see. When you start the browser up again, the problem is still there because actually you never really exited the program and so never stopped it executing the bad Java code.
What you need to do is manually shut down all versions of Firefox that may be running in the background. This include shutting down any other programs published by Mozilla, the organization that puts out the Firefox internet browser. The instructions below assume that you are running some form of Windows such as Vista or Windows 7 or Windows XP as your operating system. If you are using a Mac I am sorry but I can't help you.
This is what you do:
- Close your Firefox browser.
- Press down on the Crtl - Alt - Delete keys at the same time.
- Pressing on all three keys at the same time will bring up a pop up window that has the heading "Windows Task Manager"
- At the top of the window there will be a navigation menu with tabs. Click on the one that says "Processes"
- When you click on the "Processes" window you will see a list of the programs that are currently running on your computer. You will not recognize most of them. Don't worry, it doesn't matter.
- Do you see a program running called Firefox.exe?
- If so, use your mouse to select the Firefox.exe program and click on it once. The firefox.exe line should now be highlighted or have a blue background.
- At the bottom of t he pop up window you are looking at you should see a button that reads: "End Process". Click on it.
- In a minute or so, the firefox.exe entry in the list of processes should disappear.
- When firefox.exe disappears from the pop up window, start your firefox browser back up.
- When firefox starts up again it will give you the option of recovering the tabs that you have closed. Say no.
- Try typing an internet address in the navigation bar at the top of the browser. For example try going to Google. If you can get to Google, then try typing a search. If the text comes out normal, the problem has been fixed.
If this did not fix the problem it could be because you are using other Mozilla programs, such as Thunderbird. Try the above instructions but this time shut down thunderbird.exe
Mozilla seems to have fixed this problem, and people using the latest version of Firefox don't seem to be experiencing their typing coming out backwards. However anyone using older versions of the browser may still experience reverse typing so this tutorial remains useful.
I hope that you found this article on how to fix your keyboard typing backwards useful. Please feel free to link to this article [http://hubpages.com/hub/Firefox-Typing-Backwards] . See my other articles.
George on April 18, 2019:
April 18 and it still does it (2019)
elizabeth on July 07, 2012:
Need help my broswer is typing backwards
Robert P (author) from Canada on June 05, 2012:
I am sorry but I have not encountered this problem in Explorer.
C. J. McCall on June 05, 2012:
I have had the same problem of typing right to left and have never used firefox. I have always used Internet Explorer. It comea and goes. Sometimes if I just close program and restart it goes away. Sometimes I have to shutdown completely. Any ideas??
Robert P (author) from Canada on March 26, 2012:
@J - That is very funny. But follow the instructions in this article and hopefully your browser will not be typing backwards any more. :)
J on March 26, 2012:
...oot sdrawkcab gnipyt si resworb yM
Robert P (author) from Canada on February 21, 2012:
Hi Rebecca - your problem seems different than the one I experienced. For me, firefox typed backwards but at there was no jumbling of letters or substitution of numbers for letters. This may be a new bug all together. I will look into this and if I can find a fix, I will post something new. The good news is that if this is only affecting firefox, it is probably a bug with the program and not a virus. One thing you could try is to disable all of your add ons in firefox as sometimes they cause compatibility issues.
Rebecca on February 20, 2012:
Solution only seemed to help intermittently with me. It'd work, then it would stop working. And I can't say for sure that my problem is that it's typing backwards -- but I get jibberish. I start typing at speed, and it's as if the curser can't keep up, and then it starts sputtering jibberish. Sometimes I'm typing letter keys and getting numbers. Often it just repeats a letter over and over again. It ONLY does it in firefox. IE is fine, and so are my other text writing programs. It has the most trouble in facebook and gmail -- but anywhere there is a text box it can have trouble. I tried the solution above even though mine isn't going backwards exactly and it did seem to correct the problem for a few minutes. I'm wondering if it's Java -- if a clean install of Java and firefox might not solve the problem permanently. My roommate is now reporting the issue as well. But we've shared no data between the two, and anti-virus is coming up clean.
frogyfish from Central United States of America on October 09, 2011:
I use Firefox and haven't had this problem...yet. My recent upgrade did disable a Jave 'something', so maybe they fixed the glitch...? Thank you for this tip!
Mark on August 05, 2011:
Sorry - it doesn't resolve it for everyone.
I also did a clean install of Win7. But it began affecting me DURING the install! Scroll boxes scroll on their own.
Drop down selections change on their own. And, of course, the backwards typing.
Yes, it's across multiple browsers and applications - NOT just Firefox.
Could this be in the BIOS????? Just guessing at this point.
Would love to learn if anyone has further information.
Robert P (author) from Canada on June 22, 2011:
Sorry Elsje, I have never used Safari for Mac so I am not sure what might be causing the problem in your case.
Elsje on June 22, 2011:
Hi, any ideas about this bug in Safari for Mac? The trouble I have looks exactly as what you describe...
thxa on May 09, 2011:
thx so much
Sukizar on April 21, 2011:
This was so helpful! Thank you so much for this
mae ann on February 03, 2011:
many thanks!it helps a lot
Priya on February 01, 2011:
This resolved my issue.
Venus Smurf on December 17, 2010:
Thank you! I'm challenged when it comes to computers, and this was both very idiot friendly and effective. Problem solved.
J on December 12, 2010:
SAME PROBLEM IN IE . WILL TRY
Robert P (author) from Canada on November 22, 2010:
@whistleblowerdr - sorry that this hasn't worked for me. the instructions are based on what fixed my problem and most people who have followed them report that it fixed their problem - make sure that you do not have a copy of firefox.exe running in the background. Sometimes you can close the on browser but the program keeps running and you must close all copies for this to work.
whistleblowerdr on November 22, 2010:
this did not help the reverse writing. I am now typing from internet explorer.
Jennifer Millan-Munoz on October 17, 2010:
OMG...TOTALLY 'saved' me...I had an assignment (college) that needed to be submitted on=line...and THIS backward thing happened!! I searched the internet hopeing for a solution (quick) to this problem...and THIS article appeared..Thannk you thank you---IT cleared it up!!
Robert P (author) from Canada on October 13, 2010:
@WM - good point. I had not considered the cause of what is making Firefox type backwards. But it is significant I think that the text on the screen does not change, it's just what you type on your own browser. Whatever the cause, I hope that my fix works for anyone else who has experienced this problem.
wm on October 13, 2010:
It's quite possible that something enabled Firefox's right-to-left language support, which works to make languages like Hebrew and Arabic legible.
kbricked on August 06, 2010:
ha! well said.
sheena on June 10, 2010:
stun em gnivird saw siht hcum os uoy knaht
Greg on May 23, 2010:
I was able to fix this by killing the 'ghost' ff, which I did because when I exited FF and started it again, it told me there was another FF running already that it couldn't connect to. This is not that unusual and the way you fix it is to kill the other process as described. It is possible in some cases that the new FF could connect to the 'ghost' one, so the fix wouldn't be so obvious in that case. If you actually shut the machine down (not hibernate, shut down!) it should have the same effect since that kills everything. If this doesn't work for you, then the above instructions probably won't help either, and maybe reinstalling FF will help.
san on March 04, 2010:
thank u man
Careytran on February 23, 2010:
Your information is very helpful for me. Thanks a lot.
L.L.L. on January 06, 2010:
Thank you for taking the time to post this information!
L & L
Xander on December 11, 2009:
Thanks man, I was freaking out, I had just started downloading an adobe trial, which uses a Java enviroment to download it. Sounds like you are right, and I will do as you suggest as soon as it's finished dl'ing. Typing in notepad :P
Robert P (author) from Canada on November 30, 2009:
John, I am sorry to hear that these suggestions did not work for you. I was able to fix my problem with Firefox typing backwards using the above instructions. Perhaps your problem is caused by something else. But in most cases the backwards typing can be fixed as set out above.
john on November 29, 2009:
That won't fix it. or will fix it only temporarily.
I did a clean install because of this bug. I thought it was a virus. I searched high and low for a fix. none of the suggestions worked. It infected Ie also as well as my entire computer.
everytime I used it, it would happen again after I uninstalled firefox and reinstalled it it got worse.
do you know what a pain in the a, a clean install is?
I have spent so far two days reinstalling various softwares.
I only just reinstalled the virus posing as a browser and it started up again in a less than 60 seconds.
originally I loved foxfire mostly because of adblock extension. and now my monitor appearance is screwed up. Yes I have tried to fix it using the control panel.
I should have my laptop fixed as it was before firefox and send mozilla the bill. Fat Chance
iqbal88 on November 05, 2009:
linda gray on October 25, 2009:
How thoughtful of you to help out your fellow Firefox users