I’ve been noticing a problem in Firefox for a while now where the tab key will suddenly stop moving focus to links on the page. It will happen sometimes when I’m testing the keyboard experience of pages. It usually clears up with a restart of the browser, but that takes a while, and combined with the time taken noticing the problem, slows down my development flow.

So I found a better solution via Stack Overflow. Basically:

  1. Go to ‘about:config’ (as a URL)
  2. Add an accessibility.tabfocus preference of integer type. This doesn’t exist normally so you have to add one with a right-click and select ‘New’ -> ‘Integer’.
  3. Give it a value of 7

This forces the behavior, so it will ignore the system setting. But my system setting is almost always to navigate all controls.

The problem cleared itself immediately and hasn’t reappeared since.