Disable Ctrl+W (Close Tab Shortcut) / Restore a Closed Tab - Firefox 3

I don't know about you, but for me this shortcut is really frustrating, I never use it but I often hit it by mistake while typing something & lose everything I wrote.

The W key on my keyboard is next to the X & when trying sometimes to make Ctrl+X (shortcut for "cut"), I hit the Ctrl+W instead & here is (precious) irretrievable work gone.

Yesterday when this happened, I decided it will be the last time, so i went googling for a solution, & it happens to be again an add-on for Firefox 3,  it's called KeyConfig.

By the way if you didn't get Firefox yet you have no excuse do it now!, it's really the best web browser around!

How to use the plug-in?

Just install it, restart Firefox then go to Tools > Keyconfig, or use shortcut Ctrl+Shift+F12, a box will pop-up with the list of keyboard shortcuts, modify or deactivate the ones you want, I could have just changed the shortcut for tab close, but I really never use it, I just disabled.

OK, what about restoring a closed by mistake tab?

Hmm, for that there's a hidden keyboard shortcut on Firefox, I wouldn't have known about it if I didn't install Keyconfig & see it in the shortcuts list, the shortcut is Ctrl+Shift+T, it's great because even the text you type in fields & forms is restored with the tab, & you can hit the key combination several times to restore several tabs! I wish I knew before about it :'(

Happy restoring & again get FF3!!


  1. What kind of weird keyboard-layout is that? X next to W? Anyway, the ctrl-W function is actually really useful, especially together with TabMixPlus once you get used to working in 20+ tabs. I use it with ctrl-F12 (which brings back any and all closed tabs), couldn't live without it.

    Now ctrl-shift-W! That is a different story altogether. That closes down Firefox completely, which sucks. I accidentally click that one a few times a day. It's more of an annoyance than anything else, really. It's the solution for that problem that landed me on your site and lead to this little tirade. That is all. Bye!

  2. I always try to limit open tabs & to restore a closed tab I use Ctrl+Shift+T now.

    & yeah it's a french Keyboard, you can say it's weird :D

  3. Restoring a tab closed with Ctrl-W will not restore the text you typed in a form, for example in a mail client! It will restore only the form and some default text that the form applet put into the form.

    I hit the bloody Ctrl-W by mistake a couple times a day. In most cases a simple 'Undo Close Tab' is enough. Occasionally this leads to real disasters when you compose something for a long time, and when you are ready to send it, you hit Ctrl-W by mistake.

    Why on earth Firefox doesn't warn the user when closing a form with Ctrl-W ???

    This has been requested already in 2005, and precisely for self-obvious reasons. Nothing has been done with it.

    The gentleman who says that Ctrl-W is 'quite useful' is dead wrong: he is confusing the function with how it is implemented; anything that is so destructive must be by all means secure from execution by simple mistyping.

  4. Yes I guess for those javascript/ajax applications FF can't restore everything. I guess the simplest solution is to disable the shortcut, there are other ways to close tabs. Thanks for your addition :)

  5. I just got a new laptop May 09, with all the latest versions of everything. I'm using Internet Explorer as I type this. I type quickly, and normally accurately, however on my new laptop, and apparently, after researching and reading here, I'm realizing that it's the EXTREMELY ANNOYING keyboard shortcuts which are causing multiple problems as I type! Already since I've attempted typing this reply, my window has closed 4 times, making me lose everything I've thus far typed. Also, new windows have opened, and the Find window has opened a few times. This is not because I'm typing on an unusual keyboard, it's not because I'm accidentally hitting Ctrl + W instead of Ctrl + V, it's because I'm accidentally hitting keys at the same time in combinations that are causing these problems. I type about 50 - 65 wpm, I'm not making typos, so how am I hitting unwanted key combos?! I must just be slightly brushing two or more keys at once, even though these aren't resulting in misspelled words. Whatever is causing me to lose everything I've just spent time and energy typing, it's EXTREMELY FRUSTRATING!

    Again, it just happened again! I've lost half of what I've written, again, and now again! What the hell!

    If I'm understanding one of the entries above, I can disable Ctrl + W if I switch to Firefox? I'll try it! I've been faithful to Explorer for years, but screw this hellacious nightmare! I either return my new laptop, or get an external keyboard or drive over to Windows headquarters and protest until they give us a solution to delete Ctrl + W! In the meantime, I'll try Firefox.

    Thanks everyone!!

  6. HI, I was FRUSTRATED just reading your reply :D Really sorry for that.

    Firefox is a great browser & the ways to customize it are almost infinite due to its large community & all the add-ons developed for it, I think you will love it & hope it ends the nightmare for you! :)

    Thanks for your passage :)

  7. I'm trying to figure out how to disable this in Vista also. The problems occurs when I intend to
    type a capital W (shift + W) but accidentally hit the the Cntl key which is below the Shift. Arrrrg!!
    there has to be a way to remap this.

  8. I do the same as Steve. I feel deep anger each time I lose an email and despair at not having an option to disable this across Windows (but even then I wouldn't have the option on work PCs). It's almost worth prising off the left ctrl key for.
    Who invented this ill-thought-out standard that so many apps use now? It should be at least 3 keys needed to randomly trash something.

  9. I can't believe this :-( .....I'm on a typing tutorial website and whenever I try to capitalize th 'W' ..Bammo -i'm outta there, back to my homepage! I can't believe i'm getting punished for such a little mistake.
    I'm on a computer w/ internet explorer - ctl -shft -T doesn't work. I'll try control F12.


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