Every time I need to search something when navigating with my mobile phone, I end up googling it because I can't search in SO. Since there is no visible "search" button, I just can enter the text in the box, and I cannot fire the search.


Is my thought correct? Is there any workaround? Could this be considered?


As a reminder, you don't need a big ugly <button> that says "Search" redundantly to add a search button to the field.

Here's how Twitter uses a little, recognizable icon as a search button and reinforcement that this is a search field:

enter image description here

  • 1
    +1, I think this is a great, non-cluttered way to solve this problem for people with weird browsers or other accessibility issues. And hopefully it's fairly simple from a technical standpoint, as well. Jul 10 '12 at 13:45
  • yeah, this is what i meant Jul 10 '12 at 13:57
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    They now took your design but it's not clickable. :( Nov 17 '13 at 7:57

This is rather inconvenient in some cases. Many users use Opera Mobile like me and in that browser we just cannot search, since the virtual keyboard Enter key doesn't do the same as it does in the standard Internet explorer - it just accepts the search keyword and doesn't launch a search.

The only solution is to use the built-in browser, but I personally believe Opera is much more convenient, so probably this is something to think about for the community programmers.

  • That sounds more like a bug with Opera than an accessibility problem: that's the first instance of a browser I've heard of that doesn't have the default behavior of submitting the form when Enter is pressed.
    – user149432
    Nov 1 '11 at 12:18
  • This is definitely a bug in Opera, I disagree we should make any changes to support an apparent bug in a browser's implementation. It's not just IE that has the submit-on-enter behavior, it's every other browser as well. Nov 1 '11 at 14:38
  • Now that it's been more than a year a year since I created this question, I tested this with 3 other mobile devices and worked fine - browsers and mobile operating systems evolved (?). Can't complain.
    – Matias
    Nov 2 '11 at 14:18
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    I confirm it doesn't work in Opera Mobile on Android.
    – net_prog
    Nov 2 '11 at 17:21
  • Nick? Every other browser? I think Opera Mobile doesn't... ;)
    – Almo
    Jul 3 '12 at 20:14
  • "Many users use Opera Mobile" No.
    – bjb568
    Apr 16 '14 at 20:04

Best would be just to implement a little search button - the typical magnifying glass icon, which initiates the search

EDIT check this out: http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG10/#gl-device-independence this is per the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0


I assume this won't be fixed. Here are a few workarounds:

Here's a browser support list: Which browsers are officially supported, and what else do I need?


This is a limitation of your mobile browser, not us -- you'll run into it wherever you need to press enter in a form field.

The iPhone (Safari Mobile) and Android (WebKit) browsers have no trouble with this.

  • 3
    I have an android phone (samsung galaxy s) and I most certainly have the exact same problem! Also most sites provide a button for users who'd rather click with the mouse. It's bad design to omit the button for more reasons than us android users...
    – mickey
    Jul 2 '11 at 7:44
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    When I click on the search field, with my Galaxy Next, the keyboard that appears as a "Go" button that allow me to start searching.
    – apaderno
    Jul 2 '11 at 13:31
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    well, if the form field doesn't have a submit button isn't this also a problem ? I also think that you should reconsider this.
    – Fofole
    Nov 1 '11 at 10:56
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    Android keyboards are actually a user-pluggable application, not part of Android Browser. It's also a part that's sometimes customized by the OEM. Those keyboards surely are broken, but (as always) it's not as simple as just grabbing the nearest Android phone and going "yep, this works."
    – user161361
    Jul 3 '12 at 17:59

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