I noticed recently that I can't seem to hit Tab to move on to the Subject field in Gmail. Pressing Tab simply inserts a tab, which is rather useless in the To field.

Is that new or have I just not noticed it up until now? Is there a way to fix that?

It's possible that this is affected by a lab setting, but I don't think I have any related labs enabled. Still, just in case labs are relevant, here's the list of the ones I have enabled:

  • Mark as Read Button
  • Quote Selected Text
  • Send & Archive
  • Sender Time Zone
  • Title Tweaks
  • Undo Send
  • Unread Message Icon

If all else fails, is there a shortcut to focus on the Subject field?

  • Works for me with my GMail account and Chromium 13.0.782.215. (Thanks for the list of labs, by the way. I think I'll keep them all enabled.) What version of Chrome are you running and have you tried using Chrome's (little-known) profiles feature to test in a fresh browser profile?
    – ssokolow
    Aug 29, 2011 at 23:49
  • @ssokolow I'm running the same version. Tell me more about this fresh profile feature? Thanks!
    – Adam Lear
    Aug 29, 2011 at 23:56
  • In your case, the simplest way to test would be as described here but, if you want to flip between multiple profiles without renaming or run multiple instances of Chrome at once, the closest built-in equivalent to Firefox's -profilemanager switch is here. (Though it's more a replacement for Firefox's -P than -profilemanager)
    – ssokolow
    Aug 30, 2011 at 0:14
  • @ssokolow I tried it with an incognito window and the tabbing works as expected. Weird. I guess doing a profile reset would be an option, but that's unfortunate. Thanks for your help. :) If you post your debugging tips as an answer, I'll accept it.
    – Adam Lear
    Aug 30, 2011 at 0:21

1 Answer 1


As it works for me with the same list of labs and Chromium 13.0.782.215 and you said you're using the same version, I suspect it'd either be something else in your GMail settings (which you ruled out when the Incognito Window didn't exhibit the problem) or something in your Chrome profile.

I can see three potential sources for the problem on the client side:

  1. Flawed extension. (Fixed by a new profile. Fixed by an Incognito Window unless you've chosen to allow the broken extension in Incognito.)
  2. Corrupted profile. (Fixed by a new profile. Anybody's guess whether a given instance of corruption will be fixed by Incognito Window.)
  3. Strange config tweak in your Chrome. (Fixed by a new profile. Not fixed by Incognito Window.)

Chrome has primitive support for running with multiple profiles which you can use for testing. There's a quick-and-dirty approach and a cleaner approach for long-term use.

Since you said the Incognito Window fixed it and you didn't mention any other problems in your Chrome, my guess is that it's probably a bug in one of your extensions that's causing the extension to grab the Tab keypress but then make the flawed assumption that injecting a tab character is the way to say "on second thought, use the browser's native handler after all".


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