The web-based Google Search user interface works as follows:

  1. On http://www.google.com/ , I enter a search term, e.g. latex superscript letters.
  2. I hit Return.
  3. Google Search displays the results list.
  4. I notice most of the results are not what I am looking for, I should put superscript letters into quotation marks.
  5. I change the text in the search box to latex "superscript letters".
  6. Meanwhile, I notice that one of the results actually sounds interesting, and I still want to open that link before submitting the new search term.
  7. Before I can do so, Google Search hides the previous results and replaces them with the annoying message Press Enter to search.

Therefore, I wonder:

  • Why does Google Search do anything with my search results before I have even decided whether I want to perform the search based on the new search term?
  • Why does Google replace the list of old results (which are still useful!) with something entirely unhelpful, namely a prompt to press Enter to search for the new term?

My concrete question is: How can I prevent that from happening?

  • 1
    I wasn't able to reproduce. I entereted latex "superscript letters" and only saw the "Press ENTER Message". Questions about Google its behavior isn't really on topic here at Superuser since it is technically a web application.
    – Ramhound
    Commented Feb 17, 2015 at 16:18
  • No; I see no results. But I also didn't search for the previous search term which you said displayed irrelevant results either. The truth of the matter is we really do have little control over how Google search works, your likely encountering a situation, where Google is combining search results.
    – Ramhound
    Commented Feb 17, 2015 at 16:26

1 Answer 1


This is due to Google Instant Search. I have it turned off myself. To do so click the gear in the top right corner > Search settings > never show instant results.

  • I do not see any gear there (I suspect I would have to log in to Google for that?). Commented Feb 17, 2015 at 16:28
  • @O.R.Mapper - Hr should give you the search options.If not then you do indeed need to be logged in to modify the settings of a Google search.This also happens to describe the behavior and thus the reason I see no results when I tried the search query myself.
    – Ramhound
    Commented Feb 17, 2015 at 16:32
  • 1
    I see the gear when logged out. It is on the results page not the google home page if that helps. Logged out the settings should apply to your pc and logged in they should apply to your account.
    – birdman3131
    Commented Feb 17, 2015 at 16:34

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