I'll show you how to disable Google Instant Search without being signed in to a Google account!
I despise (really!) Google Instant Search. I find it annoying, distracting and unnecessary. If you are a long-time Google search user, you might feel the same way.
Google, once revered for its clean, simple search interface, seems like it's doing everything in its power to alienate users, by rejecting the principles that once attracted users away from bloated, annoying search engines of the past.
How do I turn off Google Instant Search?
You can disable Google Instant search by setting your account preferences while signed in to a Google account.
But what if you aren't signed in? What if you don't have and don't want a Google account?
Easy: Just visit
http://www.google.com/search?complete=0 – bookmark that search (or set it as your home page if you like having Google's search page visible when you start your browser). It appears that you can add the
complete=0 parameter to any Google search URL and it will disable the Google Instant search feature.
How do I turn off Google Instant in Chrome's OmniBox or FireFox Search Bar?
How to disable Google Instant in Chrome Omnibox
If you use Google's Chrome browser, and you like to use the Omnibox address bar you can disable the instant search feature in results pages (the page you see after you hit enter or 'go') by changing the built-in Google search engine template. Here's how:
Bring up the "Options" form (Wrench button, Options). Click the Manage Search Engines button.
Now, select the Google.com search engine's search template in the third column:
Replace the entire search URL template field with following text:
Dismiss the "Search Engines" form.
In addition, you might want to disable the Enable Instant for faster searching and browsing option, as this option is a form of Instant Search within the Omnibox address bar.
How do I turn off Google Instant in FireFox's Search Bar?
But what about FireFox? If you like to use the built-in search bar's Google OpenSearch feature, it's a bit more work.
The easy way
We've provided an OpenSearch plugin installer on this page to simplify the process. Simply drop down your FireFox Search Bar and click "Add Google NoInstant" to your search bar:
The hard(er) way
This method requires that you copy and rename FireFox's built-in Google.xml OpenSearch template, which is found in the FireFox installation folder's "searchplugins" folder, modify it to add the
<Param name="complete" value="0"/> parameter entry (see below), then install the new OpenSearch definition in the FireFox profile folder's "searchplugins" folder.
Restart FireFox and click the Search Bar's dropdown button, and you should see Google NoInstant listed; make that your default search provider and you should be rid of the Google Instant curse henceforth.