A Macworld reader asked us why red outlines appear around selected areas in their browser. The “red squares” problem that readers had previously pointed out did not apply here. (These red squares are likely from a failing graphics processor.) If in doubt about things appearing in macOS that you don’t expect, check the Accessibility preferences pane.
Accessibility offers many options for improving and modifying access to macOS. This includes a number related to typing and mouse limitations. In the case of our reader, they had accidentally enabled full keyboard access in the Engine > Keyboard section of the preferences pane.
Full keyboard access lets you use the keyboard instead of a mouse to move between navigation elements in applications. On websites designed for accessibility, you can move between elements on the page. Try Apple, Amazon or Google for examples of how it works.
The function allows you to define an outline color by clicking on Choice, and our reader must have chosen Red from the Color context menu. Disabling full keyboard access fixed the issue.
This Mac 911 article is in response to a question submitted by Macworld reader Kimberly.
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