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How to configure Firefox address bar with Search Engines

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Your Firefox address bar can not only be used for opening websites but also for searching as well. Yes, you can configure the Firefox address bar with various search engines like Google, Yahoo, Microsoft’s Live, and Wikipedia etc.

By default, whenever you type anything in address bar and hit enter or press the GO button, Firefox checks whether the entered string is valid address or not. If it’s a valid address Firefox tries to load corresponding site for you. Now, if the entered string is an invalid URL, it will be submitted to Google Search and search results are returned.

What if you want to change the Default search engine? Of course, Google is everybody’s first choice search but having said that it depends on person to person. Or, if you have Google Toolbar (that provides inbuilt google search box) installed then you may want to configure the address bar with some other Search Engine.

The following steps will guide you how to configure your Firefox address bar with Search Engines of your choice.

1- Open Mozilla Firefox and type in the address bar about:config.

2- Next type keyword.URL in the Filter box which is appeared after the first step is completed successfully. As you type the above text, the long list will be trimmed down to one line. (You will see only 1 entry (keyword.URL) under the Preference Name section)

3- Now right click that single entry and select modify. A box will appear. Refer the image given below.

4- Choose your Search Engine type and accordingly enter the string value of various Search Engines given below.

5- There is no 5th step.



List of Various Search Engines is as follows:-

(Copy any of the below strings and paste it into the box that appear in STEP 3 above)

Default Google Search


Google Search with I’m Feeling Lucky


Yahoo search


Microsoft’s Live Search






Hope, this may be helpful for many of you. I am sure this will not only make your work easier but also save precious time.

Please, do tell me your opinion about this technique. Have you tried any of these before?

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48 Responses to “How to configure Firefox address bar with Search Engines”

  1. Nirmal says:

    The about:config file has tons of hidden settings. :-)

  2. Rockstar Sid says:

    Hey good technique dude but i dont understand the use of it..

  3. Rakshit says:

    Yes you are right.

    It saves time buddy. Searching becomes real fast. Just press Alt+d, enter your search terms and thats it. No need to first open the websites and then search.

  4. Rockstar Sid says:

    @Rakshit – Oh ok,whenever i need to search something i point to the address bar and hit TAB button and enter the word to search (u know firefox ) has 7+ search engine built in…

    But this method is also good :-)

  5. Rakshit says:

    Check my another article on this. Hope you find that more useful.

  6. [...] may be a little late to the party, but in the last 3 months I’ve begun using this feature more and [...]

  7. yannis says:

    thanks dude, that worked like a charm!

  8. PG says:

    i tried to configure as mentioned but i don’t see any difference in my search engine list am i missing some thing… and even i tried Alt + d in a new tab i don’t see any difference… can you please correct me if i am missing some thing… thank you.

  9. PG says:

    sorry i see the difference now… but can some one tell me how to see the icon or the search engines list in Mozilla Firefox search engine list. i mean to modify or to add the list of search engine… by default it shows google,yahoo and soo on i want to add some more to them. Thanks in advance

  10. Jonathan says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. This is very helpful. -Jonathan

  11. Joe K says:

    Hey Rakshit, thanks for sharing this. However, I have a question. I tried putting only one keyword, for example “google”. Instead of searching using the search engine I had previously set up, firefox tried to search for the domain. Same thing happened whenever I tried other keywords. But if I used more than one word (a phrase), it works just fine.

    Hope you can help.

    Thanks a lot for sharing!!

  12. Rakshit says:


    Their was some problem with earlier versions of Firefox. Download the latest version 3.0 and it works like a charm.

  13. u da man says:

    Wow man good technique.U rock

  14. joanna says:

    You saved my life!!!Thank you SO much!!!

  15. TheGoldie says:

    Thanks dude, the winamp’s search engine was annoying even if i removed them, but this post was very helpfull, thanks a lot!

  16. Marty l. says:

    God, ive looked everywhere but this is exactly what I needed to know. A+.

  17. cmoney says:

    okay i did this because of the stupid winamp search engine and thank god its gone ….but now when I type in yahoo in the address bar it takes me to the India homepage instead of the us…how do I fix this?

  18. terry kinigstein says:

    It works. Thanks.

  19. Anon says:

    Thanks dude!!

  20. Dave Bortzfield says:

    You can also follow Rakshit’s directions until you find Keyword.url. At this point, right click and select reset. It should change it back to the original configuration that has google look for the appropriate web page before it loads it’s search results.

    This is my favorite way to use the address bar.

  21. Thank you. It has helped me.

  22. Jason says:

    thanks a lot

  23. Tinita says:

    GREAT thank you

  24. [...] with it in Firefox. Here’s how to kill and replace it with the search engine of your choice. How to configure Firefox address bar with Search Engines Your Firefox address bar can not only be used for opening websites but also for searching as well. [...]

  25. Chantal says:

    Thank you, worked like a charm. The winamp search was annoying me!

  26. music savvy says:

    Thanks man! Winamp search was on my nerve. Now I’m back to default: google! :D

  27. Astronav says:

    Thank goodness you are here.

    It worked like a charm except, nothing personal, the google URL you suggest is in India.

    For those in the USA, the Google URL is: http://www.google.com/search?q=

    It’s a little faster.

  28. Heather says:

    This is awesome! Thanks so much! I finally got my google back!

  29. James says:

    I’d like to add, that if Winamp (AOL) in their infinite wisdom decide to ruin your firefox browsing experience by changing the browse by name default to the Winamp AOL search, then you can remove it by finding this key, right clicking it and choosing ‘Reset’ to put it back to normal.

  30. Charlotte says:

    THANK YOU!!! I used to like Winamp, but this “update” made me quite filled with rage. You have made the interwebs less filled of the rages.


  31. JZ says:

    for those in Poland – http://www.google.pl/search?q=


  32. italian says:

    THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  33. Anand says:

    I tried this – can do it in safe mode. BUt in a few minutes, the keyword.url value gets reset to winamp search. Even editing the prefs.js file manually doesn’t help. Is there some rogue process that is doing this. Even uninstalling and reinstalling firefox doesn’t help. Thanks.

  34. Merth!n says:

    Thank YOU!

  35. Tnk you says:

    Tnks allot

  36. prakash says:

    Thank you buddy, its good technique, Winamp ‘ll nevever disturbs me.

  37. Harry says:

    Rockin’. Finally got rid of the Winamp search hijack. Thanks a bunch.

  38. cansu says:

    thank you very much!

  39. Noel says:

    fantastic. can also change the context search, which was also hijacked

  40. Ikenna says:

    Fantastic. Worked a treat

  41. BarbieisdaOne says:

    Thank you.. thank you and thank you. Never have I been so frustrated in not being able to change a setting.

    Who knew!

    Now to resist the urge to fiddle with all those settings. Okay, I won’t but I did get a laugh with the “Here be Dragons” message. Nothing like telling someone to make sure they really want to make changes.

    Thanks a bunch.

  42. hannah says:

    fantastic – thank you so much! very clear instructions, thanks x

  43. renae says:

    THANK YOU, my husband decided to download winamp and not look to see what he was downloading, dam him :D . its fixed now, back to aussie google!

  44. Finn says:

    Hi Rakshit.

    I was rather shocked when I realized that my (short) test of Winamp software resulted in ‘un-removable’ traces of Winamp in my Firefox installation.
    I will never any more consider Winamp as my audio player as it leaves such traces in my other programs. Shame on you, Winamp!

    But your advices above was easily found in a Google search – and helped me immediately. Thanks!!!

  45. @mani says:


    FOFF to winamp as sucking my fireball.

  46. Tammy says:

    Thanks for this, been trying to work out how to change it for ages!

  47. Jiri says:

    Thanks a lot, it was easy and clear. Jiri, Czech Rep.

  48. Satisfied reader says:

    Thanks! That ASK.com search starting to get on my nerve, now it’s back to normal!!

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