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Search engines missing

Posted

For some reason, when I click on the search bar, all my search engines have disappeared. There's now just a handful of engines, including "Twitter" which I've never added myself, so I presume this is a default setting.

Could anyone please tell me how to restore my search engines, if possible?

For some reason, when I click on the search bar, all my search engines have disappeared. There's now just a handful of engines, including "Twitter" which I've never added myself, so I presume this is a default setting. Could anyone please tell me how to restore my search engines, if possible?

Chosen solution

Hello MartyJames,

The problem described in this thread sounds a lot like yours
(I think .... ) :

https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/1219589

The answer posted by jscher2000 made the OP say something that would be very appropriate today (Valentine's day) .....

Read this answer in context 1

Additional System Details

Installed Plug-ins

  • Shockwave Flash 32.0 r0

Application

  • User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; Win64; x64; rv:65.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/65.0

More Information

FredMcD
  • Top 10 Contributor
4269 solutions 59861 answers

To reset the search engines, remove these files in the Firefox profile folder; search.json + search-metadata.json + search.sqlite + search.json.mozlz4

search.json.mozlz4 ==only== (v45+)

New files are created when needed.


Type about:support<enter> in the address bar.

Under the page logo on the left side, you will see Application Basics. Under this find Profile Folder. To its right press the button Show Folder. This will open your file browser to the current Firefox profile. Now Close Firefox.

Locate the above file. Then rename or delete it. Restart Firefox.

To reset the search engines, remove these files in the Firefox profile folder; '''search.json + search-metadata.json +''' '''search.sqlite + search.json.mozlz4''' '''search.json.mozlz4''' ==only== (v45+) New files are created when needed. Type '''about:support'''<enter> in the address bar. Under the page logo on the left side, you will see '''Application Basics. ''' Under this find '''Profile Folder. ''' To its right press the button '''Show Folder. ''' This will open your file browser to the current Firefox profile. Now '''Close Firefox. ''' Locate the above file. Then rename or delete it. Restart Firefox.

Question owner

Forgive me, but this doesn't sound like it will get my search engines back. It sounds like it will reset them to the default, and that's my problem, that they've been reset to the defaults.

I want to retrieve my search engines from a backup.

Forgive me, but this doesn't sound like it will get my search engines back. It sounds like it will reset them to the default, and that's my problem, that they've been reset to the defaults. I want to retrieve my search engines from a backup.
the-edmeister
  • Top 25 Contributor
  • Moderator
5411 solutions 40301 answers

I wouldn't follow Fred McD's advice about deleting those search. files just yet. Wait a few days and see what other support contributors have to say about this situation before proceeding.


This - https://www.ghacks.net/2018/11/22/firefox-search-providers/ - doesn't look good. I just found that via a search (in my older version of Firefox ....). That killed using the MyCroft Project (which was spun off from Mozilla not that long ago) - https://mycroftproject.com/ - per that article which was written when this change nit the Nightly (alpha) channel of Firefox. Going back to the days of Firefox 3.6 I was grabbing search plugins from MyCroft and editing them to create custom search plugins with my own parameters. I guess those days are gone now.


I just realized that with Firefox 65 I lost all my old user installed search engines - like 30 are gone; except for one that was installed within the last 5 or 6 months. I rarely even use a Quantum version of Firefox, my "daily-driver" is a real old version and my secondary version is Firefox 47.0.1 which is also used every day.

I have been waiting for Quantum to "stabilize" before spending much time with Quantum (originally I anticipated that might be Fx 60), but the situation is getting worse as each new version comes out and this one with the search engines is close to being a "deal killer" for me moving forward with Quantum.

I wouldn't follow Fred McD's advice about deleting those '''search. ''' files just yet. Wait a few days and see what other support contributors have to say about this situation before proceeding. ------------------------- This - https://www.ghacks.net/2018/11/22/firefox-search-providers/ - doesn't look good. I just found that via a search (in my older version of Firefox ....). That killed using the MyCroft Project (which was spun off from Mozilla not that long ago) - https://mycroftproject.com/ - per that article which was written when this change nit the Nightly (alpha) channel of Firefox. Going back to the days of Firefox 3.6 I was grabbing search plugins from MyCroft and editing them to create custom search plugins with my own parameters. I guess those days are gone now. ------------------------- I just realized that with Firefox 65 I lost all my old user installed search engines - like 30 are gone; except for one that was installed within the last 5 or 6 months. I rarely even use a Quantum version of Firefox, my "daily-driver" is a real old version and my secondary version is Firefox 47.0.1 which is also used every day. I have been waiting for Quantum to "stabilize" before spending much time with Quantum (originally I anticipated that might be Fx 60), but the situation is getting worse as each new version comes out and this one with the search engines is close to being a "deal killer" for me moving forward with Quantum.
FredMcD
  • Top 10 Contributor
4269 solutions 59861 answers

the-edmeister said

but the situation is getting worse as each new version comes out

That is why I refuse to update. And have you seen all the posts asking how to stop the forced updating?

''the-edmeister [[#answer-1196943|said]]'' <blockquote> but the situation is getting worse as each new version comes out </blockquote> That is why I refuse to update. And have you seen all the posts asking how to stop the forced updating?
McCoy
  • Top 10 Contributor
546 solutions 5143 answers

Chosen Solution

Hello MartyJames,

The problem described in this thread sounds a lot like yours
(I think .... ) :

https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/1219589

The answer posted by jscher2000 made the OP say something that would be very appropriate today (Valentine's day) .....

Hello MartyJames, The problem described in this thread sounds a lot like yours <BR>(I think .... ) : https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/1219589 The answer posted by jscher2000 made the OP say something that would be very appropriate today (Valentine's day) .....
FredMcD
  • Top 10 Contributor
4269 solutions 59861 answers

Once everything is set to your liking, Back up and restore information in Firefox profiles.{web link} I use an add-on that makes backups of my user profile, Just In Case. Unfortunately, it is not compatible with the current Firefox.

Every now and then, open the profile folder and create a copy of the current profile as is to another location on your hard drive. This way you will have a backup.

If you do this each day, you will not lose much data. This should be done with Firefox Closed.

Note: In case you need to restore from these backups, you may need to overwrite old or corrupted files.

Once everything is set to your liking, [[Back up and restore information in Firefox profiles]].{web link} I use an add-on that makes backups of my user profile, Just In Case. Unfortunately, it is not compatible with the current Firefox. Every now and then, open the profile folder and create a '''copy''' of the current profile '''as is''' to another location on your hard drive. This way you will have a backup. If you do this each day, you will not lose much data. This should be done with '''Firefox Closed. ''' Note: In case you need to restore from these backups, you may need to overwrite old or corrupted files.
the-edmeister
  • Top 25 Contributor
  • Moderator
5411 solutions 40301 answers

FredMcD said

the-edmeister said
but the situation is getting worse as each new version comes out

That is why I refuse to update. And have you seen all the posts asking how to stop the forced updating?

I sure have seen all the posts about the removal of "Never check for updates ..." and I am still using Firefox ESR 38.7.1 most of the time - but IMO if you are going provide support here maybe you should answer questions about what people are actually using and not crowing about using an old version so much.

''FredMcD [[#answer-1196945|said]]'' <blockquote> ''the-edmeister [[#answer-1196943|said]]'' <blockquote> but the situation is getting worse as each new version comes out </blockquote> That is why I refuse to update. And have you seen all the posts asking how to stop the forced updating? </blockquote> I sure have seen all the posts about the removal of "Never check for updates ..." and I am still using Firefox ESR 38.7.1 most of the time - '''but''' IMO if you are going provide support here maybe you should answer questions about what people are actually using and not crowing about using an old version so much.
the-edmeister
  • Top 25 Contributor
  • Moderator
5411 solutions 40301 answers

McCoy said

Hello MartyJames, The problem described in this thread sounds a lot like yours
(I think .... ) : https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/1219589 The answer posted by jscher2000 made the OP say something that would be very appropriate today (Valentine's day) .....

Problem with reading too much into that thread from May 2018 is that Firefox 65 changed quite a bit with regards to search engines. https://www.ghacks.net/2018/11/22/firefox-search-providers/ which I hyperlinked.

Specifically, Jefferson's answer there mentioned the search.json.mozlz4 file for recovery, but from what I see in my Firefox 65 Profile that file was overwritten at the time I installed the Firefox 65 update. And with Firefox not backing up that file automatically what is a user to do? I suspect that the search.json.mozlz4 is rewritten when Firefox is updated as a part of the update procedure, when a new omni.ja file is installed as part of the update. That is how Mozilla keeps their "provided" search engines current, and that scheme dates back to Firefox 38 or even Fx 34 when the major changes to search engines and the "search engine UI" was modified.

I did use Jefferson's Search Engine Extractor to see what search engines I have today in that file and all I have in the search.json.mozlz4 file is the default search engines plus the one search engine (Google Maps) that I recently installed in that Profile. Whereas, my searchplugins folder in that Profile has 29 search engine XML files listed, which had available and appeared in Firefox in Fx 64.

''McCoy [[#answer-1196950|said]]'' <blockquote> Hello MartyJames, The problem described in this thread sounds a lot like yours <BR>(I think .... ) : https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/1219589 The answer posted by jscher2000 made the OP say something that would be very appropriate today (Valentine's day) ..... </blockquote> Problem with reading too much into that thread from May 2018 is that Firefox 65 changed quite a bit with regards to search engines. https://www.ghacks.net/2018/11/22/firefox-search-providers/ which I hyperlinked. Specifically, Jefferson's answer there mentioned the '''search.json.mozlz4''' file for recovery, but from what I see in my Firefox 65 Profile that file was overwritten at the time I installed the Firefox 65 update. And with Firefox not backing up that file automatically what is a user to do? ''I suspect that the search.json.mozlz4 is rewritten when Firefox is updated as a part of the update procedure, when a new omni.ja file is installed as part of the update. That is how Mozilla keeps their "provided" search engines current, and that scheme dates back to Firefox 38 or even Fx 34 when the major changes to search engines and the "search engine UI" was modified. I did use Jefferson's Search Engine Extractor to see what search engines I have today in that file and all I have in the search.json.mozlz4 file is the default search engines plus the one search engine (Google Maps) that I recently installed in that Profile. Whereas, my '''searchplugins''' folder in that Profile has 29 search engine XML files listed, which had available and appeared in Firefox in Fx 64.

Question owner

McCoy's answer was correct. All I needed to know was:

The search engines file is: search.json.mozlz4

I restored that file from a backup and all my searches came back. (I backup my OS drive every day.)

Thanks everyone!

McCoy's answer was correct. All I needed to know was: '''The search engines file is: search.json.mozlz4''' I restored that file from a backup and all my searches came back. (I backup my OS drive every day.) Thanks everyone!

Modified by MartyJames