Use the Search bar in Firefox and manage search engines

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Access all your favorite search engines conveniently through Firefox's built-in Search bar. The Search bar is easily customizable, so you can add, remove and reorder your search engines in just a few clicks.

Access all your favorite search engines conveniently through Firefox's built-in Search bar. The Search bar is easily customizable, so you can add and remove your search engines in just a few clicks.

Note: If you are using a localized version of Firefox, the Search bar and OptionsPreferences described below may not apply to you. These changes will be available in a future version of Firefox.

Using the Search bar

Enter a search into the Search bar at the top of the browser or on the New Tab page. Firefox will take you to the search results page for the search engine that's currently selected.

Search Bar - Win1 Search Bar - Mac1 Search Bar - Lin1 Search1 29 - Win Search1 29 - Mac Search1 29 - Lin search bar 31

Change your search engine

The logo next to the search field tells you which search engine is currently active. You can change your search engine at any time, regardless of the default provider.

  • From the toolbar: Click on the arrow next to the icon and select your preferred search engine from the list:
Search Bar - Win3 Fx8 Search Bar - Lin3 Search2 29 - Win Search2 29 - Mac Search2 29 - Lin switch search 33
  • From the New Tab page: Click on the logo and select your preferred search engine from the list:
change search tab 31 search new page 33
Note: Any changes you make to one of the search bars will also apply to the other one.

Firefox comes with the following search engines by default:

  • Yahoo for searching the web via Yahoo
  • Google for searching the web via Google
    Note: The default Google search is encrypted to prevent eavesdropping.
  • Bing for searching the web via Microsoft Bing
  • Amazon.com for searching for products on the Amazon.com retail website
  • DuckDuckGo as a search engine for users who don't want to be tracked when they search
  • eBay for looking up items for sale or auction at eBay
  • Twitter for searching people on Twitter
  • Wikipedia (en) for searching the English Wikipedia free online encyclopedia
Note: The new search engine you select will remain active until you change it again.

Add a search engine from a website

Some websites offer search engines that you can add to your Firefox Search bar. This allows you to search that specific website directly from your Search bar.

  1. To add the site-specific engine, visit the website that has your desired search engine. (We'll use youtube.com as an example.)
  2. Open the search engine list and select Add "YouTube Video Search". Firefox will add it to your list and make it the active search engine.
    Search Bar - Win6 Fx8 Search Bar - Lin6 Search3 29 - Win Search3 29 - Mac Search3 29 - Lin add search engine 33
Note: The Mycroft Project gives you access to hundreds of different search engines all in one place. For example, this page lets you add any of the language specific Google search engines (like google.ca, google.ch or google.fr).

Add a search engine through the search engines manager

In the search engines manager, you can add new search engines that have been released for use with Firefox. Perform the following steps on the Search bar on the toolbar or on the New Tab page.

  1. Click on the search engine icon and select Manage Search Engines....
  2. To add a search engine, click Get more search engines... to launch the Mozilla Add-ons Search Tools page.
  3. To add one of the displayed search engines, click the Add to Firefox button. The Add Search Engine dialog is displayed.
  4. To begin using the search engine immediately after you added it, put a check mark in the box next to Make this the current search engine.
  5. To add the selected search engine, click Add.
  6. The search engine is now available through the search engines list in the Search bar.

Remove a search engine

You can remove search engines you don't need by performing the following steps on the Search bar on the toolbar or on the New Tab page.

  1. Click the search engine icon and select Manage Search Engines... to open the search engines manager.
  2. To remove a search engine, select it from the list, and click Remove.

If you accidentally delete a default search engine, click Restore Defaults to recover the default search engines.

  • If you accidentally delete a search engine that you installed, you must re-install it.

Reorder search engines

  1. Click the search engine icon and select Manage Search Engines... to open the search engines manager.
  2. In the search engines manager, select the search engine you want to move. To move it up in the list, click Move Up. To move it down, click Move Down.

Tips & Tricks

Using the Search bar

Simply type into the Search bar on your toolbar or on the New Tab page.

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  • As you type into the toolbar search, your default search engine shows you suggestions to help you search faster. These suggestions are based on popular searches or on your previous searches (if enabled).
search suggestions 34
  • Press returnEnter to search using your default search engine, or select another search engine by clicking on its logo.

If these settings aren't right for you, changing them is easy. Just jump over to the sections that are relevant to you, and you'll enjoy your preferred search experience in no time.

Firefox comes with the following search engines by default:

  • Yahoo for searching the web via Yahoo
  • Google for searching the web via Google
  • Bing for searching the web via Microsoft Bing
  • Amazon.com for searching for products on the Amazon.com retail website
  • DuckDuckGo as a search engine for users who don't want to be tracked when they search
  • eBay for looking up items for sale or auction at eBay
  • Twitter for searching people on Twitter
  • Wikipedia (en) for searching the English Wikipedia free online encyclopedia

Set a default search engine

Follow these simple steps to set your favorite search engine as the default:

  1. Click on the magnifying glass in the Search bar on your toolbar, then click Change Search Settings.
    search prefs 34
  2. In the search preferences window, select a default search engine in the drop-down menu.
    search default 34
  3. Close the preferences window to save your changes.Click OK to save your changes.
Your changes will also apply to the New Tab Search bar.

Turn search suggestions on or off

  1. Click on the magnifying glass in the Search bar on your toolbar, then click Change Search Settings.
    search prefs 34
  2. In the search preferences window, add or remove the check mark next to Provide search suggestions to turn them on or off.
    turn on search suggestions fx34
  3. Close the preferences window to save your changes.Click OK to save your changes.

Add a search engine

Many websites offer search engines that you can add to your Firefox Search bar. This allows you to search that specific website directly from your Search bar.

  1. To add the site-specific engine, visit the website for your desired search engine. (We'll use youtube.com as an example.)
  2. Click on the magnifying glass on the Search bar on your toolbar, then click on Add "YouTube Video Search".
    add search 34
  3. The search engine will appear in your built-in search options.
    youtube search 34

Search engine add-ons

Many providers also offer add-ons that let you add even more search engines:

  1. Click on the magnifying glass in the Search bar on your toolbar, then click Change Search Settings.
  2. Click Add more search engines.
  3. Hover over the add-ons you want to add and click Add to Firefox.

Hide search engines

Follow these steps to remove alternate search engines you don't want to use in the Search bar.

  1. Click on the magnifying glass in the Search bar on your toolbar, then click Change Search Settings.
    search prefs 34
  2. Remove the check mark next to each search engine you don't want.
    remove searches 34

Remove search engines

To remove a search engine, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the magnifying glass in the Search bar on your toolbar, then click Change Search Settings.
    search prefs 34
  2. Click on the search engine you don't want.
  3. Click the Remove button to take it off your list.
    remove search engine 35

If you remove a search engine that you added yourself and you change your mind, you'll have to add it back again (see above). If you remove any of the search engines that come with Firefox by default, click Restore Default Search Engines to bring them back.


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