Address bar autocomplete in Firefox

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The Firefox address bar displays the URL (web address) for the page that you are visiting. When you type into this field to enter a URL or search term, Firefox remembers the pages that you have visited and shows page suggestions in the address bar drop-down, such as sites you've bookmarked, tagged, visited before, or have open in tabs. This article explains how the address bar autocomplete feature works.

Note: To learn more about searching from the address bar, see these articles:

How do I use the autocomplete list?

Just start typing in the address bar. Suggestions from your browsing history, bookmarks and tabs will be listed, underneath what you've typed.
Note: If you click on the address bar without typing into it, a drop-down of your Top Sites will be displayed instead.

Fx82AddressBarAutocompleteDropdown

The autocomplete drop-down when you type into the address bar will include:

  • Page titles and web addresses from your history.
  • Page titles, web addresses and tags from your bookmarks.
  • Pages you currently have open in other tabs (see below under Switch to tab).
  • Sync'ed tabs from other devices.
  • Search terms from your Search history (if search suggestions are enabled)

Icons will indicate whether a matching result is an open tab or a bookmark. When you see the page you want, just click on it or use the up and down arrows on your keyboard to highlight it and then press EnterReturn.

Firefox will also suggest popular search suggestions from the default search engine. See Search suggestions in Firefox for more information.

The address bar suggestions adjust based on your browsing behavior, such as how frequently and recently you visited a web page and what result you chose based on what was typed. This way pages you visit all the time will show up at the top of the list, often after typing only one character.

URL autocomplete

In addition to the autocomplete drop-down list, Firefox will also complete the URL in the address bar. For example, if you type "suppo", Firefox may fill in "rt.mozilla.org/" to complete the address "support.mozilla.org" if you've visited that site before. Pressing EnterReturn in this case would take you directly to that address.

URLAutocomplete75

Switch to tab

The address bar also searches through your open tabs, displaying results with a tab icon and the text "Switch to tab". Selecting these results will switch you to the already open tab instead of creating a duplicate.

SwitchToTab75
To turn off the "Switch to tab" option temporarily, press the ALT key while clicking on the page in the autocomplete list that appears below your address bar. This will open your page in a new tab instead of switching to an existing one.

What can I do to get the best results?

  • When you want to go to a web page you've visited before, type a few letters from its web address or page title. Scroll through the autocomplete entries and find the page in the list (type in another letter if you don't see it listed). Press EnterReturn to go to the selected web address. Firefox will give this entry/result combination higher weight in the future.
  • Do not clear the browsing history - usually the richest source of autocomplete entries is from the title/web address combination. Clearing browsing history will remove these entries from the results.
  • Bookmark and tag frequently used pages. The address bar will match on the name you give the bookmark and also tags associated with the bookmark. See the Bookmarks in Firefox article for more information on how to use bookmarks in Firefox. You can improve your autocomplete results by tagging pages with easily-typed tag names.

How can I control what results the address bar shows me?

Changing your address bar settings

You can turn off the address bar autocomplete feature or restrict the results to exclude your open tabs, top sites, bookmarks or browsing history:

  1. Click the menu button New Fx Menu Fx57Menu and select Options.Preferences.
  2. Select the Privacy & Security panel.
  3. Below Address Bar, select any of the following:
    address bar settings 57
    • Browsing history: suggests pages that you've previously visited.
    • Bookmarks: suggests pages that you've bookmarked.
    • Open tabs: suggests pages that you have open in another tab.
  1. Click the menu button New Fx Menu Fx57Menu and select Options.Preferences.
  2. Select the Privacy & Security panel.
  3. Below Address Bar, select any of the following:
    Fx78AddressBarSettings
    • Browsing history: suggests pages that you've previously visited.
    • Bookmarks: suggests pages that you've bookmarked.
    • Open tabs: suggests pages that you have open in another tab.
    • Top sites: suggests your top sites (if enabled in the Home panel) when you click in the address bar.

Change preferences for search engine suggestions: To enable or disable search engine suggestions, including suggestions from your Search history, click this link to be taken to the Search settings panel. See Change your default search settings in Firefox to learn more about changing these settings.

Removing autocomplete results

If you want to remove an entry from the autocomplete list:

  1. In the address bar, use the up and down arrow keys on your keyboard to highlight the entry.
  2. Press Shift+Delete to remove the item from the list.

If you want to remove all the history results from the autocomplete list, clear Firefox's browsing history.

Note: Autocomplete items from bookmarks will not be removed from the results if you attempt to delete them or clear the browsing history. These items have a star. To remove these items, delete the associated bookmark, or exclude bookmarks in the address bar settings.

Changing results on the fly

By default, when you type search terms in the address bar, the list under it shows search suggestions from the default search engine, and pages (bookmarks, history, open tabs) where every search term is part of the title, part of a tag or part of the web address (URL).

If you are looking for a specific type of result, like a bookmark or open tab, you can speed up the process of finding it by typing in special characters in the address bar separated by spaces:

  • Add ^ to show only matches in your browsing history.
  • Add * to show only matches in your bookmarks.
  • Add + to show only matches in bookmarks you've tagged.
  • Add % to show only matches in your currently open tabs.
  • Add # to show only matches where every search term is part of the title or part of a tag.
  • Add $ to show only matches where every search term is part of the web address (URL). The text "https://" or "http://" in the URL is ignored but not "file:///".
  • Add ? to show only search suggestions.

For example, if you're looking for a page you bookmarked called Mozilla Firefox Support, you might type mozilla. The autocomplete results appear, but might not show the page you want.

You can narrow your results down to bookmarks only by making your search string mozilla * or * mozilla.

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