Search the web from the address bar

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You can perform web searches right from the address bar (also known as the Awesome Bar). Just type in your search terms and hit Enter. Firefox will take you to your default search engine results page. This article will show you how to customize this feature.

Web search in the address bar

  • When you type in the address bar, you will see search suggestions coming from your default search engine to help you find the right keywords for your intended search. A magnifying glass icon appears next to search suggestions. See Search suggestions in Firefox.
  • To search the web using the exact terms you entered in the address bar, just press Return. The terms you’ve entered will become a search to your default search engine.
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When you type in the address bar and press EnterReturn, Firefox takes you to search results using the search provider selected in the search bar.


Change search settings

To change the way web search works in the address bar, navigate to the search section of user preferences. See Change your default search settings in Firefox for more details.

Using another search provider

If you don't want to use the search provider selected in the search bar, add the smart keyword of the search provider you want to use before your search terms. To learn more about smart keywords, see How to search IMDB, Wikipedia and more from the address bar.

Turning off the web search in the address bar

You can turn off the web search in the address bar by changing a preference.

Note: This preference does not affect smart keyword searches from the address bar.
  1. In the address bar, type about:config and press EnterReturn.

    • The about:config "This might void your warranty!" warning page may appear. Click I'll be careful, I promise!I accept the risk! to continue to the about:config page.
  2. In the Search field, type keyword.enabled.
  3. Double-click the keyword.enabled preference to set its value to false.

URL autocomplete

In addition to being able to do a web search, before you press EnterReturn Firefox will match URLs that you type to the URLs of websites that you've been to before. For example, if you type "moz" Firefox may autocomplete "mozilla.org" if you've been there before. Pressing EnterReturn in this case would take you directly to that address. For more info about the things that Firefox suggests as you type in the address bar, see Awesome Bar - Search your Firefox bookmarks, history and tabs from the address bar.

Domain Guessing

If you enter an incomplete URL, Firefox can try to "fix up" the URL by adding a prefix, suffix, or both to what you type. For example, if you type www.microsoft in the address bar, Firefox will append .com to complete the URL. If you type mozilla.org, Firefox will prepend www. to complete the URL. This "guessing" is secondary to the web search in the address bar described above - it does not work unless the web search in the address bar is turned off.

Turning off Domain Guessing

You can turn off Domain Guessing by changing a preference.

  1. In the address bar, type about:config and press EnterReturn.

    • The about:config "This might void your warranty!" warning page may appear. Click I'll be careful, I promise!I accept the risk! to continue to the about:config page.
  2. In the Search field, type fixup.
  3. Double-click the browser.fixup.alternate.enabled preference to set its value to false.

Changing the prefix or suffix

You can specify a prefix (such as www) or suffix (such as .net) for the Domain Guessing feature.

In the about:config page, double-click the browser.fixup.alternate.prefix or browser.fixup.alternate.suffix preference. Enter the prefix or suffix you want Firefox to add to incomplete URLs.



Based on information from Location Bar search (mozillaZine KB), Domain Guessing (Mozilla.org End user documentation), and Internet Keywords (Mozilla.org End user documentation)

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