Search with the Firefox address bar

The address bar makes it easier for you to find what you’re looking for. Enter search terms or a specific web address to get search suggestions, your top sites, bookmarks, history and search engines — all within the same field.


You can also update Firefox or fix performance issues right from the search results. On occasion, you may see a tip from Firefox on how you can save time while searching.

Keep reading to learn more about the address bar’s powerful features.

Searching with the default search engine

When you search using the address bar, this will use your default search engine. Simply type your search term in the address bar and press EnterReturn.

To change your default search engine, see Change your default search settings in Firefox.

Access Top Sites from the address bar

Top Sites are a combination of your most recently and frequently visited sites, as well as the sites you’ve pinned. You can access your top sites from the drop-down list that appears when you click the address bar. If you’ve installed Firefox for the first time, it suggests top-ranked sites by default.


Top Sites appear in the same order as in your New Tab page. To change your Top Sites, customize them on your New Tab page. If you’ve turned off Top Sites in your New Tab settings, the address bar will show sites from your history instead.

Search shortcuts

When you click in the address bar, clicking on a search engine in the drop-down list (like Google or Amazon) will autofill the address bar with a search engine shortcut (example: @amazon) so you can perform a search without having to load the search page. Just enter your search term after the search shortcut to perform your search (example: @amazon adventure books). When you type @ into the address bar, a list of all search engine shortcuts that begin with @ is shown. You can select one by pressing or by clicking it.

You can also use shortcuts to search Firefox Add-ons, Bookmarks(*), Tabs(%) and History(^).


Tip: If you don't want to use the mouse or a search shortcut does not appear in the list, you can type in the shortcut or just the first part (example: @a or @amazon) then press EnterReturn or and type in your search term.

Alternative search engines

When you start typing a search term in the address bar, you'll see icons for other search engines you can use:


You can choose an alternative search engine and use it for your search with one click if you don't want to use the current default.

You can also choose a search engine by pressing Alt + or Alt + option + or option + repeatedly.

For more information on using alternative search engines, see Change your default search settings in Firefox.

Use a different search

When you start typing a search term in the address bar you'll see icons to search instead with: other search engines, Firefox Add-ons, Bookmarks, Tabs, or History.


You can choose an alternative search type and use it for your search with one click if you don't want to use the current default.

You can also choose a search type by pressing Alt + or Alt + option + or option + repeatedly.

For more information on using alternative search engines, see Change your default search settings in Firefox.

Search shortcuts

When you open the New Tab page, tiles with a magnifying glass icon in the Top Sites section are search engine shortcuts. Click on a search shortcut tile and start typing in your search. Firefox will automatically put your search shortcut into the address bar.


To remove a search shortcut, simply position your mouse over the tile, click on its three-dots icon and select Unpin from the menu. To add a search engine shortcut, position your mouse over your Top Sites section, click on its three dots on the right side and select Add search engine. See this Mozilla Blog post to learn more about search shortcuts.

Note: You can also assign search shortcut keywords to other search engines. See Assign shortcuts to search engines.

Search suggestions

Firefox suggests relevant search terms and even solutions related to the answer or task you may be looking for. Here are some examples of search suggestions.

Keyword suggestions

When you start typing in the address bar, Firefox suggests relevant popular searches as provided by search engines like Google, Bing, etc. When search suggestions are enabled, the text you type is sent to the default search engine, which analyzes the words and displays a list of related searches. FxKeywordSuggestions

Note: You can change your search settings to use your favorite search engine as the default or turn search suggestions on or off. To learn more, see Change your default search settings in Firefox and Search suggestions in Firefox.

Write a ? before your input (for example: ?mozilla support)

  • if you want to see only search suggestions
  • or if you want to see search suggestions although the setting "Show search suggestions in address bar results" is disabled (but the setting "Provide search suggestions" has to be enabled).

When you are using a search shortcut, the keyword suggestions come from the chosen search engine.

Smart keywords do not make keyword suggestions.

Firefox Solution buttons

Firefox lets you get solutions to popular tasks, like downloading, updating, or fixing Firefox. When you start typing a task, Firefox will suggest a solution so you can fix the problem and get back to the things that are important to you.

Example: Entering “Download Firefox” when you already have Firefox installed.


This feature is currently only available in English.


As you type a web address or search term in the address bar, the URL autocomplete feature automatically finishes what you’re typing based on matching websites in your bookmarks, history, or popular websites. This lets you visit websites in just a few keystrokes (no mouse needed). Just press EnterReturn when Firefox finds a match.


Prevent autocomplete when searching

If your search term autocompletes to a web address that you don't want to visit, press Del, Backspacedelete or Space before pressing EnterReturn.

You can also begin your search with a ? to prevent autocomplete (for example: "?"). This will also prevent your search from autocompleting with bookmarks, smart keywords and search shortcuts.

For more details on autocomplete, see the Address bar autocomplete in Firefox article.

Was this article helpful?

Please wait...

These fine people helped write this article:

Illustration of hands


Grow and share your expertise with others. Answer questions and improve our knowledge base.

Learn More