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How do I get my search engine choices back on the search bar?

  • 9 replies
  • 10 have this problem
  • 39 views
  • Last reply by hoodsmom

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I've lost the ability to select a search engine by clicking the magnifying glass next to the search bar. When I click it now all it says is "Change Search Settings." When I go to that option it gives me a list of search engines to display, and all are checked, but they won't display as they should when I exit the options menu.

I've reset Firefox via the Help Menu and that hasn't helped.

I've lost the ability to select a search engine by clicking the magnifying glass next to the search bar. When I click it now all it says is "Change Search Settings." When I go to that option it gives me a list of search engines to display, and all are checked, but they won't display as they should when I exit the options menu. I've reset Firefox via the Help Menu and that hasn't helped.

Chosen solution

If you want to restore the previously used standalone window to manage search engines then you can toggle this pref to false with a middle-click on the about:config page.

  • about:config page: browser.search.showOneOffButtons = false

You need to close and restart Firefox to make this work properly.

You can open the about:config page via the location/address bar. You can accept the warning and click "I'll be careful" to continue.

Read this answer in context 👍 8

All Replies (9)

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hello ForgetfulElephant, all your search providers will appear once you start typing a search term into the search bar... this has been a change in the search bar in firefox 34 - the new behaviour will make it easier to set one single default search engine but to use different providers on a one-off basis. its workings are explained in Search bar - add, change and manage search engines on Firefox

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That explains it, thank you. Is there any way to revert this to its old behavior?

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Chosen Solution

If you want to restore the previously used standalone window to manage search engines then you can toggle this pref to false with a middle-click on the about:config page.

  • about:config page: browser.search.showOneOffButtons = false

You need to close and restart Firefox to make this work properly.

You can open the about:config page via the location/address bar. You can accept the warning and click "I'll be careful" to continue.

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I see no magnifying glass, but also NO pane with my search engines, so I cannot choose at all. Tried to change search engine settings in Options, did not bring this back. Tried restart: nope. So no way to get this pane for choosing the search engine.

Tried to change browser.search.showOneOffButtons, did nothing. Ah, after a restart, there it is. So the old function works now.

Modified by sugit

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Can you attach a screenshot?

  • Use a compressed image type like PNG or JPG to save the screenshot
  • Make sure that you do not exceed the maximum size of 1 MB

You can click the Restore Defaults button in the Customize palette to restore the default toolbar setup.

  • "3-bar" Firefox menu button > Customize
  • View > Toolbars > Customize
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Hello cor-el. thanks for your help. Here are the screenshots: my Options - Search settings, what I see with classic search, and what I see with the new search. So problem: with new search, I would expect a way to select a search engine, but see none.

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do you use any search related addons that might not have updated to work with the new search bar layout and are therefore interfering?

Troubleshoot extensions, themes and hardware acceleration issues to solve common Firefox problems

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Yes, that was it. Thanks Philipp! I had Search Site 4.4 active. Deactivating and restart shows the search engine panel.

(Must say that I prefer the old search setup though.)

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The new search engine bar is not very usable for people who have a lot of search engines because it requires you to recognize the icons on the buttons (some of which may be generic). That's a lot harder than reading the name of the search engine. And, as I really depend on Search Site, I also need the old behavior. Please don't get rid of the option to continue with the old behavior by changing the about:config settings.