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How do I add and remove URLs to the dropdown menu?

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I can't even begin to express how ridiculous it is that such a simple function should be so hard to figure out. It's probably the number 1 thing I want from a browser, the ability to access my most common sites quickly from a drop down menu.

Anyway - I still cannot remove some sites from the dropdown - one was a typo of a site I use all the time and now I have to click on it then retype the address every time. Another page (a friend of a friend's Facebook page) was added to the dropdown menu after I looked at this page just once (so what absurd system decides what gets added, never to be deleted?) I have clicked "delete" on these two "favourites" unnumerable times, they disappear momentarily but are always back again the next time I click on the drop down.

Secondly, not only can I not remove these pointless URLs, I can also not add new URLs which I really want and which would be really useful.

Can anyone at Firefox solve this immensely stupid problem?

Many thanks in advance

I can't even begin to express how ridiculous it is that such a simple function should be so hard to figure out. It's probably the number 1 thing I want from a browser, the ability to access my most common sites quickly from a drop down menu. Anyway - I still cannot remove some sites from the dropdown - one was a typo of a site I use all the time and now I have to click on it then retype the address every time. Another page (a friend of a friend's Facebook page) was added to the dropdown menu after I looked at this page just once (so what absurd system decides what gets added, never to be deleted?) I have clicked "delete" on these two "favourites" unnumerable times, they disappear momentarily but are always back again the next time I click on the drop down. Secondly, not only can I not remove these pointless URLs, I can also not add new URLs which I really want and which would be really useful. Can anyone at Firefox solve this immensely stupid problem? Many thanks in advance

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John99 971 solutions 13138 answers

Hi martinaaron,

Sorry you are having problems with this. Sometimes Mozilla refers to this as the Awesomebar, and obviously you are finding it any thing but awesome.

It can be turned off or its behavior modified. Your immediate concern is a site that is wrong, there is an easy option to forget such sites.

The reason a site visited once may show up is that it was recent or maybe is almost unique. If you miss type mozilla as mmmozilla it may well show up if you type mmm as probably no real site within your "History"" does begin mmm {bad example there are mmm sites !)

Anyhow you may actually find uses for this feature once you understand it. Some people use a lot of open tabs and never realise typing % a space and then other characters searches open tabs.

Hi martinaaron, Sorry you are having problems with this. Sometimes Mozilla refers to this as the Awesomebar, and obviously you are finding it any thing but awesome. It can be turned off or its behavior modified. Your immediate concern is a site that is wrong, there is an easy option to forget such sites. * Do: Find the mistyped address in the History, rightclick & opt to ''forget ..." * For full instructions with screenshots see [[Remove websites from the Awesome Bar suggestions#w_clearing-all-items-for-a-single-site|_clearing-all-items-for-a-single-site]] ** Just note when doing that it clears everything for that site, including bookmarks, and other History items. * See also [[Forget button - quickly delete your browsing history on Firefox]] <-- That option is for specific,usually recent time periods <br /> [[Remove websites from the Awesome Bar suggestions]] * [[Private Browsing - Use Firefox without saving history]] The reason a site visited once may show up is that it was recent or maybe is almost unique. If you miss type mozilla as mmmozilla it may well show up if you type mmm as probably no real site within your "History"" does begin mmm {bad example there are mmm sites !) Anyhow you may actually find uses for this feature once you understand it. Some people use a lot of open tabs and never realise typing % a space and then other characters searches open tabs. * [[Awesome Bar - Search your Firefox bookmarks, history and tabs from the address bar#w_changing-results-on-the-fly]]'''_changing-results-on-the-fly'''
John99 971 solutions 13138 answers

There are other things maybe I should mention.

There are other things maybe I should mention. * You have a bookmarks drop down available (Ctrl+Shift+ B <- Windows) or the bookmarks icon next to the bookmark star. ** <sub>[[Create bookmarks to save your favorite webpages#w_how-do-i-organize-my-bookmarks]]</sub>_how-do-i-organize-my-bookmarks *There is a bookmarks or '''History''' sidebar available ** [[Use the Firefox sidebar to access bookmarks, history and social features]] * There is an option for a Bookmarks toolbar to be displayed, that may be populated with bookmarks or nested folders of bookmarks ** [[Bookmarks Toolbar - Display your favorite websites at the top of the Firefox window]]
cor-el
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17415 solutions 157316 answers

You can use these steps to remove saved (form) data from a drop-down list:

  1. click the (empty) input field on the web page to open the drop-down list
  2. highlight an entry in the drop-down list with the mouse or cursor Down key
    do not click the mouse or press the Enter key
  3. press the Delete key (on Mac: Shift+Delete) to delete the highlighted entry

Entries in the location bar drop down list with a yellow (blue on Mac) star at the right end are bookmarks and those entries can't be removed permanently from the location bar drop down list with the Delete key. You can remove such a bookmarked item that shows in the list if you open that url in a tab and click the yellow star in the location bar. This will open the "Edit This Bookmark" dialog and you can click the Remove button to remove the bookmark if you want to remove such a bookmarked entry.

You can use these steps to remove saved (form) data from a drop-down list: #click the (empty) input field on the web page to open the drop-down list #highlight an entry in the drop-down list with the mouse or cursor Down key<br>do not click the mouse or press the Enter key #press the Delete key (on Mac: Shift+Delete) to delete the highlighted entry ---- Entries in the location bar drop down list with a yellow (blue on Mac) star at the right end are bookmarks and those entries can't be removed permanently from the location bar drop down list with the Delete key. You can remove such a bookmarked item that shows in the list if you open that url in a tab and click the yellow star in the location bar. This will open the "Edit This Bookmark" dialog and you can click the Remove button to remove the bookmark if you want to remove such a bookmarked entry. *https://support.mozilla.org/kb/Clearing+Location+bar+history *https://support.mozilla.org/kb/Cannot+clear+Location+bar+history *https://support.mozilla.org/kb/awesome-bar-search-firefox-bookmarks-history-tabs

Question owner

Thanks very much for trying to help John - I'm afraid none of the links you give actually solve the problem. I tried this link "Remove websites from the Awesome Bar suggestions" which suggests going to History and searching for the website and then forgetting it. But when I enter the name of the site (or indeed ANY of the sites from my drop-down bookmarks) it says "None found".

So next I tried the piece of advice that says to remove a single site I just "arrow down" and then press delete. Again, as I said earlier, this doesn't work. The same bad URL returns as soon as you click on the dropdown menu.

I find it staggering that something so simple is not merely so difficult to fix, but also that Firefox leave all of these "Step by step" solutions up when they don't work. It only served to transform users' medium-level irritation and frustration to hair-pulling levels of fury.

Surely there must be a way I can both remove these unwanted URLs and add ones that I actually use and need?

Many thanks anyway - please let me know if Firefox manage to solve this absurd issue

Thanks very much for trying to help John - I'm afraid none of the links you give actually solve the problem. I tried this link "Remove websites from the Awesome Bar suggestions" which suggests going to History and searching for the website and then forgetting it. But when I enter the name of the site (or indeed ANY of the sites from my drop-down bookmarks) it says "None found". So next I tried the piece of advice that says to remove a single site I just "arrow down" and then press delete. Again, as I said earlier, this doesn't work. The same bad URL returns as soon as you click on the dropdown menu. I find it staggering that something so simple is not merely so difficult to fix, but also that Firefox leave all of these "Step by step" solutions up when they don't work. It only served to transform users' medium-level irritation and frustration to hair-pulling levels of fury. Surely there must be a way I can both remove these unwanted URLs and add ones that I actually use and need? Many thanks anyway - please let me know if Firefox manage to solve this absurd issue
cor-el
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17415 solutions 157316 answers
You can check for problems with the <b>places.sqlite</b> database file in the Firefox profile folder. *http://kb.mozillazine.org/Bookmarks_history_and_toolbar_buttons_not_working_-_Firefox *https://support.mozilla.org/kb/Bookmarks+not+saved#w_fix-the-bookmarks-file *Places Maintenance: https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/addon/places-maintenance/

Question owner

Cor-el, many thanks for trying to help. I have downloaded the addon but no change as yet - maybe it takes some time to fix the issue?

I also looked at the other two links but they are way beyond my very limited IT ability. I just can't believe Firefox don't fix the issue - looking around the web I'm very far from being the only person who's having the same problem.

If I can't fix it soon, I'll probably just have to say goodbye to Firefox and go back to Explorer.

Cor-el, many thanks for trying to help. I have downloaded the addon but no change as yet - maybe it takes some time to fix the issue? I also looked at the other two links but they are way beyond my very limited IT ability. I just can't believe Firefox don't fix the issue - looking around the web I'm very far from being the only person who's having the same problem. If I can't fix it soon, I'll probably just have to say goodbye to Firefox and go back to Explorer.
cor-el
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17415 solutions 157316 answers

Try to (re)move all places.sqlite file(s) in the Firefox profile folder to make Firefox rebuild the places.sqlite database from the most recent JSON backup (bookmarks-YYYY-MM-DD_<item count>_<hash>.json) in the bookmarkbackups folder.

You can use this button to go to the currently used Firefox profile folder:


Try to (re)move all places.sqlite file(s) in the Firefox profile folder to make Firefox rebuild the places.sqlite database from the most recent JSON backup (bookmarks-YYYY-MM-DD_<item count>_<hash>.json) in the bookmarkbackups folder. *https://support.mozilla.org/kb/Bookmarks+not+saved#w_fix-the-bookmarks-file You can use this button to go to the currently used Firefox profile folder: *Help > Troubleshooting Information > Profile Directory: Show Folder (Linux: Open Directory; Mac: Show in Finder) *http://kb.mozillazine.org/Profile_folder_-_Firefox ----- *http://kb.mozillazine.org/Profile_backup *https://support.mozilla.org/kb/Backing+up+your+information
John99 971 solutions 13138 answers

Just thought I would check what it is you are seeing ?

We presume the actual problem you have is what Firefox (Mozilla) describes as one of the autocomplete list entries for the Awesome bar

As in this typical (annotated) screenshot

(or to view full size in a tab click)

Note by the way you will expect to see an entry IF you still have whatever it is open in a tab. So use the option to switch to that tab and close it if it is open.


If we are correct in this presumption, then it appears something has gone wrong with your Firefox, so we are trying to explain how to fix that.

Did you see the 40 second video clip about how it should work ?


If we make suggestions that are difficult to follow please explain the problem and we will try to improve the instructions and explain in more detail.

(edit fixed links)

Just thought I would check what it is you are seeing ? We presume the actual problem you have is what Firefox (Mozilla) describes as one of the autocomplete list entries for the Awesome bar * See [[Awesome Bar - Search your Firefox bookmarks, history and tabs from the address bar|How to use the autocomplete list]] As in this typical (annotated) screenshot <img src="https://support.cdn.mozilla.net/media/uploads/gallery/images/2014-03-25-11-30-59-efa8c7.png" width=500> (or to view full size in a tab [https://support.cdn.mozilla.net/media/uploads/gallery/images/2014-03-25-11-30-59-efa8c7.png click]) Note by the way you will expect to see an entry IF you still have whatever it is open in a tab. So use the option to switch to that tab and close it if it is open. If we are correct in this presumption, then it appears something has gone wrong with your Firefox, so we are trying to explain how to fix that. Did you see the 40 second video clip about how it should work ? * https://youtu.be/U7stmWKvk64 {<sub>[[Awesome Bar - Search your Firefox bookmarks, history and tabs from the address bar|from]]</sub>) <-- Clickable links (blue text usually) --------- If we make suggestions that are difficult to follow please explain the problem and we will try to improve the instructions and explain in more detail. (edit fixed links)

Modified by John99

Question owner

Sorry John, what do I need to do to fix the problem? Is it explained in the video?

Sorry John, what do I need to do to fix the problem? Is it explained in the video?

Question owner

I'm not sure what other detail I can provide but I'll explain it all again.

I would like to know a) how can I remove URLs from the drop-down bar permanently (pressing delete doesn't work)

b) how can I CHOOSE which new URLs to add to the drop down menu (at the moment it seems to be populated at random)

Googling around seems to support Cor-el's suggestions that it's something corrupted in the sqlite folder but I'm not an IT person and various forums mention that messing around may accidentally delete all my bookmarks and I don't want that. So what I'm asking is - is there a simple way to get this simple function to work?

I'm not sure what other detail I can provide but I'll explain it all again. I would like to know a) how can I remove URLs from the drop-down bar permanently (pressing delete doesn't work) b) how can I CHOOSE which new URLs to add to the drop down menu (at the moment it seems to be populated at random) Googling around seems to support Cor-el's suggestions that it's something corrupted in the sqlite folder but I'm not an IT person and various forums mention that messing around may accidentally delete all my bookmarks and I don't want that. So what I'm asking is - is there a simple way to get this simple function to work?
John99 971 solutions 13138 answers

Firstly of I was trying just to make certain that we were talking about the same thing. Is it definitely the address bar ? also known as the location bar or awesomebar.

The video does not explain how to fix the problem,it just shows the bar in use. The picture I posted above again shows that bar in use. I also pointed out that a URL line could exist for something because it is open in another tab.

In my first post #answer-741502 I linked to articles explaining some of the options you should have, that should work. Those are the simple ways to do things and normally work for near enough everyone.

IF those options are not working then you have no need to Google for answers elsewhere. Your Firefox is broken ! Just follow cor-el's suggestions to fix the problem. However if you re worried about loosing bookmarks make sure you back up your firefox Profile first. That will ensure as much information as possible is saved.

Firefox does normally try to make about 15 internal bookmark backups. if you do have to delete places.sqlite what you do loose is your History listing. If you are able to repair the datbase with places-maintenance you may be lucky and not loose anything. IMPORTANT you will need to run the addon not just download it. It does not autorun

  1. Download the addon
  2. Permit it to install
  3. You may first of all wish to back your profile as explained above before proceeding further.
  4. Open the addons page -> extensions -> places-maintenance-> [Preferences]
  5. You then get the options just use the log or statistics option and run that.
  6. Save the logfile or message output, it is just a short text message or file
  7. Repeat the step to run the addon, this time select all the options.
  8. Did it help ?
  9. You will at least have two log files or text messages. Paste them in to your reply at least we then see what it did and what it found.

We are trying to provide solutions that cause only minimal damage.

Firstly of I was trying just to make certain that we were talking about the same thing. '''Is it definitely the address bar ?''' also known as the location bar or awesomebar. The video does not explain how to fix the problem,it just shows the bar in use. The picture I posted above again shows that bar in use. I also pointed out that a URL line could exist for something because it is open in another tab. In my first post [[#answer-741502]] I linked to articles explaining some of the options you should have, that should work. Those are the simple ways to do things and normally work for near enough everyone. IF those options are not working then you have no need to Google for answers elsewhere. Your Firefox is broken ! Just follow ''cor-el's'' suggestions to fix the problem. '''However''' if you re worried about loosing bookmarks make sure you back up your firefox Profile first. That will ensure as much information as possible is saved. * Instructions for backing up the profile: <br /> [[Back up and restore information in Firefox profiles]] Firefox does normally try to make about 15 internal bookmark backups. if you do have to delete places.sqlite what you do loose is your History listing. If you are able to repair the datbase with ''places-maintenance'' you may be lucky and not loose anything. IMPORTANT you will need to run the addon not just download it. It does not autorun # Download the addon # Permit it to install # You may first of all wish to back your profile as explained above before proceeding further. #Open the addons page -> extensions -> places-maintenance-> [Preferences] # You then get the options just use the log or statistics option and run that. # Save the logfile or message output, it is just a short text message or file #Repeat the step to run the addon, this time select all the options. # Did it help ? # You will at least have two log files or text messages. Paste them in to your reply at least we then see what it did and what it found. We are trying to provide solutions that cause only minimal damage.

Question owner

Many thanks again John - Success! (partially) I have now managed to delete the unwanted URLS! I did this by going to the library (ctrl+shift+b) and entering and deleting the name of the url there (whereas, all the guides say I can do this by clicking delete in the actual dropdown box, which doesn't work).

However, I still haven't managed to work out how I can populate the dropdown menu with sites that I actually want and need. It just seems to add random websites from my (long) favourites list. Is this right? I know I can add and delete favourites from the toolbar but surely there must be a way to do the same for the "Awesome" bar?

Many thanks again John - Success! (partially) I have now managed to delete the unwanted URLS! I did this by going to the library (ctrl+shift+b) and entering and deleting the name of the url there (whereas, all the guides say I can do this by clicking delete in the actual dropdown box, which doesn't work). However, I still haven't managed to work out how I can populate the dropdown menu with sites that I actually want and need. It just seems to add random websites from my (long) favourites list. Is this right? I know I can add and delete favourites from the toolbar but surely there must be a way to do the same for the "Awesome" bar?
John99 971 solutions 13138 answers

You are not able to directly choose the list of sites displayed in the dropdown URL list. It is far from random, and learns a you use it. If you can get your head round it read this

Yes you may delete individual entries from the list. Yes you may indirectly influence what is included.

  • If you are in a Private browsing Window the URLs do not get added.
  • If you choose to set it to include bookmarks then what is bookmarked affects the listing.

As cor-el [XXX mentioned]you may modify the frecency criteria. In fact there is no need to use a sqlite editor, there are lots of prefs in about config, but it is possibly wise to saty out of that until you learn more about Firefox because you may eqsily break Firefox in about:config.

I've only just noticed you hve two questions open. I will crosslink them and mark this one as solved.

See also the follow on question

  • How do I select which websites I want in the drop-down menu in the location bar? /questions/1067647

I changed my mind and did not mark this as solved.

You are not able to directly choose the list of sites displayed in the dropdown URL list. It is far from random, and learns a you use it. If you can get your head round it read this * https://developer.mozilla.org/Mozilla/Tech/Places/Frecency_algorithm Yes you may delete individual entries from the list. Yes you may indirectly influence what is included. * If you are in a Private browsing Window the URLs do not get added. * If you choose to set it to include bookmarks then what is bookmarked affects the listing. As ''cor-el'' [XXX mentioned]you may modify the frecency criteria. In fact there is no need to use a sqlite editor, there are lots of prefs in about config, but it is possibly wise to saty out of that until you learn more about Firefox because you may eqsily break Firefox in about:config. I've only just noticed you hve two questions open. I will crosslink them <s>and mark this one as solved.</s> See also the follow on question * ''How do I select which websites I want in the drop-down menu in the location bar?'' [/questions/1067647] --------- I changed my mind and did not mark this as solved.

Modified by John99

John99 971 solutions 13138 answers

I had a breakfast break and will now try to give a clearer explanation.

I suspect the issue here is too much control.

It is not that you are unable to control Firefox features. It is that there are so many inter-related features and methods of modifying or controlling these that it is dificult to know which to choose and for what purpose.

There are three separate subjects the Bookmarks. the History and the URL list.

martinaaron said

... - Success! (partially) I have now managed to delete the unwanted URLS! I did this by going to the library (ctrl+shift+b) and entering and deleting the name of the url there (whereas, all the guides say I can do this by clicking delete in the actual dropdown box, which doesn't work).

URL LIST

  • You should be able to delete single URL list items in the URL dropdown list by highlightig them and using the delete button.
  • See Remove websites from the address bar suggestions and scroll down to Clearing a single item from the Location bar history Where it says
    1. To clear a single item in the Location bar history, click the drop-down arrow in the Location bar.
    2. Press the ↓ down arrow key or move the mouse, to highlight the entry to delete.
    3. To clear the highlighted item, press Delete on your keyboard.

That deletes the SINGLE item in the URL list.

You are deleting the bookmark itself if you use (Ctrl+Shift+B) that is the wrong aproach to take, unless you did bookmark the site in error.

  • You probably do want the boomark.
  • You can select whether or not the URL list displays bookmarked URLs
  • You can forget about the site totally, that removes bookmarks and History.
    • That may be the option you are looking for.
      • Remember a site may have Multiple Bookmarks and very many visits in History.
      • But may be too extreme. Do you really want to delete all bookmarks and all History for that Site. (They will add again later, unless for instance you do not add more boookmarks and only visit in a Private Browsing Window, or equivalent.)


Lets repeat John99 said

.... Your immediate concern is a site that is wrong, there is an easy option to forget such sites. .....

John99 said

There are other things maybe I should mention.

BOOKMARKS Please read and see the video clip Bookmarks in Firefox


HISTORY Please read nd note the amount of information potentially stored Delete browsing, search and download history on Firefox_what-things-are-included-in-my-history


Have a good read. I think we are moving towards a solution, and posibly your Firefox was not faulty, just complicated to use.

I had a breakfast break and will now try to give a clearer explanation. '''I suspect the issue here is too much control.''' It is not that you are unable to control Firefox features. It is that there are so many inter-related features and methods of modifying or controlling these that it is dificult to know which to choose and for what purpose. There are three separate subjects the Bookmarks. the History and the URL list. ''martinaaron [[#answer-741733|said]]'' <blockquote> ... - Success! (partially) I have now managed to delete the unwanted URLS! I did this by going to the library (ctrl+shift+b) and entering and deleting the name of the url there (whereas, all the guides say I can do this by clicking delete in the actual dropdown box, which doesn't work). </blockquote> ------- URL LIST *You should be able to delete single URL list items in the '''URL dropdown list''' by highlightig them and using the delete button. * See [[Remove websites from the Awesome Bar suggestions]] and scroll down to ''Clearing a single item from the Location bar history'' Where it says *# To clear a single item in the Location bar history, click the drop-down arrow in the Location bar. *# Press the ↓ down arrow key or move the mouse, to highlight the entry to delete. *# To clear the highlighted item, press Delete on your keyboard. <img src="https://support.cdn.mozilla.net/media/uploads/gallery/images/2012-09-22-06-27-57-862825.png"> '''That deletes the SINGLE item in the URL list. ''' You are deleting the '''bookmark''' itself if you use (Ctrl+Shift+B) that is the '''wrong aproach to take''', unless you did bookmark the site in error. *You probably do want the boomark. *You can select whether or not the URL list displays bookmarked URLs *You can '''forget''' about the site totally, that removes bookmarks and History. ** That may be the option you are looking for. *** Remember a site may have Multiple Bookmarks and '''very many visits in History'''. ***But may be too extreme. Do you really want to delete all bookmarks and all History for that Site. (They will add again later, unless for instance you do not add more boookmarks and only visit in a Private Browsing Window, or equivalent.) Lets repeat ''John99 [[#answer-741502|said]]'' <blockquote> .... Your immediate concern is a site that is wrong, there is an easy option to forget such sites. * Do: Find the mistyped address in the History, rightclick & opt to ''forget ..." * For full instructions with screenshots see [[Remove websites from the Awesome Bar suggestions#w_clearing-all-items-for-a-single-site|_clearing-all-items-for-a-single-site]] ** Just note when doing that it clears everything for that site, including bookmarks, and other History items. * See also [[Forget button - quickly delete your browsing history on Firefox]] <-- That option is for specific,usually recent time periods <br /> [[Remove websites from the Awesome Bar suggestions]] * [[Private Browsing - Use Firefox without saving history]] ..... </blockquote> ''John99 [[#answer-741512|said]]'' <blockquote> There are other things maybe I should mention. * You have a bookmarks drop down available (Ctrl+Shift+ B <- Windows) or the bookmarks icon next to the bookmark star. ** <sub>[[Create bookmarks to save your favorite webpages#w_how-do-i-organize-my-bookmarks]]</sub>_how-do-i-organize-my-bookmarks *There is a bookmarks or '''History''' sidebar available ** [[Use the Firefox sidebar to access bookmarks, history and social features]] * There is an option for a Bookmarks toolbar to be displayed, that may be populated with bookmarks or nested folders of bookmarks ** [[Bookmarks Toolbar - Display your favorite websites at the top of the Firefox window]] </blockquote> -------- BOOKMARKS Please read and see the video clip [[Create bookmarks to save your favorite webpages]] --------- HISTORY Please read nd note the amount of information potentially stored [[Delete browsing, search and download history on Firefox#w_what-things-are-included-in-my-history]]'''_what-things-are-included-in-my-history''' ----------- Have a good read. I think we are moving towards a solution, and posibly your Firefox was not faulty, just complicated to use.