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Firefox 33 home-page search bar changed in 39

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I have upgraded a few times recently to 37 and now to 39 but the firefox homepage search bar has lost all of my history and more importantl, I used to be able to double-click on it to bring up a list of recent searches. Oh yeah, and the font has been changed and is now too big :(

Is there anything I can do to import / get back my list of old searches and change the other bits? If not I will be stuck on 32 / 33 for ever!

Cheers, Jason.

All Replies (12)

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Please update your plugins to the latest version. Check to make sure you are up to date:

If you see any issues also see:

I understand that there is a change in functionality of the url bar. There a preference that will turn on history, bookmarks, and open tabs.

It's under the "Location Bar" in about:preferences#privacy.

There are other add ons that can be used to customize the url bar as well:

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In Firefox 39, I don't get any search history displayed if I double-click the search bar [in the built-in home page], but if I type one or two letters that matches a previous search, then the previous terms appear in a drop-down.

I normally keep search suggestions turned off, but if I turn them on, the suggestions appear in the same drop-down below the history entries. If you only see suggestions, maybe you could turn those off in case they are crowing out history (right-click the search bar up on the toolbar > uncheck Show Suggestions).

As you've noticed, the search bar was changed in Firefox 34. To revert the search bar that appears on the toolbar back to its old design, you could try this:

(1) In a new tab, type or paste about:config in the address bar and press Enter. Click the button promising to be careful.

(2) In the search box that appears above the list, type or paste search and pause while the list is filtered

(3) Double-click the preference to switch it from true to false

This doesn't affect the current window, but each new window you open (Ctrl+n) will have the old Search bar.

Does that help with your home page issue?

Modified by jscher2000

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Nope, no good.

Thankyou for the replies, I also keep suggestions turned off so it is not that, and trying to change the config did not work either. Just to be clear, I am talking about the search bar in the centre of the page, as I don't really use the one on the toolbar.

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Could you double-check that "Remember search and form history" is still enabled in the Privacy preferences:

"3-bar" menu button (or Tools menu) > Options > Privacy

If the selector says "Firefox will: Never remember history" then you would need to switch off permanent private browsing in order to re-enable search history. I think. I've never tested it.

If necessary, change the selector to "Firefox will: Use custom settings for history" and then you can inspect the different categories (history, cookies, etc.).

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HIstory is remembered, what I am saying is A - my history from firefox 33 has been wiped when I upgraded B - double-click on the search bar in the centre of the home page does nothing anymore, I have to start typing a word to bring up the history, ie. if I type a "g" it comes up with gmail, google, etc. In the good old days a double click would have brought up a list of all recent searches so no typing was necessary.

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Got it.

"A" should not happen; all history should be retained. Is that the only thing which was not carried forward?

"B" is what I got in my tests, too. This might be a change to the box in Firefox 34+. (I actually do not use search history myself, so I don't know how it worked in Firefox 33.) Or if you have any add-ons that influence how that box works, maybe the add-on isn't working any more with the new design.

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Thanks for your help, I think the developers just decided to change the functionality, shame really, but I shall have to embrace it and get used to it.

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In the past it used to work as a normal input form, but currently there is an autocomplete=off attribute and JavaScript is used to handle the suggestions.

  • chrome://browser/content/searchSuggestionUI.js
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A quick update, still searching for the answer I have found this page on github which is a replica of the old start page. I will be using this as my home page for now, it has all my old search queries and the double-click feature too.

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Oops, I spoke too soon, I can enter the search terms but it doesn't perform the search. Now if someone can chip in with a guide of how to use the page properly that would be a big step frowards in going backwards!

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I have no idea what that page you found is for. It has Android in the name, which suggests it wasn't really designed to be used on Windows. Maybe it's just a mock-up?

Would it be a useful temporary workaround to change your home page to whatever search engine you normally use? Or does that not show search history, either?

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Might be a test or prototype for an about:home animation involving both the "snippet container" and the "brandLogo" area (above the "search container") - something I haven't seen before, where two or three "containers" were animated with the same animation. I don't know what I did that triggered that little Android that is peering out with his head above the "snippet container" when loading that page, but I saw him stand up and slide behind the "search container" into the "brand Logo" area and then the Firefox logo materialized into a shopping bag, then as the bag moved down a smart phone came out of the bag into the Androids hand (I think that was the sequence at least). Like the Android "pulled a phone out of the bag". And as hard as I tried I couldn't get that animation to cycle again to watch it again.

Regardless, that page can't be used for the homepage - saved it to local disk and tried making that the "home page" and the "search container" still wasn't live.