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Old style Searchbar now missing after update

  • 23 replies
  • 108 have this problem
  • 3586 views
  • Last reply by Zondermunz

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Firefox automatically updated this morning to 43.0. Since then, my search bar now appears as the newer style again. Previously I'd been using the about:config trick with the browser.search.showOneOffButtons = False setting to retain the older style (the one that has the drop down menu to select, and then the search engine icon visible).

I verified that the OneOffButtons selection is still false, and even tried switching it back to True, and back to False again. No luck. Is this an intentional change? Does anyone know how to return back to the old search bar without downgrading?

For my job, I often have to do repeated searches with custom search engines loaded. It's much easier to just select the engine (or even Ebay if I'm searching a lot of Ebay stuff) and then do repeated searches with that engine without having to select that engine from the newer drop down menu every single time. It's also nice to have the visual indicator of what the current engine is selected to instead of the little magnifying glass.

In other words, the newer SearchBar, for me, has lost pretty much all functionality in terms of Ease of Use. I've been using Firefox for years and this was pretty much the last thing keeping me hanging on instead of switching to Chrome.

Chosen solution

"browser.search.showOneOffButtons" was a temporary thing. The underlying code that supported that preference is gone as of Firefox 43.

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/classicthemerestorer/ has an option for Old search (experimental) in CTR Options > General UI (1)

Read this answer in context 👍 14

All Replies (20)

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Same issue, i tried doing the about:config "trick" again but it did not work.

Firefox please let us have the option of having the old search bar.

The new one is visually intrusive and has no purpose for me.

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Chosen Solution

"browser.search.showOneOffButtons" was a temporary thing. The underlying code that supported that preference is gone as of Firefox 43.

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/classicthemerestorer/ has an option for Old search (experimental) in CTR Options > General UI (1)

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I'll try that, but it's disappointing that Mozilla would take away a more useful version for this newer excuse for a searchbar and not provide an option to go back.

I am, at least, glad to know that the workaround has been taken out. That leads me to believe that this change is now permanent and gives me enough incentive to try other browsers out. :/

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For now, while I'm testing out Chrome and get used to it, I'll just install version 42.0 of Firefox and use it for work.

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I find it hilarious that firefox is "committed to you..." as stated on their main page - and then viciously removes all these options that allow users to browse how we like it.

If firefox had any respect for its users it would never remove options, especially when their new features (like the one search) are heavily criticized.

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Exactly. I'm not sure how anyone could even try the new one and feel it's half as useful or easy to use as the old one. I'm glad I'm not the only one that feels that way.

When they first did it, there was the workaround and I saw backlash so I always figured they'd change it back OR at least give an option in the menu to select the style. Since they've now, apparently, completely removed it I've got nothing holding me back to Firefox now.

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You can look at the Classic Theme Restorer extension to restore the old search bar.

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Someone already commented that. I didn't try it. I shouldn't have to use a 3rd party add on to restore something that should be there anyways.

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Did they add an alternative work-flow that we should be learning?

Or did they just think that nobody wants to change search engines on the fly?

Modified by apLundell

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You can change the search engine that is used for a search. You only can't change the default search engine without going to "Options/Preferences > Search".

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Cor-el, I would probably begrudgingly work with that....IF the search engine icon were still visible so I could immediately see what I was using.

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apLundell, I don't know, but it's annoying either way. I often need to do multiple product searches for one site, then switch over and search on another site, etc. It's not uncommon for me to have 2-3 browser windows with multiple tabs open in each one as I'm searching.

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I often need to do multiple product searches for one site, then switch over and search on another site, etc.

Agreed. Same here.

It feels like the changes were made by people who didn't understand the use-case for the feature.

Like, they said "Really? The search box? What is that even for? Do people use that? Chrome doesn't have one! Oh well, I know what's best for it.".

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Firefox is more like Chrome now than ever. The "new and improved" search behavior is unusable, counterproductive and confusing for me. They can make a new search function if they want, but to actively take away the option to revert it for those of us who don't want it is just so arrogant and anti-user.

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SeriousMX said

Firefox is more like Chrome now than ever. The "new and improved" search behavior is unusable, counterproductive and confusing for me. They can make a new search function if they want, but to actively take away the option to revert it for those of us who don't want it is just so arrogant and anti-user.

Yea, whoever is in charge of Firefox is ruining it. Instead of allowing all options and settings, they are forcing us to use their awful new features...

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Well, I come into work today, and the 43.0 upgrade is back....which is funny considering I had automatic updates off.

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Are you sure that Updates were turned off? ... let me choose whether to install them doesn't work as a "normal person" would expect - too easy to miss the little message box window which can end up behind the main browser window all too easily, which times out within 1 or 2 minutes, and then it stops waiting for a user response - it just goes ahead with downloading the update.

Plus there's the Mozilla Maintenance Service. https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/what-mozilla-maintenance-service Even with Never check for updates ... selected that "little gem" can "push" an unwanted update, too. See the bottom of that KB article to learn how to de-fang that "service".

Anyone who wants to provide feedback to Mozilla about new, changed, or removed features should do so here - https://input.mozilla.org/en-US/feedback The users who contribute their own time to provide support here for Firefox have no power over what is done in Firefox - comments posted here are like "singing to the choir". Please let us provide support to the "Owner" of this thread and if you want support please start your own thread here - https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/new

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Thanks ed...I think I had the let me choose option selected. I changed it to never check and we'll see how that works.

And I've now left feedback at the link provided.

Modified by Ovrclck350

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Enable 'Old Search' option in CTR - 1.5.0 > General UI (1) > Old search: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/classicthemerestorer/?src=ss

Rearrange the order in which search engine names appear in the old-style drop-down menu: in Firefox > Preferences > Search window, select a search engine name. Drag-drop it up or down to any position in the list. In the drop-down menu, click the name of a search engine to make it the default Search Bar search engine. Install popular & custom search engines from large organized collection of 1000s of search engines at University of Oregon Open Source Lab Mycroft Project: http://mycroftproject.com/

Images, L to R: - FF 45.0.1 default drop-down menu. - Upper portion of old-style drop-down menu. - Lower portion of old-style drop-down menu. - CTR - 1.5.0 > General UI (1) > General UI > Old search - Mycroft Project site.

Modified by Zondermunz

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As long as we're reviving old threads...

As an alternative to using the old bar, I created a custom style rule to change the appearance of the bar in Firefox 43+. It still works the same way, but it looks more like the old bar with the names of the search engines displayed in a vertical list.

I have attached a screenshot to show the general idea. If you want to try it out:

(1) Install the Stylish extension from the Add-ons site: https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/addon/stylish/

(2) Install the custom style rule from here: Firefox Search Bar Show Engine Names (Firefox 43+) - userstyles.org

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