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How to adjust order in which Firefox autofills web addresses from bookmarks?

Posted

I have a lot of bookmarks, and keep them pretty well organized in the bookmarks folders, but still, I'm often several directories deep to get what I want, and I prefer to just type in and let autofill finish for my most-used but not quite 'toolbar-direct' worthy sites. And I want to be able to control what Firefox puts on top when I start typing something in the address bar and it starts autofilling addresses--and I want this to work the same when I am in Firefox on my laptop and Firefox on my iPhone (I do have FF sync set up across devices).

For example, I want to be able to type 'tea' and have the first thing that FF offers me be Teaforum.org, my current preferred site, and not Teachat.com, which I rarely visit anymore. I can change my description of the site--putting zz's in front of 'Teachat' so zzTeachat alphabetizes below 'aaTeaForum' but that doesn't change the order in which FF presents things to me.

Also annoying is that what I type on the laptop does not bring things up the same way on the laptop and the phone. I have one item labeled 'News of topic Y' and typing in 'News' offers that first as autofill on the laptop, but the phone only goes to that site when I type some letters in the order of the URL (e.g., 'topic y') and it always offers to autofill with a web site I've removed from my bookmarks and cleared from my history FIRST--e.g., it offers 'topic.com' above 'news of topic Y', and sometimes I click too fast and have to start over.

A third similar issue: I have bookmarked a specific page on a website, and FF always offers the non-bookmarked primary address, e.g., I want to go to foreignsite.com/en, which I have bookmarked, and FF offers first 'foreignsite.com' which needs a pause for it to load and another click to get to the English-language version of the site.

These are very subtle and minor annoyances, but I'd really love to know how FF prioritizes what it puts first, and if there is any way to change it, to make sure it ALWAYS puts bookmarks above search results, and to be able to match what I type and what appears across devices (to save aging brain that confusion), and to control the order of my bookmarks' appearance when they have similar URLs and similar titles (because that's what happens when you have a lot of them built up over time).

I keep my FF on beta update channel on my Macs, which are operating on High Sierra (won't be switching to Mojave right away); and iPhone 5S is on iOS 12 with FF 13.2.

I have a lot of bookmarks, and keep them pretty well organized in the bookmarks folders, but still, I'm often several directories deep to get what I want, and I prefer to just type in and let autofill finish for my most-used but not quite 'toolbar-direct' worthy sites. And I want to be able to control what Firefox puts on top when I start typing something in the address bar and it starts autofilling addresses--and I want this to work the same when I am in Firefox on my laptop and Firefox on my iPhone (I do have FF sync set up across devices). For example, I want to be able to type 'tea' and have the first thing that FF offers me be Teaforum.org, my current preferred site, and not Teachat.com, which I rarely visit anymore. I can change my description of the site--putting zz's in front of 'Teachat' so zzTeachat alphabetizes below 'aaTeaForum' but that doesn't change the order in which FF presents things to me. Also annoying is that what I type on the laptop does not bring things up the same way on the laptop and the phone. I have one item labeled 'News of topic Y' and typing in 'News' offers that first as autofill on the laptop, but the phone only goes to that site when I type some letters in the order of the URL (e.g., 'topic y') and it always offers to autofill with a web site I've removed from my bookmarks and cleared from my history FIRST--e.g., it offers 'topic.com' above 'news of topic Y', and sometimes I click too fast and have to start over. A third similar issue: I have bookmarked a specific page on a website, and FF always offers the non-bookmarked primary address, e.g., I want to go to foreignsite.com/en, which I have bookmarked, and FF offers first 'foreignsite.com' which needs a pause for it to load and another click to get to the English-language version of the site. These are very subtle and minor annoyances, but I'd really love to know how FF prioritizes what it puts first, and if there is any way to change it, to make sure it ALWAYS puts bookmarks above search results, and to be able to match what I type and what appears across devices (to save aging brain that confusion), and to control the order of my bookmarks' appearance when they have similar URLs and similar titles (because that's what happens when you have a lot of them built up over time). I keep my FF on beta update channel on my Macs, which are operating on High Sierra (won't be switching to Mojave right away); and iPhone 5S is on iOS 12 with FF 13.2.

Additional System Details

Installed Plug-ins

  • Shockwave Flash 31.0 r0

Application

  • User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10.13; rv:63.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/63.0

More Information

FredMcD
  • Top 10 Contributor
4027 solutions 56322 answers

Place the sites used most in the Bookmarks Toolbar. For the rest, open the Bookmarks Manager, and use the search bar at the top of the window.

Place the sites used most in the Bookmarks Toolbar. For the rest, open the Bookmarks Manager, and use the search bar at the top of the window.

Question owner

Perhaps I wasn't clear enough: I am asking about how to make better use of the address bar autofill function because I have too many bookmarks for the toolbar alone, and too many levels of subdirectories in the bookmarks menus to use those for all of my favorites.

I am trying to optimize high intensity use by learning how FF orders things under the hood; I already have the basics down pat.

Perhaps I wasn't clear enough: I am asking about how to make better use of the address bar autofill function because I have too many bookmarks for the toolbar alone, and too many levels of subdirectories in the bookmarks menus to use those for all of my favorites. I am trying to optimize high intensity use by learning how FF orders things under the hood; I already have the basics down pat.
Standard8 30 solutions 166 answers

Helpful Reply

The matches are based on a frecency algorithm. For Firefox for desktop, the rough design of it is here:

https://developer.mozilla.org/docs/Mozilla/Tech/Places/Frecency_algorithm

though some of the specifics may have changed since that was last updated.

Mobile has a slightly different frecency algorithm to desktop, but I don't have details for that.

The main thing to note with frecency is that it should decay old sites over time,

The matches are based on a frecency algorithm. For Firefox for desktop, the rough design of it is here: https://developer.mozilla.org/docs/Mozilla/Tech/Places/Frecency_algorithm though some of the specifics may have changed since that was last updated. Mobile has a slightly different frecency algorithm to desktop, but I don't have details for that. The main thing to note with frecency is that it should decay old sites over time,

Question owner

I think that helps.....although it doesn't quite make sense when something that I haven't visited in weeks gets picked above something I visit a few times daily.

Unfortunately, when I click to fast or sloppy, it makes it look like I wanted to go to the wrong site, and keeps it up in the 'frecency' calculations.

I need a more accurate thumbs.

I think that helps.....although it doesn't quite make sense when something that I haven't visited in weeks gets picked above something I visit a few times daily. Unfortunately, when I click to fast or sloppy, it makes it look like I wanted to go to the wrong site, and keeps it up in the 'frecency' calculations. I need a more accurate thumbs.