Tap here to go to the mobile version of the site.
Your Firefox is out of date and may contain a security risk! Upgrade Firefox

Support Forum

How to make google default search engine in address bar.


How do I make it so that when I search with my address bar it ALWAYS uses Google, regardless of what search engine is selected in the search bar? It used to be like this, but a recent Firefox update altered it. Now, when I search with my address bar it uses the search engine selected in the search bar...if I wanted to do that, I would just use the search bar! Any suggestions?

Chosen solution

see: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/keywordurl-hack/

It was removed from firefox because search hijackers could "lock aka require lots of things to be done to remove it" the search preference.

Read this answer in context 70

Additional System Details

Installed Plug-ins

  • The QuickTime Plugin allows you to view a wide variety of multimedia content in web pages. For more information, visit the QuickTime Web site.
  • Version
  • Google Talk Plugin Video Accelerator version:
  • Microsoft Office for Mac SharePoint Browser Plug-in
  • Shockwave Flash 11.7 r700
  • Displays Java applet content, or a placeholder if Java is not installed.
  • 5.1.20513.0


  • Firefox 23.0.1
  • User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10.8; rv:23.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/23.0
  • Support URL: http://support.mozilla.org/1/firefox/23.0.1/Darwin/en-US/


  • Adblock Plus 2.3.2 ({d10d0bf8-f5b5-c8b4-a8b2-2b9879e08c5d})
  • All-in-One Gestures 0.26 ({8b86149f-01fb-4842-9dd8-4d7eb02fd055})
  • All-in-One Sidebar 0.7.20 ({097d3191-e6fa-4728-9826-b533d755359d})
  • AutoPager (autopager@mozilla.org)
  • Cleanest Addon Manager 7.0 (cam@sdrocking.com)
  • Clearly 9.3369.854.431 (readable@evernote.com)
  • Click&Clean 4.1 (clickclean@hotcleaner.com)
  • Desktop 1.4.11 (desktop@telega.phpnet.us)
  • Disconnect 2.0.0 (2.0@disconnect.me)
  • DoNotTrackMe (donottrackplus@abine.com)
  • FastestFox 5.1.9 (smarterwiki@wikiatic.com)
  • FEBE ({4BBDD651-70CF-4821-84F8-2B918CF89CA3})
  • feedly 16.0.528 (feedly@devhd)
  • FlashGot ({19503e42-ca3c-4c27-b1e2-9cdb2170ee34})
  • Ghostery 5.0.0 (firefox@ghostery.com)
  • Greasemonkey 1.11 ({e4a8a97b-f2ed-450b-b12d-ee082ba24781})
  • HTTPS-Everywhere 3.3.1 (https-everywhere@eff.org)
  • Lazarus: Form Recovery 2.3 (lazarus@interclue.com)
  • Priv3 0.2 (priv3@icsi.berkeley.edu)
  • QuickWiki 1.1.3 ({EE223D7A-F30F-11DD-8F0A-D2AD55D89593})
  • Troubleshooter 1.1a (troubleshooter@mozilla.org)
  • Zotero 4.0.12 (zotero@chnm.gmu.edu)


  • incrementalGCEnabled: True


  • adapterDescription:
  • adapterDeviceID: 0x 166
  • adapterDrivers:
  • adapterRAM:
  • adapterVendorID: 0x8086
  • driverDate:
  • driverVersion:
  • info: {u'AzureCanvasBackend': u'quartz', u'AzureFallbackCanvasBackend': u'none', u'AzureContentBackend': u'none'}
  • numAcceleratedWindows: 1
  • numTotalWindows: 1
  • webglRenderer: Intel Inc. -- Intel HD Graphics 4000 OpenGL Engine
  • windowLayerManagerType: OpenGL

Modified Preferences

  • accessibility.typeaheadfind.flashBar: 0
  • browser.cache.disk.capacity: 0
  • browser.cache.disk.smart_size.enabled: False
  • browser.cache.disk.smart_size.first_run: False
  • browser.cache.disk.smart_size.use_old_max: False
  • browser.cache.disk.smart_size_cached_value: 358400
  • browser.newtab.url: chrome://desktop/content/desktop.html
  • browser.places.smartBookmarksVersion: 4
  • browser.privatebrowsing.autostart: True
  • browser.search.useDBForOrder: True
  • browser.sessionstore.restore_on_demand: False
  • browser.startup.homepage: https://accounts.google.com/ServiceLogin?service=mail&passive=true&rm=false&continue=https://mail.google.com/mail/&ss=1&scc=1&ltmpl=default&ltmplcache=2|https://www.facebook.com/|http://mlb.mlb.com/home|http://www.feedly.com/home#latest|http://www.cnn.com/|https://webmail.illinois.edu/CookieAuth.dll?GetLogon?curl=Z2FowaZ2F&reason=0&formdir=1|http://www.cracked.com/|http://www.pitchforkmedia.com
  • browser.startup.homepage_override.buildID: 20130814063812
  • browser.startup.homepage_override.mstone: 23.0.1
  • browser.urlbar.autocomplete.enabled: False
  • dom.max_chrome_script_run_time: 0
  • dom.mozApps.used: True
  • dom.w3c_touch_events.expose: False
  • extensions.lastAppVersion: 23.0.1
  • general.autoScroll: False
  • gfx.blacklist.webgl.msaa: 4
  • network.cookie.prefsMigrated: True
  • places.database.lastMaintenance: 1376681229
  • places.history.expiration.transient_current_max_pages: 104858
  • plugin.disable_full_page_plugin_for_types: application/pdf
  • plugin.importedState: True
  • privacy.cpd.siteSettings: True
  • privacy.donottrackheader.enabled: True
  • privacy.sanitize.migrateFx3Prefs: True
  • storage.vacuum.last.index: 1
  • storage.vacuum.last.places.sqlite: 1376439594


  • User JS: No
  • Accessibility: No
  • Top 25 Contributor
529 solutions 5045 answers

Chosen Solution

see: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/keywordurl-hack/

It was removed from firefox because search hijackers could "lock aka require lots of things to be done to remove it" the search preference.

Question owner

Amazing, thank you!

mschubb 0 solutions 6 answers

Understand, but I never had that problem. And now I no longer have an extremely useful function that I typically use dozens of times a day and have been using for many years.

Isn't there anyway to work around this? I need to the main address bar to search google (or some other default I select) and the search bar set to a different, but changeable search engine.

BaneFalcon 0 solutions 1 answers

Helpful Reply

I'm also having this same problem... it's the first thing that Firefox has ever done that's made me contemplate getting a different browser. The "update" seems like a step back, and a removal of a very good feature. I'm in the same boat of wondering if there's any work-arounds or add-ons to restore the old usage, even if it comes at the risk of having my address bar's search engine occasionally hijacked.

Helpful Reply

So I used the add-on, but there were some problems. My solution was to:

1. Type the following into your address bar: about:config

2. Say you understand about the "voiding of the warranty"

3. Search for the string "keyword.URL" (now I'm trying to remember if that string already existed or not...if it doesn't show up for you, right-click and go to New, and then select String...name it "keyword.URL").

4. Set the value to: https://www.google.com/#safe=active&output=search&sclient=psy-ab&q=

This should fix it.

  • Top 25 Contributor
529 solutions 5045 answers

keyword.URL is not in fx 23 +

  • Top 10 Contributor
  • Moderator
10753 solutions 96760 answers

Starting with Firefox 23 the keyword.URL pref is no longer supported and it is no longer possible to specify the search engine for the location bar that way.
The search engine that is used on the location bar and on the about:home page is the search engine that is selected in the search Bar on the Navigation Toolbar.
You can install the Keyword Search extension to specify with search engine to use for the location bar and which search engine to use for the about:home page via the Options/Preferences windows of this extension, accessible via the about:addons page.

ecg3500 0 solutions 1 answers
    • FIX**

This makes keywords typed into URL bar always perform a Google search instead of what the addon search bar has currently selected.

type about:config into URL bar click "I'll be careful I promise" search for "keyword.URL" right click >modify >(change to) "https://www.google.com/#q="


  • Top 25 Contributor
529 solutions 5045 answers

Ecg3500, keyword.url requires a addon to work as stated by cor-el.

Sh. Niew 0 solutions 1 answers

for the latest Firefox, I would prefer Combine Your Firefox Search Bar and Address Bar . just make the toolbar clean...

lalilulelo 0 solutions 1 answers

1. go to about:config

2. look for browser.search.defaultenginename

3. Change its value to "Google" without the quotation marks.

It should look like this

browser.search.defaultenginename default string Google

5. You're welcome.