Use popular search suggestions in the Firefox Search bar
This article is no longer maintained, so its content might be out of date.
Search suggestions help you to find out common phrases that other people have searched for. The search suggestions are offered by the search engines (such as Google, Yahoo, etc.) and not by Firefox. Firefox merely retrieves the search suggestions from the search engines, and displays the list to assist you in selecting a search phrase that has been used by many other users throughout the world before.
- For more information on the Search bar, see Search the Web on Firefox.
Table of Contents
- 1 Enabling or disabling search suggestions
- 2 Using search suggestions
- 3 How to differentiate between search suggestions and search history results
- 4 Why search suggestions may not appear
Enabling or disabling search suggestions
Through the Search bar
To enable or disable search suggestions through the Search bar:
- Right-clickHold down the control key while you click on the Search Bar.
Through the Search Engines Manager
To enable or disable search suggestions through the Search Engines Manager:
- Click on the menu button , then click OptionsPreferences in the menu panel.
- Click on the Search panel.
- Click Provide search suggestions to enable or disable search suggestions in the Search bar.
- Show search suggestions in location bar results. When search suggestions are turned on, select this setting to also include search suggestions in the results that are listed when you search from the Firefox address bar.
Using search suggestions
To use search suggestions, start typing in the Search bar and Firefox will present you a list of search suggestions from your default search engine sorted by a decreasing order of relevancy.
To select a search term from the suggestions, click on it.
- Alternatively, use the up and down keys to navigate in the list, and press EnterReturn when the desired suggestion is highlighted.
How to differentiate between search suggestions and search history results
Search suggestions are popular searches and are offered by search engines, whereas search history results are offered by Firefox and are based on your own previous searches. See Control whether Firefox automatically fills in forms for more information on the Firefox's autocompletion feature.
When you perform a search, the list will display both search suggestions (if activated) from the default search engine, as well as matching terms from your search history (if enabled). The search history icon distinguishes your previous searches from search suggestions:
Firefox is smart enough to filter the search suggestions result to exclude the items in your search history, so that the presented list does not contain duplicate entries in the history and suggestion items.
Why search suggestions may not appear
In some cases, search suggestions may not appear even though you have enabled them. Several causes may result in this:
The selected search engine may not offer search suggestions service
Not all search engines offer search suggestions. Here is a list of search engines that are included in Firefox by default and support search suggestions:
Other search engines that you may add may or may not provide search suggestions. The easiest way to find out is to select the desired search engine, type in a term that you're certain that the search engine would be able to provide suggestions for, and wait a moment to see whether search suggestions appear or not.
The search term entered is too specific
Sometimes, the search term you have entered may be too specific or unique (e.g. "firefox support article about search suggestions") or simply invalid (e.g. "dsjkyfsdakjfdjsyfyf"). In such cases, the search engine may not be able to provide any suggestions for the entered term.
There is a problem with your Internet connectivity
Behind the scene, Firefox needs to contact the search engine's website, and request a suggestions list dynamically when you type a search term. If there is a problem in your Internet connectivity, Firefox will not be able to perform this action, so no search suggestions would be available.
- To see more information on how to detect and troubleshoot Internet connectivity, see Websites don't load - troubleshoot and fix error messages.