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How to ask Firefox to not clear the address bar when I use it

  • 4 replies
  • 0 have this problem
  • 6 views
  • Last reply by Firefox.com

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Dear friendly Mozilla Community,

The Short: It has been driving me a bit batty that every time I try to copy or edit a URL, the URL disappears. How do I get back the old Firefox functionality where the address bar does not get cleared automatically? This is not only affecting me.

Also, where should I post the following feature requests?

  • Single-click clears the URL, but one of the suggestions in the list that drops down is "Copy address".
  • Control/Command L does not clear the URL; instead it selects the text as before, so it can be erased by simply typing.
  • Double-click in address bar highlights text, does not clear it.

The Long Context and why this is important

I've been using Firefox since well before it was "Firefox". Back in the olden days, we used to have a URL field that acted like a text box and there was a separate button for clearing the field if you wanted to type something new. That worked well until one day Firefox removed the clear button and changed the text field to highlight everything when it was clicked. That was okay, I suppose, since the text could be erased just by typing, but I felt like it was confusing. Perhaps other folks thought it was confusing, too, as Firefox has done away with that and now automatically erases the URL as soon as you do almost anything to it (control-L or single-click or double-click or look at it sideways, and so on). The only ways I've found so far to not clear the address bar are to click-drag the mouse (if you have one) over the URL or to use the context-menu (right-mouse or press and hold). Neither of those are adequate solutions.

I knew this was frustrating to me personally as I like to control Firefox from the keyboard (e.g., Ctrl-L, Ctrl-C to copy current URL), but I figured I would be alone in disliking this new default. However, I've now run into two different people who were baffled by the URL disappearing with no mention of where it went. One has difficulty typing and needs to be able to edit the URL after going to the wrong site. It is quite laborious for him to retype the whole thing. The other was an 80-year old gentleman who had been using Firefox to cut and paste web addresses into email. He cannot access the context menu. I tried to show him how to drag over the URL, but he has difficulty holding a mouse button down while moving it --- often the URL simply disappears and he doesn't know how to get it back. He feels disappointed and stupid because of this change.

Unfortunately, I'm not finding any viable workarounds. I'll list some of what I've tried as it may be helpful to Mozilla to know where people are running into dead-ends.

  • I searched the Firefox settings and didn't find anything that mentioned clearing the address bar.
  • I tried double-clicking the URL. Usually that highlights a word, so it would make sense that it'd work in the address bar. (I also tried triple-clicking -- highlight line -- but no go.)
  • I tried clicking on the icons around the URL, like the lock.
  • I tried right-clicking on the address bar to see if there was a "Don't clear URL" preference I could check.

I should note that there is one thing that halfway worked, but it is not an acceptable solution:

  • Turning off all the "Address Bar -- Firefox Suggests" options does restore the proper behaviour for single-click (URL is highlighted, not erased). However, it does not work for Ctrl+L. And, more importantly, one should not have to turn off Firefox suggestions since many people rely on them.
  • I had expected that enabling a separate "search bar" in the toolbar would have left the address bar just for navigation. Unfortunately, it does not. The "Firefox Suggests" popup still appears when the address bar is used and the URL is cleared.

TL;DR It seems like one can no longer interact with the URL to easily copy, view, or edit it. How do I change the default in Firefox so the address bar works like it used to?

Dear friendly Mozilla Community, '''The Short''': It has been driving me a bit batty that every time I try to copy or edit a URL, the URL disappears. How do I get back the old Firefox functionality where the address bar does not get cleared automatically? This is not only affecting me. Also, where should I post the following feature requests? * Single-click clears the URL, but one of the suggestions in the list that drops down is "Copy address". * Control/Command L does not clear the URL; instead it selects the text as before, so it can be erased by simply typing. * Double-click in address bar highlights text, does not clear it. '''The Long''' ''Context and why this is important'' I've been using Firefox since well before it was "Firefox". Back in the olden days, we used to have a URL field that acted like a text box and there was a separate button for clearing the field if you wanted to type something new. That worked well until one day Firefox removed the clear button and changed the text field to highlight everything when it was clicked. That was okay, I suppose, since the text could be erased just by typing, but I felt like it was confusing. Perhaps other folks thought it was confusing, too, as Firefox has done away with that and now automatically erases the URL as soon as you do almost anything to it (control-L or single-click or double-click or look at it sideways, and so on). The only ways I've found so far to not clear the address bar are to click-drag the mouse (if you have one) over the URL or to use the context-menu (right-mouse or press and hold). Neither of those are adequate solutions. I knew this was frustrating to me personally as I like to control Firefox from the keyboard (e.g., Ctrl-L, Ctrl-C to copy current URL), but I figured I would be alone in disliking this new default. However, I've now run into two different people who were baffled by the URL disappearing with no mention of where it went. One has difficulty typing and needs to be able to edit the URL after going to the wrong site. It is quite laborious for him to retype the whole thing. The other was an 80-year old gentleman who had been using Firefox to cut and paste web addresses into email. He cannot access the context menu. I tried to show him how to drag over the URL, but he has difficulty holding a mouse button down while moving it --- often the URL simply disappears and he doesn't know how to get it back. He feels disappointed and stupid because of this change. Unfortunately, I'm not finding any viable workarounds. I'll list some of what I've tried as it may be helpful to Mozilla to know where people are running into dead-ends. * I searched the Firefox settings and didn't find anything that mentioned clearing the address bar. * I tried double-clicking the URL. Usually that highlights a word, so it would make sense that it'd work in the address bar. (I also tried triple-clicking -- highlight line -- but no go.) * I tried clicking on the icons around the URL, like the lock. * I tried right-clicking on the address bar to see if there was a "Don't clear URL" preference I could check. I should note that there is one thing that halfway worked, but it is not an acceptable solution: * Turning off all the "Address Bar -- Firefox Suggests" options does restore the proper behaviour for single-click (URL is highlighted, not erased). However, it does not work for Ctrl+L. And, more importantly, one should not have to turn off Firefox suggestions since many people rely on them. * I had expected that enabling a separate "search bar" in the toolbar would have left the address bar just for navigation. Unfortunately, it does not. The "Firefox Suggests" popup still appears when the address bar is used and the URL is cleared. '''TL;DR''' It seems like one can no longer interact with the URL to easily copy, view, or edit it. How do I change the default in Firefox so the address bar works like it used to?

All Replies (4)

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I think that making the text disappear when the address bar is focused would be unhelpful when someone wishes to edit a URL, or just wants to copy part of the address such as the domain, say.

Changing the double-click to highlight all text would mean the loss of the ability to quickly highlight a single word or part of a URL by double-click ing on it.

The current system is surely best. When the address bar is initially focused the entire URL is highlighted. Then you can either copy it straight away, start typing if you want to overwrite it, or get editing instead if that is what you want.

Or at least that is how my address bar works, and I'd prefer that not to change!

Modified by TechHorse

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Thanks, TechHorse. I agree that that is the way it should be. I'm using 102.10.0esr (64-bit). How about you?

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I'm currently on Version 111.0.1 64-bit. Maybe the address bar's disappearing text is an ESR issue?

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Thanks. That's likely the case. ESR is stable, but that means bugs linger longer, too.