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How do I get Firefox 4.0 to take me directly to the website when I type in the URL bar without a top level domain?

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In 3.6, when I typed in the URL bar without a top level domain (e.g just typing "youtube") it would take me directly to the website it thought I wanted to go to, and failing that searched Google. In 4.0 it searches Google right away. Is there a way to have Firefox guess where I want to go first, like before? I'm not sure what method it used to guess, but it worked with fairly good accuracy even when I typed in terms not knowing where exactly I'd be taken.

In 3.6, when I typed in the URL bar without a top level domain (e.g just typing "youtube") it would take me directly to the website it thought I wanted to go to, and failing that searched Google. In 4.0 it searches Google right away. Is there a way to have Firefox guess where I want to go first, like before? I'm not sure what method it used to guess, but it worked with fairly good accuracy even when I typed in terms not knowing where exactly I'd be taken.

Krejt Përgjigjet (10)

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The change between Firefox 3.6.* and Firefox 4 is how location bar search works. In Firefox 3.6 it uses Google "Browse by name" search. With the browse by name search, it performs a Google search and if there is a clear match it will take you to the site, otherwise it shows the Google search result. With Firefox 4 it just performs a Google search if you type something which is not recognised as a URL.

To get the Firefox 3.6 behaviour on Firefox 4 you need to change a hidden preference.

  1. Type about:config into the location bar and press enter
  2. Accept the warning message that appears, you will be taken to a list of preferences
  3. Locate the preference keyword.URL, double-click on it and change its value to the link shown below

http://www.google.com/search?ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&sourceid=navclient&gfns=1&q=

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---Didn't work for me and I have tried four separate times after altering the string:

  1. Restarting the browser
  2. Closing tabs & restarting browser
  3. Closing tabs, deleting cache & restarting browser
  4. Closing tabs, deleting cache, all operations equal to restarting system & restarting browser

---Each time I restart my browser and enter the site I frequent 3-4 times a day, it takes me to google results.

---Wait, it works now. K, no idea what the deal was, but for future readers, keep trying.

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this worked like a charm. exactly what i was looking for. maybe mozilla should think about giving the end user the option in preferences.

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Perfect, thanks very much TonyE!

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I think this option should be given to all user as preference. This is one of the best option in firefox which differentiate it from IE.

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Wow. I am so grateful for this fix. I never in a thousand years would have gotten there without this clear, helpful, completely accurate tip. And why such a perfectly wonderful feature of 3.x didn't make it onto the 'new, improved' 4. is beyond me. Anyway, thanks, TonyE. You totally rock.

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thank you this works very well. only problem is it keeps going back to the way it was before, not sure but probably when i restart.

how to i get the change to stay permanent?

thanks for your help

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.....

Ndryshuar nga alexy

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Thanks. That seems to have done the trick.

Why the change? Very annoying change for ones used to using Firefox,, and too much work to find this solution. IMHO, most users will just be annoyed that the loss of functionality rather than finding the fix.

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Several clients and I think this is great that you've changed the default. Going directly to a site has significant consequences for some businesses, especially for those whose competitors may have the geographic keyword for their location in their name, completely circumventing all the search optimization of everyone else on first page of Google. Readers, please leave your browsers set as they are so you see choices. (For those that think Firefox was always like this, it was not, only a few years ago it started going directly to a website. Their guess is not always best.)