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Use popular search suggestions in the Firefox Search bar

Site Moderator

Use popular search suggestions in the Firefox Search bar

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.

Enabling or disabling search suggestions

To enable or disable search suggestions through the Search bar:

  1. Right-clickHold down the Ctrl key while you click on the Search Bar.
  2. If Show Suggestions is checked, the search suggestions feature is currently enabled. Click it again to add or remove the check mark.
    search sug 34

Through the Search Engines Manager

To enable or disable search suggestions through the Search Engines Manager:

  1. Click on the menu button new fx menu , then click OptionsPreferences in the menu panel.
  2. Click on the Search panel.
  3. Click Provide search suggestions to enable or disable search suggestions in the Search bar.
    search suggestions 38 search suggestion win 10 Fx47SearchSuggestions search sug settings 43
  • 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. quick search fx34

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 history icon distinguishes your previous searches from search suggestions:

search history 34

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:

  • Yahoo
  • Google
  • DuckDuckGO
  • Wikipedia

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.

10 REPLIES
Site Moderator

Re: Use popular search suggestions in the Firefox Search bar

This article needs to be updated for Firefox 34 with new screenshots. Related discussion:

Site Administrator

Re: Use popular search suggestions in the Firefox Search bar

Thanks, Alice. I've updated the article for 34 with new screenshots.

I left it "pending review" to give others a chance to catch any mistakes. I'll look at it again tomorrow with fresh eyes and self-approve if nobody else has gotten to it.

First Time Visitor

Re: Use popular search suggestions in the Firefox Search bar

Sorry, this change is not (already?) present in the Italian version of Fx34, while is in the beta (fx35).

Shouldn't this be delayed a bit, perhaps?

Thanks and Happy New Year! Smiley Happy

Site Moderator

Re: Use popular search suggestions in the Firefox Search bar

See this post by Tonnes in the thread I referenced above:

Tonnes said on December 16, 2014

Not entirely sure, but as far as I know, the Search engine change was included for a few other locales in 34 as mentioned in Jonathan's email on dec 03. The alternative Search engines and separate Search panel in options/preferences will be included for non-en-US in 35 (not 36), but only for locales not using Pootle (see the mozilla.dev.l10n group), others follow in 36. I hope localizers involved know about this.

Hopefully Joni will see this and reply with more information.

Site Administrator

Re: Use popular search suggestions in the Firefox Search bar

Happy New Year, everyone.

As far as I know, Tonnes' message is correct. I should have added a note for L10N in the article. Doing that now.

Site Moderator

Re: Use popular search suggestions in the Firefox Search bar

"How to use popular search suggestions in the Search Bar" is the current title of this article. In (Google, Yahoo, Bing) search engine results, there is no way to tell that the article is about Firefox.

The article search summary was,

When you use the Search Bar, it may suggest phrases that others have searched for. This article explains how search suggestions work and how to use them.

I made a minor edit to the search summary to add the word Firefox, as follows:

When you use the Firefox Search bar it may suggest phrases from searches made by others. Learn how search suggestions work and how to use them or turn them off.

I also think the title of this article should be changed to include the word "Firefox". See my post in the "Writing titles for SEO" KB discussion forum: /forums/knowledge-base-articles/711145?#post-64524

My suggestion for changing the title would be this: Use popular search suggestions in the Firefox Search bar

Legendary Contributor

Re: Use popular search suggestions in the Firefox Search bar

AliceWyman said

My suggestion for changing the title would be this: Use popular search suggestions in the Firefox Search bar

I like it, include "Firefox" word also.

Site Moderator

Re: Use popular search suggestions in the Firefox Search bar

ideato said

AliceWyman said
My suggestion for changing the title would be this: Use popular search suggestions in the Firefox Search bar

I like it, include "Firefox" word also.

Thanks. I'll wait a few days before changing the title to give others a chance to reply.

Site Administrator

Re: Use popular search suggestions in the Firefox Search bar

I like your suggested title and search summary!