I want the SEARCH field back — how do I restore it?
I’ve tried restoring defaults; I’ve tried Safe Mode; I’ve looked at all the themes & Customize options; I’ve browsed about:config and tried anything that looked even remotely likely or modified; I've upgraded Firefox. NOTHING helps.
Sometimes toolbars are missing because they are hidden. Visit this article to learn how to turn them back on (plus other customization tips!)
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Do you have that problem with a new Profile? https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/profile-manager-create-and-remove-firefox-profiles#w_creating-a-profile
DO NOT use Choose Folder... button when using the Profile Manager.
Customize was the very first thing I tried — does nothing — the search bar isn;t even mentioned (which is why I posted the question)
I haven’t touched profiles at all
So, try a new Profile to see if it works better. You can always revert to the old Profile if the new Profile doesn't correct your missing Search Bar.