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How can I remove the "Did you mean to go to..." drop down bar when searching for something in the search bar?

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How can I remove the drop down bar that asks me if I "meant to go to" some specific place every time I do a single-word search in the search bar? Apparently this was a problem a few years ago with a Firefox update, and it has just started happening to me after this most recent update. It is extremely annoying and there isn't anything in Options that allows a user to turn it off.

I tried a potential fix posted in one of the older support threads regarding this issue (switching browser.fixup.dns_first_for_single_words preference from false to true) but it doesn't seem to have worked, even after disabling the DNS's "Web Address Error Redirect Service", then resetting Firefox and my router after changing that setting.

Another method I tried was changing my DNS settings I also tried setting keyword.enabled to false, but that did not work either.

I've attached a screenshot of the specific drop down bar I'm referring to.

Ama-screenshot ananyekiwe

Isisombululo esikhethiwe

Hi Mark, opting out means if you hit a dead end, you'll have to run a search for yourself. But if it solves the other problem, that trade-off would be totally worth it in my opinion.

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All Replies (16)

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The only way I've found to rectify this is turning off the "web service" option in the options and changing your DNS to [a better DNS provider].

https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1088050

It's seam like we can able to disable it using this code, you an add this line notification[value="keyword-uri-fixup"] { display: none !important; }

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I saw your question on Reddit first; I'll repeat here:

I think that bar appears if you enter something that looks valid as a host name (like "intranet") and Firefox sends it to search but does a DNS lookup in the background. This was a compromise when the behavior changed from DNS first to search first for one-word queries.

Is ste a bookmark keyword??

Since ste doesn't sound like a valid host name, this could indicate that your DNS service provider (or an add-on) shows a search results page for servers it can't find, and that is fooling Firefox into showing the bar. Very annoying.

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Hi Dinushi, thanks for the quick response. In which section of Options (General, Home, Search, Privacy & Security) would I find the "web service" option so that I can turn that off? I'm not seeing it anywhere.

As far as using that code that you posted, I am new to this. Where would I be inserting that code.

Thanks

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jscher2000 said

I saw your question on Reddit first; I'll repeat here: I think that bar appears if you enter something that looks valid as a host name (like "intranet") and Firefox sends it to search but does a DNS lookup in the background. This was a compromise when the behavior changed from DNS first to search first for one-word queries. Is ste a bookmark keyword?? Since ste doesn't sound like a valid host name, this could indicate that your DNS service provider (or an add-on) shows a search results page for servers it can't find, and that is fooling Firefox into showing the bar. Very annoying.

Hi jscher2000,

I responded to your reply/questions on the Reddit thread, but feel free to reply wherever you prefer.

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Could you try testsite and then when the bar comes up, go to what Firefox is being told by the DNS server is the page for testsite and see what you find? One possibility is an ISP or extension-driven links page that captures and monetizes typos. These sometimes have a link at the upper right or bottom or opt out, or "why do I see this" or "about this page" which leads to an opt-out page, or more information about the culprit.

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jscher2000 said

Could you try testsite and then when the bar comes up, go to what Firefox is being told by the DNS server is the page for testsite and see what you find? One possibility is an ISP or extension-driven links page that captures and monetizes typos. These sometimes have a link at the upper right or bottom or opt out, or "why do I see this" or "about this page" which leads to an opt-out page, or more information about the culprit.

Hi jscher2000,

When I do that it brings me to the following: http://www.dnsrsearch.com/search/?q=http://testsite/

On another thread regarding this issue someone said something similar about opting out, which I did before, but it seems that it's not working because it resets my decision to disable the option.

This is the setting that is enabled: "Web Address Error Redirect Service: This preference allows you to opt in or out of TWC's non-existing domain landing service, Time Warner Cable."s

I disabled it (I just now did it again), but last time it just reset itself to "Enabled" and continued to bring bring up the drop-down pop-up. I'm no lawyer, but if Time Warner/Spectrum is resetting that option every time I disable it, that seems, well... illegal. So I have no idea what to think right now.

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On the plus side, we now know exactly why this is happening. On the minus side, like a zombie, it keeps reviving.

If this is a setting in your account, does it work any better to "opt out" using http://www.dnsrsearch.com/prefs/ in Internet Explorer or Edge?

If you need to opt out in each browser individually, that's annoying.

One option would be not to send DNS queries to TWC. This can be an external setting in your router, or a systemwide setting in Windows, or potentially it could be a browser setting, although I don't know the best way to do that these days.

If you do not use rely on the Windows hosts file to override real websites with alternate addresses, and your browsing is not subject to parental controls, you could try DNS over HTTPS. This article has more info: Firefox DNS-over-HTTPS.

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It seems we will be able disable this new feature via about:config in Firefox 36: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1088050

For now you can add this line:

   notification[value="keyword-uri-fixup"] { display: none !important; }

to the userChrome.css inside the chrome subfolder of your Firefox profile folder. If userChrome.css doesn't exist there, create it: http://kb.mozillazine.org/UserChrome-example.css

Or, alternatively, you can use the Stylish add-on and create a new user style like this:

   @namespace url(http://www.mozilla.org/keymaster/gatekeeper/there.is.only.xul);
   notification[value="keyword-uri-fixup"] { display: none !important; }
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How can I remove the "Did you mean to go to..." drop down bar when searching for something in the search bar?

I have read carefully the correspondence posted above, but do not understand the solution. Is there someone who is able to explain to me in a simple, step by step manner how to correct this problem?

Mark

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Hi Mark, do you mean the slim gray bar that appears above search results?

In order to get rid of that, you usually need to either

(A) Disable your Internet Service Provider's feature of providing false information in response to domains that are not found, or

(B) Change how Firefox looks up domains to cut your ISP out of the loop.

For (A):

Try opening a non-existent domain and see what results you get. If you get a page from your service provider, look for a link such as "Opt out" or "Why did I get this page" to the right or at the bottom.

For example: http://no-such-domain-exists.org/

Can you disable this unhelpful service?

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Many thanks for your prompt follow up to my post.

I tried opening a non-existent domain, just as you suggested and the following resulted:

[A large header with this logo:] Verizon

[followed by the text copied here:]

Sorry... no-such-domain-exists.org could not be found.

It may be unavailable or may not exist. Try using the suggestions or related links below, or search again using our web search. Search results for 'no-such-domain-exists.org'

[followed by about fifteen suggested links, but none of them including a link such as "Opt out" or "Why did I get this page" to the right or at the bottom.]

What should I do next?

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Hi Mark, I'm not personally familiar with Verizon's page. Are there any menus which might be hiding an opt-out?

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Thank you for encouraging me to examine "Verizon's page" a little more closely. In the upper right hand corner of the page was a link with the title, "What is this page?" When I clicked on that link, the following content was displayed:


About the Search Results Page

You reached the preceding search results page because Verizon is using specific Domain Name Service (DNS) Servers to look up domain names. These DNS Servers eliminate dead-end "no such name" error pages you can encounter as you surf the web. This search service is designed to make your web surfing experience more productive. No software was installed on your computer for this service to work. What is DNS?

All Web sites have an address that consists of a series of numbers separated by periods, such as 153.39.1.1. This is known as an IP address. Most Web sites also have a domain name (such as www.verizon.net) associated with their IP address. With DNS, users don't have to type the complicated IP address into their browser's address bar; instead, they can type the domain name. DNS then acts like a real-time phonebook, looking up the name entered and translating it into the numbers that the computer recognizes so that the desired Web site can be displayed. Would you like to opt out of this service?

If you would like to opt out of this service, please visit the Opt Out of DNS Assistance support page.


"Opt Out of DNS Assistance" is a link. I clicked on it and was taken to a page titled, "Opt Out of DNS Assistance," which contains detailed instructions for changing the DNS settings to opt out of DNS Assistance.


One last question: is there any "downside" to opting out of "DNS Assistance"?

Please let me know.

With appreciation for your assistance,

Mark

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Isisombululo Esikhethiwe

Hi Mark, opting out means if you hit a dead end, you'll have to run a search for yourself. But if it solves the other problem, that trade-off would be totally worth it in my opinion.

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Excellent! Good to know. Thank you.

I will follow Verizon's instructions for opting out of DNS Assistance sometime tomorrow, 24 March 2020, and will follow up with you then on the results (and the relative degree of difficulty in achieving the desired result!).

Mark

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I've marked this as "Solved" as jscher2000's method appears to work for some other people, although it did not for me at the time for some reason. During my next update of Firefox however, the problem went away and the gray bar no longer appears.