My name is Rob Cherny and I'm a professional Web Developer with 16 years of experience creating Web sites and Web-based applications. This site is where I write about my work, and random other things...

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Changing Firefox's Location Bar Search Preferences

One thing that makes me crazy about Firefox is that the default search behavior, from the location field, is the Google “I’m feeling Lucky” search. I know, I know, there’s a “search” toolbar field right there with multiple search engines, etc.

This article actually says that FF 2 now uses Google’s Browse By Name service. I dunno, that may only show up if you’re using a fresh profile.

But I don’t like to use that very often. I like being able to hit Control-L and being able to put the cursor focus there and then be able to search, in Google, which I’m using 99.99% of the time. Seriously, it’s rare I’m using something else. In fact, I’m a weirdo, sometimes when I want to search on wikipedia, I search via Google.


Changing From “I’m Feeling Lucky”

Via about:config you want to change the Keyword.URL value as described here and here. There’s also a full reference to the about:config entries here. I frequently change the mousewheel preferences for one.

See now? The fact that it’s there at all can’t mean I’m the only one.

Just updating with the actual info since some of those links have died. Yeah, you’re looking for Keyword.URL in about:config … and if you want a regular google search you can use something like

Nov 11, 11:47 AM in Web Development (filed under Browsers)

  1. christian    Nov 26, 02:13 AM    #

    either that, you could just leave Keyword.URL as it is and use ctrl+k to go to the search bar field. ;)

    hey, maybe you could change Keyword.URL to do a wikipedia search, so you could use both!

    who knows, the possibilities are endless… just thought i should remind you ‘bout ctrl+k.

  2. rob    Nov 26, 06:58 PM    #

    Christian, thanks, I actually didn’t know about Control-K going to the search field, good to know. Frequently however, I’ll actually remove it from my toolbar completely, just to save space.

    Recently in FF 1.5, I had actually started to leave it there and use it for things like Wikipedia, Amazon, etc. Then, Mozilla went and changed the default for the right click “search xxx for…” menu to change to what you have showing as the search option in that field.

    Makes me crazy, 99% of the time I highlight a word and want to right-click search, I want it to be going to be Google! What are the odds on a random Web page and wanting to search Amazon? I dunno. Can’t always win, I suppose.

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