Change Address Bar Search Provider In Firefox

June 7th, 2010 | 13 Comments | Posted in Computers by bharath

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Address bar search is the feature that allows you to search for a keyword entered in the address bar (location bar) without entering the search engine homepage. Firefox by default will look for the keyword entered in the address bar in Google search as it is usually set as the default search engine to manage address bar keywords.

However, you might want to change it to suit your personal interest. It may sometimes can also be a case of hijacking: You install some programs that they change your search bar address bar search provider without asking for your permission (ex: so many toolbars like Alexa, Yahoo etc.). For some reasons, if you want to change the Firefox address bar search provider, you can do it by following the steps below:

1. Type about:config in the Firefox address bar. You will be presented with a warning, if you are using Firefox 3.5 + version, just click “I’ll be careful, I promise”!” to continue to the about:config page.


2. In the Filter search box, type “keyword.url” and the result returns only one result as shown in the screenshot below.


And as you can see here, the address bar search engine provider in my case has been changed to Alexa, when I installed it’s toolbar sometime back. Now I want to change it to a different provider, back to Google may be, or Bing? Well I can even test how it works with Twitter search.

3. Right-Click on the field value and click “Modify”.


You will now be asked to enter a string value for the keyword.URL, choose the values according to the provider, as listed in the table below.


List of  string values of various search engines:


Click OK to save the settings and checkout the result yourself with typing a keyword in the address bar of the Firefox.

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13 Responses to “Change Address Bar Search Provider In Firefox”

  1. meena Says:

    THANKU , it worked 🙂

  2. Natalie Says:

    I’ve done this and my string  value under the keyword.URL is back to Google like I want it, but I’m still getting sent to when I search in my address bar. Any other suggestions?

  3. Christina Says:

    That did not work for me. HELP!

  4. Martin Says:

    Thanks for this article!
    I was getting really annoyed with the address bar search using Ask.

  5. Daniel Miguel Says:

    You tottally made my day!
    Many thanks, greetings from Brazil!

  6. Bojan Says:

    Thank you very much

  7. Gerry Says:

    I hate AVG !  If I use about:config to change the Keyword URL to Google it works OK, but only until Firefox is closed. But if I close Firefox and reopen it, I always find it’s been hi-jacked back to AVG. As far as I’m concerned this is MALWARE, so I’m going to uninstall AVG fast.  Trouble is, it’s probably modified a Registry entry so it’ll keep overriding my prefernces.

  8. David Says:

    Didn’t solve my problem. When I open a new Firefox tab, Bing is displayed, not Google. I restarted Firefox and it still happens. Can’t seem to get rid of this unwanted and unasked for nuisance. It seems it was installed when I loaded OpenOffice.

  9. David Says:

    Found it! In the Add-ons manager, under Extensions, I found ‘StartNow Toolbar 2.3.0’. Their wb page advertises it is powered by Bing. I disabled StartNow and the Bing search page stopped popping up., Still haven’t gotten Google back as the automatic search page.

  10. Lola Says:

    I tried the above method of changing address bar to no avail. Bearshare still appears each time I try to search. Pls help!

  11. Ron Says:

    Ihave been trying to get rid of yahoo which has taken over my search bar on firefox start page, have tried this and a few other things still stuck with firefox.
    Also your string for google above seems to be missing the last 2 characters q=

  12. John Digby Says:

    I followed all the above with NO CHANGE!  What els can I do to remove this pain in the browser on Firefox with Win7?

  13. John Digby Says:

    BTW my issue is with “Bearshare” sticking like a limpet to my Address Bar.

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