Change Firefox’s Default Search Method June 5, 2006Posted by Carthik in guides, ubuntu.
Firefox has this neat feature that when you type in some words in the address bar (where you normally enter urls), it takes you to the first result for a Google search for those words. In other words, typing in your address bar is like typing the words at google.com and then clicking the “I’m Feeling Lucky” button.
Only, for a long time, I have been irritated by this, and wished I would just be taken to the google search results page for the words I typed in. For this, by default, you have to prepend your words with “google”. So if you type in “google american express”, then you are taken to the page with the search results for “american express”. I wanted NOT to have to type in the “google” and still be taken to the search results page.
So as I am known to, I went searching for a solution at 2 in the night :)
The results are surprising! Not only can I do that, I can do one better. Google introduced something called “Browse by name“, which, as the page I linked-to explains, takes you to the “obvious result” if there is one, or just gives you a search results page if google’s not too sure if there is only one result that best fits the words you typed in. For example, typing “MIT” sure takes you the MIT homepage, but typing something like “cheap computer” takes you to the search results page. Now, how do we change the way firefox’s address bar behaves?
In comes Jesse, back in 2004, with the right solution. Type in “about:config” in the address bar of firefox, then type in “keyword.url” to search for that configuration key. If you want the neato “browse by name” search in firefox, as opposed to the default “I’m feeling lucky” search, just modify that preference, by pasting in:
Then save that by pressing “Ok”. Now you’re free to use the improved address bar. Go nuts, since now you can search by entering the search terms in the address bar and pressing enter. You will never need to visit http://www.google.com again!