How to Change Firefox Address Bar Search from Yahoo or Bing to Google

Firefox has a nifty little feature which doubles the address bar into very functional search tool. It’s very handy when you don’t know the exact address of any website. Let say, you want to go to the Wikipedia page of Microsoft, all you need to do is type “wiki Microsoft” into the address bar and it will run your text input through Google’s I’m feeling Lucky and takes you to Microsoft’s Wikipedia page.

That being said, it’s not always correct though. If it’s not sure about your query, it will simply take you to Google search results page for your query. But sometimes your address bar might change its default search engine with Yahoo or Bing without your knowledge thanks to some rogue application or erratic behavior by some Firefox add-on, and this can be very irritating since Firefox doesn’t provide easy way to change the default search provider of your location bar. If this ever happens to you, here’s how you fix it:

1. Open Firefox and type “about:config” (without quotes) and press Enter

Firefox about:config to change search

2. Firefox will throw a witty caution message saying “This might void your warranty!” – Just hit “I’ll be careful, I promise!” button and move on

Change Search Preference

3. Use the filter text entry box to search for keyword.URL. Double click the Preference Name (keyword.URL) and paste Google’s I’m Feeling Lucky search URL – http://www.google.com/search?btnI=I%27m+Feeling+Lucky&q=

Add Search URL to Firefox Location Bar

4. That’s it

You can use the same approach to change your search engine from Google to Bing or Yahoo.

This post was published by on April 25, 2011

About the Author: Thilak Rao works as a Social Media Expert. He is one of the first professional bloggers from India, and he loves to write, travel and click photos. Follow him on Twitter @thilak

  • Chloe Chouinard

    OMG! thank you thank you thank you. i’ve been pissed off at the new firefox 4 ever since i upgraded, for this very reason. now it’s fixed :)

  • http://tech-buzz.net Thilak Rao

    I’m glad we could help! If you need any help in the future, don’t
    hesitate to ask us on twitter (http://twitter.com/buzzytech) or on our
    Facebook Page (http://facebook.com/BuzzyTech)

  • http://twitter.com/KlaudiaJurewicz Klaudia

    hmm, doesn’t work. don’t know what to do?

  • http://twitter.com/KlaudiaJurewicz Klaudia

    finally it works – I messed up with the google url. Big thanks Thilak.

  • Heltzi

    I am sorry, but it doesn’t work, Yahoo search just somehow keeps itself as the search, no matter how many times i change it. I did everything asked here, but it doesnt work. Help? (:

  • http://twitter.com/evangelineh Evangeline Holland

    Thanks so much! I really hate Yahoo, and was desperate to change the settings back to Google.

  • http://tech-buzz.net Thilak Rao

    I’m glad it worked for you!

  • Akirasakai

    Thank you!! Bing has gone!!

  • Repetitive2

    Thank you!!!  Worked for my insistent Yahoo problem.

  • Keka

    I really hate Yahoo, and was desperate to change the settings back to Google.But this doesn’t work…Any help???

  • http://griffinwebdesign.com/ Griffin Web Design & Marketing

    This was extremely helpful, as I fell into that category where a “rogue application” changed it for me. (Grrr…)

    However, I did not want the keyword in the search bar to take me directly to the first Google search result. I preferred that it take me to the Google search results page. Based on your tips and a little trial and error, I found that this is the URL to use if you want search results instead:

    http://www.google.com/#hl=en&output=search&sclient=psy-ab&q=pure&oq=

  • http://tech-buzz.net/ Thilak Rao

    Thanks for the fix!

  • michaelw777

    I want to add that this worked for me as well. And that Yahoo was not only not my search engine, I had removed it from Firefox entirely. I’ll also note that I suspect that this happened when I chose NOT to install Ask.com as my default search engine. Finally, this was an intermittent problem: it would only pick certain sites to do this, although the sites it picked were the same.

  • michaelw777

    I need to add that this problem has not fully gone away, even following the advice here. It’s good advice, but apparently it’s a rogue app that’s causing the problem. I also went through my Registry to get Yahoo from doing this, but it’s not there either, at least not under Yahoo. Finally, I’ll add that I wasn’t clear enough about Ask.com, which is that this wants to install when you accept Java updates.

  • Darion

    I’ve been using this for ages. It stopped working today though. It takes me to the Google search page. Has the I’m Feeling Lucky address changed? Anyone know the new one?

  • Darion

    There’s a Firefox add-on that does the job:

    https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/keywordurl-hack/