Firefox Tweaks: Address bar as Search BOX – Let Google make you feel Lucky!

If you use address bar as search box in Mozilla Firefox then you can skip to advance options!

Yes in Mozilla Firefox you can just type your search query in address bar and get the search results displyed to you!

By default, whenever you hit enter after typing anything in address bar (also called navigation bar/ URL bar), Firefox checks if entered string is valid address or not! If its valid address firefox tries to load corresponding site/page for you! (Note that here if site is down or you have misspelled address, it won’t get directed to search engine). If entered string is a invalid URL, it will be submitted to Google Search and search results are returned!

If its fine with you then its great but if you want to use Google Search with I am feeling option or want to use another search engine as default then read following steps to change defaults search engine or its parameter:

Firefox Tweaks: Address bar as Search BOX

  1. Type about:config in address bar of Mozilla Firefox. A page with lots of text and 4 columns will get displayed!
  2. Type keyword.URL in filter box. The long list will be trimmed down to just one line! 🙂
  3. Right-Click on that line and select modify option. A box will be displayed.
  4. Enter any of the following string for corresponding search engine!
  5. Changes will be reflected immediately with out any restart!

#Search Engine List:

Default Google Search (In case you want to restore originals)

Google Search with I’m Feeling Lucky (what the hell is difference?)

Yahoo search



Wikipedia (GO option – Feeling Like Lucky)



#Valid Address: A valid address is something optionally starts with protocols like HTTP (i.e. http://) and ends with domain name (e.g. .com, .org, .net, etc) and must not contain any space in between! So anything that does not this definition is a invalid address. Well firefox does not need to bother about all things and a simple check can be used – whether user entered address contains space or not!

#Google Search with I’m Feeling Lucky: From Google Search Homepage when you enter a query in search box and and instead of hitting Google Search hits I’m Feeling Lucky button, Google will redirect you to the first search result which is often what we want!


muratcamu December 26, 2007

i got what firefox does, but is it possible to do the same thing for ie?

Rahul Bansal December 27, 2007

First Sorry for late reply as I went offline for Xmas vacations! 🙁

Now as we always say nothing is impossible there has to be way out to do this for Internet Explorer. But I do not use IE. So I personally can not help it!

But as I remember my windows day first check for registry if you want to do this for IE!

k… wishin you merry xmas and a very happy new year!
-Rahul 🙂

Michael May 20, 2012

Very clear instructions for changing the search engine used by the navigation bar. Thanks

Michael April 24, 2008

I am trying this at work where I am behind a firewall. I have the correct proxy settings in the connection manager and can visit any site provided that I type the .com or .org at the end in the address bar. It does not automatically redirect me like at home if .com is not there.

I pasted in the string for Google feeling lucking in keyword.URL as directed, but if I type nytimes, for example, as opposed to I still get a “Network Error (dns_server_failure)” message. However, if I copy and paste the Google string directly into the address bar, followed by “nytimes” after the = sign, it takes me to the proper web page. I’ve made sure there is no extra space at end of the string in about:config. Any idea why this is happening and how to fix it?

Rahul Bansal May 3, 2008

First sorry for late reply as I was offline for a long vacation.

Now only thing I can say about this your problem – try this hack from your home computer or any other computer which is not behind firewall.
If it works at other places then the problem is with your firewall/proxy server whose configuration I guess you are not permitted to change… 🙁

If you want to revert back the changes, just go to about:config , find keyword.URL in and click Reset from context menu. 🙂

Ben June 10, 2010

This happens because the proxy accepts the search term as a valid address and then tries to find the site at that address. Firefox then thinks that “nytimes” is valid and doesn’t search with your chosen search engine, while the proxy then returns a failure of site not found. This is the nature of a proxy as it will encounter any errors not Firefox.

It would be cool if proxies had such functions to return a search page when it finds no existing DNS entries instead of a less helpful error.

Ben June 10, 2010

OK, had a bit of a play around. In 3.6 at least, Firefox will direct keywords to search before waiting to be told it does not exist if there are multiple keywords, eg. “nytimes today” or if the keyword/s is in quotes, eg.'”nytimes”‘. Thus not relying on the DNS server to return a negative result and the proxy is never involved.

Kaleb April 26, 2008

Earlier today my (Navigation, URL, Address Bar) was working just how I wanted it was working just like the google search and had the “G” beside the search, I installed quite a few add-ons to firefox later i noticed that the “G” was now a star and now it wont accept just anything only URL’s, I’ve tried for a couple hours to get it back the way it was i uninstalled firefox and reinstalled and it was the same, I tried this step by step and nothing changed.
I tried uninstaling all the add-ons and uninstall and reinstall firefox and still nothing, what do i have to do to get it to search google automatically from the url box?

Rahul Bansal May 3, 2008

First sorry for late reply as I was offline for long time…

Now go to about:config , find keyword.URL in and click Reset from context menu.
If this does not work, try deleting profile folders…

Reinstalling firefox don’t help in most cases as most user/addon and other information is stored in folders called profile.

To delete profile folder…
1. Close firefox
2. Delete profile folders. if you need help to find profile folder, read this.
3. Start Firefox

Note: by deleting profile, you will loose everything – bookmarks, addons, history, saved passwords, etc

ian January 31, 2009

can you help me,

firstly i type “about:config” on the address bar,
then accept the “I promise!” thingy
then search for “keyword.URL”
and modify it to “” (without quotes)

then, when i reopen FireFox
it changes back to my default = “”
how do i keep
it static to “”

please help! T_T

Rahul Bansal January 31, 2009

Firefox default keyword.URL value also points to
You must have installed some software/plugin, etc which is resetting it again to
If you haven’t installed anything knowingly, then your system might be having some spyware/malware etc

ian February 1, 2009

YES i have installed anything knowingly.
i scanned my computer, no malware/spyware etc. still keeps being the default search.

how do i get rid of this?

please help D:

Rahul Bansal February 5, 2009

I did some search and reading on your issue.
Please check these links – one, two & three.
They all have different procedure to get rid of search engine.
Try them and let us know, which one works for you. 🙂

Soumendra Jena April 12, 2009

Dude, this is an ultimate fix. I was searching for this since an year. The damn ASK toolbar was eating my head. Thanks again..

Rahul Bansal April 22, 2009

Your welcome buddy! 🙂

Andrew July 23, 2009

Thanks, this cured me from my ASK search problem as well.

pepe September 30, 2009

Thanks a lot!! I had lost the I’m feeling lucky feature in my Firefox.

Tunella December 11, 2009

THANK YOU! I installed the AVG Free virus program, and even though I told it not to change my default search to Yahoo it did it anyway – and it also made it so my address bar would default to a Yahoo search too. I uninstalled AVG but could not fix the problem with the address bar. Thank you so much for taking the time to post this information; I appreciate it.

Laith January 6, 2010

This is great, I got the same problem as Tunella through installing a toolbar and I couldn’t stand it! Brilliant fix and I wouldn’t have found it without direction, thanks :o)

Generalle sperme January 25, 2010


u made me give the finger to a sick little creepy search engine from Israel that installed itself almost like a thief when i was installing bandoo .. damn .. and now i have the fix for fixing the creep .. thanks again mate


Jeffrey T.G. March 12, 2010

I tried this, and whenever I check keyword.url, it says Google is the default, but when I do a search, it uses Yahoo

Jeffrey T.G. March 13, 2010

It works now, but instead of the regular google search, they both work as “I’m feeling lucky”

BioGal August 11, 2010

I have the same problem – it says Google, but actually uses Yahoo sometimes – aargh!

Your Name Here March 15, 2010

THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Rocket Collectibles March 24, 2010

great info, thanks for sharing, these are worth remembering

harish September 19, 2010

i feel no incremental search is done… i mean.. suggesting the strings as we type on the search bar (after we configure it so)

RaptorX September 27, 2010

The I’m feeling lucky function simply goes to the first page that matches your query…

if you put “test” and press im feeling lucky, you are probably going to end on “” instead of the search results page.

this is the option that i use for my firefox address bar, that way when I type something like: “msdn WM_LBUTTONUP” it will go to the microsoft page that contains that text instead of the google search page. 🙂

Chathura November 15, 2010

I want to automatically redirect user to first result in Google Search query, but your mathod didn’t work, feeling lucky not working i am using ubuntu

Lina December 10, 2010

Sweeeet. This fix was super easy! Somehow my search engine got reset to! Who uses that? So I finally got too annoyed and decided to change it back to good ole Google.

nadenaf December 15, 2010

Thanks for the info!
I tried removing Babylon search from my address bar search,
nothing worked, even ‘Babylon’ couldn’t help me.

Great if your Address Bar Search got ‘hijacked’ by a different website, and how to get rid of them!

Zambia March 17, 2011

Well, this is very interesting indeed. Would love to read a little more of this. Good post. Thanks for the heads-up.

Jordan May 4, 2011

THANK YOU! I’ve been hijacked by that damn inbox toolbar for a long time now and finally stumbled across your page. You have made me a happy internet user once more! God Bless!~

Aanand July 4, 2011

Same problem here with conduit which comes with torrent. Thanks…

Mexican Food Junkie July 11, 2011

Thank you so much for this! Somehow mine got switched to Bing instead of Google, and I wanted to switch it back. I am not super knowledgeable about computer talk and you made it super simple. Thanks!!

deenibeeni July 12, 2011

Great, except please note that

will set the default search location to India. If you are reading this in the US & want a local search, change “” to “.com”

Arpit SAxena July 30, 2011

Thanks, it worked

Alec September 19, 2011

I’m feeling lucky will bring up the top results (kinda like if you were searching videos ect top rated) normal google search is going to bring up things by relevance.

d.rag January 13, 2012

Moved over from chrome- brilliant missed this feature – thanks for showing me

Gabbie July 8, 2012

This was very helpful! I somehow got changed to the Ask search bar and it was driving me crazy!! Thanks so much 🙂

shelly August 6, 2012

avg changed it to their search engine and it was driving me insane.
this fixed it 😀

Ben August 20, 2012

I had google search as standard, but it changed because of a toolbar…

Thanks for the info!

keila luna January 11, 2013


Anuruddha August 8, 2013

hello, this is not working for the latest update of firefox 23.0.. can you please fix it ?