9 tweaks for Firefox 3′s location bar

While Firefox 3′s location bar is perhaps my personal favorite new feature and the one I missed the most when I have to use Firefox 2 for some testing, there are a lot of people who find it weird, obtrusive and don’t like it including bookmarks and history among its results.

An option to restore its old behavior was available for a few weeks during Firefox 3 development but it was pulled basically because it would need a lot of testing and it was thought it was not worth it. The option may come back for Firefox 3.1.

In the meantime, for those who prefer the old way and those who want even more power, here are 9 easy tweaks you can try.

1. Make the autocomplete menu show only typed addresses and not visited or bookmarked

  • Enter about:config in the location bar to access the advanced preferences. Accept the “This may void your warranty message”.
  • Look for browser.urlbar.matchOnlyTyped and double click it to set it to TRUE.

2. To set the autocomplete menu to single line suggestions install the oldbar extension, developed by Seth Spitzer. Together with the previous tweak pretty much restores Firefox 2 behavior, except typed characters are searched in all the address instead of just the beginning.

3. Change the number of suggestions displayed in the autocomplete menu

  • Enter about:config in the location bar to access the advanced preferences.
  • Look for browser.urlbar.maxRichResults and set it to the number of results you want to get.
  • Restart Firefox for the change to take effect.

4. Hide the star button if you prefer to use the Bookmarks menu or a keyboard shortcut (Ctrl + D)

  • Open your userChrome.css file located in your profile folder.
  • Add this line to the end of the file: #star-button {display: none !important;}
  • Restart Firefox for the change to take effect.

5. Always show the Go button. By default it is only displayed when you are editing the current web address.

  • Open your userChrome.css file located in your profile folder.
  • Add this line to the end of the file: #go-button { visibility: visible !important; }
  • Restart Firefox for the change to take effect.

6. If you enter firfox in the location bar and you try to correct it, the autocomplete menu won’t suggest anything because it only keeps working as you edit the last characters. Install the Edit Middle extension, developed by harikaried, to make it work with edits anywhere.

7. To auto select the first suggestion in the autocomplete menu, install the Enter Selects extension, developed by harikaried. You will need to logon to Mozilla Add-ons to install it as it’s still experimental.

8. Tweak the autocomplete menu title and addresses size and colors by adding these lines to your userChrome.css file. Check for the specific hexadecimal color code to use at WebMonkey.

.ac-comment {font-size: 100% !important; color: #444444 !important; }

.ac-comment[selected='true'] { color: #FFFFFF !important; }

.ac-url-text {font-size: 100% !important; color: #000077 !important; }

.ac-url-text[selected='true'] { color: #FFFFFF !important; }

9. To include Google and Amazon search results in the autocomplete menu install the Searchery extension, developed by Ian McKellar. You will need to logon to Mozilla Add-ons to install it as it’s still experimental.

10. Bonus tip courtesy of Frederick from the comments: To hide the web feed icon from the location bar, add this line to your userChrome.css file: #feed-button[feeds] { display: none !important; }

Happy tweaking!

Thanks Jens, Marius, and Marcelo for the suggestions and corrections which work better indeed. There were unwanted spaces and wrong quotes in the original post but have now been corrected.

79 Comments

  1. Looie November 28, 2008 12:14 am 

    Thanks for this. Glad I’m not the only one who thinks the not-so-AwesomeBar sucks.

  2. iain January 29, 2009 4:24 pm 

    THANK YOUUUUUUUUUUU
    this helped so much because my firefox browser always showed my bookmarks an now it doesnt thank you so much

  3. Grant March 8, 2009 10:09 pm 

    Hi, thanks for the posting. I also want to express my dissatisfaction here, since I’m not sure where else to do it. :) What really bothers me about these tweaks is that Firefox’s own methods for removing the bookmark/address bar history don’t work. I mean, if you go to tools/options and tell it to clear all history, it should clear all history. If you manually delete one, it should delete permanently, not come up the next time you start Firefox. Additionally, CCleaner doesn’t get rid of them anymore. Overall, it’s a true pain and a real turnoff. I changed it so that nothing shows now, but of course, now I have to type in every URL from here on out.

  4. tania March 25, 2009 9:13 pm 

    when i wanted to type something in the address bar it would get it for example if i wrote waltmart it got it and corrected it and it would send me to walmart. but now its not working it sends me to this weird page :S
    help.

    • Andrew July 9, 2009 12:05 pm 

      I have the same issue. I finally moved from IE7 to Firefox, because I hear all this great stuff about how much faster, safer and better firefox is. I install it, and within 1 day, I see the same issues. When I do a google search, it brings up a list of the searches I find. If I click on the link that I want, it takes me to some stupid shopping link. If I go back and choose the link again, it takes me to a different shopping link, or to some dumb style magazine link. After about the 4th try, it finally goes to the page I want. I ran a spyware program and it did not fix it. There must be some type of add on that I did. I added the sticky pad, the weather forecast and Kallout. It must be one of those. Have you installed any add-ons?

  5. Paul_Bags April 28, 2009 12:52 am 

    Is there any way I can completely disable the address bar search? So that when I type an address it just goes into the bar and nothing else is being done in the background until I hit enter and it tries to load? See, my problem is that when it tries to search while I type it hangs and I can see what I’ve typed or move to a different tab while I wait for it to load. This is very frustrating, if I’m typing a URL chances are I know the whole URL and can type it faster than FF can do it’s search shit.

    tl;dr? == do not want.

  6. venusvegasvada May 24, 2009 8:53 am 

    “An option to restore its old behavior was available for a few weeks during Firefox 3 development but it was pulled basically because it would need a lot of testing and it was thought it was not worth it. The option may come back for Firefox 3.1″

    I think your a bunch of idiots.

  7. Paul Bags May 26, 2009 11:11 pm 

    Indeed, I only moved to 3 because I got a system destroying virus sticking with 2. The reason i stayed with 2? this fucking feature.

  8. Keith July 23, 2010 1:21 am 

    I tried hiding the favorites star, and the feeds icon. The star was gone instantly, but the rss feeds icon wouldn’t go away. I changed the code up a bit and it works now, this is what I used if anyone needs it:

    #feed-button {display: none !important;}

    Hope that helps!

Comments are closed.