How To: Change Location Bar Search in Firefox

You might not have noticed that in Mozilla Firefox, when you type a word or words into the location bar (instead of a URL), Firefox sends you to the first Google search result for that term. This is a pretty neat feature, but I don’t use it that often, mainly because many times I need to look down the list of results to find the link I need.

A search I do use often is searching Wikipedia. Want to change Wikipedia to be the default search in the location bar? Vanilla.

In Firefox, type about:config in the location bar and press enter. Now, in the ‘Filter’ search, type “keyword.URL” without the quotation marks. Right-click on the “keyword.URL” preference and select ‘Modify’. In the box enter the following link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Search?search=

And press enter or click ‘OK’. Now open another tab, and in the location bar (where you usually enter https://chrismlindsey.com) enter “Firefox” (again, no quotes) and press enter. This will take you to the Wikipedia page on Mozilla Firefox.

Now, say you want to keep Google as the default search in your location bar, but still want to search Wikipedia quickly. Easy solution, we’ll create a keyword search.

To do this, we’ll create a new bookmark. Click ‘Bookmarks’ in the file menu at the top of your Firefox window, click ‘Organize Bookmarks,’ and then click ‘New Bookmark…’. In the ‘Name’ field enter “Wikipedia Keyword Search”, in the location field enter this link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Search?search=%s

In the ‘Keyword’ field enter something like “w” or “wp”. Now click ‘OK’ and close the Bookmark Manager. In the location bar, enter:

wp Firefox

or

w Firefox

And watch as the Mozilla Firefox article appears.

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