Firefox 41: Live Search Suggestions in the address bar

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You get suggestions whenever you type in the address bar of the Firefox web browser which are displayed in a small overlay window as you type.

Suggestions are currently limited to bookmarks, the browsing history and open websites in tabs in the browser but will soon include live search suggestions on top of that provided that the feature is supported by the selected search engine.

Firefox users who run a recent Nightly version of the browser, version 41 currently, can test the feature already in the browser as it just landed in it.

Suggestions are only displayed if none or only a few other suggestion types are available. For instance, if there is no bookmark, history entry or open tab that matches the query, you may see suggestions similar to the one on the screenshot below.

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firefox live search suggestions

Firefox displays “Search with [engine name]” on the first result and on hover indicating that this is a suggestion and not retrieved from the browsing history, bookmarks or open tabs.

Veteran Firefox users may know the feature from the browser’s separate search box as it supported the feature for some time.

It is debatable whether the feature adds anything of importance or use to the browser. While less-experienced users may find it beneficial to some degree, it is unlikely that veteran users may find it useful at all.

Firefox would not be Firefox if it would not offer options to customize the feature. Mozilla added customization options to the Firefox option.

firefox search suggestions address bar

Load about:preferences#privacy in the browser’s address bar and locate the Location Bar group on the page. There you find listed — next to History, Bookmarks and Open Tabs — the new “Related searches from the default search engine” option.

If you uncheck its box, search suggestions won’t be displayed anymore by the browser when you type in the address bar.

Firefox users who prefer to use about:config or the prefs.js file directly need to switch the value of the preference browser.urlbar.suggest.searches to false.

  1. Type about:config in the browser’s address bar and hit enter.
  2. Confirm you will be careful if a warning appears.
  3. Search for browser.urlbar.suggest.searches.
  4. Double-click the preference to toggle it.

It is unclear right now when the new feature lands in the stable version of the Firefox browser but the target for now is Firefox 41. (via Sören Hentzschel)


Article Name

Firefox 41: Live Search Suggestions in the address bar


Martin Brinkmann


A first look at the new live search suggestions feature of Firefox 41 including options to disable it.

About Martin Brinkmann

Martin Brinkmann is a journalist from Germany who founded Ghacks Technology News Back in 2005. He is passionate about all things tech and knows the Internet and computers like the back of his hand. You can follow Martin on Facebook, Twitter or Google+

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