Change the default address bar search in Firefox on Mac OS X

Long title for a short post! Even since I moved to Mac (a month or so ago now…) I’ve been a little annoyed that the default Google site for searches from the address bar was google.com. I decided to poke around and I think I’ve come up with a fix. Not sure if there is a better way to do this, but it seems to be working for me so far. I’m running Firefox 2.0.0.15 (yes, I know I should probably be using Firefox 3…) on Mac OS X 10.5.4. Here’s what I did:

  1. In the Firefox address bar, type about:config
  2. Then, in the Filter box at the top type keyword
  3. This should show up a Preference Name called keyword.url. Right-click on this and select Modify
  4. Update the value to reflect the search engine of your choice. In my case I’ve changed it to http://www.google.co.uk/search?ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&sourceid=navclient&gfns=1&q= to point me at Google UK.

That should be it. Now when I type some words into my address bar, firefox will search for those terms in google.co.uk if I’ve not entered a valid URL. I hope this helps someone!

You may also want to look at the keyword search feature built into Firefox bookmarks, also available through the new del.icio.us bookmarks too. This allows you to type things like google iphone 3g to search Google for the term ‘iphone 3g’, or flickr unboxing to search Flickr for photos of people unpacking their new gadgets.

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4 Responses to “Change the default address bar search in Firefox on Mac OS X

  • Lisa
    August 22nd, 2008 13:50
    1

    Thanks for this - worked a treat! :)

  • Frank
    November 13th, 2008 12:13
    2

    Brilliant!!! Been wondering how to do this.
    Now I need to find how to do the same on Safari
    Thanks!!

  • Steve
    November 19th, 2008 21:42
    3

    Thanks a lot :) its been bugging me for a while.
    Cheers.

  • Dan
    March 7th, 2009 14:45
    4

    Worked like a charm - cheers. I’m like you and took the plunge woith a Mac to see how it is having been a lifelong PC devotte - and I’m irritated by the Mac’s blatant bias towards the US to be honest. BUT - this fix worked a treat.

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