How to control and change the Firefox address bar search results

How to control and change the Firefox address bar search results

Last updated: May 18, 2018 

The folks at Mozilla who develop the Firefox web browser call its address bar the Awesome Bar. They think it’s awesome because it remembers the web pages you visit and lets you search and navigate the web. The address bar also includes results from your browsing history, your bookmarks and your open tabs by default. Plus it gets better as you use it. This tutorial shows you how to control and change the Firefox address bar search results if you want to exclude or filter content.

First, if you use the Firefox address bar primarily to search the web with your favorite search engine, you may want to configure it to display search suggestions first. By default, Firefox shows search suggestions, but it will not necessarily prioritize them ahead of other results. To make sure Firefox shows search suggestions ahead of browsing history, visit about:preferences#search in your address bar.  Check the Show search suggestions ahead of browsing history in address bar results box. See the difference in the image below with search suggestions prioritized.

control and change the Firefox address bar search results

Exclude content from suggestions

By default, the address bar includes search suggestions from your previously visited pages, content you have bookmarked, and content from your currently open tabs. Limit the suggestions by unchecking the content you do not want to display. Click the Menu button and select Options.

control and change the Firefox address bar search results

In the left navigation, click Privacy & Security. Scroll down to the Address Bar section.

control and change the Firefox address bar search results



Uncheck the Browsing history, Bookmarks and/or Open tabs boxes for content you want to exclude from the address bar search suggestions.

Use special characters to find it faster

Find the content you need faster by adding special characters after your search terms. The image below shows the difference in search suggestions when adding a % after the word “sponsored” in the query. The % character searches for keyword matches in your currently open tabs.

control and change the Firefox address bar search results

Below is the complete list of  supported special characters and their function:

  • ^ add after each search term to search for matches in your browsing history
  • * add after each search term to search for matches in your bookmarks
  • + add after each search term to search for matches in pages you’ve tagged
  • % add after each search term to search for matches in your currently open tabs
  • ~ add after each search term to search for matches in pages you’ve typed
  • # add after each search term to search for matches in page titles
  • @ add after each search term to search for matches in web addresses
  • $ add after each search term to search for matches in suggestions

Thank you for visiting Tech Help Knowledgebase to learn how to control and change the Firefox address bar search results.