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Remove the Search Box in Firefox for a Cleaner Look

Although the search box in Firefox’s toolbar is handy, it’s really not necessary for searching the Web. Unless you take advantage of having other search engines available via the search box, you can get rid of it completely to regain some toolbar real estate.

Firefox’s Awesome Bar, the box where you type in a Web page’s URL (also known as the Location Bar), can be used to search the Web too. Any text entered there that is not a valid URL will be sent to Google as a keyword search, by default. Try it. Type “aesthetic crit” and press the Enter key.

To remove the old search box, right-click (or Ctrl+click on Mac) on an empty area of the toolbar. For example, try the space between the search box and one of the other buttons on the toolbar. In the pop up menu, select Customize…. Then, simply drag the search box from the toolbar and drop it in the Customize Toolbar window.

If you want to use a different search engine than the default Google, you can change it as follows:

  1. In the Awesome Bar, type about:config and press the Enter key.
  2. If a warning message appears, accept it to continue to the about:config page.
  3. In the search box, type keyword.URL and that preference setting will appear in the list.
  4. Double-click the keyword.URL preference and enter the URL for the search engine that you want to use as the string value. When you search from the Awesome Bar, Firefox will append your search text to the end of the URL that you enter here. For example, to search Bing, enter the URL as http://www.bing.com/search?q=
  5. To reset the search back to the default, right-click on keyword.URL and select Reset from the pop up menu.

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