Firefox – How to Change your search engine on the address bar.

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Firefox has this neat feature where it can be used as a search box as well. However, unlike the search box, it is reliant on Google. Sometimes, we need to give the other search engines a chance. So, in this TECHGEEK Quick Tip, we are going to teach you how to change the search feature on the address bar from Google to Yahoo and Windows Live.

I bet you are now screaming: Why in the F**k would I do that? Well, we are doing this to keep this fair and balanced. (Now I’m starting to sound like Fox News!)

In our previous tip, we showed you the basics of the about:config in Firefox. You should read this before doing this tutorial, since this will tell you some basic functions of the about:config page. We will still put in the instructions the steps on how to do the about:config if you are just too lazy to read.

In your address bar, type in about:config. It will show you a warning, but click on the "I’ll be careful, I promise!". Mozilla does not really support what you are about to do, and it is a risky thing to do because it controls every single function of the browser, including the user interface.

In the filter section, type in this query: keyword.URL. This should reduce the number of options from thousands to just one, the one you typed in. Now, double click on its value.

Now, this is where you need to pay attention. Basically, all search engines all have in their URL a way to show the results of your query; like Google, where your search term is after search?q= (insert search term). Sorry if this confuses you, but it is a complicated matter.

To make the default search engine for your address bar into Yahoo, type this in: http://search.yahoo.com/search?p=

To make the default search engine for your address bar into Windows Live, type this in: http://search.live.com/results.aspx?q=

But, if you want to go back to Google; just put the original code back in. You might actually want to copy and paste it, because it is rather long. The value should be: http://www.google.com/search?ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&sourceid=navclient&gfns=1&q=

That’s it. While it seems more complicated, it just needs you to find where the query part of the results URL is and paste it as the value for keyword.URL. However, I suggest you stick with your search box if you are scared that you are going to break your precious browser. There is always Internet Explorer, Safari and Opera to choose from.

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