Make Firefox Show Google Results for Default Address Bar Searches

By Lowell Heddings on April 22nd, 2010

Have you ever typed something incorrectly into the Firefox address bar, and then had it take you to a page you weren’t expecting? The reason is because Firefox uses Google’s “I’m Feeling Lucky” search, but you can change it.

Scratching your head? Let’s take a quick run through what we’re talking about…

Normally, if you typed in something like just “howtogeek” in the address bar, and then hit enter… you’ll be taken directly to the How-To Geek site.


But how? Very simple! It’s the same place you would have been taken to if you typed “howtogeek” into Google, and then clicked the “I’m Feeling Lucky” button, which takes you to the first result. This is what Firefox does behind the scenes when you put something into the address bar that isn’t a URL.


But what if you’d rather head to the search results page instead? Luckily, all you have to do is tweak an about:config parameter in Firefox. Just head into about:config in the address bar, and then filter for keyword.url like so:


Double-click on the entry in the list, and then delete the &gfns=1 from the value. That’s the part of the URL that triggers Google to redirect to the first result.


And now, the next time you type something into the address bar, either on purpose or because you typo’d it, you’ll be taken to the results page instead:


About:Config tweaking is lots of fun.

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 04/22/10
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