Changing the address bar search default in Firefox

I just reinstalled my OS and the first thing I did was install Firefox. After my recent post extolling the virtues of DuckDuckGo (DDG) I wanted the search box in Firefox to use the site. No problem! A quick search on the Firefox Addons site and the DuckDuckGo search plugin was ready to use.

I assumed that using the URL bar to carry out quick searches would also use the same settings as the dedicated search box. Nope! It defaults to Google despite me not having Google set as a default anything.

A quick Google search* and I found out how to change Firefox’s default behaviour.

  1. In your Firefox address bar type about:config and promise that you’ll be careful.
  2. In the newly appeared search box enter keyword.URL
  3. Now right-click on the keyword.URL result that should have appeared and select Modify.
  4. In the box that pops up enter:
  5. Press enter and close the about:config page.

I’ve got a few extra bits in the URL that don’t need to be in there feel free to remove them as required:

  • kp=-1  -> This turns off the safe search feature. Remove it or change to kp=1 to keep safe search on.
  • kl=uk-en -> This let’s DDG know that I’d like UK results if available. Change to your language / locale or remove if not needed.

Not a Google search anywhere 🙂

*Since Google is now used as a verb we need make a conscious effort to go back to using the good ol’ word “search”.

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