Recently, I installed a toolbar on my Firefox browser, which caused the default search engine to be modified to the toolbar’s search provider. Now, this is terribly annoying as I prefer to use Google as my default search engine and simply don’t want other search providers to force themselves on me. If you find yourself in a similar situation, here’s what you need to do to change the default search engine in Firefox. Remember that Firefox does not have a simple option like Internet Explorer to change the default search engine and it has to be done using this workaround.
How to Change the Default Search Engine in Firefox
This procedure was performed in Firefox 11.
1. In the Firefox address bar, type about:config and press Enter.
2. A warning screen will be displayed indicating that changing the advanced settings may be harmful to the stability of the application unless you are certain of what you are doing. Click I’ll be careful, I promise!
3. In the Search box, type keyword.URL
4. The list box will display the result. Right-click the option and choose Modify.
5. In the Enter String Value dialog box, delete the URL that is displayed in the keyword.URL text box. In its place copy and paste the code that is given below.
If you want Google to be the default search engine, paste this code.
If you want Bing to be the default search engine, paste this code.
If you want Yahoo! to be the default search engine, paste this code.
6. Then click OK to close the Enter String Value dialog box.
7. Close the about.config window.
You’re all done. Just open a new Firefox window and search an item. The search results will be displayed in the respective search engine you installed.
There have been instances where the address bar reverses back to the one you just removed. If you still encounter problems, here’s what you can do.
Uninstall the toolbar that is creating the problem. For instance, you may have installed Bing toolbar, which is then setting up Bing as the default search engine. Likewsie for other toolbars.
If you still face the same problem, follow steps 1 to 3 as described in the tutorial. Then right-click keyword.URL and select Reset. That should do the trick.
If this tutorial benefited you, leave us a comment in the comment form below.