firefox 3: disabling the awesomebar

UPDATE: The browser.urlbar.richResults preference checking was removed in bug 407836. Please use the oldbar addon if you want to return to Firefox 2’s style of lookups. The rest of this post is kind of moot now 🙂

Some people don’t like the “awesomebar” in Firefox3, which is a widget that replaced Firefox 2’s location bar’s auto-complete with a whack of new functionality. Instead of just looking at your history and matching URLs, the awesomebar goes through your history and bookmarks (and the metadata around them) while remembering which sites you visit most. So, instead of just URL matching, it suggests the sites you visit the most that are most relevant to what you’ve started to type in the location bar (and this can be keywords as well as partial URL matching – it’s nifty).

I confess, I didn’t much care for it at first, but the improvements to its learning behaviour and search routines have made me pretty damn happy. I’m not disabling it, but I’ve read a number of posts where people don’t really like/want the functionality and the slightly fatter UI elements it brings. So, I say give it a chance and it’ll grow on you, but if you really don’t like it, you can disable it.

To disable the awesomebar, you’ll need to set the boolean preference of browser.urlbar.richResults to “false”. If you’re asking yourself “how do I do that?”, then you need to do a little reading on “about:config“.

So, short and sweet for the skimmers:

Add the pref browser.urlbar.richResults as a boolean, set it to false

This pref is only checked on startup, so you’ll need to restart Firefox for it to take effect.

14 thoughts on “firefox 3: disabling the awesomebar

  1. ionu, it won’t show up by default, which is why I specified “add” the pref, not modify it. create the pref as a boolean, set it to false, restart Fx3. voila.

  2. BoodOk: That doesn’t disable it, that just prevents it from showing results. Most folks who want to disable the awesomebar still want the URL matching. For folks who don’t want _anything_ returned, setting it to zero disables the display of results, but it’s still there.

  3. the oldbar extension doesn’t actually get rid of the resource-hogging lookup database, nor does it get rid of the broken functionality. all it does is make it smaller.

  4. People at FireFox have the head full of s**t.
    I really hate this new address bar. Why did they remove this pref? Damn!

  5. just combine adding this as a bolean: browser.urlbar.RichResults
    and setting the browser.urlbar.maxRichResults to -1
    that’ll do the trick. I know it’s still there in some sense. But at least you wont have to look at it…

  6. I have 3.5 firefox and when I down loaded fire fox awesomebar was there. But I don’t know what I did but the bar is gone and oh do I miss it HOW DO I GET IT BACK
    Albert Turk

  7. Albert: Check to make sure the location bar is displayed, if you mean it’s totally gone. From the menu:

    View->Toolbars->Navigation Toolbar (make sure it’s checked)

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