If you are using the Firefox web browser, you have two options to search the Internet. You can use the search form displayed in the main toolbar or the address bar.
These two search options differ in several regards. For instance, if you enter a website address into the search form, something like http://www.ghacks.net/ will do, you are still taken to the search results page of the selected search engine. If you do the same in the address bar, the address is loaded instead.
As far as the address bar is concerned: Firefox attempts to load a usable URI (Uniform Resource Identifier) first. If you enter a domain name, it will be loaded. If you enter something like test, it will be completed to http://www.test.com/ and opened. Only when that is not possible, is the term that you have entered redirected to the search engine of the browser.
Sometimes, you may want to prevent searches from being launched by Firefox, for instance when you mistype a domain name in the address bar.
If you are redirected to a search results page because of that, you will have to type the full name again or hope that one of the results displayed on the page lead to it.
Firefox users can disable searches from the browser's address bar. This can be useful for the aforementioned case, but also if you have the search form displayed in the browser's toolbar and if you are using it to search.
To disable search in Firefox, do the following:
- Type about:config in the browser's adress bar and hit the enter key.
- Confirm you will be careful if the warning screen comes up.
- Search for the term keyword.enabled.
- It is of the Boolean type, which means that it can be set to either true or false.
- The default value is true, which means that searches from the address bar are enabled.
- Double-click the preference to change its value to false. This disables searches from the browser's address bar.
If you have disabled changes, you will notice the following behavior when you type in the address bar:
Firefox will attempt to match what you type with a domain name, no matter what. This means that it will either load a domain if what you have typed can be matched, or a page not found error if it could not be matched.
You can undo the change at any time with a double-click on the preference so that its value is true after the operation. A restart of the web browser is not required for the changes to take effect.