How to remove “search with” and “visit” in Firefox’s address bar

The Firefox web browser displays a "search with" or "visit" entry as the first suggestion whenever you type something in Firefox's address bar.

The suggestion depends on what is being typed as well as the Firefox bookmarks and browsing history. If a web address is the first match "visit" is displayed while "search with" is suggested whenever an url is not the first match.

Mozilla calls this unified complete, and it has been designed for a number of reasons such as better identifying searches among results or always highlighting the enter/go action to the user to make it clearer in the process.

Remove Search With and Visit in Firefox

remove visit firefox search

The main issue that I have with the highlighting of the action in the first row of suggestions displayed by Firefox is that it feels redundant.

Firefox displays the suggested address directly in the address bar, and the visit suggestion underneath reveals the same information.

While some users may confuse searches or addresses, it is easy enough to distinguish them as addresses always come in the form domain.ext/ while searches usually not.

In addition to being redundant, it is taking away a spot for a match that would otherwise be displayed in its place.

It is thankfully easy enough to disable unified complete in the Firefox browser.

Update Firefox 48

The original method no longer works. Firefox 48 users who want visit or search options removed in the address bar have the following options instead:

Option 1: Use Classic Theme Restorer

firefox disable visit search with

  1. Install Classic Theme Restorer from Mozilla's AMO website.
  2. Load about:addons in Firefox's address bar afterwards.
  3. Click on the options button next to the Classic Theme Restorer entry.
  4. Select Location bar (3) from the list of options.
  5. Check "disable height limit"
  6. Check "remove 'search with' and 'visit' items".

Option 2: Stylish

  1. Install the Stylish add-on in Firefox.
  2. Install the URL Bar Tweaks - Remove Visit/Search & Scroll bar style from this site.

Option 3: userChrome.css

userchrome

  1. Load about:support in Firefox's address bar.
  2. Click on the show folder button on the page that opens.
  3. Locate the chrome folder. If the folder does not exist, create it.
  4. Locate the userChrome.css file inside the chrome folder. If it does not exist, create it.
  5. Paste the following content in the file and save it. Restart Firefox afterwards.

@namespace url(http://www.mozilla.org/keymaster/gatekeeper/there.is.only.xul);
/* Firefox 43+ "Visit..." or "Search..." bar in the drop-down */
#PopupAutoCompleteRichResult richlistitem:first-of-type[actiontype="searchengine"],
#PopupAutoCompleteRichResult richlistitem[actiontype="visiturl"]{
display:none !important;
}
/* Increase height to avoid scroll bar */
#PopupAutoCompleteRichResult .autocomplete-richlistbox {
height: auto !important;
max-height: calc(31px * 10) !important;
}
/* Restore persistent display of drop-marker */
#urlbar:not(:hover) > .urlbar-textbox-container > .urlbar-history-dropmarker {
opacity: 1 !important;
}
/* No exception for search engine keywords */

Option 4: Enter Selects Add-on

Enter Selects is a simple add-on that selects the first "real" entry when you type something in Firefox's address bar and hit the Enter-key afterwards. It jumps over the search with or visit row automatically, and is designed specifically for Firefox users who have always used the Enter-key to load the first result.

Disabling Unified Complete

unified complete

Word of caution: While I have not noticed any issues disabling it, it is possible that Mozilla will add more features to unified complete in the future which would not be available on systems where the feature is disabled on.

  1. Type about:config in the Firefox address bar and hit enter.
  2. Confirm that you will be careful if a warning prompt appears.
  3. Use the search at the top to find browser.urlbar.unifiedcomplete.
  4. Double-click the preference.

The change is active right away, and if the preference is set to false, you have done away with the first row suggestion "visit" or "search now" actions.

You can restore the feature at any time by repeating the steps above. Make sure that the preference is set to true in the end as it means that unified complete is once again enabled in the Firefox browser.

Now Read: How to restore classic search in Firefox

Summary
Article Name
How to remove
Description
Find out how to turn off the "search with" and "visit" suggestion that the Firefox browser displays when you type in the address bar.
Author
Publisher
Ghacks Technology News
Logo
Please share this article

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditlinkedinmail



Responses to How to remove “search with” and “visit” in Firefox’s address bar

  1. alex December 21, 2015 at 9:43 pm #

    browser.urlbar.suggest.searches seems to be doing the same thing, not sure what the difference between the two is

    • Pants December 21, 2015 at 10:12 pm #

      @alex - that is from FF41

      // 0815 disable live search suggestions in the urlbar and toggle off the Opt-In prompt: FF41+
      // This is the settings under Options>Privacy>Location Bar>Related searches from the default search engine
      user_pref("browser.urlbar.suggest.searches", false);
      user_pref("browser.urlbar.userMadeSearchSuggestionsChoice", true);

  2. Tom December 21, 2015 at 10:20 pm #

    Thanks Martin.
    While this new "feature" itself is annoying I also found that this makes the Oldbar add-on behave erratic starting with FF 43 when one wants to select a site from the drop-down history using the keyboard.
    So disabling browser.urlbar.unifiedcomplete fixes two things in one go for me....

    • Anonymous December 21, 2015 at 11:01 pm #

      This also resolves a regression in Foobar.

  3. Tom Hawack December 21, 2015 at 11:15 pm #

    Thanks for the tip, Martin. This was bothering me as well. Nice maybe for newcomers but confusing for others.
    One extra-line to my user.js file.

  4. Jason December 22, 2015 at 1:04 am #

    I see I'm not the only one who found that feature annoying. Thanks, Martin.

  5. JB December 22, 2015 at 6:09 am #

    Appreciate the tip. This was bugging me, as well, after only a few minutes of using 43.0.1

  6. Shamus December 22, 2015 at 8:01 am #

    Thank you, Martin. This was especially irritating.

  7. Avi December 22, 2015 at 9:07 am #

    Another post of series "how to revert yet another stupid change in Firefox". Thanks Martin.

  8. reader December 22, 2015 at 10:26 am #

    I forgot about this setting . i decided to put this on user.js.
    But under ff nightly - appears #urlbar-search-footer-"change shearch settings" .
    https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/attachment.cgi?id=8644007&action=diff
    https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1191520

    to hide . (stylish or _profile_/crome/userChrome.css)
    @-moz-document url-prefix("chrome://") { #urlbar-search-footer { display: none;} }

  9. Richard December 22, 2015 at 11:44 am #

    I use the Omnibar extension, https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/omnibar/?src=search. Even though browser.urlbar.unifiedcomplete was set to true, I don't think I was seeing the behavior described in the article above.

  10. Joker December 22, 2015 at 1:56 pm #

    Regarding these kind of prefs:

    https://mail.mozilla.org/pipermail/firefox-dev/2015-December/003702.html
    "I was wondering if we could evaluate alternatives that are not easily
    flippable through the UI. This is not about removing customization or user
    options, rather to avoid disappointing users multiple times for no good
    reasons."

    Yeah, right.

  11. Boris December 22, 2015 at 2:47 pm #

    Thanks, I have the special text files of how manually fix all those Firefox screwups that I got d\from this websites.

  12. Don December 22, 2015 at 8:57 pm #

    I like the new feature. I use keywords for the bookmarked pages I frequent, like "gh" for GHacks.net. When I type the keyword, I now see the URL; it confirms that I typed the correct keyword.

    I don't like the autocomplete feature when I'm typing a keyword. It's annoying. I need to hit Delete or Backspace before hitting Enter.

  13. JB December 23, 2015 at 4:23 am #

    Started my computer today (Linux Mint), and this setting returned to true. Haven't added any addons or anything else. It's possible that I had a second window open on a different virtual desktop or something, but just thought I'd note that I had to turn unified back to false again. Hope that it's not a persistent problem.

    Anyway, thanks again for the help!

  14. Ra December 24, 2015 at 6:52 pm #

    Thank you! This was driving me nuts and finally started looking for a way to remove it this morning. Extremely helpful!

  15. Dj AiS December 27, 2015 at 1:24 pm #

    Thanx bro........... Good work Keep it up................

  16. Stardog December 29, 2015 at 5:49 pm #

    Firefox sucks.

  17. Alex January 4, 2016 at 1:48 pm #

    Thank you! I switched it off because it stopped to offer items from my history. It is the *address bar* so what's the point?

  18. Vladimir Cvajniga February 3, 2016 at 11:05 am #

    Thank you very much for sharing this tip.

  19. Thankful Firefox User July 12, 2016 at 12:39 am #

    Thank you so much, I really need that. I cant stand that it would "search" in the location bar when all I wanted it to show was bookmarks. I have the "search bar" for searching!!

  20. CJB August 3, 2016 at 3:58 am #

    Seems not to work anymore in FF 48

  21. Xircal August 3, 2016 at 4:10 pm #

    Firefox 48 appears to have re-enabled the "Visit" prompt even though browser.urlbar.unifiedcomplete is still set to "false" in about:config.

    Is there some other setting which will get rid of it?

    • earthling August 3, 2016 at 5:39 pm #

      Read the article - there are 3 ways mentioned to get rid of it!

  22. Swan August 25, 2016 at 7:05 pm #

    Great article, Martin, and thanks for updating to cover Firefox 48.

    What I particularly found helpful in your instructions for CTR was to "Check "disable height limit". Other sites I've seen failed to mention this, and without doing so, "Check "remove 'search with' and 'visit' items" will remain greyed out. Small, but important things like this is what puts Ghacks a cut above the rest.

  23. Self August 27, 2016 at 7:26 am #

    I have FF 48.0.1; and the CTR didn't work for me -- I checked item #5 & 6.

    Does that mean I have to try the Stylish add-on? I really don't want to install too many add-ons.

    • Martin Brinkmann August 27, 2016 at 7:53 am #

      Do you run any mod or add-on that modifies the urlbar?

      • Self August 29, 2016 at 11:38 am #

        I don't know what "mod" is; but I do have the Old Location Bar addon. However when I look at it in Tools > Addons, it shows Disabled.

        So I tried Option #3. I copy & paste your script(?) and created userChrome.css in the Chrome folder. It is not clear to me whether Disabling Unified Complete is part of Option #3. Regardless, I don't have "browser.urlbar.unifiedcomplete" in my about:config

        The userChrome.css got rid of the visiturl; but the drop down box is huge and takes up the full width of the FF window -- instead of dropping down from the URL box.

        I also find that deleting the userChrome.css does NOT reverse what was done by that css. So how do I revert to the "original" before I applied the userChrome.css?

  24. Kirel August 27, 2016 at 11:58 pm #

    Thanks for the article. I have FF48, and just tried option 3, which unfortunately did not work. I was hoping to avoid more addons, but I guess I'll need to. :(

    • Kirel August 28, 2016 at 12:28 am #

      Looks like your reply to "Self" may have been my problem also. I was running "Old Location Bar". Once I disabled that, I don't have the visit line in url completion anymore.

      Thanks again for your info, Martin.

  25. LAM August 31, 2016 at 7:06 pm #

    Thank you so much for this help. WHY does Mozilla keep forcing things back on us that we have already indicated we do not want?

  26. Jon Combe November 16, 2016 at 3:30 pm #

    I did the original fix (the unified complete setting). All worked well until Firefox 48. Then I followed the above advice which worked. Until today where I now have Firefox 50 and they have broken it *again*. Any ideas how to turn it off this time?

  27. boogers March 20, 2017 at 1:23 am #

    browser.urlbar.unifiedcomplete is not found in my firefox. now what!?

    • Martin Brinkmann March 20, 2017 at 6:53 am #

      The preference has been removed in Firefox 48. You need to use one of the other methods listed in the guide.

Leave a Reply