How to Disable New One-Click Search Bar and Restore Classic Search Box in Mozilla Firefox?

The new versions of Mozilla Firefox web browser come with many new features such as Firefox Hello, built-in themes to customize Firefox UI, etc.

Apart from these new features, there is another interesting change in the new Firefox version. It comes with a new and improved Search interface for the Search box (or Search Bar). We told you about it earlier in our exclusive Nightly Update article.

If you try to search for a term using Search box present in Firefox toolbar, you'll notice the new Search UI which displays search suggestions along with one-click buttons for other search engines such as Yahoo!, Bing, Wikipedia, etc.

Mozilla_Firefox_New_Search_UI.png

Its a good change and improvement in Firefox but some people are not liking the new Search interface. If you also don't like the new One-Click Search UI in Firefox, you can disable it with the help of this tutorial.

Today in this tutorial, we are going to tell you ways to get rid of the new Search UI in Firefox and bring the old classic Search interface back.

So without wasting time lets start the tutorial:

METHOD 1: Using Classic Theme Restorer Extension

You can easily bring back the classic search box and other classic UI features in Mozilla Firefox newer versions with the help of Classic Theme Restorer extension.

First download the extension from following topic:

[Tip] Get Classic Theme, UI and Features Back in Mozilla Firefox

And then you can enable "Old Search" option given in "General UI (1)" section of this extension options. It'll restore classic search feature in Firefox.

Classic_Theme_Restorer_Addon_Options.png

METHOD 2: Using Mozilla Firefox Preferences

Mozilla has added a new Search tab in Firefox Preferences window. You can take help of the new tab to disable search suggestions or to remove one-click search buttons of other search providers.

Open Firefox Preferences window and go to Search tab.

Alternatively, you can directly access Search tab by clicking on "Change Search Settings" link given at the bottom of new Search interface.

Disable_Firefox_Search_Suggestions_One_Click_Buttons.png

Here you can uncheck any unwanted search engine and it'll be immediately removed from the new Search interface.

You can remove all search engine buttons and search suggestions which will make the new Search interface look-like the old Search UI:

Mozilla_Firefox_Search_without_One_Click_UI.png

Related:

[Tip] Disable Search Suggestions in Addressbar Results of Mozilla Firefox

[Tip] Remove "Search With Google" and "Visit Website" Options from Firefox Addressbar

METHOD 3: Using about:config Page

If you are not satisfied with the result, you can permanently turn the new Search interface off using about:config window:

1. Open Firefox and type about:config in the addressbar and press Enter. It'll confirm, click on I'll be careful, I promise! button.

2. Now type oneoff in the Filter box and look for following boolean key:

browser.search.showOneOffButtons

3. The entry "browser.search.showOneOffButtons" would be set to true. Double-click on it or right-click on it and select "Toggle". It'll set its value to false.

Disable_Firefox_Search_Engine_One_Click_Buttons.png

4. Restart Firefox and it'll disable the new one-click Search UI in Firefox and you'll get the old classic Search interface back.

Also Check:

How to Remove Search Box from New Tab Page in Mozilla Firefox?





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Posted in: Mozilla Firefox, Troubleshooting


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Comments

  • You sir are lifesaver. I still use the old Organize Search Engines addon and since its no longer in development and the author has even removed it from the Firefox Addon site. After this new update this addon made my search bar invisible so had to disable it. Now I can re-enable it and go back to how things were.
    Its a pity that this Organize Search Engines addon was removed by the author, it was really useful. You could arrange the order of search engines, add separators and folders and even change the search URL, search parameters and even the icons.

  • As an addition I believe that this search bar change is for US only.

  • Nope. I'm in India.

  • Thanks for this update. However, it doesn't make a good sense to keep many software for single internet browsing on Microsoft Windows. Meantime, the Microsoft Internet Explorer has come with decent features and much faster than others.

  • FF 34 come with "Hello" feature, if this button is missing in yours then read this->
    support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/where-firefox-hello-button

  • I HATE that damn search bar in 34!It just makes no sense!Thank you so very much for the kludge!What a relief!

  • Doesn't work for me. Oneoff buttons don't show regardless of the setting. Now what?

  • As far as I can tell these fixes don't restore the Search Box to what it was because the old reconfigurable drop down list of search alternatives doesn't reappear. I liked being able to select and set the search engine to use in a semi-permanent manner. I also liked being able to select a site I wanted to visit from the drop down list, such as Amazon or ebay, and open a browser tab at the site with an Enter WITHOUT typing anything in the box. As I implemented them, the fixes just give a flat search box set to the default search engine with no drop down list. Did I miss something ?

    Mozilla's increasingly bought into Microsoft's trademark "We want to do it this way on a whim so screw the User and whatever utility they found in the old way AND the horse they rode in on" Useability Philosophy. (Not that Microsoft's philosophy doesn't work...after no less than 3 tries.) Thank heaven for Addons.

  • @gloryroad
    It does restore the Search Box, can confirm this. I myself am using the 2nd method, the browser.search.showOneOffButtons False under about:config one. If your Search Box fails to show up then some addon is interfering with it, but using the 2nd method should definitely fix it regardless of any interfering addons.

  • The Search Box shows up for me with either method but it does not have the same functionality that it had...as I describe in my comment. I believe that rich and useful functionality I want back was native to Firefox...I don't think it came from some Add-on I installed.

  • I understood what you meant quite clearly and I too meant what I said. For me the Search Box has returned to exactly as it was before the update, with the functionality just as you describe it.
    "able to select and set the search engine to use in a semi-permanent manner..able to select a site I wanted to visit from the drop down list, such as Amazon or ebay, and open a browser tab at the site with an Enter WITHOUT typing anything in the box"

  • Thank you for confirming what I should see from the fixes. I finally got the old drop down list Search Box back, too. It apparently already was effected from my prior attempt in a couple profiles I don't use much. I just now had to redo fix 2 in my main profile for it to show up there; I hope it sticks I don't know what my prior problem was -- I had restarted FIrefox and Windows a couple times before commenting.

  • I had to restart FF so that change of the browser.search.showOneOffButtons setting to False became fully effective, i.e. so that the dropdown for the search engine selection became visible again.

  • Huge thanks to you, sir!

    This new and "improved" search was driving me crazy, I was so used to the old one, which is way easier to use and more functional. Now I have it back.

  • I didn't know there was anyway to return back to the classic search unless install an older version, and I tell I tried to live with that new searchbar for days, and found it horribly awkward.

  • Thanks a lot! Some updates can be so annoying! They should give this kind of information. As gloyroad above I like to use search engines semi-permanently, and having to specify the one I want every time was driving me crazy. So inconvenient. Thanks again for your help in fixing this!

  • thank god, the new search bar is terrible!!

    it even blocks the right-click "paste & search" button! unbelievable!! who is the idiot responsible?

  • Yeah, that's it. Thank you so much! The guys from Mozilla know how to drive long-term users crazy. Why don't they intergrate their new features as an addon?

  • Thank you!
    Why are they reinventing perfectly working wheel .........?

  • Thank you! God that thing was friggin annoying.

  • THANK YOU.

    Thank you to Chris Arndt also for noting that you have to restart to get the config changes to apply.

    It seems every time they upgrade firefox, they turn some perfectly good text-based feature into something involving icons, animation, or both. UGH. I have to start looking around for another browser.

  • The first method didn't work. Unchecking all alternative search engines did just that, it disabled them.

    The about:config method did work but now all my search engines appear in the list twice.

  • Solution: You have to use both methods.

  • Brilliant. Thanks.
    Until I read this I was prepared to abandon Firefox altogether ... so fed up with the interface changes. I'm *this* close to using Pale Moon permanantly - it's what Firefox used to be like before they screwed it up.

  • Thank you!

    At first it appeared that the change to about:config did not work-- step 4 of the instructions above says that the search box will "immediately" revert to its previous form, but for me (on Mac OS) the change had no effect until I restarted FF.

    Anyway, this is a great help-- I really like being able to choose the search engine from the dropdown, and have that stick until I change it.

    FF developers would do well to heed the adage that "if it ain't broke, don't fix it"!

  • Option 2 worked right off the bat. One must remember, after making the change, to close all Firefox windows and the launch FF again to see the results.

  • Man, I'm glad there's a workaround. One-click search isn't actually one-click: it's a click to get to the search, then a click to pick the engine after typing. You have to move your hand from the mouse to the keyboard back to the mouse. The original way was more efficient, and Mozilla screwed the pooch bad on this one. In fact, that search bar is one of 2 reasons I won't switch to Chrome, so for Mozilla to just dump it and replace it with a less-efficient, "menus are for dorks here's nice shiny buttons ala Windows 8" style was asinine.

  • thank-you very much for your time :)

    9:30 am Dec. 11th 2014

  • In "METHOD 2: Using about:config Page", the author left out a crucial step, which should be step 5. After making the change, restart Firefox. Thereafter, the search bar will look and function as it originally did. This has already been mentioned in the comments, but I thought I'd mention it again, so anyone having trouble with this might have a better shot at seeing the full solution.

  • Sorry, in my previous post, I should have said step 4: "...the author left out a crucial step, which should be step 4."

  • A massive Thank You!

    The new search was only showing icons and not the name of the search engine. As I have 12 Translation icons (for various language combinations), IXQuick and Google search engines in multiple languages, icons mean nothing to me.

    When will people realise that mouse clicks are considerably slower than keyboard shortcuts? :(

  • Thank you so much for METHOD 2! Not a good improvment from FF team, imho.

  • Thank you for the fix!

  • Yes! A life saver indeed this Method 2! I was going to uninstall FF, no kidding.

  • Whoa, I was so irritated by how they changed the Search Bar. It may look good but it's not that functional. I can't even use the "Search with %searchengine%" of the right-click menu with it, or can you? I was about to re-install an older version and disable auto-updates to prevent further updates but thankfully it was a good idea to do a little Google search before doing anything. Thought I'd install an add-on or two but it's good that you can revert it back with just the about:config.

    Thank you so much for this information.

  • Thank you VERY VERY much for the boolean fix to this issue. I absolutely detest the new search bar layout, I find it to be clunky, ugly and incredibly annoying.

    I always use the "add to search bar" addon and I find that it is exactly what I want and need. Please consult with the community before making these types of changes in the future dev team.. We LOVE your work but this sort of thing is going in the wrong direction.

  • awesome worked ty

  • thank you very much
    very helpful tutorial, specially method 2 that was what i'm looking for.

  • This was an absolutely TERRIBLE upgrade. Classic example of "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!" Firefox, please remove this useless upgrade, or at least make it optional.

  • Many thanks for this. I did try to get used to the new search and quite liked the one click method but in the end it was driving me mad. 1. there is no way to order the searches as before, so new ones I added were stuck at the bottom on my context menu search. 2. It was taking me longer to spot and recognise the small icon of the search engine I was looking for. 3. there was no way of deleting searches you didn't want in the settings menu, just unticking them so a. I was left with icons for old USA ebay and amazon searches (I need .co.uk sites) and didn't know which was which and b. my context menu search add on kept showing the ones I had unticked.

    anyway the about:config method worked for me, it restored the old search with full drop down menu fuctionality.

  • Thanks a bunch, this had been driving me crazy the last couple of weeks! Your Method 2 worked perfectly for me!

  • What a relief, these "improvements" are such a pain in the ass.

  • Many thanks for this fix (about:config). I was fortunate to find this page while researching alternative browsers e.g. Pale Moon, as this "new, improved" cock-up with the Search Bar was frustrating me to no end. I'd like to know how the FF developers determined that obscuring the menu choices and requiring extra clicks constituted an improvement.

    Can't help wondering how many users -- won't -- find this workaround, and instead decide to abandon the whole mess altogether.

  • Thank you for these instructions. I have restored my browser to what I have gotten used to and appreciate. Altho I'm open to change, I don't appreciate some of these forced improvements.

  • Thank you
    With the new search UI, you can't highlight a word in the page, right click and search with the search engine selected in the search bar

    Search load addon is better

    THANK YOU !!!

  • Thank you, these buttons are horrendous. I don't know if my non-default theme was making it worse, but it was just horrible, they were all over the place.

  • I don't know what they're thinking with this new search. You right click and two things pop up on top of each other, the search window and the copy/paste/etc. window. So I want to paste something into it and instead I get the search window popped up over it blocking "paste and search". And then I want to switch quickly to wikipedia for example and can't do it, got to open a whole thing, click several things, switch, then I want to go back to goodle, nope, got to do it all over again. Hassle, no reason, no benefit, glitched, and no improvement that I can see.

  • As a user of Mozilla/Netscape and all it's manifestations (hail Camino) I've never been put off so much by a real estate hogging drop down search box. So much that I actually went back to the older version and hid. The constant nagging of 'update your search engine' forced me to upgrade like a full trash can needing to be taken to the dumpster.

    This time I found this article and was overjoyed many others share their dismay with the jumbo drop down box. You have allowed us to continue with Firefox as I have done with all Mozilla products since the beginning. Thank you!

  • OMG thank you for this! The "new and improved" search bar had been driving me nuts! Am I the only one that yearns for the days of Firefox 3?

  • I just don't get the new search interface. Why would i want to select my search engine after i type, rather than before? All it does is add an extra transition between keyboard and mouse.

    Hence, i'm really thankful for method 2!

  • thank you. I am glad I got the old one back using method 2. The 'new' interface was extremely annoying. There was no way to manage it properly. Good riddance!!

  • Thanksssssssssssss man i have to this everytime i install or reinstall Firefox the new search bar is cool but only for those who have a high speed connection but for the rest who are using damn slow net connection like me the old is better

  • Thanks so much, i like FF but every new update is a pain, the change boleen, did excellent job , FF back to a usable interface ,thanks so much

  • I also hate the new UI. However, this solution is not what I'm looking for. I dont use many search engines, in fact I think I only had google set up before this change. And when I clicked the magnifying glass icon in the search bar, it would take me to google's home page, for me to search from there. However in this new version, clicking the magnifying glass icon brings up the list of search engines, or, if you have disabled that by using the solution explained here, it just shows the "Change search settings" button. How can I get it back to the way it was (that is, taking me to google's home page instead of showing me this useless button)?

  • Wait... now it works. Not sure why but just after posting this, the icon started working as I want it to... weird, but I'll take it :)

  • Thanks so much. The new search was awful and actually took longer than the old way.

  • I have to leave a comment ad say thank you so much for this post. You sir have saved me millions of neurons :)
    Thnak you!

  • Hi,
    Thank you so much for option #2 to fix a Mozilla Mess! They should be fixing it themselves soon! Steve

  • great post, thank You very much!

  • I am also writing to thank you for the 2nd solution. It was driving me absolutely insane to have to click TWICE in the search bar every time I needed to set the cursor for an edit. Thank goodness that although Firefox continues to degrade the default version like other browsers do, they also continue to enable helpful people to assist us in restoring the superior functionality of older versions (e.g. toggles for flash video and images, the status bar).

  • On Linux the supid "Search With" thing break tripple-click to select all the text. Disabling in about:config fixed that. Thank you.

  • Thank you, Thank you, Thank you. A thousands thanks. Health, Prosperity and Love to you, your family and friends.

    I use various search engines myself, and I hated to be forced to accept that stupîd interface change.

    Oh, I used method #2.

  • OK, I usually hate changes to my software, but I'm not having a problem with this new One-Click search bar at all. I did reset my default search engine to Google, but I find other than that it works the same as the old one did, it just looks different. In the "old days", I typed a query into the search bar, then hit Enter and Google took it from there. It's no different now. I type in a query, hit Enter and -- with my default engine changed to Google -- off it goes. Maybe I'm missing something?

  • Thanks for this! I hate the new interface, as it makes it nearly impossible to triple-click:select all. Only changing the setting in about:config makes the box go away entirely, making triple click possible again.

  • Thanks!

  • Thank you.
    You are so great!

  • In what way can the change be described as "Its a good change and improvement in Firefox..."

    I live in Europe, here we have different countries most of which use their own language. This is reflected in the way search engines work : google.co.uk will return different results to google.de or google.nl when searching with the same search terms.

    Therefore I have six different versions of the Google search engine in my search field as sometimes I want to search for German sites, other times Danish, often UK sites etc.

    The new search UI makes it impossible to change the search engine on the fly for the rest of the session. I have to click on the google search engine I want each and every time I search. Annoying if I want to spend a half hour searching just for German language sites based in Germany.

    Clicking on the Google search engine I want is more difficult as all six Google search engines in the new search UI have the same icon and no text.

    I have used the about:config work around to work around these problems - however the change has partially broke the "Add to Searchbar" addon functionality. It is now no longer possible to customise the display text when adding a search engine in this way.

  • Just to clarity, the problem with "Add to Searchbar" occurs when the new search UI is enabled.

  • it works thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Thanks a bunch.

  • Setting browser.search.showOneOffButtons to false worked for me... When I wanted to edit my search I was having to click the search bar 6, 7 or 8 times to get the cursor where I wanted it or to click and select one or more words... it was very annoying

  • Hooray!!!
    The new 'improved' search bar seriously angered me. Apart from the haywire functionality of it, I suspect that Mozilla has done a deal with all the big sites to make their buttons pop out at us. Utterly horrible. Shame on you Mozilla. Whoever thought this one up should be cleaning toilets.

  • Método 2: muchas gracias

  • Thanks. I hated how the search bar in Linux would not select the entire text with double-clicking or triple-clicking, making it a pain to clear out the search results. Until this bug is fixed, I'm keeping the old-style search bar.

  • FIVE STAR solution rating! Using both methods(1st method followed by the 2nd method), returned everything back to the search paradise that actually worked and worked VERY well. Thank you for this solution! Why Mozilla changed it to that horrible new barely working and awful text entry box that was beyond frustrating to use is beyond me. Sounds like I am definitely not alone on that either. Thank you again for this solution. I'm back to search list and search text entry box perfection. \m/ Search-A-Zen-Again! \m/

  • Great help! Was unhappy with new search engines layout. Prefer alphabetical list order. Thanks for bringing it back to my FF!

  • Thank you guys so awesomely much :D
    I never thought it'd be that easy

  • Thanks for the about:config entry to toggle off the new interface - I don't quite understand the theory behind the change, but for me at least when I'm searching some specialized engine I'll probably be doing it for a bit and while it doesn't *seem* like just selecting wikipedia or tvtropes or whatever each time should be all that annoying it certainly is.

  • I love you! This was one of the most annoying things to come with a new update. Would completely freeze all actions if dropped down.

  • THANKS A LOT!!!!!
    Every time I pressed enter to search, sometimes my mouse was on "change search setting" and it sent me to the option page. HELL YEAH NOT ANYMORE 'CAUSE ITS GONE MWHAHAHAHAHAH

  • and now they removed whole entry form about:config page

  • Neither methods work for me. After restarting the browser, the options in the performances, and the volue in about.config change back to the default settings. Any ideas?

  • setting the about:config entry browser.search.showOneOffButtons to false doesn't work any longer in firefox 43

  • Same problem for me too. This fix is no longer working in Firefox 43. Any ideas how to restore the classic search box?

  • VG

    You guys can use Classic Theme Restorer extension as mentioned in Method 3 to restore classic search UI.

  • I cannot use the extension, at least not on all of my PCs... for example, on one of them it slows firefox down way too much, and on another (my work PC) I cant install extensions. I dont understand why they went messing with the search again even after the first time proved to be a failure (as evidenced my the vast majority reverting to the old system), and not only they messed it up again, this time they made it unable to revert? wtf?

    As I dont need any of the different search engines, is there perhaps a different fix for this? All I need is this: clicking the magnifiying glass (withouth entering a searchphrase) should open the google homepage. Currently it opens a "dropdown" menu with the search engines, but as I have disabled all the others, it only shows "google". If I click that, it opens the google homepage, but I want it to open the google homepage directly, without the extra click on the dropdown menu item.

  • Thank you soooo much for pointing me to the extension to un-f*ck my search bar. It's bad enough that they changed it the first time, but to REMOVE the ability to change it back.....wtf!

    Now, to get rid of the stupid Win 10 upgrade nag that just reappeared....

  • I've uninstalled Firefox - I can't work with that stupid search box and Firefox have blocked all the fixes listed above now. So Firefox is history. I'll use Chrome instead.

  • Mozilla has changed browser.search.hiddenOneOffs to a string instead of a booline rendering the fix listed above useless please research how we can set this new setting to get the same result. Thank you!

  • Thank you very much for this. Much appreciated.
    I used the Classic Theme Restorer as you mentioned and it was immediately back to how I prefer with my descriptive text next to each search engine's icon on the drop-down menu when I CHOOSE to view it. Most of the time I'm happy with my default engine (DuckDuckGo) and I don't necessarily remember Search Engines by their icons alone, (about a dozen or so), which is what the new One-Click system was showing. As a grumpy old fogie who wrote his first program in 1967 I wish these young whippersnappers wouldn't assume we've all got to have someone's latest idea by default :o)
    Thanks again!

  • I'm using FF 43 in Linux Mint 17.2 and the about:config fix doesn't work for me.
    It used to work (the browser.search.showOneOffButtons setting was already set to false when I checked).

  • The ability to switch to the old interface with browser.search.showOneOffButtons was silently removed in Firefox 43 because the accessibility nightmare that is the new interface "was deemed finished". bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1221866

  • In the latest version on Linux mint they no longer have the browser.search.showOneOffButtons in the config to change. Method 2 doesn't work either, at least one has to be in the list and whether it's checked or not the damn thing still appears. Blocks what I'm typing, horrible.

    STOP ADDING STUPID FEATURES AND FIX WHAT YOU ALREADY HAVE.

    TRY TO BE DIFFERENT THANT MICROSOFT.

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