Disable Firefox Address and Search Bar Suggestions

The classic Firefox desktop browser had by default a separate address bar for navigation and a search bar for search.

This however changed with Firefox 57 (Quantum) which introduced the option for a unified bar that combines the address and search bar into one. Mozilla calls it the Awesome Bar. Nevertheless, in the Search Settings one has the option to use the separate bars.

firefox address search bar
Firefox Address and Search Bars

Now beside this change, the behavior of the bars hasn’t changed. Firefox still shows suggestions whenever you start typing anything in either bars. The suggestions may be fetched from any of the following sources:

  • live search suggestions (autocomplete) from your default search engine e.g. Google Search
  • suggestions from your search history
  • browsing history and saved bookmarks addresses (in the address bar only)
  • top sites
  • currently opened tabs or
  • synced services e.g synced tabs

While these suggestions may be useful for some, you may want to disable them for various reasons e.g. privacy. Here’s how to do it.

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Disable Search Suggestions in the Address and Search Bar

  1. Go to Firefox Preferences > Search > Search Suggestions
  2. To remove suggestions from both the search and address bar remove the check mark from Provide search suggestions option.
  3. To disable search suggestions in the address bar only remove the check mark from the Show search suggestions in address bar results.

The above options only disable live search suggestions and not those from your search history. To disable those from the address bar check the next section.

On older versions it was however also possible to disable and clear from your search bar history. This option however seems to have been removed in newer Firefox Quantum versions.

Disabling the browsing history in the address bar as explained in the next section does however get rid of the search history suggestions but only in the unified bar. I suppose Mozilla prefers that we use the new unified bar.

If you’re still on an older version you can disable these suggestions by doing the following:

  1. Right-click inside the search bar and deselect the Show Suggestion options.
    Search bar history
  2. To clear the existing search suggestions click the Clear Search History option.

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Disable History, Bookmark and Open Tab Suggestions in the Address Bar

  1. Go to Firefox Preferences > Privacy and Security.
  2. Scroll down to the Address Bar where you’ll find options to disable browsing history, bookmark and open tab suggestions individually.

Note: As explained in the previous section , disabling browsing history will also disable your search history suggestions.

In Older Firefox Versions

  1. In the address bar type about:config then press Enter key. Agree to the prompt.
  2. Search for browser.urlbar.suggest in the search bar.
  3. In the results, double click the two options browser.urlbar.suggest.bookmark and browser.urlbar.suggest.history to toggle their value from true to false. The former disables bookmark suggestions while the latter option disables browsing history suggestions.
    bookmark history suggestions
  4. To disable opened tabs suggestions search for browser.urlbar.suggest.openpage then double click it to toggle its value from true to false.
    tabs suggestions
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Disable Top Sites Suggestions

In addition to the search, bookmark and browsing history suggestions, Firefox now also suggests our “top sites” (presumably the sites we visit the most) whenever we click the address bar on a new empty tab.

To disable these suggestions do the following:

  1. First disable the browsing history suggestions as explained in the previous section.
  2. Next go to about:config in the address bar and search for: browser.newtabpage.activity-stream.feeds.topsites
  3. Double click this option to toggle its value to false.

Thanks to Sumit in the comments for sharing this tip with us.

Disable Synced Settings Suggestions

If you have a Firefox account and have enabled the option to sync settings across devices signed in with the account, suggestions from these other devices will appear based on what you’ve opted to synchronize e.g. history, bookmarks and opened tabs.

synced settings
Sync Settings

To disable suggestions of any of these synced settings, do the following:

  1. In the address bar type about:config then press Enter key.
  2. Next, search for services.sync.prefs.sync.browser.urlbar.suggest in the search bar.
  3. In the results, double click the following two options to toggle their value from true to false:
    • services.sync.prefs.sync.browser.urlbar.suggest.bookmark – disables synced bookmarks suggestions
    • services.sync.prefs.sync.browser.urlbar.suggest.history – disables synced history suggestions
    • services.sync.prefs.sync.browser.urlbar.suggest.openpage – disables synced opened tabs suggestions
    • services.sync.prefs.sync.browser.urlbar.suggest.searches – disables synced search history suggestions
synced suggestions
Synced Suggestions Values
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8 Comments

  1. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work. I don’t have provide search suggestions the search options checked and haven’t for several months. I still get suggestions that have nothing to do with what I’m searching for. Any suggestions?

    1. Hello Sonnyboy, which options from this post have you tried changing? Also what kind of suggestions are you still getting and what version of Firefox are you currently using?

      1. Try changing this:
        browser.newtabpage.activity-stream.feeds.topsites
        By default firefox shows top sites when we click on address bar. Setting above variable to false will disable it(you can find it on the about:config page).

  2. How do you get it to JUST show the address in the address bar?

    Previously if i typed ‘g’ in the address bar it would give me auto-complete for sites I had visited beginning with ‘g’. Now instead of giving me sites beinning with ‘g’ it gives me sites I’ve visited that have a ‘g’ somewhere in the title which is really un-useful.

    I’d also like to remove the title from displaying at all, its just the address Im interested in, so instead of:
    “DuckDuckGo Privacy Simplified – duckduckgo.com”
    I want to see:
    “https://duckduckgo.com”

    Is there a way to do that?

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