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I've edited keyword.url to my favorite search engine and disabled domain autocomplete, but Firefox still tries to connect to invalid domains when I type a single word in the address bar (like http://foo/ for foo) instead of using my search engine directly. How to fix this?

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This behavior is normal – foo may be a valid hostname in the local network or under the same domain (for example, after appending the primary suffix – home. or – or by using NetBIOS to resolve it). Even on the Internet, a single-label domain is valid – http://tk./ and the (now dead) http://to./ as examples. Therefore Firefox (and probably all other programs) will always consider one-word addresses as domain names.

You can, as a workaround, use keyword search: click the search engines drop-down menu, choose "Edit search engines", then edit your keywords.

Search engines

Another way is to add a bookmark pointing to your search engine. For example, I have keyword g with URL which I use daily.

Bookmark properties

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Thank you for the tip of using a bookmark as a workaround. – user33758 Jun 3 '11 at 18:14
"Therefore Firefox (and probably all other programs) will always consider one-word addresses as domain names." Chrome doesn't, which lets you use single-word searches with your preferred search engine. – Dan H Jul 1 '11 at 20:58
up vote 2 down vote accepted

The InstantFox extension has all advanced search features that I need.

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Setting browser.fixup.alternate.enabled to false in about:config is supposed to disable domain guessing. Sadly, Firefox 5.0 still returns the failed DNS request.

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