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I would like to know if there is a keyboard shortcut for switching the search engine in the search bar in Firefox. The current way to do is clicking on the down arrow beside the icon, but I am looking for a quick keyboard shortcut.

Checked the Firefox help, it just has this regarding the switching of search engines in search bar.

I need this, as I need to frequently switch between Google and the internal intranet search engine.

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migrated from Sep 15 '12 at 20:05

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3 Answers 3

up vote 8 down vote accepted
  1. Click at the icon
  2. Select "Manage Search Engines…"
  3. Select the search engine you want to set a shortcut for
  4. Click on "Edit keyword…"
  5. Give a shortcut, e.g. "g" for Google

Now you can type into the address bar the chosen search shortcut followed by what you like to search. Example: g weather berne.

To switch to the address bar with the keyboard, use the shortcut Ctrl+L. You could also open a new tab (Ctrl+T), because it sets the focus to the address bar automatically.

By the way: this works for nearly all search fields on any website. Just right-click on a search field and select "Add a keyword for this search…" (don't know the actual English translation). Instead of adding this search to the search widget, Firefox saves it as a bookmark.

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Perfect.......:) – mtk Sep 13 '12 at 10:24
The universal 'Add a keyword' is really helpful. Didn't know about it. Thanks – mtk Sep 13 '12 at 11:46
this doesn't work anymore. I wonder why firefox has removed it... My workflow has slow down a bit since they removed this. – David 天宇 Wong Dec 10 '14 at 14:29
@David天宇Wong: I can’t test the new version currently, but I assume you only refer to the first solution (via search engine) I described, right? Hopefully the second solution (via bookmark) still works. I think it was never really needed to offer two different ways to achieve almost the same. – unor Dec 10 '14 at 15:20
@unor wow! I didn't see that second part of your answer. This is awesome, and so secretely hidden. How do you erase that if you don't want it anymore? – David 天宇 Wong Dec 10 '14 at 18:06

For firefox >=34; new Search bar
You can open the search bar (Ctrl+K) and type at least one letter to open the drop down. Later on, press Tab key to cycle through the installed search engines at the bottom row. Also, you can move through all the options of the search bar using the and keys.
I'm still missing functionality of the and keys for moving onwards and backwards within the search engines though.
Source - Firefox forum

For firefox < 34; old search bar
There is a shortcut for exactly this task: from the search bar, press control + Down(Next)/Up(Previous).
Source - Shortcuts for firefox in

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cntrl + Down/Up is not working anymore since version 34.0. Does anybody know how to do it now? – Akronix Dec 8 '14 at 21:55
Firefox 34+ can still do this if you use this addon, see this answer. – Wilfred Hughes Jan 31 at 13:27
@WilfredHughes Thank you, but I do like the new search bar.However, I'm missing to have a shortcut again for changing from one search engine to another before to write the search phrase. The workaround it's to use the <kbd>tab</kbd> button once you're on the search bar and the <kbd>up</kbd> and <kbd>down</kbd> arrow keys. More info here – Akronix Feb 3 at 12:57

You can use Ctrl+K or Ctrl+E to focus on the search bar and then use Ctrl+/ as per Akronix's answer.

Unor's method in conjunction with Ctrl+L is of course a lot faster for everyday use.

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notice that now ctrl + E doesn't open the search bar anymore, only ctrl + K does. – Akronix Feb 3 at 13:25

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