Sometime ago (don't remember exact version number) Firefox changed the way it presents a Search Engine selection menu in the search box.

It used to be a regular menu - a vertically-oriented list of search engines with both icon and text.

Nowadays, it looks like an array of square buttons with icons only and no text.

I have lots of search engines and it became very time consuming to constantly hunt for the needed button by trying to either remember the icon, or hovering with a mouse over every entry.

Is there an extension that restores the old-style search engine selection menu back, so that both icon and text are displayed?

  • Have you considered using search keywords? That's usually much faster than even the old menu. – grawity Jul 6 '17 at 21:09
  • @grawity Yes I have, but when you have almost 150 search engines in 4 different profiles it does not help much. Especially considering that most of these you use rather rarely. – Fit Nerd Jul 7 '17 at 7:05

Classic Theme Restorer lets you set it back to the old style of search engine drop down list, among many other things.


  • Thank you for pointing this out. However Firefox 57 is just around the corner, and this addon will no longer work with it. But it's a useful; information to know nonetheless. – Fit Nerd Aug 27 '17 at 7:13

It seems, there is no solution for that problem - some time ago a workaround for Firefox up to its version 38 has been published, but from version 45 on (I only use ESRs) no way out is in sight - the code seems to have undergone too many changes to fix that problem. And indeed, since e.g. different Wikipedias use the same icon, while I could easily decide whether to look into German, English, or Polish Wikipedia earlier, with FF 45 I always have to wait until the little "alternative text" box appears which explains, to which particular Wikipedia version the currently chosen icon refers. "Sad, so sad...", as one wellknown politician nowadays uses to twitter... ;-))


At last I became aware of the addon that specifically addresses the search engine drop-down menu presentation called: Organize Search Engines. Unfortunately it only works with pre-Quantum Firefox, so won;t work on FF 57 or later.

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