When I open a new tab the cursor focuses on the address bar. Is it possible to focus on the search bar by default?


If you go to


you can change the setting below (default is false, set to true.)


Then you can just press CTRL + K to focus on the search box, and then when you hit enter, the search results will open in a new tab.

  • I currently use this setup (thanks to tabmixplus) but I'd still like to know how to do what I asked, I guess it's probably not possible. Thanks for all the answers.
    – digital
    Mar 25 '10 at 0:46
  • this did not work for me
    – amphibient
    Nov 4 '14 at 17:02
  • Did not work. The cursor in a new window, still starts with the address bar. Dec 23 '20 at 18:35

You might be interested in the New Tab Searchbar addon, which solves exactly this problem. New tabs have focus redirected to the search bar.


  • Oops! We can’t find that page. Apparently, the add-on is gone! Dec 23 '20 at 18:30

While not default, the Search Box is one TAB away from the Awesome Bar in Firefox.
I often Ctrl+L, TAB to get to the search bar.

Or Ctrl+T, TAB to get to the search box when opening a new tab.

  • Instead of Ctrl+L you can use Ctrl+K but it's still not quite what I'm looking for. Thanks
    – digital
    Mar 23 '10 at 18:14

While I'm not sure of the exact answer to your question, you can change the default search engine that the address bar uses. This tutorial explains how:

  • At Firefox address bar, enter about:config and press ENTER.
  • At Filter: field, type keyword.url
  • You should see a Preference name of keyword.URL in the list. Double click it, a Enter String Value input box will appear.
  • Replace the string with: http://www.google.com.my/search?q=
  • Click OK button and done!
  • Hi, thats fairly close but I have a few different search engines that I use regularly so its not really a final solution. Thanks though.
    – digital
    Mar 23 '10 at 16:14
  • 2
    This is an old answer that the system flagged in the Low Quality Posts queue, probably because site standards have changed over time and this is just a link to an external answer. Since it wasn't a solution, it's probably not worth improving, but thought I'd pass on a heads up.
    – fixer1234
    Sep 21 '15 at 20:44
  • @fixer1234 Cheers for the heads up. Link was also dead as it happens- did what I could with it.
    – bertieb
    Sep 21 '15 at 22:51

This is not an exact answer either, but you can define short keywords to use in the address bar in order to use different search engines. E.g. su to search in Super User (through Google) and w for Wikipedia (through Google or directly).

To search for UltraEdit on Super User enter in the address bar:

su UltraEdit

How to install:

Bookmark a Google search where you have used site:superuser.com,
e.g. CPU site:superuser.com.

Then edit the bookmark (menu Bookmarks/Organize Bookmarks.../Bookmarks Menu/<select the bookmark - it is at the end>):

  • Fill out the keyword field. E.g. with "su".
  • Replace the word you used in the original search (CPU in the example above) with %s.

Now searches in Super User can be done directly from the address bar, e.g.:

su firefox installer

(F6 toggles focus to the address bar.)


Finally found the answer to this


So now when I open a new tab I can just type the phrase I want to search in the address bar and get the results.

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