I am using Firefox Developer Edition 57 and have search bar integrated with address bar like Chrome has. I like this feature, but have problems when I want to search for something that is or looks like URL; for example today I wanted to search for "mean.js".

In Chrome when I hit CTRL + K on keyboard (that's the way I invoke the search all of the time) ? is added in the very beginning of the address bar, which marks that whatever I enter is a search term. That way even if I enter a URL (like "mean.js") Chrome searches for that URL in the default search engine, instead of opening that URL. It seems it doesn't work that way in Firefox (even when I add ? manually).

Can I somehow force the Firefox to search for URL instead of opening it, when searching from the address bar?

  • Stick a ' at the front
    – DavidPostill
    Commented Oct 18, 2017 at 10:36
  • @DavidPostill When I do it, It searches for '<url> instead of just <url>. Commented Oct 18, 2017 at 10:37
  • Yes, but the google search engine ignores the '. You get results not including the '. Try it. google.com/…
    – DavidPostill
    Commented Oct 18, 2017 at 10:42
  • Eg, one of the search results is Difference between MEAN.js and MEAN.io. There is no ' in there.
    – DavidPostill
    Commented Oct 18, 2017 at 10:43
  • 1
    @atype - Personally, I prefer separate search and address boxes, but the whole point of the question is that he wants to use the integrated combination box. Incidentally, even with separate boxes, quotes in the address box force a search.
    – AFH
    Commented Oct 18, 2017 at 12:17

3 Answers 3


I personally use keywords for search engines, for ex.: "#qw www.url.lol" will search "www.url.lol" on Qwant. Go to "preferences > Search (tab)" and set new keywords to the search engines.

  • 1
    That is pretty good. Do you maybe know a way to bind one of those search keywords to a keyboard shortcut? Commented Oct 18, 2017 at 13:25
  • From your system settings maybe. I'm using KDE, from shortcuts' settings i can add shortcuts to write entire senteces. Sorry for the delay.
    – Azarilh
    Commented Oct 23, 2017 at 22:22
  • Note that you can also set keywords conveniently by right-clicking into a search input. I've always had g as my keyword for Google, so my "shortcut" for "search instead of open" is Home+G+Space. That's not too bad, is it? Commented Dec 4, 2017 at 11:57

Ctrl + K works in Firefox now forcing address bar to do the search. The same can be emulated by prefixing the search terms with ?.


I was having the opposite problem. I tried to go to a url I copied from a web page (that was not set up as a link). Firefox and other browsers were searching for the url (or the website) instead of going there.

It turned out that there was a space in it that was hard to notice.

So a space in the string on the address bar forces a search rather than going to the address.

I hope this helps somebody. However, whatever options I disabled (such as turning off search suggestions or having a separate search bar), I could not make it only attempt to go the address rather than searching for it. An error might have highlighted the problem for me.

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