In the past version of Firefox you could define short-cuts for search engines. (by clicking on the black small arrow/triangle) and then "Manage Search Engines" - then you could define short-cuts)

This allowed typing the short-cut character followed by a space and then the search phrase in the address bar.

With the update to Firefox version 34 the option to define a short-cut is gone. Old short-cuts defined in previous version are working though.

So how can you define short-cuts for search engines in Firefox 34 (and later)?

I noticed this change today (2014-12-18) in the standards release version 34 and developer edition 36.0a2. I wonder why they changed it in both versions and how to define short-cuts from now on.


Install the "Manage Search Engines" button extension, it will put a button that works like the pre-v34 drop-down button (the black triangle) in the search bar, giving you access to 'Manage Search Engines'.

Alternatively, go to about:config in the address bar and type browser.search.showOneOffButtons in the 'Search:' form. Double-click or right-click » toggle the resulting row to change its value to 'false'. This will restore the search bar back to its pre-Firefox 34 version, also restoring the drop-down button and 'Manage Search Engines'.


Up until now, Firefox provided two different ways for specifying a shortcurt:

  • via search engines
    (doesn’t work anymore by default; see galacticninja’s answer for getting back the old behaviour)

  • via bookmarks
    (should still work)

The bookmarks way has the advantage that it’s much more powerful. Why?

  • It works for any form input field.
  • The site doesn’t have to explicitly support it.
  • The shortcuts can be synchronized with Firefox Sync (as they are only bookmarks).
  • You can edit the bookmarks easily, which allows you to specify pre-defined search terms, for example.


  1. Right-click on any input field.

  2. Select "Add a keyword for this search…" (or similar).

  3. Enter the shortcurt (and optionally: edit the generated search URL to include pre-defined search terms).

This gets saved as a usual bookmark in a bookmark folder of your choice.

  • Very good explanation - this really helps to solve the issue and even saves time to add search engines after a fresh installation. Thx – Thorsten Niehues Jan 7 '15 at 8:39

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