Using the Location Bar
Going to a website in Firefox is easy. Just type a website address (also known as a "URL", for "Uniform Resource Locator") into the location bar and press Enter.
It is not necessary to type "http://" at the beginning of the address. While you are typing, Firefox looks for visited and bookmarked page titles and tags along with visited web addresses, making guesses at which sites or pages you want to visit. This way, if you don't remember the URL of a page you've visited or bookmarked, you can type some words from the title of the page, and Firefox will display some suggestions.
This powerful search feature of the Location Bar is the reason why some Firefox developers affectionately call it the Awesome Bar instead. It allows you to use the Down Arrow key or your mouse to highlight the URL of the site you want to visit. Press Enter or click your selection. The website you selected appears.
The Location Bar learns which sites you visit most frequently and optimizes the result listing to match your personal style. After a few weeks, it can require as little as typing a single letter in the location bar to get to frequently visited pages.
Web keyword searches
If you enter text into the Location Bar that is not a valid web address, Firefox tries to direct you to the location it believes you intended.
Firefox first tries to send your request to an Internet Keyword search service. This service is Google's Browse by Name (http://toolbar.google.com/bbn_help.html) service by default. For example, If you type mozilla foundation into the location bar, Firefox sends that text to the Google Browse by Name service, since it is not a valid URL address. The service directs you to its best match for your request, in this case: http://www.mozilla.org. For an entry without a clear match to a URL, Firefox displays search results for the entry.
If you enter an incomplete web address, Firefox tries to "fix" the address by adding a prefix, suffix, or both to what you type. For example, if you type "www.mozilla" in the location bar, Firefox appends ".com" to complete the address. If you type "mozilla.org" Firefox adds the ''www." prefix to complete the address. This "guessing" is secondary to the Internet Keywords search described above - it does not work unless Internet Keywords are disabled.
For more information about key word searches and domain guessing, see the following Knowledge Base article: http://support.mozilla.com/kb/Location+bar+search.
Clearing the history
Firefox keeps a "history" of the Web sites and pages that you've visited. It uses this list to generate suggestions as you type in the location bar. However, you might not want the history of pages you've visited to be stored on your computer.
You can clear a single item or all items from location bar history.
To clear a single item:
- Click the drop-down arrow in the location bar.
Press the Down Arrow key, or move your pointer, to highlight the entry to delete.
Press the Delete key to delete the item.
You can clear many items from the location bar by removing Browsing History via the Clear Recent History dialog window. For more information, see the section on Privacy in Firefox.
Showing only History or only Bookmarks in the Location bar
By default, Firefox shows and searches both History items and Bookmarks when using the Location bar. If you want to only show one or the other, you can change this preference.
- Open the Options window via Tools > Options (Windows), Firefox > Preferences (Mac OSX) or Edit > Preferences (Linux)
- Select the Privacy Pane
- Under Location Bar, select the appropriate option after When using the Location Bar, suggest
- Press OK