Switch back to Google

Mozilla has dumped Google in favor of Yahoo as Firefox’s default search engine in the US. If you’ve been using and enjoying Google search, the previous default, in Firefox then you’ll need to dig into settings to change it back. And while you’re rummaging around in Firefox’s search settings, there are a few other search options to consider.

Before getting to the new stuff, let us first return Firefox to its old search ways. To get rid of Yahoo search, open Firefox’s Preferences and click on the Search tab. (You can also head directly to the search tab in Preferences by typing a letter in Firefox’s search bar to call up the search window before clicking Change Search Settings at the bottom of said window.)

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From the search tab in Preferences, you’ll see Yahoo is selected in the Default Search Engine area. Use the pulldown menu to return it to Google or select one of the other search providers. Just below, there’s also a checkbox for Provide search suggestions. With this box checked, it’s worth noting that Firefox will provide suggestions as you key in letters in the search bar, but not in the address bar.

Firefox has added a new wrinkle to its search bar, one that lets you quickly use a search engine other than your default for a particular search. As you type in the search bar, it offers to search using an alternate search engine. At the top of the search bar window, just below the search bar and above the search suggestions (if you have them enabled), it shows you your default search engine. Below, it shows icons for other search options, including Bing, DuckDuckGo, Amazon, eBay, Twitter and Wikipedia.

After entering your search term, click on one of the icons to open a new tab with results for that search option. You can also use the down arrow to cycle through the options before hitting Enter to make your selection.

On the same Search settings tab in Preferences, you can choose which of these alternate search engines will be displayed. There is also a link to Add more search providers, which takes you to an Add-ons page where you can add other search sites to Firefox.