How to add a specific bar for searching in Firefox

If you long for the days of having separate bars for addresses in searching in Firefox, fear not—you can bring back that feature in a few seconds.

How to add a specific bar for searching in Firefox If you long for the days of having separate bars for addresses in searching in Firefox, fear not--you can bring back that feature in a few seconds.

From the office of "What decade is this?" comes a feature in Firefox that some might question why it exists. The feature to which I refer has been around for some time and is the ability to add a specific toolbar for searching. 

At first blush you're probably thinking, "Why would I need such a thing, when I can use the main toolbar for searching?" You might also be thinking, "How '90s of you to suggest such a thing." But the truth of the matter is, there are a couple of reasons to separate those tools. First, you might prefer the old school way of browsing. Second, when you have a separate search bar, you gain a bit more flexibility with your searching. For example, one thing you can do with the separate search bar, is click on a search provider to open it in the browser (without having to type a search string). But for some, having the task-specific bars is simply less confusing. Finally, ensuring URLs aren't sent to your search provider is a deal-breaking matter of privacy for some. 

SEE: Choosing your Windows 7 exit strategy: Four options (TechRepublic Premium)

So how do you separate them? Simple. Let me show you. 

  1. Open Firefox and click the menu button. 
  2. From the pop-up menu, click Preferences. 
  3. In the resulting window, click Search and then click the checkbox for Add search bar in toolbar. 

You should see the new bar appear immediately, ready to use. Another method of adding the search bar is through the Customize feature. 

  1. Click the Menu button and select Customize. 
  2. Click and drag the search bar option to either the left or right side of the address bar. 
  3. When you've added the search bar, click Done and you're ready to go. 

Once you've added it, you can gain even faster access to the search preferences, by clicking the magnifying glass in the search bar and then clicking Change Search Settings. And that's all there is to adding a dedicated search bar in Firefox. For those who fear the combo bar, you can rest easy with a one-trick pony, ready to turn your search strings into informative, helpful results.

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Image: Mozilla