1 July 2008 - 5:48Firefox 3 Smart Location Bar Saves You Time

Now that Firefox 3 [mozilla.com] has been downloaded well over 27 million times [mozilla.com], many people have noticed that the Smart Location Bar can find pages that match not only in the URL but also in the title or tags added to a bookmarked page. One commonly overlooked feature that saves you a lot of time is the ability to quickly narrow down the search results and find exactly what you want. Just type another word.

Typing multiple words and not being restricted to just matching at the beginning of the URL to match the domain provides a lot of power to the user.

I’ve put together some examples of how the Smart Location Bar can save you seconds, even minutes, every day when using websites like YouTube or Gmail or any place you can visit through Firefox. (Don’t miss the pro-tip at the end to easily read your new messages in Gmail! 😀 )

Ever visited a page but don’t remember the site’s URL or even the the domain? When you’re clicking through Google search results, you might find what you’re looking for but forget to make note of the URL. Many times you can just type in what you were searching for and Firefox can find it right away. Firefox will even order the results based on better matches.

Diablo III Results
Easily go back to pages without typing the domain

In most other browsers, you would have to start typing out “www.blizzard.com” if you remembered it and then additionally type “/diablo3” to find the Diablo III related pages. Using Firefox 3’s Smart Location Bar, you could easily jump to what you want and perhaps find non-Blizzard pages that you might be interested in because you don’t have to remember to type the domain anymore.

A lot of pages on the Internet have URLs that are completely filled with junk — at least totally unmemorable for the user. Most likely the title of the page will have something much more useful. One prime example is YouTube where the video URLs are just some way for YouTube to know which video you want.

You’re more likely to remember the title of the page, which directly relates to the content of the video that you previously watched, than remembering even half of the random characters used to identify the video.

YouTube Results
Quickly find previously viewed YouTube videos

In this case, I was trying to find Wind Garden [youtube.com], an 8-bit remix of a really great song from Super Mario Galaxy. In other browsers, if I wanted to try finding the page from my history and started typing out “yout,” I would never have found it because somebody linked that video to me from nl.youtube.com. I was able to find it with Firefox 3 because “yout” matched in both the title and URL ignoring the “nl.” part.

Another example of the AwesomeBar’s time-saving ability that will be popular with movie watchers is with IMDb – the Internet Movie Database. If you’re like me and can’t remember which movies every actor has been in, you’ll be revisiting this site over and over again. However, instead of always going to to the main IMDb homepage to find a movie using the search box, you can go directly to the page you want with Firefox 3.

IMDb Results
Save time by going directly to movie page

These IMDb results show off yet another strength of the AwesomeBar — being able to match both the URL and title at the same time. Notice that “imdb” only shows up in the url. You can type “imdb” and then a word from the title to quickly narrow down the results to find the exact page you want. This saves you those extra seconds it takes to load the whole IMDb homepage and start a search.

You’ve got phone numbers, account numbers, social security numbers, personal identification numbers, and more numbers to keep track of. There’s no need to additionally keep track of IP addresses for those websites that don’t have easy-to-remember domain names.

Router Results
No need to memorize IP addresses anymore

Cellphones let you easily find phone numbers by Contact name, and Firefox 3 lets you find IP addresses by Page name. Just like how you need to enter the contact name and phone number the first time on your phone, you’ll need to type in the the IP address once. But on the up-side, you don’t even need to provide a name for the IP address because Firefox 3 will automatically remember the page’s title for you. :)

Gmail has done a great job with their newest version by providing multiple points of access to their web application. Each message can be accessed directly by URL instead of requiring the user to first load the main Gmail page then searching for a message.

Gmail Results
Get right to business with rich internet apps

Being able to access these multiple points of entry is facilitated by the AwesomeBar’s match-anywhere functionality. In this case, you would want to match page titles for email titles, but URLs can also be matched for commands like “new doc” for Google Docs [madhava.com].

By combining the AwesomeBar’s adaptive learning [ed.agadak.net] with the ability to start a Gmail search to find unread messages [mail.google.com] plus automatically selecting the first result [addons.mozilla.org] when pressing enter, I’ve been saving a lot of time whenever I check for new messages. All I need to do is type “mail” and press enter.

Digg it! Edit: Updated for post-Firefox 3 launch intro and a couple new examples.

65 Comments | Tags: AwesomeBar, Development, Google, Mozilla, Nintendo


  1. Yes, this is the single most important feature, I like Firefox 3.

  2. Saving Time with Firefox 3s Smart Location Bar | nerdd.net…

    \r\nFirefox 3\’s Smart Location Bar lets you quickly find pages you\’ve been to recently. Here\’s so…

  3. salty-horse says: 09 Jun 2008 - 15:09

    Actually, the real replacement for the imdb homepage search box is using a search keyword (right click on the search box and choose “Add a Keyword for this Search…”. The AwesomeBar will only complete pages you’ve already visited.

  4. If you like using smart keywords, you should try out my Show Keywords add-on. It shows them in the location bar results in addition to normal page searches.


  5. Whatever happened to the “*” and “^” as awesome bar selectors for bookmarked or not bookmarked? I guess they’re not in the final release, but is there any way to get that as an add-on, or with those custom builds you had mentioned the possibility of?

  6. Soole says: 15 Jun 2008 - 6:16

    Yeah as psoplayer I miss the * ^ and + commands…
    Can we hope, an add-on to re-implement them ?

  7. The special characters to restrict results didn’t make it for Firefox 3, but it might come in future versions. There’s a related bug that lets you make those restrictions by default, such as always only matching the URL.


  8. I’m missing something. All I get is two and three year old sites that I have no interest in. All I want is the most recent sites. Ther must be some way to control this monster.

  9. Are you still seeing issues of “old pages” showing up high in your list? That problem should go away once you spend more time in Firefox 3 after migrating from Firefox 2.

  10. This feature sucks. I want to see the URL not the title bar. It is a good idea, but sucks for developers who need to switch between test sites and live sites that have almost identical URL’s and the exact same title tags.

    I want version’s 2.0 back!

  11. I’d rank this as the biggest time waste and nuisance in FF3 – and it is sounding like a significant impediment to people upgrading and not immediately downgrading. Even having read the explanation above of “this is not annoying bar – it really is something that more then 0.00% of users might tolerate” doesn’t sound convincing for justifying forcing that defect on users.

  12. disappointed says: 17 Jun 2008 - 18:50

    This stupid feature wouldn’t be so bad – except that they’ve removed any mechanism for disabling it. Since I use the URL bar frequently, this is a massive annoyance for me.

  13. The location bar can actually save you time as a (web site) developer. You can easily jump to the page you want by typing in the filename that you just edited.

    For example, pretend this post’s title was just “edilee”, I could still jump to this page by typing “saving”. Or perhaps “edilee saving”. Before I would need to type out “ed.agadak.net/2008/06” before finding the post that I wanted. It’s easier to find pages with Firefox 3 because you can type in what you remember than trying to remember attributes about the page (e.g., 2008, 06).

  14. dsandford says: 18 Jun 2008 - 8:36

    If there was a way to go back to matching only on URL, I would be very happy. I detest the title matching, it’s worthless to me.

  15. Do you use any of the sites in my example such as YouTube or Gmail? Typing out the URLs for those would probably be difficult, so matching on the title is useful.

    Don’t forget that you can search with multiple words, so you can type part of the URL AND another part of the URL or the title to quickly find pages you want.

  16. The oldbar extension got rid of this ridiculous feature for me, otherwise it would have been a deal breaker. I was ready to uninstall less than 10 minutes after I got it downloaded.

  17. Generic says: 18 Jun 2008 - 15:25

    I’m hoping FF devs will track the download of that oldbar extension.

    This is a really terrible feature and really far from awesome.

    I don’t see how it would be very useful for power users and I don’t see how it will add anything but confusion for non-power users.

    Seriously dumb.

  18. The oldbar only changes the appearance of the location bar results. The search algorithm that picks which pages that show up is the same. If you find that the results /are/ what you’re looking for, perhaps you’ll want to uninstall the add-on to see more information like tags or highlighted matches.

  19. Michael says: 20 Jun 2008 - 6:06

    There’s nothing awesome about this; it’s downright stupid. I have not and I will never use the address bar this way. When using the address bar, I already know where I want to go. I am adamant about wanting the FF2 style bar (with autocomplete adder per config) and will try the different solutions to help mitigate this travesty (like the oldbar extension). If it doesn’t work like I want it, then so long Firefox (yes, it’s that important).

  20. Could you give a specific example of how you’re trying to use the the location bar and how it doesn’t work for you? If you’re trying to type in a website URL, it’ll show up as before. It’ll probably even show up as the first result when you type even fewer characters to save you even more time compared to Firefox 2.

    And for those who say that “oldbar” makes things better, it only change the appearance. If you feel that the extension makes things better, it’s more likely that you’ve used the location bar enough to allow it to learn which pages to show as suggestions.

  21. voyager says: 21 Jun 2008 - 9:39

    Its definitely a big pain. After installing FF3 it took me about 45 minutes to revert back to FF2. Out of that, 30 were spent trying to uninstall this nuisance.

  22. simba says: 21 Jun 2008 - 9:55

    The appearance of the new bar is’nt the major problem (some configuration tip could get rid of the stupid garbage in the location bar).
    The new way Bookmarks are stored is really annoying, I am wasting lots of time ’cause the new complicate procedure to backup Bookmarks.
    I am used to frequently backup Bookmarks (a real Backup, outside of the system disk).
    With the old style HTML bookmarks, a simple .bat file, in a single click, was able to backup (or fully restore) the complete bookmarks list.
    I am coming back to version 2 waiting good news!

  23. What are you backing up bookmarks for? If you’re syncing bookmarks across computers, there’s various bookmark sync add-ons. If you’re doing backups just for backups, the file you want is places.sqlite.

    But bookmarks are much more stable in Firefox 3. They won’t disappear on you. You can have thousands of bookmarks without worrying that they’ll be gone next time you start Firefox.

  24. > Could you give a specific example of how you’re trying to use the the
    > location bar and how it doesn’t work for you? If you’re trying to type in a
    > website URL, it’ll show up as before. It’ll probably even show up as the first
    > result when you type even fewer characters to save you even more time
    > compared to Firefox 2.

    Ed: No, if I’m trying to type a website URL, it does *not* show up as before. My specific example is “trying to get a match with the one or two initial characters of the website URL.” With the new search-based paradigm, the results returned are not always the ones which start with the letters you type. If I type a “t”, in FF2 I would get a dropdown with websites whose URLs start with “t”, ordered by my frequency of access. This is the behavior I want and expect. There is no earthly reason why the first result should be http://slashdot.org, just because there are a large number of Ts in that URL and in the page title. Contrary to your assertion, I inevitably end up typing more characters under FF3 to get the result I want than under FF2 (and yes, I have given it time to “train.”)

    My biggest complaint is that it breaks the expectation that a URL bar should be for typing URLs. I can certainly understand that it’s a nifty feature, and a lot of people like it. I can support including this feature in FF3, and having it be the default. But major changes to the basic functions of the *most essential UI component of your product* mean that a lot of people will want the original behavior, and there’s no reason not to include that as an option.

    There are many people who want to use the standard location bar with FF3–just Google for anything AwesomeBar-related and look at the comments. Unfortunately, as of now there’s absolutely no way to do it. (Not oldbar, not about:config settings, nothing.)

  25. What website were you trying to get to instead when typing “t”? For me, it’s travelocity but that’s because I’ve previously went to travelocity by typing out the whole domain and selecting it.

    When I want to go to slashdot, all I type is “s” and hit enter (using the “Enter Selects” add-on).

    The reason why it suggests slashdot first for you when typing “t” is that it’s the best match out of all the other pages in your history. (FYI, it’s matching on the “That” of news That matters not the t in slashdoT.) If there’s something else in your history that you think should be a better match, could you tell me what it is and perhaps in future releases, it’ll be able to know that you would want that instead — without needing to train it.

  26. BioTube says: 26 Jun 2008 - 21:12

    It took me maybe ten minutes to decide I hated it – and that’s because I was doing enough on one site not to encounter it too frequently at first. The sites I want quick access to are next to my File/Edit/etc menus and I can open them with one click AND NOTHING MORE. I use the address bar when I want to type in a URL, even if it is for a frequently visited site. All the awesomely crappy bar does is eat up screen space, distract me and make me wish I couldn’t type with my eyes on the monitor. Let’s just hope the Debian devs are smarter than the Mozilla ones.

  27. Was 10 minutes all you spent with Firefox 3? There’s an issue where only some of your pages get “calculated” when you first migrate from Firefox 2. If you leave Firefox idle, it’ll recalculate other pages, or if you visit pages, they’ll be forced to recalculate their ranking.

  28. I hate that location bar! I am thinking to install FF2 again…

  29. As I’ve mentioned before, if you don’t give examples of how it’s not useful to you, then it would be hard to improve it in future releases or with add-ons.

  30. Karlosak says: 01 Jul 2008 - 3:32

    All you naysayers, please use FF3 at least for a week. Then you are free to uninstall and go back to FF2. The recent trend of hating every piece of software that is different and somewhat confusing when first used is tiresome. It’s especially apparent with Vista OS (IMHO it *IS* a piece of crap, but I gave it at least 14 days, before it went to the bin…)

  31. Pirat says: 01 Jul 2008 - 5:33

    Funny how many people hate one of the greatest feautures if Fx-3… Well, because satisfied people typically write nothing it means “Smart Location Bar” is really revolutionary :) BTW, I have browsing history dating several years back and I’ve used location bar almost this way since then and I always hated it had not worked the way it finally works now :)

  32. someday says: 01 Jul 2008 - 6:21

    Seeing all the similar negative comments: “used for 10 minutes, hate it” one would think that this an organize campaign to discredit this feature.

    So this is my unbiased opinion:

    The new location bar is the most useful user visible feature added to a browser since the introduction of tabs.

    It’s fast and accurate. I can find what I’m looking for by typing only one or two letters.

    If you visit the same sites regularly you will find that the first result will be correct one 99% of the time.

    If you ever visited a web site and than needed to find it again some days later but don’t remember much about, the search system will make it much more easy to find it again. It can match any word or letter anywhere combined with giving relevance to more recent results. The old system almost never worked for me and this is a great improvement.

    The convenience of this system being right there on the location bar instead of opening another window is other positive point.

    People still can use the location bar like before. Nothing lost.

    In conclusion: this feature made me work faster and do less work. The computer works for me instead of me working for the computer like so many badly designed applications.

    Firefox 3 isn’t without its faults. The new interface to the bookmarking system is badly thought out and badly designed.

    Overall, the improvements made under the hood to Firefox have made it a fast, stable and feature rich browser. Much improved in relation to Firefox 2 and others browsers. I was so impressed that I changed to it as soon as most extensions that I used were updated to be compatible with Firefox 3.

    It’s very difficult to accept comments of the type: “I hate it” and “I uninstall after 10 minutes” if they don’t provide any context at all.

    Perhaps it’s the cool thing these days to hang around web sites and make disparaging comments about things they don’t use and know nothing about.

  33. matthew says: 01 Jul 2008 - 9:22

    the address bar has a bug for mac where even if you type a url and press enter, nothing happens. it’s free so i can’t complain too much i guess.

  34. Do you have any add-ons or changed any preferences? What happens if you make a new profile?

    You’re not the only one using a mac (like I am for one), and typing in a url and pressing enter works fine for me. And just because it’s free doesn’t mean you can’t help get things fixed incase other people have the same issue.

  35. Scorzonera says: 01 Jul 2008 - 18:28

    It doesn’t save time.

    Or, it saves *hardly* any time.

    Sure, when you spend all your time and all your days searching through your history and bookmarks (and thus using this behemoth of a former addressbar to it’s full potential), looking for that one page, THEN it saves time. But, only then.

    It’s constructed, and I quote, to: “Organizing your little piece of the web.” and: “Places makes it easier to deal with huge numbers of bookmarks by adding one-click bookmarking, tagging, annotations, and intelligent searching through your history right in the url bar”.

    In other words; it’s designed to make and search through a personal google-wannabe on your PC with all your surfing habits in it. With ‘huge numbers of bookmarks’…

    What…? Why…? Who wants to do that…?!

    Average users don’t want it or need it. They’ll see this thing, and don’t know it’s ‘power’, AND won’t use it. They’ll have set a startpage and start from there, and/or a set of same sites they visit each day. And that’s it. The rest of the Internet comes to them via MSN, E-mail or google. And they’re absolutely happy with it. They are not, and never will be, the target audience for the SLB. It will not save any time for them.

    Now, I’m not an average user. And I don’t use it.
    Not interested in this thing. With years of surfing behind me, I realized at one point that the rest of the Internet can be easily left alone and stay where it is, on the Internet.

    So, now I have a set of bookmarkfolders (sorry, no ‘huge numbers’ of bookmarks in them) I visit regularly and that I can open in tabs with just one or two clicks away (no need to search anything, or to type anything in a little box, no need to remember or train keywords or letter combinations and it’s fast).

    When I search something, it’s mostly about something I haven’t visited before. So, no help from the SLB here. SLB not saving any time.

    It’s more often than not, such a search is a one time thing. No need for the SLB’s history feature. No need for adding it to a ‘place’ (*sigh*). No time saver there.

    And for the rare occasions that I do want to find something I have visited before, it might come in handy (if I haven’t cleared my history). Still, I’ll have to call it bloat, nothing more, nothing less. Sorry.

    And I wish the option to just turn it off was included (I know it was there, and didn’t make it in the final :-( ).

    Otherwise, FF3 is fine. Even with all the other (little) quirks that were left alone because of the development of this weird thing that is only useful with ‘huge numbers of bookmarks’ (or surfing history being kept), that just a small minority of users shall have. A lot of work must have been involved in this thingamajig, I’m sure.

    And anyone that likes this feature, enjoy it. Have fun with it. Even save your time with it. The work on the SLB shall not be in vain, then.

  36. Hi Ed,

    I would like to know of an effective way of turning off the bar and restoring functionality of the old bar.

    Personally I am really not interested in a browser profiling my surfing habits nor trolling through my favorites. I spent about ten days and truly, I cannot stand the way the bar pulls up results. I spend more time sifting through the bar to find what I am looking for, especially when I am actively seeking information NOT in favorites or history. The bar simply gets in the way. I don’t keep history for long term, usually only for one session and it gets cleared, ready for the next time I go surfing. I am fairly organized and do not need a software solution to seek through my favorites. Simply put for me, this bar does not work and there is very little I can do about it. For those who like it, great more power to you.

    There also does not seem to be a way to clear the cache nor a simple way of turning the “feature” off.

    Right now i found a hack which essentially turns the bar off but lost the ability to view history for that session. Otherwise I do like Firefox 3 it does appear faster and seems to have a slightly smaller foot print than its predecessor.

  37. Scorzonera: The adaptive learning is great for going to pages that you regularly visit. For pretty much all the pages I go to constantly, I just need to type a single letter and press enter (with the Enter Selects add-on).

    Jay: If you just don’t want your bookmarks from showing up when typing in the location bar, you can use the Hide Unvisited add-on.

    P.S. For both those links, I just hit cmd-L, typed out the name of the add-on and copied the first URL even though I never bookmarked them. :)

  38. The last big UI change which brought about this level of outraged squawking from the peanut gallery was the move to the Winstripe theme for Firefox 1.0. The symptoms are all the same: angry (anonymous) blog comments, bugs opened to get it reversed, bugs open to add a preference to get it reversed, extensions which reverse it… All it needs now is for someone to gather a hundred signatures in an online petition.

    Awesomebar is the best thing to have happened to my browsing experience in years.

    – Chris

  39. Ruben says: 02 Jul 2008 - 8:10

    The Awesome Bar is terrible for me. The address bar was created so you can type in an address (a.k.a URL). The most important part of that address is the domain name. This should be the highest ranking bit of info of a URL. When I type “sl”, all of my Slashdot URLs should appear first, period. Instead, I get a bunch of Google Finance pages with ESLR in the URLs. Come on — what sense does that make.

    You mention multiple word entry for narrowing results. Well, make those keywords start after the first word, which should always represent the base domain name. If you don’t remember the base domain name, well — that’s why Google was invented. That’s why the History sidebar was invented… “Well, I don’t remember the site name, but I remember it was yesterday when I visited.”

    I’ll repeat what most other disgruntled users have said — at least give me a way to make my address bar un-awesome again!

  40. Ruben says: 02 Jul 2008 - 8:18

    By the way, I’ve been using the new version for several weeks now. I’m not a new install/upgrade.

    As for downgrading, that suggestion implies that the only reason to upgrade to Firefox 3 is the Awesome Bar. Is that really how we all want our favorite browser to be branded? Here’s a quote from the Firefox homepage:

    “With more than 15,000 improvements, Firefox 3 is faster, safer and smarter than ever before.”

    Out of the 15,000 improvements, surely, the Awesome Bar isn’t the main reason for this upgrade, is it?

  41. Scorzonera says: 02 Jul 2008 - 9:05

    Thanks, I actually know how it works. I just don’t need to switch back and forth to my keyboard every time I want to visit something, for me it’s all one or two clicks away.

    Relaxed and laid back in my comfy chair I let the on-line world pass me by. Now, THAT’s what I call awesome. 😉

    There is absolutely no need here for a typing-database-thingamajig, adaptive learning or not.

  42. bomfog says: 02 Jul 2008 - 11:47

    It’s the little things that brighten my day…

    “ns.m” gets me AMO, but the main add-on pages are mixed in with the “See All Versions” pages. “ns.m n/” gets just the main pages, “ns.m ns/” gets just the version pages. “[BS] s [BS] s” flips back and forth. Requires the Edit Middle extension, I guess, which I just grabbed the URL for via “^L edit”. ( https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/7400 )

    All those people on the forums who don’t bother including the summary with a bug number used to annoy the heck out of me. Since I keep all my history and skim a lot of bugmail, “^L [bug #]” pops up the summary for any bug I’ve seen in either bugzilla or gmail. Saves clicking the link and waiting for the page to load just to see what bug it is. If a bug I’ve seen has a useful summary, I can usually find it faster through the URL bar than wrestling with searching bugzilla, even without the bug number.

    The more I use it, the more uses I find.

    A Satisfied User

  43. Scorzonera says: 02 Jul 2008 - 15:10

    ns.m n/, ns.m ns/, [BS] s [BS] s, ^L edit, ^L [bug #], eh?

    Yes, the true target audience for the SLB bar is very, very clear. 😉

  44. bomfog says: 02 Jul 2008 - 16:30

    Lazy? Interested in figuring out new ways to do things? Guilty on both counts, I guess, but I’m probably a thin slice of a broad target, at most.

    Less abbreviated might have been better:

    [control L] 123456

    The point I tried to make was that it seems to be very fast, flexible, and personalized if I take a few seconds to come up with short, mnemonic abbreviations that work for me. I hear puzzle-solving helps stave off cognitive calcification. In my second half-century, I worry more about these things.

  45. Thsi awesome bar is garbage and I can’t wait for it to die a horrible death. Please bring back the old functionality of firefox or I will never upgrade to ff3.

  46. Richard says: 03 Jul 2008 - 7:08

    Thank you thank you thank you Ayla for letting us know how to get rid of this idiocy with the oldbar extension.

  47. SilverWave says: 06 Jul 2008 - 5:00

    I made a conscious decision not to go with my first negative reaction to the AwesomeBar name :)

    I see all too many people whinging about things being new.

    To get full use out of this feature you do need to change your behaviour somewhat, I found it worthwhile.

    I needed to set my history to 90 days to get the full benefit.

    Also the results become more relevant as you make choices.

    tbh bookmarking was poor on ff2, ff3 is much superior. The one click bookmarking is a great idea :)

  48. “Ed answerwd:
    What are you backing up bookmarks for? If you’re syncing bookmarks across computers, there’s various bookmark sync add-ons. If you’re doing backups just for backups, the file you want is places.sqlite.”

    Simba Says
    I am actually installing and reinstalling system frequently on a set of 100 computers with double browser (Ie & FF) with an automated procedure. The HTML page was “really” awesome in my use, because was self converted by Ie.
    I suspect Ie will not follow FF on this way……
    This is a proprietary solution, and I am having my troubles with the MS ones, I don’t need to add more.
    So I am definitively and progressively going back to FF2 uninstalling copies of FF3 set up by users.

    By the way: where is the exciting in the “one click bookmarking” function?

    I am personally used to drag & drop the URL in the appropriate folder (you can name one “temporary”). This is really simple: does not open dialogs or folder selections windows.

  49. SilverWave says: 08 Jul 2008 - 11:31

    > “one click bookmarking” function?

    >I am personally used to drag & drop the URL in the appropriate folder (you can name one “temporary”). This is really simple: does not open dialogs or folder selections windows.

    Hmm doesnt look like you have even tied the 1 click bookmarking…

    You get a star in the address bar (white) click it and …
    “does not open dialogs or folder selections windows.”
    … would be right – the star turns yellow – yes all done! Its bookmarked in the “unsorted bookmarks” folder :)

  50. Simba says: 09 Jul 2008 - 4:42


    Are we speaking of the same product? Apparently Yes.
    But really my WHITE star opens a dialog to classify URL in a folder of my choice.
    Only when the star is YELLOW it stores automatically the URL in “Unsorted”
    What is this double beaviour?:-)

  51. Simba says: 09 Jul 2008 - 5:48

    Found the answer: Behaviour not related to the star colour.
    If the URL is yet present in Bookmarks opens a dialog to move it, oherwise puts the URL in “Unsorted”.
    Not complex thing, but still redundant to a simple drag & drop, definitively.

  52. This new AWFUL-bar is messing me up – I can’t find my most-visited sites and I”m a website designer.. all I see is ancient bookmarks. What a time-waster. I have thousands of bookmarks and I don’t want to go through them instead of a page I visited five minutes ago!!! Thanks for the note about the “oldbar extension” – I’m there!

  53. awsome bar sucks..

    it is utterly…utterly useless considering there is a search box RIGHT NEXT to where the location bar is…. any new features could have been added to that search bar.

    The main purpose of the location bar is to autocomplete sites you have already typed in and visited… THAT is what made it handy…that is its purpose. for other searches…again…. the search box was …and still is right there next to it.

    the “rich” “awsome” “smart” bar is bloat nothing more.

    dumping the most common and basic functionality of the BROWSER (what what firefox is supposed to be, not a Search Application) that many people prefer…. in exchange for “features” you neither asked for nor have a choice in using is a pathetic turn of events for mozilla…

    It is EXACTLY what microsoft does…. and precisely the opposite of what made firefox so appealing in the first place.

    firefox…where do want to go today?

  54. Beauford says: 20 Jul 2008 - 19:08

    This is something I’d expect from IE, not FF. I just want to click on the down arrow and see the recent sites I’ve typed in.

    As a few have mentioned, this is a nightmare when trying to develop a web page and want to go back and forth between live and test sites.

    I hop they add a fix to disable this most annoying “feature”.


  55. Snert Lee says: 25 Jul 2008 - 12:28

    I’ve installed FF3 on my work PC. Speed is very good. Memory usage is much much better. But the awesomebar? (is that really its name? yuk!) It’s death by feature-itis.

    I would prefer the old, dumb, works as expected, FF2 address bar.

    For me, the address bar and dropdown contents are where I keep the URLs I use most often. URLs only get listed there by explicitly putting them there. If I want a bookmarked page, I’ll look at the bookmarks list. If I want a page from history, then I’ll look in the history list. Is that so hard?

    But now instead of a quick and simple listing in the dropdown, there’s all this other junk from history and bookmarks cluttering up the works.

    I ran across this page trying to find a way to revert the behavior of the address bar. What I’ve read here has not been encouraging.

  56. I wonder if all the AwesomeBar naysayers are actually jealous Micro$loth developers who are out to discredit one of the most useful, functional, and revolutionary leaps forward in browsing history simply because they didn’t think of it.

    The AwesomeBar is great, and the improvements in functionality coming with 3.1 will make it even better. I was sceptical at first, and I didn’t like it when I first installed Fx3, but after an hour or so I realised my prejudice was misplaced. Not every user remembers the minutiae of URLs; most users are not tedious “power-users” who want to wade through millions of preferences. The AwesomeBar-naysayers should either join the rest of us in the 21st century, or bog off back to the 1990s. (Mmm…IE5…)

  57. How do I turn it off?
    For all the people who love this “enhancement” – good for you.
    I want the old behavior back. There has to be an option for that somewhere.


  59. John D. says: 02 Sep 2008 - 10:14

    I’ve been using Firefox 1-2 for a long time and I will not upgrade until this feature has an easy way to turn it OFF

  60. I really like Firefox. But I must have a way to access my addresses that I have typed into my address bar quickly and easily. I was so disappointed in seeing my bookmarks appear on the address bar after “upgrading”. If this new address bar feature cannot be turned off, I will have to switch to another browser or reload FF2. I hate to do it, but that is the one feature I must have.

  61. Awesome Bar is not awesome. Sorry if I’m waking an old story, especially without reading all the comments first, but out of all those I’ve read (quite a few), nobody has mentioned this as an example of issue.

    Ed asked where that feature was in the way. For me, so far, I’ve always accessed some sites by typing the first few letters. Let’s take YouTube for an example. I type “yo”, then select what the list offers me. Probably the last visited, or the most visited, or anything meaningful. With this feature, the correct address is not displayed anymore. Instead, I get EVERY SINGLE URL I’VE EVER VISITED on YouTube. I’ve never typed in any of those URLs, I type the base URL several times a day, but somehow the “smart” bar gives me the least possibly relevant URL from my history.

    Same with many other websites. Looking for ways to disable it, considering uninstalling. Hope this will be useful to someone.

  62. The new location bar sucks. I don’t want my web searching history statistically tracked and now easily visible to anyone looking at my web brower, especially when I am doing presentations to an audience. It is a privacy issue.

    The space used for the web page title bar is a waste of pixels. I demand the old behavior which shows the most recently accessed sites. FF2 also had a longer list of sites that appeared when dropping down.

  63. > now easily visible to anyone looking at my web brower, especially when I am doing presentations to an audience. It is a privacy issue.
    In Firefox 3.1 you’ll be able to configure from the preferences page to search from history (pages you’ve visited) and/or bookmarks or nothing at all. So you can switch to nothing for the presentation.

    Outside of that, you’ll be able to clear your history from the last hour or two or just switch to private browsing mode to prevent history from being saved. When viewing your history, you’ll also be able to clear history of all related pages from the same site.

    > I demand the old behavior which shows the most recently accessed sites.
    That potentially might come back in Firefox 3.1, which should be released early 2009. It’s currently in Beta 2.


  64. Andrew says: 14 Jan 2009 - 16:04

    here is my complaint , I tried twice to switch to FF3 and both time I was left so angry, first why on earth would one put bookmarks and history in the same category, I own a Mac, I never used Safari, FF2 was way user friendly, now that you deleted the option of viewing history in SIDEBAR and when I installed FF3 it imports my old bookmarks from Safari dated from last year, You moron what happened to my saved bookmarks from FF2 of yesterday.
    You truly think by taking one thing here and another there that in your stupid head you improved FF2, this is not GM or Chrysler nor Ford where they insist on users to buy a new car or a model to be forced down one’s throat because they fell we are stupid ourselves.
    You are already working on so many beta it bet a make it better, rhymes than not you leave me in awe of your audacity and ignorance .
    leave history and sidebar option on and off well alone BRING IT BACK and when upgrading from FF2 to FF3 it ought a import bookmarks from FF2 to FF3 not from Safari so compliant of Mac os, You really really really disappointed me.
    I feel you don’t give a damn anymore you are way too good for the little guy next door and any average user, I hope you crash and burn!

  65. > first why on earth would one put bookmarks and history in the same category
    What’s the difference between a bookmark and history? They’re both pages that you’ve potentially visited before, and actually bookmarks are more likely to be revisited than any random page you’ve visited in your history.

    But in Firefox 3.1, you’ll be able to easily configure Firefox to only search through your history and not your bookmarks. Additionally, there’s new privacy options where you can have Firefox forget about your last hour’s browsing as well as switch into a private browsing mode that doesn’t track history, etc.

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