Please return old search bar

(Eugene Seppel) #1

I still need to use old Firefox (Firefox ESR) because in new Firefox Quantum search bar is completely brakes my user experience. It’s quite impossible to use this “one-click search”. I need to search with different engines (Vocabulary, Wikipedia, Enterprise Confluence and Jira) but mostly on Google. Previously it was possible to do a fast search w/o changing a default engine, w/o any mouse clicks, but now, if I need to perform several searches with Vocabulary for instance, I need to find Vocabulary icon (icons are w/o text) and click on them. I think the idea “lets brake everything because we think that our own way of usage is more convenient for all end-users” is a very bad idea. I use Firefox since it was Phoenix, why I should to fit another people? Return that option please!
Thanks in advance!

(Mikehussy2018) #2

I agree with you. We have mail server which was compatible with older version and can use attachments . But currently we can’t upload any attachment with this current version . Not sure it is the version problem or not

(Gabriel Pinzón) #3

There’s another reason why Firefox Quantum should have the previous/old search bar: when in a certain moment you want to make a few searches and you also need autocompletion from a particular search site that you usually won’t set as your favorite one (e.g. Wikipedia, WordReference, Youtube): it was better and faster to be able to change the default search engine with 2 clicks (so I’ll have the autocompletion from that search site instead) than having to enter the search configuration to change it all the times I need so (this is a big waste of time). Also it’s was way better to have the name of the default search engine shown in the search bar because making all those changes makes you forget which one is the browser’s current default search engine.

My suggestion to improve the search bar is this one: revert to the appearance and functions of the previous/old search bar and give the right-click button the less-desired options “Go to this [search engine’s] homepage” and “Search in new tab”.

And about losing the option of sending your search to a different site without making that site your default search engine (one-time search), my guess is that few people will miss this function because it’s not so common to do only a search (or even only two consecutive searches) within certain engine (maybe except Google or your favorite search engine).

(Eugene Seppel) #4

Or would better to add an option to chose the behaviour – old or new one. Previously, before Quantum, it was possible to return old behaviour in about:config or by using 3rd party addons like Classic Theme Restorer

(Julien Tane) #5

it is probably not exactly the same thing but you can use keywords for searches in URL bar.

For example:

eco mozilla

it returns also some searches with suggest.

it returns also old searches…

(Eugene Seppel) #6

Not same. For instance, for me default search is Google. But if I read page in foreign language I use “Google translate” search engine to translate certain words with context menu. In this case with old Firefox only thing that needed is to select “Google translate” in dropdown menu. With new Firefox I should change default search engine every time in settings that is boring. Also I should do a lot of mouse movements and clicks, previously all was possible to do with keyboard only.


I really wonder if the developers of Firefox Quantum ever worked with the search bar. It became obviously so cumbersome that you can’t really work with it any more. The search bar was in the past the reason why Firefox became so popular. Now, there is actually no difference any more compared to Chrome or Edge.

The efficient workflow in the past was like this:

  1. Select with one click a search engine for the next few queries (e.g. for translation)
  2. Enter Text and press Enter or Alt+Enter to get a new tab.
  3. Repeat 2. several times until your work is done

This is the same work flow when working with real books:

  1. You go to the book shelf, take out a dictionary and put it on your desk.
  2. You search a word and leave the page open.
  3. You repeat 2. several times until your work is done

Now this is totaly messed up. And you need more steps. When you set a search engine as default, the list of search engines will become disordered. Imagine all this with books. Every time you search something, your books jumps back into the book shelf. And you have first to look for a certain page with the word to search and then you have to select the book in the shelf. And you have to take the book every time again from the shelf. And when you set a default book, the order of books in your shelf is messed up.

So again: Please return the old search bar!

(Sevci T) #8

And don’t forget that every search engine has its own list of suggestions. If I choose IMDb for example and then need to look for something on Wikipedia, the search bar will offer me titles that are on IMDb, but I can’t know all the page names on Wikipedia. When I start typing, the search bar would offer me options to choose. After clicking on one, it’d sent me directly to the page. If I choose something I only think could be it, because I have IMDb’s list of suggestions, not from Wiki, it sends me to a page with all the options that more or less match. Another complication.

The main reason to use Mozilla Firefox for me was that it aloud me to customize the browser more than any rival brand. But with every new version, they supress it and change the browser to be more and more like all the others. Why use it then since no business sells computers with Mozilla already installed, but some else? If this continues and goes even further…

(Clement David) #9

I switched to an alternate browser just because of that… All the rest is fine but this new and unavoidable behaviour is a deal-breaker.

(Mike de Boer) #10

You can always get the old-style searchbar back by performing the following steps:

  1. Go to the main menu (the right-most ‘Hamburger’ button in the toolbar),
  2. Click and select the ‘Customize…’ option,
  3. Drag the ‘Search’ item onto the toolbar and drop it there,
  4. Click and select the ‘Done’ button to exit the ‘Customize’ mode.

Now you’ve got the old search bar back in the same configuration as pre-Quantum.

(Eugene Seppel) #11

Mike, problem is not with placing search bar to the toolbar but with drop-down of search engines and behavior of search! If it be so simple to bring back the old behavior we would not discuss this topic for several months.

(Mike de Boer) #12

My apologies for simplifying the issue at hand… the topic title is a bit misleading then.

I doubt that switching to another browser will solve this specific issue, btw.

So having a separate notion between the ‘current engine’ and the ‘default engine’, or in other words: separating setting a search engine in the searchbar from setting it as the global default, so that searches from the awesomebar, about:home & about:newtab are not affected, is not coming back, I’m afraid. At least, not in the way it was.
We (Mozilla Firefox engineers and managers) are always listening and filtering for popular requests from our community. Nowadays a lot of these requests end up as new WebExtension APIs, which is a great way to extend the browser and allow addon authors to create workflows of their own.
There’s already a API, which is under active development at the moment.
Please feel free to file requests in Bugzilla, which is where we track all our work.

(jscher2000) #13

Hi All, yes, the workflow of the classic search bar changed. Actually, it changed in Firefox 34, but many of you were rolling that back through one means or another until Firefox 57 made that impossible.*

I don’t expect this post to make any new fans, but I wanted to point out that you can get suggestions from your intended new search engine with an extra click:

Set new default search engine on OLD BAR:

  • drop the list
  • click the icon

Set new default search engine on NEW BAR:

  • drop the list
  • right-click the icon
  • click “Set As Default Search Engine”

To address issues with lack of text labels for the icons, you can use custom style rules. This video illustrates:

My page to generate rules for a userChrome.css file:

* By “impossible” I mean without injecting old bar code into Firefox using an XBL binding or Autoconfig. E.g.,

(jscher2000) #14

Is there a more informative link for the work-in-progress?


Thanks for your suggestion, but the main problem is not what can I achieve by using extra right-click, but what is happening when I use left-click like I used to do for almost 10 years. It suddenly changes the page I’m looking at - unacceptable.

The new behavior is the only reason I’m still using FF 56. It’s ridiculous and I cannot imagine what is the reason for this change. If I want to search for something, the first decision I’m making is WHERE I will do it, and then WHAT will be the exact phrase. Like in real life: FIRST you choose the proper dictionary, and THEN you are looking for the desired word.
Quantum is turning this upside down :frowning:

(Eugene Seppel) #16

Sorry for offtopic but is seems to me that developers just do not care. Some software architect or even non-technical guy decided that new approach is “modern”, “looks like apple/google/microsoft” and thus is “better” and they introduced the change that broken user experience of millions. Like in other software products, doesn’t matter proprietary or open-source.

(jscher2000) #17

This change was introduced in Firefox 34 in October 2015. There was an internal preference to revert it in Firefox 34-42. Then there were add-ons for Firefox 43-56. We are very, very far down the road now, and I am not aware of any interest in disturbing the behaviors established by millions of other users during the past three years.


That’s true. It’s also true, that before Quantum we had a choice, now it’s gone.

Does anyone analyzed statistics on how many people were using
Does anyone analyzed statistics on how many people were using Classic Theme Restorer to get “old style” search bar?
I’m afraid, that someone decided that mobile users with touch screens are now more important, so we break the experience for many people - just because we can. And finally: does anyone have statistics on how many people are really using the search bar in the new form? How many people treat it as a really useful tool and how many just ignore its existence since it started to be useless…

(Eugene Seppel) #19


Absolutely agree with previous author. And IMHO nowadays the only reason to use search bar is for users who explicitly disabled search from address bar (by privacy reasons). But I suspect there are no much such users, most just use address bar for search purposes and get rid of search bar.

(jscher2000) #20

The choice was to use an extension that could inject completely new code into Firefox’s user interface. And extensions can no longer do that.

There are still hacks if you search for them. But there is no guarantee they will continue to work so I don’t promote them.

The search bar is not shown in new installs starting in Firefox 57; it has to be enabled on the Options/Preferences page or added using Customize. I hope it remains available because it’s convenient for old timers, but further development seems doubtful. The focus is on the address bar these days.