Bye-Bye Smart Location Bar

Posted: July 13, 2008 in firefox, how to
Tags: ,

I like Firefox. I’ve used it for years, and it is my browser of choice on all computers that I regularly use. Unfortunately, Firefox 3 introduced a new “feature,” the Smart Location Bar, that I don’t like. I dislike it so much, that on the first computer I upgraded, this was a work-stopping issue until I found a way to get rid of it. For me, it was primarily an annoyance that cluttered my screen, and its behavior was in some ways similar to those annoying pop-ups that we all try to hard to avoid.


When I first encountered the Smart Location Bar, I quickly found several Google hits that pointed me to step-by-step instructions for disabling it. (I also found at least one video tutorial which, strangely enough, was incomplete in its instructions.) As I Googled around, I also quickly came to the realization that this was a major annoyance for many, many people. The Mozilla folks have since added their own instructions for disabling the Smart Location Bar. They provided a set of clear, step-by-step instructions that should get most people where they need to go. However, knowing that some people benefit from visuals, I thought I would provide some instructions with a few graphics.

1. Launch Firefox.
Type “about:config” (without the quotation marks) into the address bar.
Press the <ENTER> key or click the Go To Page icon beside the address bar.


2. This brings up a not-so-scary warranty that you might void your warranty. Click the button indicating that you’ll promise to be careful to move on to the next step.


3. In the filter box, type “browser.urlbar.maxRichResults” (again, without the quotation marks). As you type this in, Firefox will automatically search for it and display the correct string.


4. Double-click this preference, and enter the value -1. Then close Firefox and re-launch it.


5. Close Firefox and re-launch it. The Smart Location Bar should now be gone.

  1. […] Why Bye-Bye? I just posted a few quick instructions for removing the “Smart Location Bar” that was introduced in Firefox 3. Why? Because it […]

  2. KT says:

    Thankyou so much…this was a very much needed fix for all the reasons you stated. Can you also advise how I can now rid the address bar of the stupid star icon and the drop down arrow?


  3. surferblue says:

    I think I’ve got some answers for you, but they’re not quite as straightforward as the previous modification, and I had to go to several different sites to collect all the information. To do what you want, you will need to modify a file called userChrome.css. The trick here is that this file does not exist by default. There is a file called userChrome-example.css that you can modify and then save with a different name. I’m listing a few links below that should help.
    This site will show you where to find the example file depending on your operating system.
    This site will show you how to remove the star icon.
    This site will show you how to remove the drop-down icon.

    I have not actually tried these fixes myself, so I can’t vouch for them. If you decide to give it a try, please post here and let me know if it worked. Good luck!

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