Bye-Bye Smart Location Bar

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.