Fix Firefox 3’s location bar

While the new location bar is currently voted the favorite Firefox 3 feature with about 37% of 1,695 votes cast so far, it seems from comments to my recent Firefox 3 Beta 3 review, that a significant number of users are less than happy with it.

The most common complaint is the new two line autocomplete menu which some users find too obtrusive.

One possible solution is to reduce the number of suggestions displayed.

Yet another is to install Seth Spitzer’s oldbar, a simple Firefox extension that restores the location bar autocomplete to single line suggestions and doesn’t underline the matched terms but still looks for the entered terms in bookmarks, history and tags.

oldbar 1.1, bumped

UPDATE: oldbar 1.2 is now compatible with Firefox 3 Beta 3 so I’m removing the bumped version.

UPDATE: For more tweaks including ways to exclude bookmarks and history from the location bar, check these 9 tweaks for Firefox 3’s location bar.

130 thoughts on “Fix Firefox 3’s location bar”

  1. Which FF version are you using? I’m not able to find places.frecency.bookmarks option into the 3.0.6 🙁

    I’ve reverted back to FF2 to pretty all of my stations except one to test it, I have have to admit that I’m very hapy with FF2. Way more than with FF3 🙁


  2. I’m not a techie, just some guy that uses Firefox because it is better than IE. I really hate this new location bar. It not only clutters up my browser when I am tying in the address bar, it is a major privacy problem. I have the browser set to clear private data, but the crap in the location bar does not clear. I don’t want people snooping into my browsing!

    1. Upgrade to FF 3.5 it has a private browsing feature…
      Also with a little work and some add-ons you can get it to look and work just like 2.0. (3.0 never did this as well.)

  3. ok i love the new search section i now just have the one problem mine has vanished i have installed 9 diff versions to see if it will come back nothing helps any ideas please helppppppppppppp

  4. My history is still saved on my location bar even if i clear my private data, past websites like facebook, youtube and even porn sites can still be located from the location bar. I have tried to uninstalling mozilla firefox, and then reinstalling but it made no difference.

    1. There is a new privacy setting in Firefox 3.5. You can choose what to show in the location bar.
      @rita: press F1 in Firefox and search

      1. Unfortunately, that still doesn’t entirely solve the problems. Even if you have it set to just make suggestions from History, it pulls from my ENTIRE history, including sub-pages. This means that if I want to go to, say,, and I type cnn, I get a list of all the pages I’ve visited on CNN from my history. Even worse, if I type CNN then ctrl-enter to add the www. and .com to the address, then Firefox seems to like to pick some random article I’ve visited instead of just doing what I want it to do and go to just plain old

  5. I just disabled the dropdown menu from address bar like sprocket999 suggested. For me it was the best solution.

  6. “Autocomplete” and “DropDown” are not the same but the firefox developers think they are the same. Disable one and the other is disabled. They are not the same. Needs to be fixed.

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