Getting rid of FastBrowserSearch in Firefox

I know it sounds like a no-brainer. You simply click on the little search engine logo next to your search box, and you're back to enjoying you favorite search engine. What happens when that logo is set to e.g. Google, and searching from your main URL bar takes you to some other engine (usually FastBrowserSearch)? How can you (finally!) get rid of that?

There are many ways for this to have happened. If you have ruled out your usual suspects (many people claim that they got infected by the rogue search engine via a Facebook app), which are


  • checking your installed AddOns for any obvious candidates (there is a FastBrowserSearch addon) that pretty much takes over
  • checking your Windows uninstall programs list via the control panel. This is way more likely if you know you've installed things you shouldn't have.

if it's not there, you're more than likely encountering the problem I had. Every search from the address bar lead to FastBrowserSearch, even though it was listed nowhere on the configuration GUI ( what you see via Tools->Option...) or the search bar ( which searched in Google as asked ). It's not hard to fix, but you will need to "pop the hood open" in Firefox.

Firefox will tell you so as well, but I feel I should stress it out as well. You are now in the advanced area, and you can break things quite badly in here. Just make sure you do as instructed, and nothing will go wrong. If you see something you feel warrants tinkering, make a note of it so that you can restore it when you figure out it was best left alone.

Still here? Good. I hope you find these instruction to be straight forward enough:

  1. In your address bar, type "about:config" (no quotes), and press enter
  2. You should see a long list with the internal configuration options of Firefox.
  3. In the Filter field on the top of the page, type "search" (again, no quotes) and press enter
  4. Some lines should be bolded. These are overriden from their default options, and are most likely causing problems.
  5. On each bolded line, right click and select "Reset". This should unbold the line and remove some text.
  6. Once all lines are normal, just close the tab and try it out. You should be in the clear :)

The usual suspects in this case are the values for and keyword.URL .

Enjoy :)