Fix Bad Firefox URL Suggestions

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Firefox URL suggestions are usually very helpful and a real time-saver. But I’ve been rather annoyed for quite a while at some of the suggestions that Firefox proposes while auto-filling the URL bar. There is one case in particular that never made sense to me.

Not quite fixup

This is going to be a bit of a corner case for most folks, so I’ll do my best to describe the situation. There is a feature called “url fixup” that tries to add a prefix of “www.” and/or “.com” to what’s been typed in to try and resolve a real site. But what about when the user starts typing www? Should the autofill suggestion be a site that’s been typed in before, but appended to the www? No.

I visit two URLs frequently and a third URL never because it returns NXDOMAIN. Because they’re work-related, I can’t give the actual hostnames so the ones used here are fake, but the order and arrangement will be the same. Let’s say the first two URLs are and The third URL that I never use is Firefox appropriately suggests when I start typing “s…” in the URL bar. However, when I start typing “www.s…”, it very unhelpfully suggests instead of

Turning knobs

For a long time I tried playing with all the wrong options in about:config, related to fixup, urlbar, and others. Finally I came across a Mozilla Support page that had the right options to adjust. Although it doesn’t turn off the bad behavior, it does re-prioritize the list of suggestions to favor history and bookmarks. The keyword to use in about:config is frecency. Not sure where they came up with that word, but I’m guessing it’s a portmanteau of frequency and recency.

Anyway, I added 2000 to places.frecency.bookmarkVisitBonus, places.frecency.unvisitedBookmarkBonus and places.frecency.unvisitedTypedBonus. Like magic, is now the first suggestion!

Fix Bad Firefox URL Suggestions is original content from Devolve.

Author: Charlie Herron

Denizen of Portland, Maine; tech jack; lover / hater / whatever; philosophical dabbler.