How to fix Firefox search to use the local Google search

Published: August 22, 2012

Important: Did you install the right Firefox version for your locale/language? If not then install that first and then come back here if you’re still having a problem.

After trying for some time to figure out why the Google search in Firefox was sending me to instead of I finally figured it out. But first make sure that your locale and search settings are right.

  1. Type about:config into the Firefox address bar and press Enter.
  2. Click the button: I’ll be careful, I promise!
  3. Type useragent.locale into the filter.
  4. Make sure that your correct locale is shown there. For UK English it’s en-GB. Double-click to change
  5. Clear the filter and enter keyword.url
  6. If is showing there change it to the one you want.

If you changed any settings then restart Firefox. If all of the above are right and you’ve originally installed the correct Firefox version for your locale, but still have the problem then it’s time to remove the offending cookie.

  1. Open the Firefox Preferences menu (Options in Firefox 4).
  2. Select the Privacy tab.
  3. Click the remove individual cookies link.
  4. Type into the search.
  5. Select and delete the cookie named PREF.

Now try searching using the search box to see if it’s fixed. If not then repeat 1-4 above, but delete all the cookies. Note that you will be logged out of all or most google services.

If this didn’t solve it for you please say so below and I’ll see if I can find a solution for you. Sorry this post is now archived.

UPDATE: If above doesn’t work please check these options in about:config

  • : GB
  • : false
  • : GB

Also, the default is for Firefox to NOT use the OS locale. You can try changing intl.locale.matchOS to true.


Remove the current “Google” from your list of search providers. The dropdown arrow should be highlighted. Open the list and at the bottom it should say “Add Google”. This will add the current page.

Posted by Leon Victor on 21 Dec 2012

@Leon, yes, that may work for some people and is certainly worth a try before the more in-depth process outlined above. Thanks, Paul

Posted by paul on 21 Dec 2012

Thanks, this has been bugging me for a while. I was surprised I had to go further than the first set of instructions, but it worked as soon as I removed the PREF cookie.

Posted by Steven on 10 Mar 2013

That really worked. Great work. Thanks for the informatinon

Posted by cj on 19 Apr 2013

My company network accesses the Internet in Germany, and Firefox was using when typing search in the address bar. The two changes in about:config corrected this, but the keyword.url was initially blank, and it took me a while to figure out that the entry needs to be:
just entering does not work. This is also useful:
Thanks for the advice. It has fixed the problem for me.

Posted by Peter on 7 May 2013

I have followed all your instructions - including deleting all cookies and using as suggested by Peter.
I am still getting - the problem may be compounded because I live in Spain and have a Spanish IP address.
I have no problem if I use a bookmark to google

Posted by DavidJowett on 23 Jun 2013

@DavidJowett, the purpose of these instructions is to reset Firefox to using the local version, which in your case is working - you get To get something other than your local version I expect you’ll need the PREF cookie to be set to the version. And also try setting Keyword.URL to Unfortunately I haven’t done any work on doing it the way you’re trying to so I’m not sure whether this will work.

Posted by paul on 24 Jul 2013

Thank you thank you thank you.

Clearing the cookie sorted it for me

Posted by Alastair Battrick on 24 Jul 2013

holy cow. The PREF thing. this finally did it. You are a star

Posted by Richard Hollyoak on 24 Jul 2013


M<any thanks!!

Posted by Nick on 21 Sep 2013

Brilliant! You’re a star!

Posted by Trevor on 14 Nov 2013

Thank you. It’s been driving me mad. Deleting the PREF cookie fixed it for me.

Posted by Steve on 25 Dec 2013

This really helped me a lot, i always got lesser relevant results when searching from my address bar becasue it defaults to .com. I found that the above steps will not work if you are using the “Google Default” search engine, you must select just “Google”

Posted by Thabo Nghonyama on 9 Feb 2014

I also had the same problem. I also had to remove all history items associated with for it to work. Thanks a lot.

Posted by Emad on 21 Feb 2014

Thank you, Deleting the PREF cookie fixed it. I can now rightclick on selected text and get search results from instead of

Posted by ellen on 22 Jun 2014

Thanks for this I had to dlete all cookies and got the result I wanted - no more USA adverts Thanks again

Posted by Ken on 9 Jul 2014

I had to delete all the cookies and this has solved the problem. Thanks very muchj it was gettig my blood pressure up and I was shouting at the computer!!

Posted by Ken on 10 Jul 2014

Nothing works for me :(
My useragent.locale is set to en_GB. 
I’ve deleted ALL cookies. 
There was no keyword.url so I’ve added one, and even followed Peter’s instructions above (from 7 May 2013) but still I get American results when I search.
I even deleted Google (with the new blue G logo) as a search engine and added in Google Default with Peter’s keywords.
I’m based in London, but I think our network is just pushing everything through the US.
I’m gonna have to decamp to Google Chrome - at least I get back English results!

Posted by Kate on 12 Nov 2014

@Kate, I’m sorry nothing has worked for you. I did notice that you mentioned setting useragent.locale with an underscore rather than a dash/hyphen. Please check that to be sure. If you do find a solution please post here so others can benefit. Thanks!

Posted by paul on 18 Nov 2014

Local google search was bugging me, so I added into the Firefox search “encrypted” google

Posted by Hakan on 22 Jan 2015

@Paul, sorry to take so long to reply: I made a type above.  I had set it o en-GB but it’s still offering me plumbers in Connecticut. :(  Anyone know of a good search engine (not Bing!) that gives LOCAL results??

Posted by Kate on 9 Mar 2015

Just as was the case with Kate, not much seems to work here either. The seach engine in Chrome deafults to, but the seach box in Firfox keep deafulting to the Cookies have been dealted and the “general.useragent.locale” is set to “en-GB”.
When the Google search page appears, I can scroll down to the bottom and click the “Use”, but even setting this with Google, doesn’t affect where Firefox seems to want to send the request.

Posted by Chris on 21 Mar 2015

@Hakan, thanks for that suggestion.

@Kate, @Chris, I’ve found some additional options to try and updated the main post. Hopefully they will work. BTW, have you tried Hakan’s suggestion?

Posted by paul on 22 Mar 2015

I’ve found this

Mycroft Project it works

Posted by Peter on 15 Aug 2018