Since these days there’s a lot of people that would like to use google less but figure that they’re trapped into it because it’s the default search engine set up in their browsers.  For Firefox at least, it’s actually pretty easy to fix and only takes a few minutes to do.

Start with a fresh browser window and type “about:config” in the address bar and hit enter.  This will bring up a window full of “hidden” settings that you normally don’t need to deal with.

In the box marked “Filter” type “keyword.url“.  The list of entries below will shrink as you type until the one labeled “keyword.url” is the only one left.

Right-click on the keyword.URL entry and select modify.
Delete the Google url that’s already there

paste the Ask.com url in:

http://www.ask.com/web?&search=search&qsrc=0&o=0&l=dir&q=

click ok.

that takes care of any searches you do by entering keywords in the address bar, Next is the multiple

search engine box on the right side of the browser.

Click on the little black down-arrow on the search dropdown and then click “manage search engines” Select Google, click “move down” until it’s at the bottom.  That takes Google out of the way.  If you want, you can outright delete it by selecting it and clickin “delete”… poof, no more Google.

Now click on the “get more search engines” link at the bottom of the window.  When that page loads

you’ll see a bunch of search engines that you can add to Firefox’s search box.  For now, scroll down and right click “mycroft.mozdev.org” and select “open in new tab”.

On this page In the “Find Search Engine Plugins / Search Providers” box, type ask.com and hit enter.  Scroll down and click on “Ask.com US“.  When the popup box appears, click “add”.

At this point you can, if you want, go back to the “Firefox Add-ons: Search Engines” page and add any of the search engines there by just clicking on the name of the engine you wish to add to your search engine dropdown box.

Now open the manage search engines dialog again and click the ask.com entry.  Click “move up” until it’s at the top and click ok.  Click search dropdown again and select ask and you’re done.  You should take a few seconds to restart the browser just to make sure those new settings are saved.

Now all searches now go through ask instead of google.

The video below shows me walking through this procedure.  This isn’t the greatest video in the world and there’s no sound, but it should serve to illustrate the procedure

[EDIT This was written back in 2007 when I was using FireFox 2.  I have no idea whether or not the procedure will work the same for modern versions.  Use at your own risk.  I am not responsible if you break your browser.]

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