Firefox search bar – setting the region for Google searches

The problem

If you are visiting/living abroad but still want the Firefox search bar to default to your home version of Google, it is possible to fix it! In the following solution I assume that you are from the UK and want to use the UK/GB version of Google Search:

The solution

  1. Access the Firefox settings: type “about:config” in the address bar, then click “I’ll be careful, I promise”.
  2. For each setting you want to modify, use the search bar to find it more quickly.
    1. Set both “browser.search.countryCode” and “browser.search.region” to “GB” by double-clicking it and typing the new value.
    2. Make sure “browser.search.isUS” is set to False.
    3. For both “distribution.searchplugins.defaultLocale” and “general.useragent.locale” use “en-GB”.
  3. Restart Firefox.
  4. Visit http://www.google.com/ncr, to activate a “no country redirect” cookie that stops the browser from looking for country-specific search results.

Searching from the search bar should now give results at Google.com, but notice that at the very end of the search results URL there is a flag for UK regional content.

Enjoy!