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30 August, 2008

Not so smart

Some people like the auto-complete feature of Firefox 3's Smart Location Bar  (aka 'Awesome Bar', unfortunately), whereby the software suggests potential destinations whenever one begins to type in a URL, based on previous activity.  Yet it also acts as a visible record of one's browsing history, which is less than ideal on shared computers.

It is possible to completely disable auto-complete via the 'about:config' interface* but identification of the relevant parameters isn't immediately obvious. There are two, browser.urlbar.matchBehavior and browser.urlbar.maxRichResults, both of which need to be set to '-1'.

Incidentally, if you want to keep auto-complete but dislike the number of suggestions offered (12 by default), browser.urlbar.maxRichResults is also the parameter which defines that feature.

*: Type 'about config' into the address bar (aka Smart Location Bar, aka Awes... oh, you get the idea) and accept the warning, then find the correct settings. Double click on each name to open the preference-editing box.

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