Enable/Show “http://” URL Prefix in Firefox 7 Location Bar

by Venkat eswarlu on September 25, 2011

in Firefox,tips and tricks

It’s all set for Firefox 7 final release on September 27th of this month, Mozilla follows Chrome and Opera removes http:// protocol and trailing slash by default in the location bar for user friendly and better readability, that means you can only view or for that matter Firefox shows www.Example.com in the address bar. It may be confusing for novice users, here is how to enable or show http:// in the location bar again.

show http in Firefox 7 url bar thumb Enable/Show “http://” URL Prefix in Firefox 7 Location Bar

But Firefox will display https:// prefix in the URL bar to let the users know they’re are on secured page and when you copy and paste URLs Firefox will include http prefix.

Firefox without http prefix in the url bar thumb Enable/Show “http://” URL Prefix in Firefox 7 Location Bar

Show http:// in Firefox 7 URL bar

1. Type “about:config “ in the address bar and press enter proceed by agreeing to the warning.

2. Double-click on browser.urlbar.trimURLs preference to turn its value to false.

Now type any website URL in the browser, HTTP:// will be shown greyed out/not highlighted for a change in Firefox 7 when compared to previous versions.

Update: Set “browser.urlbar.formatting.enabled” preference to false after the above mentioned steps to remove the highlighting.(Thanks to Anonymous commenter).


{ 61 comments… read them below or add one }

James R September 28, 2011 at 12:50 am

Thank You!!!

Now if I can find a way to make Chrome show the http:// I would be set!

Why do they do this?


elf September 29, 2011 at 7:14 pm

apparently they changed the meaning of the word “UPgrade” and it means ¨making it worse and worse¨


Jay October 19, 2011 at 12:45 pm

At least in Chrome, when you copy it with Ctrl+A (select all), http:// is also copied.


Venkat October 19, 2011 at 6:41 pm

Happens the same with Firefox.


Lukan November 3, 2011 at 12:09 pm

Yup, it does copy with FF as well. I can’t see the point of this though, I’ve changed it back to how it used to be. Just because other browsers make “improvements” doesn’t mean that FF needs to follow. Make it a checkbox in Options if they think it’s important.


Xavier Popavier November 12, 2011 at 3:33 am

you’re right.
ff is getting worser with every upgrade.
its more and more for the dumb.
instead of trying to help people getting technical knowledge, they hide it.
some ugrades and ff is just like internet explorer. you use it only, because its there. not because you like it. shame on mozilla!

ZoltanZ November 12, 2011 at 6:04 pm

How much did you pay for the product? Why don’t you demand your money back? LOL

Why all the whining over a trivial design issue that’s not even a bug? An easy fix has been offered, but you continue to piss & moan. Please get over it. Mozilla’s products are very good, but If they’re not good enough for you, then other products are available. Then you can complain on their forums. You’re not helping here.

Disclaimer: I don’t work for Mozilla. I’m just a satisfied user.

Saiko November 22, 2011 at 4:08 pm

Actually, he is helping there. More moaning will assure they think before making such (stupid in my opinion) changes. And there are way better ways for introducing such streamlined (or “dumbed down”, a less politically correct synonym) interfaces, for example by giving a choice during install.

FV February 24, 2012 at 11:49 pm

When you select and copy, then programs should put on the clipboard only what was selected. Nothing more, nothing less. Chrome and perhaps others (and now FF) introduced a new flawed UI feature: WYCINWYG (what you copy is not what you get).

Tell your customers to copy the hostname on the URL bar and paste it on e.g. a input field on a configuration panel that expects a simple hostname, and you’re scr***d.



OldTabby September 28, 2011 at 4:10 am

Thank you so much for posting this fix you’ve saved my sanity! I have to spend a lot of time checking links for my website &, when they change or I create a new listing, I drag-&-drop the links into my database to avoid errors. You can imagine my reaction to Firefox7 hiding http:// because without it my db sees an error in the link!

Anybody got any ideas for Roboform2Go?!? It does NOT like Firefox 7, isn’t seeing the URLs at all :(


OldTabby September 29, 2011 at 12:02 am

BTW Venkat is correct – copy/paste does copy the whole url but I usually highlight the url then drag-&-drop it from one browser window to another or to a program or an email & that only picks up the shortened url.


dee September 28, 2011 at 9:23 am

Thank you!
Sick of companies dumbing down technology.


Anonymous September 28, 2011 at 10:55 am

You can also remove the highlighting by changing the “browser.urlbar.formatting.enabled” preference to false.


Venkat September 28, 2011 at 6:21 pm

Thanks, don’t know about that will look into it and update the post after that..


OldTabby September 28, 2011 at 11:42 pm

Another thank you from me, that works just fine & looks better, at least to me ;-)

Totally agree with dee, please devs, stop thinking for us. What’s wrong with educating new users instead of dumbing things down for them!!


Superole October 3, 2011 at 6:33 pm

I actually like the highlighting (if you can call it that; its really lowlighting in my opinion) but I would like to see it configurable, because I don’t agree with what is lowlighted. IMO everything between the first “://” and the next “/” should be untouched (which it actually is if you omit the .domain.com in a local domain url)


Andrey September 28, 2011 at 3:42 pm



Adam September 28, 2011 at 11:50 pm

I am fast losing patience with firefox, and every time they pull something like this I lose a little bit more respect for them.

Thanks for the tip.


Dogpa September 29, 2011 at 5:42 am

Who though of this? When you type http it replaces it with http://www…what a stupid thing…so your dog can use it? Why do they keep fixing things that are not, and never have been, wrong? Why not make java or flash never work again, at least that would be useful!

Every update is a step backwards!!!


Dogpa September 29, 2011 at 5:46 am

They must have the same “nwysiwyg” editor this forum does!

Type “http” (keep your hands of of my code!) and you get every site you’ve ever been to in a huge list and it replaces the first letter with “w”…real smart. So I search for “wttp://www….whatever”?

The new stuff the geeks come up with should be off by default so the rest of us can ignore the constant “fixes”!


Ranjan Kumar September 29, 2011 at 12:11 pm

Nice advise.Very helpful.


Andreas September 29, 2011 at 8:10 pm

Perfect! Thanks a lot!


Raptor007 September 30, 2011 at 12:47 am

I actually like the change, since URLs can be rather long and the leading http:// can be assumed for most web browsing. If you copy-paste a URL from the address bar, it still gets http:// at the start, so there’s really no problem with shortening it visually.

What bothers me is the inconsistency; I would like to see it apply to HTTPS as well. Since the favicon section expands to show the domain when you’re on a secure site, we don’t need to see the leading https:// to remind us that it’s secure.


Myrddin September 30, 2011 at 4:20 am

Thanks, no idea why you’d want to remove the http the first place. Sucks if you are copy/pasting links 24/7 that are related to subdomains or .eu domains and similar stuff. Tehy often can’t be autolinked and you have to manually add the http.


mrmuggles October 2, 2011 at 8:18 pm

@Myrddin Exactly! I’m a Web developer and it pissed me off… At least they could’ve made it easy to enable in options!

Anyway, thanks for the tutorial!


kelvan October 3, 2011 at 7:33 pm

Thanks for the blogpost, this http hiding is really annoying.
I tried to copy an ip from the locationbar and it always copy http://ip pasting this in an field for ips cut off the last digits -.-


papoo October 4, 2011 at 12:53 am

one question : why firefox 7 don’t show RSS icon in location bar?
how can i show it ?
if you have the answer


Venkat October 4, 2011 at 11:51 am

Its all part of UI refinement as Mozilla say they removed most useful status bar and rss icon which they don’t find much useful for us, here is anyway RSS Icon add-on will adds RSS icon the URL bar.


jeff October 5, 2011 at 5:38 am

Thanks, this is exactly what I was looking for!


ii October 5, 2011 at 12:40 pm

nice it’s working


papoo October 5, 2011 at 3:37 pm

Thanks Venkat


jjjdavidson October 5, 2011 at 7:35 pm

This is exactly the sort of random pointless confusing change that’s making it difficult for me to get my network users off of Internet Explorer. Every time Firefox does something weird like this, another user switches back to IE. Users don’t like change. Users are afraid of change. “User-friendly” changes almost always turn out to be “user-frightening.”


Baz October 7, 2011 at 3:40 am

Thank you – my sanity returns! Bloody stupid change. I’ve lost count of how many links I’ve copied that I’ve had to fix because they were broken!


Midori October 10, 2011 at 5:55 am

THANK. YOU. From the bottom of my heart. I thought I was going crazy with that nonsense and no visible way to turn it off.


Brad October 11, 2011 at 7:17 pm

This “upgrade” of theirs was irritating the heck out of me! Thanks!


c October 16, 2011 at 11:43 pm

Thanks for this! At least there always seems to be a way to disable their latest “improvements”.


free October 17, 2011 at 12:38 pm

Thanks! As a network/programming engineer, it is sad that even free software is going backwards. Firefox got big, so it’s time to dumb down everything for the public. Heck, Firefox almost got slower than IE lately.

I think that we should explain to people how technology works, not hide the gears behind the interface. This will benefit all of us, as people will use systems much more efficiently if they know what is going on in the machine.


cazare sulina October 18, 2011 at 1:32 pm

Thanks!Great work!


Matt Baldwin October 20, 2011 at 5:06 pm

I appreciated getting this little lesson in about:config as well as the useful tips for turning off awful formatting changes in the location bar.

I disagree with those commentators who said that copying URLs includes the http://. In my experience, it more often does not than does. This is probably because I typically DO NOT use a “CTRL-A” to copy the URL, but rather, click into the location bar, hold down the shift key, and click to the end of the visible URL, or whatever section of it I actually want. Often you want the key parts of the URL and not, for example, the database query. I post a lot of links on various blogs, moodle sites, forums, etc., and it was getting to be a real pain.

This solution made my day.


Faisal Huda October 24, 2011 at 2:37 am

Thanks for Info… i like this Info… ^_^


4e4 headmen October 24, 2011 at 6:47 am

For months I thought my link problem was in Thunderbird 7. I was using the old DOS keyboard commands to cut-and-paste URLs from FF into TB, using SHIFT+DEL to cut and SHIFT+INS to paste. However, this did not transfer the ‘http://’ along with the rest of the URL. When I discovered what was missing I began adding the ‘http://’ prefix manually. What a waste of time!

Thanks to Venkak for this fix.


4e4 headmen October 24, 2011 at 7:12 am

I don’t see an edit button, so here are some corrections and additions to my previous comment:

“Venkak” should be Venkat. Sorry about that. lol

Even without Venkat’s fix, the DOS keyboard command CTRL+INS will copy the entire URL, including the hidden ‘http://’

However, all things considered, Venkat’s fixes are the way to go. You can *see* the ‘http://’ and *copy* the entire URL, just as God, Yahweh, and Allah intended. :)


Anthony Myers October 28, 2011 at 9:09 am

Thank you for directing me to the solution. In addition to the fact that I like to see the whole address, it should be visible to everyone by default — especially since looking for either http or https is one of the primary ways to tell if a page is secured before entering anything sensitive. Nice feature to offer — but it should default the other way — to SHOW the “http://” unless requested to hide it.


Bobby October 30, 2011 at 10:01 pm

Thanks for posting a fix to that here. I’m tired of institutions dumbing things down for the so-called masses. Have we forgotten this reality: “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”


FV November 2, 2011 at 1:47 am

Wow… They uncovered a NICE way to do some productive phishing: just name you evil host “https.bankname.com.example.com” and you will certainly game the majority of the clueless users they’re trying to protect…


David Carley November 9, 2011 at 3:59 pm

Excellent, good clear post on how to make visible the ‘http’, ‘https’ & ‘FTP’ protocols in Firefox 7.


longtimeuser November 9, 2011 at 6:44 pm

THANK YOU. that is THE most ridiculous change for anyone doing lots of copying and pasting of URLs. Not to mention all of the old people who have used browsers for 15 years having to learn why this is happening. Another bad “fix” of a non-problem.


Karlos Wang November 12, 2011 at 10:47 pm

Thanks for posting a fix. Firefox is turnig into a pile of … Made by morons for morons.


Jack November 15, 2011 at 6:18 am

Firefox used to be a browser for “power users”, but now with its stupid idea to copy chrome it gets more and more limited and pampers and limits its user.

@mozilla: If you code software to be idiot-proof only idiots will use your software.


nolteks December 11, 2011 at 12:42 am

Thank you very much
it works in Firefox 8 too


Mike December 21, 2011 at 8:57 pm

I really wish that I could control what I want to CTRL-C when on the URLBAR. Why does it have to copy the http:// ???? That is SO annoying! Let ME decide. What is this becoming – socialist software that knows what I need more so than what I want?


Kit February 1, 2012 at 3:38 am

this I find rather helpful. not because the lack of the http:// showing in the address bar is confusing. but rather when browsing sites on my lan it gets annoying because of a odd bug that firefox seems to have with this. when browsing to web servers using their net-bios style names, with the trim feature on, I can’t just edit the url of the site I’m on to go to another part as insted of remembering that I want to go to “http://server/newpage.php” when I edit the showing “server/oldpage.php” it instead does a google search for “server/newpage.php” instead of actually going to “http://server/newpage.php” like I want and of course because it’s a document on my private network Google allays returns no results; hopefully now that it’s not chopping off the http it’ll remember I’m typing in a url and not a search string.


Phil Cooper February 3, 2012 at 12:54 am

Thanks for the tip. This same kind of silliness in Microsoft Windows 95 and later, hiding file name extensions from users, is directly responsible for hundreds of trojans and viruses being spread to millions of computers when less-than-savvy users innocently click on email attachments and hyperlinks. You’d think the Mozilla crew would be a bit smarter; evidently not.


darkocean February 23, 2012 at 4:02 pm

Thank you that was pissing me off so bad. link a lot of websites some days and having to use the page info to get the full url was realty annoying the heck out of me. What’s wrong with firefox? They should be making a better browser not a more annoying one! at least I don’t have that annoying gold bar you can’t get rid of like in IE… *bloop* bloop* every page gah!


Meyer March 10, 2012 at 3:08 am

It would be nice if they included the http when copying the whole link, but excluded it when copying only the domain name. (But then I guess there’s a question of what to do when the whole link is just the domain name.) Whatever, I’m glad I can turn this “feature” off and stop wasting time deleting stuff that I didn’t highlight and copy.


C March 27, 2012 at 1:27 pm

Raptor007 : it only copies the full URL if i select it all and don’t edit it before copying. Sometimes (most of the times), i like to delete some params in the URL, or add the title at the end, to have more info in the Clipboard, and at that point, the contents of the address bar isn’t the page URL anymore, so no http gets added back for me. I’ve always hated this.


Mike March 28, 2012 at 4:38 am

This is a great fix for the desktop browser. But is there any way to get this same option in FireFox Mobile? There is no ‘trimurl’ option in the mobile ‘about:config’.

Hell, in mobile, Firefox is even stripping out the ‘.com’ or ‘.net’ portion of the URL. This irritates me to no end.

Is there a fix for this?


FV November 17, 2012 at 12:19 am

Another annoying by-product of this non-sense “improvement”: when you type a search keyword on the URL bar by accident, realize the miskate before the search is done, and immediately select the keyword, copy and paste on the search field and press ENTER (as I often do) , you end searching for a “http://”-decorated keyword.


george senda December 11, 2012 at 11:47 pm

It’s NOT a trivial issue to ME. I thought there was something wrong with my Imac when the http disappeared without anything from Firefox saying they were going to do this and with absolutely no way to change or correct it.

thanks a lot firefox

who asked you to make it harder to get links to stories that I use all the time ?



Martin Adámek September 16, 2013 at 5:20 pm

Thanks a lot, it was horrible to remove protocol from pasted address again and again… now I can select what I want and I will get it without anything more…
but for me it started in FF version cca. 20, not 7


Venkat eswarlu September 16, 2013 at 5:36 pm

FYI, Mozilla has implemented this change from Firefox 7 onwards. Anyway thanks for your comment and you’re welcome.


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: