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How to quickly search browser bookmarks

A woman searching for bookmarks

When it comes to browsing, many of us are creatures of habit. We stick to what we know, often overlooking features that can significantly enhance our online experience. One such underrated feature is the ability to search for bookmarks directly from the browser’s address bar. Interestingly, many users resort to browser extensions or other third-party tools to access this seemingly trivial feature. Yet, little do they realize browsers like Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, and Microsoft Edge have this functionality built right in. In this post, we’ll unravel the mystery of how to utilize this feature to its full potential, making your browsing journey smoother and more efficient.

Searching Bookmarks in Mozilla Firefox

  1. Press Ctrl + L to highlight and select the address bar.
  2. Type * followed by a space and the name or URL fragment of the bookmark you’re looking for.
  3. Firefox will present you with a list of matching bookmarks from your collection.
  4. Navigate to your desired bookmark using the arrow keys and press enter to open it.

Searching Bookmarks in Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge

Microsoft Edge and Google Chrome operate on the Chromium browser engine, aligning their functionalities. While their default bookmark search keywords — @bookmarks for Chrome and @favourites for Edge — are more cumbersome than Firefox’s succinct *; this can be customized for a more streamlined experience.

Searching Bookmarks in Chrome’s and Edge’s Omnibox (Default Settings):

  1. Press Ctrl + L to instantly access the Omnibox.
  2. For Chrome, input @bookmarks and for Edge @favourites, hit space and then enter your search criteria. You can search by name or a fragment of the bookmark URL.
  3. A dropdown list will present matches based on your input.
  4. Use the arrow keys to select the bookmark of your choice and press enter to visit the site.

For a smoother experience across browsers, we recommend adapting the default keywords in Chrome and Edge to mirror Firefox’s configuration.

Modifying the Bookmark Search Keyword in Microsoft Edge:

  1. Open edge://settings/searchEngines?search=search in your Edge browser.
  2. Find the “favourites” search engine. Click the three dots to the right and select “Edit”.
  3. Replace the @favourites shortcut with *. Alternatively, choose any character that feels more intuitive for you.

Modifying the Bookmark Search Keyword in Google Chrome:

  1. Head to chrome://settings/searchEngines in Chrome.
  2. Under “Site Search”, identify the Bookmarks row labelled with @bookmarks and select the pencil icon for editing.
  3. Update the shortcut from @bookmarks to *. Again, feel free to select a different character if preferred.

After making these adjustments, your bookmark search process becomes even more efficient:

Searching Bookmarks in Chrome’s and Edge’s Omnibox (Optimized Settings):

  1. Use Ctrl + L to quickly highlight the Omnibox.
  2. Enter * and then input the name or a fragment of the bookmark’s URL.
  3. The dropdown will show bookmarks that match your query.
  4. Select the desired bookmark using the arrow keys and confirm with enter to access the page.

Conclusion

In the vast landscape of web browsing, it’s easy to overlook the built-in features that our browsers offer. Yet, these functionalities, like the direct bookmark search, are designed to streamline our digital experience. There’s no need for extra tools or extensions when our main browsers - Firefox, Chrome, and Edge - offer efficient ways to navigate our saved sites. By harnessing these native features, we can save time and ensure a smoother, more efficient browsing session.