Asif Youssuff

Firefox 120: Searching Tabs in the Address Bar Will Work Across Containers

I was once told that Firefox users don’t always do enough to celebrate the small wins. Here’s something that I consider to be a big one, but might not be interesting for most people (unless you learned about the awesomebar from my Firefox switch guide).

One of the ways that Firefox is awesome is its “awesomebar”, the name that Mozilla gave to the address bar in Firefox in 2008.

As I said in my previous post, you can use “restriction tokens” to control what results the address bar shows you.

One of the other restriction tokens I use all the time is % to search my open tabs - it makes it so I don’t have to waste any mental energy or time to organize my tabs - I can just search for it, like I would on a search engine. Who needs hierarchies or groups?

Well, this worked great for many years – but with the introduction of containers, a new wrinkle appeared. During the development of containers, developers decided that the Awesomebar shouldn’t force switching to a tab in a different container.

Eventually, as people started using containers in Firefox via the extension and native functionality, people began running into this issue – I might be in a “work” container, but I want to quickly switch to a tab outside of my work context – the % restriction token no longer helps me do that, since the address bar doesn’t show me the tabs outside of my current container.

Eventually, Steve Fink reported this as a bug in 2018, and as of today, there is a workaround (basically a fix)!

How to Enable Tab Switching Across Containers

  1. Navigate to about:config in your browser. Read the warning and continue.
  2. Search for browser.urlbar.switchTabs.searchAllContainers and set it to true by clicking the “Toggle” icon beside the search result.
  3. You’re done! You don’t need to restart to enable this.

Thanks to atararx and Marc Seibert for landing this fix. 🙌

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