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When I type something in Thunderbird's search bar, the first item that pops up is a Bing search for that term. Is there a way to remove Bing? I don't really need Thunderbird to be able to search the web.

So just removing it and leaving nothing is acceptable, but replacing it with, say, Google (or anything that's not Bing) works as well. I perused all the settings dialogs and preferences and couldn't find anything of the sort.

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7 Answers 7

up vote 11 down vote accepted

Well, if you want to use Google instead, simply install this add-on: Google Search for Thunderbird

Note that this kb article also explain how you can use another search engine: https://support.mozillamessaging.com/en-US/kb/add-search-engine-open-search

I don't think that it is possible to disable it completely.

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3  
Thanks for your answer! I don't want to use Google, what I want is to not see Bing in there. From the kb article you sent, however, I was able to find /usr/lib/thunderbird/distribution/searchplugins/locale/en-US/bing.xml. This would have to be removed to get rid of Bing. I guess the second best option is to add Google and use it instead, so I'll accept your answer. Thanks! –  roadmr Aug 9 '12 at 21:09
1  
Thanks for the tip! I removed all the files from /usr/lib/thunderbird/distribution/searchplugins/locale/en-US/ and now when I search in Thunderbird only my email results are displayed. –  DrKenobi Nov 18 '12 at 17:13

You can completely disable the Bing search suggestion in the search bar popup menu by adding this to your userChrome.css file:

.autocomplete-richlistitem[type="websearch"]
{ display: none !important; }

The advantages of doing it this way include:

  • you don't have to modify the Thunderbird application itself by removing all the search plugins
  • you don't have to re-delete the search plugins every time Thunderbird is updated
  • it becomes part of your personal, portable profile
  • web search is still available to other users on the same machine
  • you can still do searches by right-clicking on selected text

EDIT: This does work in TB 24 but it only affects the "Global search bar" (e.g. Ctrl+K) not the context menu provided for selected text.

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Unfortunately this doesn't seem to work in Thunderbird 24. The chrome directory didn't even exist in that version, and adding it with a userChrome.css file didn't work. Ubuntu 12.10. –  dotancohen Nov 26 '13 at 8:10

I found that you can edit the bing.xml file in the searchplugins folder. Simply change the url. I use Startpage, so I modified the url:
FROM:

http://www.bing.com/search

TO:

 https://www.startpage.com/search

Good luck.

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It's quite easy (at least it worked easily for me):

  1. In Thunderbird, go to Tools > Add-ons > Plugins;

  2. In the search window at the upper right of your screen ('Search all add-ons'), type 'Google';

  3. Look down the list for 'Search Google for Thunderbird';

  4. Click the 'Install' button;

  5. Restart Thunderbird.

Good luck and hope this helps.

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Worked for me, as well. –  belacq May 28 '13 at 19:38

I believe this is actually a usability problem. Thunderbird has TWO search boxes, the "Global Search" which is always visible (by default) and the "Quick Filter".

Quick filter is what you want to use for searching within a folder.

You can hide the Global Search by Right Clicking that menu toolbar, selecting customize, and dragging the search box into the "Customize Toolbar" dialog.

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The solution I'm currently using is the same add-on others have mentioned, "Google Search for Thunderbird" by Standard8. It can be located by searching the available extensions: Use "Tools -> Add-ons", and in the 'Get Add-ons' category, search for 'google search' to locate .

However, using the support article cameleon mentioned, you can do much the same thing manually. You'll need to go into your profile default folder, xxwhateverxx.default, and paste an appropriate xml configuration file into ~/.thunderbird.xxxxdefault/searchplugins. You may need to create the searchplugins directory if it doesn't exist. The article suggests this xml content:

<SearchPlugin xmlns="http://www.mozilla.org/2006/browser/search/">
<ShortName>Google</ShortName>
<Description>Google Search</Description>
<InputEncoding>UTF-8</InputEncoding>
<Image width="16" height="16">https://google.com/favicon.ico</Image>
<Url type="application/x-suggestions+json" method="GET" template="http://suggestqueries.google.com/complete/search?output=firefox&hl={moz:locale}&q={searchTerms}"/>
<Url type="text/html" method="GET" template="http://www.google.com/search">
<Param name="q" value="{searchTerms}"/>
<Param name="ie" value="utf-8"/>
<Param name="oe" value="utf-8"/>
<Param name="aq" value="t"/>
</Url>
<SearchForm>http://www.google.com</SearchForm>
</SearchPlugin>

The xml file that the Standard8 add-on/extension uses (/.thunderbird/ie6op3o3.default/extensions/[email protected]/searchplugins/google.xml) is:

<SearchPlugin xmlns="http://www.mozilla.org/2006/browser/search/">
<ShortName>Google</ShortName>
<Description>Google Search</Description>
<InputEncoding>UTF-8</InputEncoding>
<Image width="16" height="16">data:image/png;base64,AAABAAEAEBAAAAEAGABoAwAAFgAAACgAAAAQAAAAIAAAAAEAGAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAADs9Pt8xetPtu9FsfFNtu%2BTzvb2%2B%2Fne4dFJeBw0egA%2FfAJAfAA8ewBBegAAAAD%2B%2FPtft98Mp%2BwWsfAVsvEbs%2FQeqvF8xO7%2F%2F%2F63yqkxdgM7gwE%2FggM%2BfQA%2BegBDeQDe7PIbotgQufcMufEPtfIPsvAbs%2FQvq%2Bfz%2Bf%2F%2B%2B%2FZKhR05hgBBhQI8hgBAgAI9ewD0%2B%2Fg3pswAtO8Cxf4Kw%2FsJvvYAqupKsNv%2B%2Fv7%2F%2FP5VkSU0iQA7jQA9hgBDgQU%2BfQH%2F%2Ff%2FQ6fM4sM4KsN8AteMCruIqqdbZ7PH8%2Fv%2Fg6Nc%2Fhg05kAA8jAM9iQI%2BhQA%2BgQDQu6b97uv%2F%2F%2F7V8Pqw3eiWz97q8%2Ff%2F%2F%2F%2F7%2FPptpkkqjQE4kwA7kAA5iwI8iAA8hQCOSSKdXjiyflbAkG7u2s%2F%2B%2F%2F39%2F%2F7r8utrqEYtjQE8lgA7kwA7kwA9jwA9igA9hACiWSekVRyeSgiYSBHx6N%2F%2B%2Fv7k7OFRmiYtlAA5lwI7lwI4lAA7kgI9jwE9iwI4iQCoVhWcTxCmb0K%2BooT8%2Fv%2F7%2F%2F%2FJ2r8fdwI1mwA3mQA3mgA8lAE8lAE4jwA9iwE%2BhwGfXifWvqz%2B%2Ff%2F58u%2Fev6Dt4tr%2B%2F%2F2ZuIUsggA7mgM6mAM3lgA5lgA6kQE%2FkwBChwHt4dv%2F%2F%2F728ei1bCi7VAC5XQ7kz7n%2F%2F%2F6bsZkgcB03lQA9lgM7kwA2iQktZToPK4r9%2F%2F%2F9%2F%2F%2FSqYK5UwDKZAS9WALIkFn%2B%2F%2F3%2F%2BP8oKccGGcIRJrERILYFEMwAAuEAAdX%2F%2Ff7%2F%2FP%2B%2BfDvGXQLIZgLEWgLOjlf7%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F%2F9QU90EAPQAAf8DAP0AAfMAAOUDAtr%2F%2F%2F%2F7%2B%2Fu2bCTIYwDPZgDBWQDSr4P%2F%2Fv%2F%2F%2FP5GRuABAPkAA%2FwBAfkDAPAAAesAAN%2F%2F%2B%2Fz%2F%2F%2F64g1C5VwDMYwK8Yg7y5tz8%2Fv%2FV1PYKDOcAAP0DAf4AAf0AAfYEAOwAAuAAAAD%2F%2FPvi28ymXyChTATRrIb8%2F%2F3v8fk6P8MAAdUCAvoAAP0CAP0AAfYAAO4AAACAAQAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACAAQAA</Image>
<Url type="application/x-suggestions+json" method="GET" template="http://suggestqueries.google.com/complete/search?output=firefox&amp;hl={moz:locale}&amp;q={searchTerms}"/>
<Url type="text/html" method="GET" template="http://www.google.com/search">
  <Param name="q" value="{searchTerms}"/>
  <Param name="ie" value="utf-8"/>
  <Param name="oe" value="utf-8"/>
  <Param name="aq" value="t"/>
</Url>
<SearchForm>http://www.google.com</SearchForm>
</SearchPlugin>

Alternately, you can change or remove the bing.xml file in /usr/lib/thunderbird/distribution/searchplugins/locale/en-US .

On my current installation, I have an object notation file in my home directory which contains references to search engine (search.json). This file may need to be edited or deleted after other manual changes have been made. On my system, it was recreated by the application (after I moved the original to a safe place).

Another possibility (one I've not tested in a fresh thunderbird installation) is to access the about:config editor in thunderbird, and remove references to 'bing'.

To paraphrase the related knowledge-base article, access the editor via "Edit -> Preferences -> Advanced -> General -> Config Editor (button)" .

From there, you can click on the "value" field to change it.

about:config screen

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Not certain if this helps or not, but a hint might be found under the settings for Thunderbird Preferences > Advanced > General > Advanced Configuration > Enable Global Search and Indexer. Perhaps you have chosen Bing as your default search provider in browser?

Another thing to do is to open the config editor at the same location and type in "search" in the about:config dialog. Look for the keyword.URL string to see what is set there. It may be set to Bing as the search provider.

You may also wish to see if any add-on was added into Thunderbird that has altered the standard behaviour.

Hope that helps. Have a nice day.

freecode

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Thanks for your reply, it doesn't help: Global search and indexing is for something else: " If you enable Global Search/Indexing information about every message in every account (except News) is stored in an SQLite database.". Also, on Firefox, I use Google as my search engine. Trust me, I would never purposefully choose Bing for anything; I despise Microsoft product :) –  roadmr Aug 9 '12 at 16:54
    
Global search and indexing is for Thunderbird's internal sqlite database. –  dotancohen Nov 26 '13 at 8:11

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