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I don't use the default Firefox search-engines, so I like to be able to delete all the Amazon, Twitter, Google nativelly installed on every Firefox version.

Using current and beta version of Firefox, I am able to remove built-in search-engines on Firefox on Android, simply from the add-ons manager and disable the search-engine.

However, on the last Nightly build, the search-engines can not be found in the add-ons manager. My phone is not rooted, so I'm not able to directly set the search-engines list by editing the files or removing it through the search-engines list. Can't find a property in about:config either...

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    Could there be a magic folder in your bookmarks? If you can find them in the bookmarks tab (the one you get after you click the address bar but don't type in it), you can long-tap to remove. – Dan Hulme Aug 20 '13 at 16:20
  • Can't find the built-in search-engines here... – smonff Aug 20 '13 at 16:43
  • Ah well, it was worth a try. I don't use the nightly, so I can't offer anything more concrete. If you post on the Mozilla fora or mailing lists, you might get a more expert response: if so, please post an answer to help future visitors! – Dan Hulme Aug 20 '13 at 16:47
  • You're right, I've obtained an answer from Mozilla Support : Using Nightly you can find pre-installed search engines in 'Settings' → 'Customize' → 'Search settings'. I don't think there are plans to re-introduce disabling default search engines anymore. There are no plans to introduce removing pre-bundled search engines. – smonff Aug 20 '13 at 16:56
  • Good work! Please post that as an answer, so other users can see your question is answered. – Dan Hulme Aug 20 '13 at 18:32
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In the current Firefox 28 the issue is solved by setting browser.search.loadFromJars to false in about:config. Then only the search engines I added myself are shown.

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Although you can't remove search engines from Firefox for Android any more (which I think is the wrong decision for them to have made, personally), you can at least reorder the list, which almost makes up for not being able to remove search engines (I really don't want to ever use Bing, thanks Firefox).

To reorder the list, go into Settings > Customise > Search Settings and set one of the search engines as default by long-clicking and clicking "Set as default". It will then move to the top of the list. If you then change the default to something else, the previous default is moved down one place (rather than going back to a predefined position). So you can reorder the list however you like by setting each of your favorite engines as default in turn, in reverse order of preference.

Say you wanted your list to start with Google, Wikipedia and Amazon in that order, you would first set Amazon as the default, then Wikipedia, then Google, and your list will end up with Google, Wikipedia and Amazon as the top three, in that order.

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You can still disable the search engines if you have root access to your device. Specifically, you need to pull and modify the file search.json. On my device, I have:

adb pull /data/data/org.mozilla.firefox/files/mozilla/rbn69ru0.default/search.json

Now, by default, this file doesn't format everything nicely, so you can use something like

http://jsonformat.com

in order to clean things up. In any case, you'll see bits such as

   "_id": "[app]/bing.xml",
   "_name": "Bing",
   "_hidden": false,
   "description": "",
   "__searchForm": "http://www.bing.com",

You need to take the "_hidden" flag and change it to true. Do this for all of the search engines to hide all of them. Or, frankly, just delete everything under engines. Then, upload the file back and restart firefox with a command like:

adb push search.json /data/data/org.mozilla.firefox/files/mozilla/rbn69ru0.default/

Until an application restart, the changes won't be seen.

As a slight editorial note, it's dumb that we have to do this by hand. Either we should be able to disable things under Settings->Customize->Search settings or we should have some way of turning things off in about:config. While I understand that removing menu items that cause too many support issues, completely removing the option even from about:config is counterproductive.

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I've obtained an answer from Mozilla Support, so I post it here for the community.

The feature seems to have been removed. However, any hack is welcome :-)

Support said :

Using Nightly you can find pre-installed search engines in 'Settings' → 'Customize' → 'Search settings'. I don't think there are plans to re-introduce disabling default search engines anymore. There are no plans to introduce removing pre-bundled search engines.

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