Mostly self-explanatory... Every time I perform a Google search I would like it to display results using the "Past Year" option from the "More Search Tools" menu on the left by default.

My main search method is the Girefox Google Search plugin, so a solution involving that would probably be best.

the solution I created thanks to the answers and commenters:

I created the following, named it google-past-year.xml, and dropped it in the searchplugins directory of my firefox profile dir. Restarted the browser and it works like a charm!

The major element here is the token tbs=qdr:y. I don't know what tbs stands for, but I assume qdr:y means "Qualify Date Range":"one Year"

<SearchPlugin xmlns="http://www.mozilla.org/2006/browser/search/" xmlns:os="http://a9.com/-/spec/opensearch/1.1/">
<os:Url type="text/html" method="GET" template="http://www.google.com/search?q={searchTerms}&amp;hl=en&amp;safe=off&amp;output=search&amp;tbs=qdr:y">


I found the xml for the standard google plugin in my Firefox.app. So I was able to fix some issues with the above version (no icon, no inline suggestions) by using theirs as a template and adding my own options. Then I went to submit it to the mycroft opensearch project and i used their awesome generator to refine it even more. If interested, the plugin can be found at:


  • 1
    I don't know why a previous answer was deleted, but it was helpful so here is the text of it for posterity: No, there's not a setting you can set to default to that. However, if you include qdr:y in your search string it will use the "Past Year" parameter without requiring any extra clicks. Commented Nov 1, 2010 at 19:10
  • I deleted it because it didn't appear to actually be correct.
    – ale
    Commented Nov 1, 2010 at 20:27
  • well it does work in the URL, just not in the search box itself. so it might be a good thing to work into a search plugin. Commented Nov 1, 2010 at 21:12
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    you add it into the ampersand (&) separated options in the url like so: &tbs=qdr:y Commented Nov 1, 2010 at 21:15
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    @Al Everett: Just wanted to point out that the comment you deleted ended up being the key to getting this to work, so thanks very much! :P Commented Nov 30, 2010 at 1:39

5 Answers 5


If you are using the Firefox Google search toolbar, I am not sure how to permanently make that change.

But if you are using the search field (the one that's to the right of the address bar by default), you can write your own search plugin fairly easily.

Following the example on that page, you would put the QDR parameter (as described in another answer) in like so:

 name="Google: Past Year"

  <input name="q" user>
  <input name="qdr" value="y">
  • nice! this is probably the way to go and looks very simple. I'll try it out. Commented Nov 2, 2010 at 21:34
  • this worked quite well! I used one of my custom plugins as an example and came up with the xml I edited into my question. Thanks! Commented Nov 30, 2010 at 1:28

If you use google.com normally as your start page, you can do the following (inelegant solution): - go to google.com - in the search criteria textbox, type a space - the options will show up on the left - click "show search tools" - select "past year"

Now bookmark this current page and use this instead of google.com.

  • +1 for ingenuity but i'm a bit too OCD for this :P Commented Nov 30, 2010 at 5:07

If you are using Chrome, you can create your own search engine (credit to http://blog.jerodsanto.net/2011/08/a-better-way-to-get-recency-based-google-searches-in-chrome/ for the idea):

  • open Chrome settings, select "Search", "Manage search engines"
  • scroll all the way to the bottom of the page, and add a new search engine
  • give it a name such as "Google Recent", a keyword (I use "r") and the url http://www.google.com/search?q=%s&tbs=qdr:y&tbo=1

Then, in the chrome url box, type the keyword followed by a space, and the prompt will change to "Google Recent", and searches will be filtered to be in the last year.


Here is a partial but absolutely reliable solution which ensures the sidebar is fully expanded for each visit and doesn't involve any scripting or the need to remember anything.

It does require that Greasemonkey is installed as an add-on for Firefox (Chrome and IE have equivalents). The Greasemonkey addon is here -> https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/greasemonkey/

You use a script which simply makes the refined options open automatically whenever you go to Google search whether manually or through the Firefox search bar. the userscript is "Google Always Show Search Options Sidebar / Menu" and is found here -> http://userscripts.org/scripts/show/49134

Just click install (as long as you have greasemonkey added on!)


Firefox users can install the "Shortcut Keys for Google Search" Addon which offers you shortcut keys to many advanced Google Search features.

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