How to Use Google's "I'm Feeling Lucky" Button

Do you feel lucky, punk?

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One of the most iconic features of the classic Google search is the I'm Feeling Lucky button. If you've been apprehensive about trying it, don't be: It might actually save you some time.

How Did the "I'm Feeling Lucky" Button Get There?

Many think the button may have been named as a play on the Clint Eastwood line in the movie Dirty Harry.

"Do you feel lucky, punk? Well, do you?"

Maybe. We all know how regular Google works, right?

You type in a phrase, press the ​Search button (or hit ​Return or ​Enter on your keyboard), and Google returns a results page that shows multiple websites matching your search phrase. The I'm Feeling Lucky bypasses that search results page and goes directly to the first ranked page for the search phrase you entered. 

Depending on your search query, the first result is usually the very best guess, so hitting the I'm Feeling Lucky button saves you a few extra seconds parsing through the list of search results. (Be sure to click the button after you have entered your search phrase.)

I'm Feeling Lucky is handy if you're fairly confident that the first result in the search engine is going to be exactly the page you want to find, but not so handy if you know you're going to be looking at a lot of sites.

Using the I'm Feeling Lucky button is also a common way for people to point out Google bombs.

It adds an element of surprise to the joke, but it only works if the Google Bomb is the very first result.

I'm Feeling Something Else: A Nifty Feature

When you first pull up the Google search page but before you enter your search phrase, holding your cursor over the I'm Feeling Lucky button makes it spin wildly with other moods.

Those phrases change randomly. For example, you might see I'm Feeling Stellar or I'm Feeling Generous.

Before you enter a search phrase, click this button as it spins and see what your luck turns to. If you don't like the random selection you're given (maybe you're not really hungry or feeling trendy), move the cursor away, then hover over the button again for a different selection. It's a fun way to spend a few minutes; you can't control which selection it will land on, so if you're looking for something specific, it can get frustrating after awhile.

If the "​I'm Feeling Lucky" Button Isn't Visible

Not feeling that lucky? Here's what to do if the I'm Feeling Lucky button isn't showing up for you:

  1. Go to Search Preferences.
  2. Turn off Google Instant. (Select the setting Never Show Instant Results.) 
  3. You should start feeling lucky again. After you click Save, you should see the I'm Feeling Lucky button whenever you search Google from www.google.com. 

"I'm Feeling Lucky" and Google Instant

When you're using Google Instant, the I'm Feeling Lucky button disappears as soon as you start typing. You could turn off Google Instant through your Google Account preferences, but where's the fun in that?

You still can use the I'm Feeling Lucky function with Google Instant by hovering your cursor over a prediction. Instead of a button, you'll see an I'm Feeling Lucky link to the right of the prediction. If you're feeling extra-efficient, you also can navigate by using your arrow key. Press the down arrow to scroll through suggestions, and then press the right arrow if you feel lucky.

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