I'm Feeling Lucky Button, What Is It and How Do I Use It?

Are You Feeling Lucky?

Google I'm feeling Lucky
Screen Capture

One of the most iconic features of the classic Google search is the I'm Feeling Lucky button. It's a little harder to find these days, but it's still there. 

Note: The  I'm Feeling Lucky button doesn't appear by default anymore. Are you not feeling lucky?

Here's how you turn I'm Feeling Lucky back on:

  1. Go to Search Preferences
  2. Turn Off Google Instant. Use the setting "never show instant results." 
  3. You should start feeling lucky again. After you hit Save, you should see the I'm Feeling Lucky button whenever you search Google from  www.google.com . 

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

    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?"

    We all know how regular Google works, right? You type in a phrase, you press the search button, (you can also just press return or enter on your keyboard) and Google returns a results page that shows multiple Web sites matching your search phrase. The I'm Feeling Lucky button skips the search results page and goes directly to the first ranked page for that search phrase. 

    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.

    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.

    Lucky Button Without a Search

    In December 2009, pressing the I'm Feeling Lucky button without putting anything in the search box yielded a countdown ticker to New Year's day.

    In 2011 it lead to the Google Doodles page, where alternative Google logos are displayed. Go ahead and try it. See where it goes today. 

    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 can still 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 can also 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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