How to Use the Google 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's actually pretty cool.

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, 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. (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

You might have noticed that if you hold your cursor over the I'm Feeling Lucky button, it spins wildly with other phrases. Those phrases change randomly. For example, you might see I'm Feeling Stellar or I'm Feeling Generous.

Before you enter a search phrases, go ahead and 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 kind of a fun way to spend a few minutes but you can't control which selection it will land on so 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. 

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 was linked 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.