Chrome Address Bar To Get More Useful

John Lister's picture

Google is overhauling the way searches work in the Chrome address bar. It should mean faster and more useful results in a range of situations.

The changes are to the address bar (sometimes called the omnibox) in the Chrome browser. It's where users can type in the full address of the site they want to visit, but also carry out web searches without the need to visit or another search engine site.

The address bar already has an autocomplete option, showing possible site addresses and search terms even when the user has only typed a few characters. At the moment, addresses only appear in the list if the user has typed the first letters of the full web address - and only if the user has visited the site prior. Google gives the example of the user typing in the letter "g" into the address bar, and Chrome automatically outputting "".

That's now changing so that addresses can appear if the user only types in part of the URL. In the example above, typing "flights" could bring the address up as a suggested option because the word "flights" is part of the URL "". (Source:

Typos No Problem

Another change is that Google will now try to detect potential typos and offer results based on what the user was most likely typing. For example, typing "youutube" could still bring up the full, correct YouTube address as a result.

Users will also be able to get suggested results from their bookmarks as well as the web itself. This won't always be useful as it will only work if the user includes the name of the relevant bookmark folder in the search. In this case, Google's example is "2023 trips new" would bring up pages about New York and New Zealand bookmarked in a folder named "2023 trips".

Unvisited Sites May Appear

Until now, autocomplete results only cover sites the user has previous visited. With the new changes, users may now see suggested "popular" sites they haven't visited. Google says this could be useful when somebody first visits a site recommended by a friend, for example in a conversation rather than sharing a link. (Source:

Finally, Google will be tweaking both the appearance and the operation of the address bar itself, which it says will make results faster and easier to read.

What's Your Opinion?

Are you generally happy with using the address bar in Chrome? Which of these changes will be most useful? Would you change anything else about the address bar?

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