How to Disable Omnibox in Chrome?

Omnibox is one of the best features of Google’s Chrome browser. It helps users to search and navigate from a common place, and combines the search box and the address bar into one single component. But on the other hand, it may worry privacy-conscious users, as the omnibox entries may be logged by service providers while providing search suggestions etc. Thankfully, Chrome allows users to disable such features of omnibox, described in this tutorial.

omnibox search suggestions and URL prediction

Disable Search Suggestions and URL Prediction

If you find omnibox’s search suggestions and URL prediction annoying, you can disable it from the Settings page of Chrome. Open the Settings page from the main menu of Chrome, scroll to the bottom and click on the “Show advanced settings …” link.

chrome-Show-Advanced-Settings

Now, under the Privacy section, uncheck the option “Use a prediction service to help complete searches and URLs typed in the address bar”. This should disable the search suggestions and URL prediction in the omnibox.

disable-omnibox-chrome

Disable Chrome Instant

Although this feature is disabled by default in Chrome, but if you have enabled it manually, you should disable it too. When enabled, Chrome Instant feature loads search engine results instantly as the users type query in the omnibox. The instant search feature works only when it is supported by your default search engine. Of course, Google supports it.

disable-chrome-instant-search

To disable the Chrome Instant, visit the Settings page and uncheck the option “Enable Instant for faster searching” under the Search settings, as shown in the above screenshot.

Posted by Arpit Kumar on June 30, 2014.

Arpit Kumar is a web enthusiast watching browsers for long. He maintains several open-sourced browser-based tools including many popular extensions. Follow Arpit on Twitter, or email him at arpit[@]browsernative.com.

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6 Responses

  1. Loek99 says:

    It does not work for me.
    I’m not sure if we are talking about the same.
    My complain is this:
    Since 1999 I was able to type my search string at Google at the middle of the screen.
    Now (since a few months) as soon as I a enter a key, the centered search field of Google disappears. It appears (with the input) at the left top of the browser screen, so called omnibox or address field, whatever.
    I just can’t believe this brutality of Google. I just want to type my text at the center field of Google. Please do not start about prediction settings turning on or off, that is not the case. I want to type physically in the middle, since I ‘ve always done that, and because it’s a natural place to look at. Last but not least: The search field IS centered at the Google website. But it is fake. Once I enter a key it jumps to the top. I would appreciate if you have the answer! I can’t find any setting at Chrome/flags. I think it is Google-related, not Chrome related. I’m not sure. Hope you have the answers. thanks.

  2. Arpit says:

    @Loek: Yes, you are right, it a recently added *feature* of Google. :(

  3. Regina says:

    I do not like it either; and what is so dull-witted is you leave the search box in the middle; then ASA you start typing in it, it flies up to the top–is that being work-shy or indolent—or too expensive to get it off the screen??? I’m sure you guys make enough money to hire more people to have them get rid of the middle box altogether–it really looks sloppy, guys, get some class!!

  4. Mouse Cookie says:

    This is bullshit. I hate this omnibox that keeps popping up in my left hand screen. This not only takes away the “I’m feeling lucky” feature, but totally redundant. I LOVE my searches in the middle of the screen and I will also search in my address bar, but I sure ain’t gonna search in the top left corner of a screen. I’m heading to Safari and using bing. Google just screwed themselves.

  5. Omnibox Killer says:

    Chrome should have a simple setting to turn on or turn off omnibox search box. the suggestions allow Google to record your input and later show related ads on their basis. this is against privacy of users.

  6. Steve says:

    I’m over it now, google have stuffed chrome up so bad that I’m going back to FF. I just updated & lost my favourites tab & am furious about it.

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