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.

Search & URL Suggestions, History and Bookmarks

chrome-omnibox-search-suggestions

When you start typing in the omnibox, it shows or auto-completes using three types of data: Search Suggestions and URL prediction provided by any provider (actually, Google), your browsing history and your bookmarked items. If you want to disable omnibox completely, you need to turn off or delete these three features.

You can clear browsing history by using the keyboard shortcut CTRL + SHIFT + DELETE as explained in this article. To remove bookmarks, open the built-in Bookmarks Manager of Google Chrome using the keyboard shortcut CTRL + SHIFT + O (O as in Omnibox, and not zero).

clear-chrome-browsing-history

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

Related: How to Delete Omnibox History in Chrome?

arpit

Posted by Arpit

Arpit is a web enthusiast watching browsers for long. He maintains several browser-based tools including many popular extensions. Follow Arpit on Twitter, or email him at editor@browsernative.com.
Post last updated on October 22, 2016.

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26 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.

  7. Tom says:

    Pretty sure they force your searches in the adress bar for tracking purposes?

  8. Stephen says:

    From what I’ve found… clicking a new tab opens a page that looks like Google but it’s not the real google..hence when you type, it moves to the address bar which is called the omnibox. There is no way to disable the omnibox.

    Open chrome settings, under ‘Search’, it will say
    Set which search engine is used when searching from the omnibox.
    Choose another search engine… Once something else is selected or created, clicking new tab will not SHOW google anymore and only your recent websites. This will remove confusion that you are on the google home page.

    Go to google.com and click on search settings. Under the heading ‘Google Instant predictions’, click ‘Never show instant results’.
    What happens is, when you open google.com via typing it in or setting it as your home page, when you type in the middle of the screen, your text will stay in the middle of the screen and not move to the stupid search bar.

    It be great if I can click ‘new tab’ in chrome and it navigates to the home page but this won’t work for now. So you just have to click the home page button when opening new tab.

    Happy to help :)

  9. DonMoody says:

    “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.”

    Really? Really? The Omnibox is one of the worst additions to Chrome – certainly not a ‘best’ anything. I stopped using Chrome after this addition. I recently tried Chrome again and – again – have stopped using it because of this ‘feature’.

  10. RatherImpertinent says:

    @DonMoody,

    Omnibox is Google’s term for the address bar in Chrome. Chrome’s address bar has been around since Chrome’s inception and has been called omnibox for years.

    Your village just called…

  11. daryl says:

    i got the first part correct its done but the second part when you have to uncheck the box enable instant for faster searching there is no box on my settings. So could some help me with this i was wondering maybe it could be an old version of chrome

  12. Arpit Kumar says:

    @daryl: yeah, Chrome Instant has gone.

  13. brandy says:

    I thought I was the only one.. I have been trying to figure this out for the past 3 hours.. so now I know there is no way out, I kindly went right to settings and change my default search engine to Bing.. I am not sure why google have not changed this since everyone is complaining about it… the sad part is I actually like Google and I have my essays and all of that stuff on (I was a click a way from all of that) but I will be sticking to Bing until google decide to change that feature…

  14. Luna says:

    Brandy…same here. I’ve spent the last couple hours trying to figure this out….with no answers until now. I kept thinking the same thing….why don’t I have Chrome Instant like everyone else. I just realized it had to be on an older version.

  15. Debra Donohoe says:

    Yup, there’s no way around this with Chrome’s native settings. HOWEVER, you can download a nifty Chrome extension called “Custom new tab” from the Chrome web store (click the link at the bottom of the Chrome/Settings/Extensions page) and set it to open google.com every time a new tab is opened. Wow, fixes that idiot omnibox issue RIGHT NOW! And by the way, the app requires NO special permissions.

  16. john says:

    I have a simple, eloquent solution for this problem, just dump Chrome! Really, this is what we did at our workplace, why bother with annoying software?

  17. A Quick says:

    1. Make your home page and default search https://www.google.com/webhp?complete=0&gws_rd=ssl (SSL).
    2. Add extension “New Tab Redirect”. Set the url thus: https://www.google.com/webhp?complete=0&gws_rd=ssl.

    I think I fixed it!

  18. cralos says:

    proof that there are VERY stup1d people working @ google.

  19. Daniel Willén says:

    What a fuc***g joke. I’m switching to another browser for good, and getting rid of my chromebook. It’s disgusting how despite having spent HOURS trying to disable

    1) I am NOT logged into chrome as any user.
    2) I have DISABLED the prediction service in the options menu
    3) I have tried SHIFT+DELETE (or shift+alt+backspace) yet it doesn’t work.

    Yeah, enjoy removing your history data one by one and getting annoyed by the omnibox. What’s even worse is that I recently found out that your google searches are STORED FOR THE USER unless you turn it off.

    Whatever happened to simple “google”? The one were it just made a search, didn’t offer to save make your private life public. Disgust*ng piece of software. I am DONE.

  20. Mike says:

    I know I’ve been lazy and not using enough different browsers, so I guess this is Google’s way of telling us they don’t want us here and we should go back to FF or Bing. OK, OK, I can take a hint. Bye. I’ll see y’all at FF.

  21. regedit says:

    yeah i dumped chrome a while back, not for the reason everyone here’s talking about, cos Chrome got too big for their boots long ago. Was a good browser, but not anymore.
    and this omnibox thing is just another reason to leave.

  22. andy says:

    A QUICK. this trick works. Thanks for the help.

  23. Zack Barkely says:

    I think the omnibox searches are not pure searches. I suspect there is some kind of screening done by a 3rd party with less than pure motives. Many times websites cannot be accessed or search results are biased using omnibox, unlike the firefox or duckduckgo web searches which find them easily. My suspicion is that someone paid google a lot of dollars to create a functionally tiered internet through omnibox, which should be illegal if it is true. Regardless though any kind of ‘added control’ will in the end produce more limited search results. More investigation is needed.

  24. Bill Withers says:

    There is no version listed and there is no date on this article so that we can even try to GUESS what version of Chrome this is referring to. My version 48 does not have the options depicted here in the screenshots. So this solution is useless to me

  25. Suz says:

    You can add me to the list of folks who are not crazy about the omnibox. I was happy with using a search bar in the toolbar and leaving the address box for addresses. Now I have to type out the complete url for where I want to go. Before I could begin typing and the places I frequent would self populate into the address bar, negating my need to type more than a few characters. Now I have to type the entire url or scroll through search suggestions that are pure marketing. Addressing and searching are separate functions and should remain separate functions.

  26. Digby says:

    I absolutely HATE the omnibox. With the google search page in front of me I don’t want the sickening lurch up to the address bar. And I can’t turn it off.

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