1. Home
  2. Web

How to force Chrome to prioritize URLs over search terms

Chrome remembers what terms you’ve recently searched for. It’s been able to do this for quite a while. The URL bar, or the omnibar, in Chrome can look up your recent searches, frequently visited URLs, and bookmarks. Lately, Chrome has begun to prioritize searches over URLs. This means that if you recently searched for ‘yeti pictures’ and later type in Y in the URL bar expecting the first result to be YouTube, you’re instead going to get ‘Yeti pictures’ as the first option. YouTube will likely be in the list of suggestions, just further down. This is a bug. Here’s how you can force Chrome to prioritize URLs over search terms.

Force Chrome to prioritize URLs over searches

Open Chrome and in the URL bar, enter the following;

chrome://flags

Tap enter to go to the Chrome Flags page. Use the search bar at the top to look for a flag called “Omnibox Google Drive Document Suggestions”. Open the dropdown next to it, and select Disabled from the menu. Relaunch Chrome and it should start prioritizing URLs over search results.

This is a bug, not a feature. If you decide to set the value of this flag to Enabled, Chrome will not start to prioritize search results over URLs. It doesn’t work both ways. This flag is meant to show items from your Google Drive when you search in the URL bar in Chrome. For some reason, it fixes whatever is causing the bug.

The bug doesn’t effect all users but it does seem to effect a good number of them. It’s possible it might fix itself if you reset Chrome or do a clean install of the browser however, if you’re not willing to try that at the risk that it may not work, this fix really is the best option.

An update to the browser may fix the problem as well. If this flag doesn’t do the trick, wait a few weeks for the next Chrome update to arrive. It is possible that a simple update will do the trick. Google hasn’t acknowledged this bug so the next update isn’t likely going to contain an explicit fix for it but an update may fix whatever is broken.

If you’re looking for a way to remove a search result altogether from the omnibox, regardless of what order it appears in, you can do so by tapping the Shift+Delete key on your keyboard with the search term highlighted. If you search for the same term again though, it will return and you will have to remove it again.

Leave a comment