Google chrome

Add a “real” search box to Google Chrome’s new tab page

Google’s Chrome web browser displays a search box on the web browser’s New Tab page by default. Web browser users may have noticed three things: first, that the search box is not displayed if most search engines are selected, second, that personalization options are only provided if Google is selected as the engine search, and third, that the search engine field is wrong.

To note: If you select Bing Search, you may notice that the search box is not wrong. It works just like the search box on the Bing homepage.

Google put the search box on Chrome’s New Tab page in 2012 and has kept it there ever since. The sole purpose of the search box is to provide users with another option to search using Google search. However, activating does not return any search results. The only effect of clicking or tapping on the search field is that the field in the address bar is activated.

In other words: the search field redirects input to the address bar. Users could use the address bar immediately instead and there would be no difference.

Some web browser users may not like the feature. I don’t like it because it offers no advantage over performing searches directly from the address bar.

Google Chrome has an experimental flag that users can turn on that turns the fake search box into a real search box.

Note that this only works if Google Search is the search provider in the Chrome browser.

real chrome new tab search box

Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Load the following address by typing it into Chrome’s address bar: chrome://flags/
  2. Find the actual search box in the New Tab page. You can also skip the first two steps by loading chrome://flags/#ntp-realbox directly.
  3. Set the flag status to Enabled.
  4. Restart the Chrome browser.

When you open a New Tab page in Chrome after restarting and start typing in the search field, you will notice that it is now active and no longer redirects to the address bar. Google Chrome returns suggestions as you type based on browsing history but also Google search.

Now you: What do you think of search boxes on New Tab pages? (via Ask VG)


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Add a “real” search box to Google Chrome’s new tab page

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Find out how to turn the fake Google search box on Chrome’s New Tab page into a real search box that actually works!


Martin Brinkman


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