Google has updated its Chrome browser to edition 107 A few days ago. It fixed some security issues and brought a few new features, including a way to compare search results directly from the sidebar.
Search results are not always accurate, sometimes you may land on pages that provide very little information or do not contain the instructions you were looking for. What do you do then? Usually most people go back to the search results and try a different result. The new side panel functionality is designed to help you out, except you don’t have to close the tab to access the search results again.
How to Use Search from Google Chrome Side Panel
1. Go to Google.com and search for something. e.g. Windows 11, iPhone, Pixel
2. Press the Enter key to display the search results and open one of the pages by clicking on its link as you normally would.
3. Once the webpage has loaded, you will see a G icon appear in the address bar. Click on it.
4. This opens the side panel in Chrome, it shows other search results matching your query. (see the 1st screenshot)
Note: You can close the side panel by pressing the X button in the sidebar or by clicking the side panel button on the toolbar. This will put the G icon back in the address bar, which you can use to reopen the results if needed.
5. Click on one of the links in the sidebar and Chrome will load the result in the current tab, i.e. you will lose the existing page. To avoid this, you can use the middle mouse button or right-click on the link and select Open in new tab.
Although Google announcement referred to this as a search comparison function, you can actually use it to rerun the search, i.e. make new queries by adding more words. It also means you can even search for something completely different. For example, if I was looking for plane tickets and went to one of the results, but then wanted to quickly check the weather, sports scores, or movie times without leaving the current page, I can use search in the side panel. It’s kind of like a mini-browser in Chrome, which can be useful.
The new search feature is enabled by default, although you won’t find any way to manage it in the browser’s Settings page.
How to Disable Search Option in Side Panel in Google Chrome
Here’s what to do if you don’t want the G icon to appear in your address bar or want to disable the feature altogether.
- Open chrome://flags/
- Type the words “Side Search” in the search bar.
- Chrome will list a direct match, click the drop-down menu next to it and select Disabled.
You will need to restart the browser for the change to take effect. Side panel search is available in Google Chrome 107 and above in the Stable channel.
Google is not the first browser to add search from the sidebar, Microsoft Edge has a sidebar with a similar option, and has more features.
Have you tried searching in the Chrome side panel? Share your opinion with us.