New Google Chrome flag will show the full URL in the omnibox on desktop

New Google Chrome flag will show the full URL in the omnibox on desktop

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One of the things people like about the Chrome browser is its simple design. While it may not feel lightweight in terms of performance, the interface is still clean and simple. Sometimes, however, that simplicity can be taken too far. Chrome 76 removed part of the URL from the omnibox, but a new Chrome flag can bring it back.

Starting in Chrome 76, the omnibox doesn’t display the full URL. Everything before the website name (www, HTTP or HTTPS) is cut off. So “https://www.xda-developers.com” looks like “xda-developers.com.” You have to click twice in the omnibox to see the full URL (one click highlights the URL, a second click shows the full thing). This behavior has annoyed many developers, as documented in this feedback thread.

Google made the decision to “make URLs easier to read and understand, and to remove distractions from the registrable domain.” They claim these URL components are “irrelevant to most Chrome users.” While that may be true, they are relevant to some, and there’s currently no built-in method to bring them back. Google’s current “official” solution is to use the “Suspicious Site Reporter” extension.

Thankfully, a new commit in the Chromium Gerrit adds a flag for a context menu option in the omnibox to show the full URL. One this is toggled on it will stay on. The commit has not been merged yet, but when it is it will be at chrome://flags#context-menu-show-full-urls. The flag will only be available for Chrome on desktop. We’re glad Google is at least thinking about this, but people have been complaining for a long time.