Mastering Google Chrome Search Function

Every Friday I’ll publish a Google Chrome tutorial article. Want to learn more and master this state of the art browser? SUBSCRIBE to RSS feed or email updates to get more!

Probably most of you must have used the Google Chrome search function before.  The quickest way to perform a search in Chrome is by typing the word in the address bar and hit enter.  Google Chrome is famous for combining search with address bar (to become the Omnibox).

But to perform a search in Google Chrome is more than just using the Omnibox.  In this post I’ll walk you through some of the most useful search-related functions and settings in Google Chrome.


Google Chrome Search with Omnibox

The use of address bar as search bar is smart.  Nowadays many internet users open a browser to search for something: dog training tips, pop star news, bargain deals, recipes…  Why bother to go to first?  While many other browsers place a search box to the right of the address bar, Google takes a further step by dissolving it into the address bar.

To search in Google Chrome, simply enter the words in the address bar and press <Enter>.  By default Chrome remembers your browsing history, whenever you type in something it tries to match it with sites you previously visited before.  So you may not even need to perform a search before you found what you want.

Google Chrome Search - Omnibox

Source: Google Chrome Introductory Comic

If you are more used to control your computer with keyboard shortcuts, you can press <Alt> + <D> to move the focus to the address bar in Windows (<⌘> + <L> in Mac and <Ctrl> + <L> in Linux).


Search Using Texts on Page

Sometimes when you read a web page you find something interesting that you want to know more about.  Instead of copying the words and paste to the address bar, you can select the words and right click.  Choose “Search Google for ‘your search term‘”.  If you have other default search engines configured in Chrome, you will see its name instead of Google.

Google Chrome Search - Search Texts

For Windows users only, you can also select words on a web page and drag to the address bar.  Chrome will load your default search engine.


Temporarily Switching Search Engine

What do you do if you (for some reason) want to search NOT using Google but other search engines?  There is no need to go to the search engine’s web site.  You can do it right from the address bar by typing  in the name of the search engine, e.g. yahoo, then press <Tab>.  You can then enter the search term and press <Enter>.

Google Chrome Search - Alternative Search Engines


Changing Default Search Engine

Or if you are determined to make a change, please click the wrench icon on the top right corner, select Options in Windows (Preferences on Mac and Linux and Settings on Chromebook) and choose “Basics”.  Look for the following section.

Google Chrome Search - Default Search Engine

Click “Manage search engines”.  This is where you can choose the default search engines by clicking “make default”.

Google Chrome Search - Search Engines


Topic/Site Specific Search Engines

Apart from the big heads like Google, Yahoo! and Bing, you can actually ask Chrome to limit your search to more specific search engines and web sites.  For example, the library of a high school may want their computers to search within the library web catalog by default.  As long as the web site has a search function, most likely you can make it as the default search engine.

Google Chrome Search - Specific Search Engines

On the same “Manage search engines” tab, you can find a list of “Other search engines” underneath the big heads.  Chrome puts the web sites you have visited before which have search function in here.  Just click “make default” next to the web site.  For example, if you want Chrome to get you recipes only, make as the default option.

You can also add a new search engine if it is not already on the list.  Scroll all the way to the bottom, you can find a row where you can enter the details of your preferred search engine.  You’ll need to find out the web address of this site.  You can do it by performing a search on that web site, copy down the result page’s URL, then replace the search term with “%s”.  For example, the address for is “”.

Google Chrome search - Add a new Search Engine

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...