Google going back to showing full URL in Chrome omnibox

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In recent years Google has tried to shorten the URL in its omnibox search bar in order to help Chrome users better spot malicious websites in its browser. Unfortunately, however, it has not had the desired effect, with the experiment reportedly being cancelled and the full URL now being shown in Chrome.

This according to developer documents unearthed by Android Police, which confirms that the entire URL will be shown moving forward.

“In a recent update announced on the Chromium bug tracker, a developer writes that hiding the URL didn’t really end up improving user security in the way that was hoped, so they’re going to shut down the experiment,” writes the publication.

Furthermore, as Hacker News pointed out back when this decision to continue with shortened URLs was taken, that this poses a potential problem with the desktop and mobile versions of the same site, with the “www.” or “m.” portion of the address creating confusion and a route for nefarious attacks.

“The change is already live in Chrome 91, so you won’t need to do anything special to access the address bar.”

Once the latest iteration of Chrome 91 updates on your browser, only the “https://” will be omitted from the address bar as default. Should you wish to see all of the information, you can right click on the omnibox address bar and select the “Always Show Full URLs” option.

Hopefully Google has now realised the error of its ways and will keep this change in place.

[Image – Photo by on Unsplash]

Robin-Leigh Chetty

Robin-Leigh Chetty

When he's not reviewing the latest smartphones, Robin-Leigh is writing about everything tech-related from IoT and smart cities, to 5G and cloud computing. He's also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games.