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Google Chrome 88 disabled space bar shortcut for custom engine searches, but you can fix it

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Google tries to improve its engine more and more every day, and recently, Chrome 88 brought better password protection, incognito screenshots, and another bunch of updates for the engine.

However, some of the users also faced drawbacks because of this addition. Apparently, Chrome 88 has a disabled the space bar shortcut, which was used for custom engine searches.

Many of us are already aware of the space bar shortcut and the custom search engines we could invoke with custom keywords followed by hitting the space bar or tab.

Previously, we were able to give custom names of our choice to any of the websites and use those custom names while searching. For example, if the users gave the custom name “Fav” to Facebook, they would have searched for Facebook easily by typing the custom name “Fav” on the space bar shortcut.

But after the recent Chrome 88 addition, some users reported that they are not able use this feature anymore. This could be inconvenient to many users who are already used to this feature.

How do you know if you are affected?

Google makes changes to its search engines very often; sometimes they are not even noticeable. So, how do you know that you are affected or not?

The new space bar-less search comes with a small interface tweak that helps you easily detect it. Instead of the old “Press Tab to search”, the new space bar has a bubble in the results, saying “Search”.

How do you fix it?

If you are affected by this and don’t know what to do, don’t worry. We are here for help.

Apparently, all the changes came because of a server-side test that’s hidden behind the following flags:

  • chrome://flags/#omnibox-keyword-search-button 
  • chrome://flags/#omnibox-suggestion-button-row

The users who want to go back to the old-style space bar can copy and paste either of these addresses into their URL bar, tap on ‘Disabled’ and restart their browser.

This change is nothing major, and it will not affect our browser that much. It is only a matter of look and convenience. If you are satisfied with the changes, then there is no need to use the flags.

But, if this feature becomes permanent and you want the old style back, then feel free to use them, of course.


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