Google has tried multiple times for years to dumb down the internet by simplifying Chrome’s “scary” address bar. It first tried to erode the URL entirely by showing just search terms in the omnibox, but its impractical design forced Google to retire it. The developers recently tried to simplify the omibox again — this time hiding all parts of the web address except the domain name. While it received a fair amount of criticism from users, Google defended its decision to move forward, citing its intention to help people better identify malicious sites. But now it seems that Google has reconsidered things, as it recently decided to close the curtains on its experiment.
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.
The change is already live in Chrome 91, so you won’t need to do anything special to access the address bar. Only “https://” is hidden by default now — to show this too, right-click Chrome’s omnibox and select “Always show full URLs.” To us, it sounds like Google gave in to the public backlash and listened to feedback, rather than alienating power users.