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How can I prevent Chrome/Chromium from searching via the address bar unless I explicitly start with "?" or any other keyword?

I'm trying to avoid searches where I'd rather have an error message stating invalid url.

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2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

You can add a new search engine in preferences, set URL to %s and use it as the default one - this will produce the message you want instead of actually searching.

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Nice, although I cannot use Ctrl+K anymore it is only one more character typing for search: "Ctrl+L g <search>" –  phq Dec 1 '10 at 8:16

More likely it's your ISP or DNS that redirect if you type in a invalid URL. If you type an URL that is invalid you should get this message: This webpage is not available.You might get this too: Oops! Google Chrome could not find....

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You are talking about non existing URLs(domain names), my question is about invald urls. For example "invalid url" –  phq Dec 1 '10 at 8:11

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