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I have a local Apache server running, which is defined through /etc/hosts as "apache". So I often open pages like:


Normally, this works fine. However, since I am using a more recent Chrome browser, at odd moments the browser decides that the URL I type is not a URL but actually a search, so it loads my default search engine and tries to find this URL. It often, but not always, shows a link under the address bar that says Did you mean to go to http://apache/website?. That is nice, but very annoying having to click here instead of going there directly. What makes Chrome behave this way? Can I fix this?

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I had the same problem and i found that typing the / at the end will always treat it as a url instead of keyword.

For example in my case : is treated as search

but its working fine
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+1: This should be the accepted answer! :) – Thomas Bratt Aug 2 '13 at 13:38
Saying that appending a / at the end will always treat it as a url instead of a keyword does not always hold true, for example scoped link local addresses will trigger a search even if a / is present: https://[fe80::1%eth0]/ – Tiernan Sep 26 '13 at 8:59
Does not work for my improved nodejs server Does not work! – hitautodestruct May 25 '15 at 14:52

You can implicitly do this by creating a new search engine with a URL of http://%s and keyword of null. Then, set this as the default search engine.

To get to the search engines page in chrome:

  • Open Settings panel.
  • Click Manage search engines... button under Search heading.
  • Search Engines pane has two sections: Default search engines and Other search engines
  • At the bottom of the Other search engines section, you'll see a form which we'll make use to add a new search engine.

Search Engines

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That's a neat trick. I'll have to try it out! – afrazier Nov 6 '11 at 1:27
@iglvzx Thanks, but this only works if I always want to open any keyword this way. I really like to keep using Google Search when typing other words, but I just don't want this to happen when I am typing a localhost URL. – user95156 Dec 28 '11 at 22:02
It's no longer possible to set 'null' as keyword as of Chrome v26. – skolima Apr 8 '13 at 13:20
@skolima It's possible in v27.0 – svandragt May 14 '13 at 10:03
@svandragt: v27 is now stable and unfortunately this is still disabled. Crap. – skolima May 22 '13 at 9:58

I got annoyed by this as well. I recently found out what caused it. Try disabling 'Use a web service to help resolve navigation errors'.

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This does not work if I then add to the URL. e.g. I load local.symphony-2.3 and then add /symphony or /symphony/ to the URL, chrome searches google for that phrase. – codecowboy Apr 20 '12 at 7:50
This works perfectly for me, thanks! – Nik Jun 18 '14 at 10:44

If you know the port you're using, you can specify it by hand like


instead of


In the first case, it won't be treated as a search request

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I had to add with the search string: to get both Google Search and URL search working.

Now if I want to browse URL I can just append 'http://whatever' and choose if i want to do a URL navigation or search.

@iglvzx's answer no longer seems to work in version 40 of Chrome. It looks like Null is not a valid entry anymore. I had to improvise as above to get this working.

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Hmm not working for me on Chrome 40. What an odd bug. – jfroom Jan 28 '15 at 20:47

Here's how to disable the ability to make searches from the address bar (omnibox) of Google Chrome:

  1. Open Google Chrome.
  2. Type chrome://flags in the address bar and press Enter.
  3. Scroll to Enable search button in Omnibox.
  4. Select Disabled.
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I don't have this option; what version are you using? – Ben N Feb 2 at 1:13

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