I would like to use Chrome's keyword search omnibox functionality to search a website which is not available to the public. When you type a search term with spaces in it in the website, the URL that gets produced looks like this:


Unfortunately when I type a search using the keyword in Chrome's omnibox, I get this:


Previous questions of Super User have had the opposite occur. That is the omnibox has converted their spaces to a %20 instead of a +. This answer indicates that chrome guesses which to use. Does anyone know of a way to hint to Chrome that it should use a %20 instead of a +?

2 Answers 2


I never found a way to do this, so I ended up writing an open source extension for Chrome. I'll warn you, it is hard coded to the https://privatewebsite.com/, so you won't be able to Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V it for your needs, but it is available under the MIT license for you to use as necessary.

I think the most important aspect of what I did was to use the encodeURIComponent(searchText) javascript function to get the %20's I needed.


I have the same problem, so I made a simple transit page (redirect_chrome_search.html) with the following JS to redirect to the target page:

let params = new URLSearchParams(window.location.search);
let url = params.get('url');
location = url + '?' + params.toString().replaceAll('+', '%20');

For Chrome's Query URL I use:


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