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?

10 Answers 10


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 :

local.dev/ben is treated as search


local.dev/ben/ its working fine
  • 2
    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
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    Does not work for my improved nodejs server Does not work! – hitautodestruct May 25 '15 at 14:52
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    @hitautodestruct is not a valid ip address, it's a placeholder address that generally means default route in routing, or all ipv4 addresses on the host for services. You would need to reach it via a valid ip address assigned to your host. – Steve Buzonas Jan 16 '17 at 20:53

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

  • 2
    That's a neat trick. I'll have to try it out! – afrazier Nov 6 '11 at 1:27
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    @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
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    It's no longer possible to set 'null' as keyword as of Chrome v26. – skolima Apr 8 '13 at 13:20
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    @skolima It's possible in v27.0 – svandragt May 14 '13 at 10:03
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    @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
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    In Chrome 54 this is in "Show Advanced Settings" on the bottom of about://settings page. – DanFromGermany Nov 23 '16 at 9:00

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

  • Doesn't work in Chrome 69 even using :80 – Marco Demaio Jan 7 at 16:44

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 '16 at 1:13

In latest chrome settings - Advanced settings

enter image description here

  • Thanks, that is the only sane solution – BillyTom Sep 20 '18 at 12:06

I had to add google.co.in with the search string: http://google.com/search?q=%s 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.

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

I had the same issue with Chrome on my Android phone. I resolved it similar to @Rik suggestion.

For mobile Chrome:

  1. Go to Settings -> Privacy
  2. Untick Navigation error suggestions
  • i had to untick "navigation error suggestions" and "search and site suggestions" (the first two options) before chrome stopped turning my urls to search queries. afterwards i could enable both settings and chrome still opened my urls as it should. bad chrome. bad propietary black box chrome. i am using firefox kthxbye – lesmana Apr 30 '18 at 12:20

I've found that in Linux Debian on Chrome Version 69.0.3497.100 (Official Build) (64-bit) the opposite of chifliiiii's answer is true (no trailing slash avoids a search), but adding a hash after the url works nicely.

So http://project.local/dir/#foo or simply http://project.local/dir do the trick.


It is really annoying, chrome everytime cuts off protocol and everytime suggests as file://. Try add right url to Bookmarks. Then Chrome will show on the first place right address (marked with star).

chrome omnibox

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