After Firefox broke my add-ons yet again, I decided to give Chrome a second look. To my surprise all the add-ons are available.

What I am missing though is the drop-down search bar. First, I've disabled the search from the location bar.

Now I want to add a combo box that is always visible where I can select the engine to do searching. I downloaded a search extension (Search Box), but it's an icon that needs to be clicked before you can interact with it:



I want a box that is always visible and can change the search engine from a drop-down. Is there an extension like this available in Chrome?

  • 2
    Have you considered adding short keywords for the different search engines? For example, if you specify "yt" for YouTube, you should be able to type yt and press Tab to search only YouTube.
    – Karan
    Oct 18 '12 at 15:47
  • That's not a bad idea, though still more typing. Typically I'll be doing a number of amazon,ebay, etc searches and having the bar always there is easier. I use the bar to search, not the site.
    – Brian
    Oct 18 '12 at 16:32
  • Firefox didn't break your add-ons. The add-on developer did by not maintaining it. They have ample time and notice to do such things.
    – Rob
    Oct 28 '12 at 15:14
  • @Rob Yeah, it's clearly a bad move on Mozilla part. Mozilla shouldn't be counting on the fact that developers of FREE plugins will have time to keep up with the rapid release cycles. I know I sure as hell wouldn't want to constantly maintain a code base just so it would keep working.
    – Brian
    Oct 28 '12 at 15:34
  • 1
    As @Karan suggested, keywords are the way to go - here's a tutorial on lifehacker which shows how - lifehacker.com/5476033/… Oct 28 '12 at 16:38

Chrome has an easy way to use alternate search engines built into the browser itself:

Chrome search engines

Search engines are automatically added as you browse, but you can add one manually by visiting Chrome's settings page: chrome://settings/searchEngines (Paste that Chrome-specific link into the address bar to get to the page in the screenshot above.)

To use these search engines, just start typing the name of the site you want to search into the Omnibar (address bar), then press Tab.

Press tab to search Wikipedia

Then type your query and hit Enter to search.

Searching Wikipedia

You can even change keyboard focus to the Omnibar with Ctrl+L, so you don't have to take your hands off the keyboard to begin a new search.

  • I still don't see that there is a way to select the search engine from the omnibar, which is what I would like to be able to do.
    – Brian
    Jun 25 '14 at 18:08
  • @rhooligan You select the search engine by typing, not with the mouse. I've added some screenshots illustrating this.
    – Ajedi32
    Jun 25 '14 at 18:18
  • 1
    Thanks for the clarification. I think this is a pretty good compromise to the drop down, it may even work out better.
    – Brian
    Jun 25 '14 at 18:32

Just for information:

Forcing compatibility in Firefox 16.0.XX:

1 - Navigate to about:config

2 - Add new Boolean value (Right click, New > Boolean): For Firefox 16.0.1 : extensions.checkCompatibility.16.0

3 - Set the value to false

4 - Restart.

Just like that you have all your old add-ons working, but keep in mind that anything can go wrong. If it does, try disabling each add-on.


The best extension that adds a proper search box to Google Chrome I know so far is SearchBar. This extension resembles me Google Toolbar. https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/searchbar/fjefgkhmchopegjeicnblodnidbammed

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