OS X user here. I'm currently learning both Vim and Vimium, it's been really fun. A major annoyance with Chrome is that I can press Cmd+L to highlight the address bar, but I can't unselect it without clicking on anywhere on the page (and resume to normal navigation). How do I (using the keyboard only) unselect the address bar in Chrome?

P.S. Sorry if this has been asked already. I just cannot find the combination of search terms in Google as what I'm searching for is a bit descriptive


I am not a OS X user, but I think this should be the same as in Windows,press the Tab once or more time after selecting the Chrome address bar with Ctrl+L. In Windows pressing F6 once or more times will deselect the omnibox in chrome, but I don't know if this will work also in OS X, it is worth a try.

  • 1
    Thanks @Devid. Yup, that works as a workaround. When I try here in SuperUser though, when I press Tab, it selects the next HTML element or something. So when I attempt to scroll using j on Vimium, an error beep occurs. I can press j again, and I end up in the SuperUser search box. From there I can unselect it and navigate using keyboard. I would much rather that I just plain unselect the address bar with no side effects such as selecting HTML elements. Mar 8 '14 at 20:12
  • In windows there is also F6 and pressing it 3 times deselects the omnibox without side effects. Maybe there is something similar in OS X
    – Devid
    Mar 8 '14 at 20:25
  • 1
    Best answer!!!!
    – laike9m
    Oct 10 '15 at 7:39
  • @DaryllSantos If this answer worked for you (it did for me) you can select it as your answer.
    – Spotlight
    May 17 '16 at 15:33

I've had the same issue but I found a simple hack. Just go to your Chrome settings and click manage search engines. Then add a new search engine with 'javascript:' as the url, and whatever word or key you want for the shortcut. I use Vim with jj or kk mapped to esc, so I used those two keys as the shortcut for my Chrome.


  • Two problems: can't set the custom engine as default. Two: how do you map a key-combo to escape? Just map jj <Esc>? Jun 23 '15 at 8:29

Since you are presumably a superuser in addition to using OS X, here is my Karabiner .xml that enables me to exit the omnibox with Command_L + ; (ø on Norw/Danish keyboards). Change to whatever keycombo you need:

<?xml version="1.0"?>

    <appendix>Use ø (;) to exit the satanically moronic omnibox in chrome.</appendix>

      KeyCode::SEMICOLON, ModifierFlag::COMMAND_L,

      __{ KeyCode::TAB, KeyCode::TAB, KeyCode::ESCAPE, }__

What it does is execute the key-sequence TAB TAB ESC when you trigger it. This makes the first HTML element selected so it is kind of a hack.

I'd personally just remap ESC to ESC ESC in Karabiner so that ESC drops out of the omnibox, but that might interfere with your usage/lead to uninteded consequences.

(I could not get Wang's answer to work)

Edit: This seems like a more robust way to do it in karabiner:

<?xml version="1.0"?>
    <name>Mouse Warping</name>
      <url type="shell">
                 /Applications/Karabiner.app/Contents/Library/utilities/bin/warp-mouse-cursor-position screen 0 bottom 0 right 0
      <name>F14 to move the mouse to the center of the current window</name>
        KeyCode::A, KeyCode::K,

My first answer works for most sites, but for sites with many search boxes you need more than x tab clicks.

The code immediately above moves your cursor to the bottom left (i.e. edge of chrome window) and presses the left mouse-key once, selecting the window without any side-effects. This deselects the omnibox. I use A+K (home row, baby!) simultaneously to do this, but you will probably want to choose your own.

If you REALLY don't want to use the trackpad or have no mouse
  • How to leave focus from address bar without mouse or trackpad
    • We can press the trackpad to leave the address bar (when the mouse is at browser area, usually it's)
    • I avoid to use trackpad as possible as I can as my fingers hurt when use trackpad.
    • Luckily, we can add a custom search engine like below at chrome://settings/searchEngines.
    • Then we can type l then enter to go back to the browser area.

Check here for more Chrome tips and tricks


There are several Vimium feature requests for this BTW with the intention of enabling that for ESC, but the devs said there is no available API:

So I just use the Tab workaround mentioned at https://superuser.com/a/726451/128124 for now.

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