I have a lot of really useful custom search engines in Chrome, as well as extensions that use the chrome omnibox. I do the following operation many times a day to access those search engines:

  • Bring chrome to the front
  • Open a new tab
  • Type in my keyword and search term

Specifically selecting Chrome to bring to the front is by far the slowest part of that operation (that's because it's context-dependant - it depends on how many applications you have in front of it if you use alt-tab to tab through your open applications, or where your mouse is if you select chrome from your taskbar).

Far better would be to have a global keyboard shortcut that opens a new tab in Chrome from whatever you're doing and selects the omnibar. That would be completely context-free and you can let your muscle memory do the hard work.

Is there any way to configure this? Preferably natively in windows, but failing that with a Chrome extension.


Looks like the same question was asked for OSX.

w00t's solution of using a chrome extension with a global keyboard shortcut has the advantage of being OS-agnostic (and if I install it on Chrome on my windows machine I have it available on my Mac when I log in to my Chrome account).


Depends on what OS your using...

  • Windows Will work.

  • Mac will probably work.

  • Chrome OS will eventually work.

  • Linux Maybe? No test environment available for me.

    Windows: Download Autohotkey from Here then look into custom keyboard shortcuts.

Your best bet to get this done on windows is to use the following code:

(Keyboard Function here):: run, "http://URL-example.com/*"

Working Example:

$^a & n::
run, "http://google.com"

Save as .ahk Then run and press Ctrl+A+N to test/use.

You can also compile this script into a .exe file using ahk2exe.exe found inside of C:\Program Files\AutoHotkey\Compiler

That example opens google.com in your default browser on keyboard function: Ctrl+A+N (or Ctrl+N+A).

Now chrome OS users should be expecting OS wide extension hot-keys soon.

To make your extension have new tab capabilities just make the following files:

Directory: C:\Users\You\Documents\NewTabExtension.. -->



"name": "New Tab",
"version": "0.0.1",
"manifest_version": 2,
"description": "Press Alt+X to get started",

"browser_action": {
  "default_title": "New Tab",   
  "default_popup": "popup.html"

"commands": {
  "_execute_browser_action": {
    "suggested_key": {
      "windows": "Alt+X",
      "mac": "Alt+X",
      "chromeos": "Alt+X",
      "linux": "Alt+X"


Change the parts after "Windows":, "Linux":, "mac":, And especially "chromeos": to whatever shortcut you want (Note: CANNOT be a built in browser function listed here)


<!DOCTYPE html>
<script src="popup.js"></script>


document.getElementsByTagName('head')[0].onload = window.open('http://google.com', '_blank');

This second method works for chrome OS and potentially mac, windows, & linux as long as they are allowed to be ran in the background. See Here for how to install your extension.

Last things last: Mac OS...

Mac OS Potentially will react fine to the extension option. However you must not Command+Q the window or else the shortcut will be null in void. I also know that Mac OS has a built in function for keyboard shortcut customization; However I am not familiar with that so you would have to mess around with that.

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