I have a lot of extra search engines in Google Chrome, all but one of which were automatically added by Chrome when I used the search form on various websites. For example, typing "youtube" in the address bar prompts me "Press Tab to search YouTube Video Search".

Most of the time, this is very useful. However, sometimes I want to search Google for a query that starts with a word that is a search keyword. For example, Chrome's chosen keyword for searching the Chef Supermarket is chef. This means that I can't search Google for any term that starts with "Chef" because Google automatically jumps to the Chef search.

The hack that I used to use to get around this was to preface the keyword with a single space character which prevented Chrome from seeing the first word. However, this doesn't seem to work anymore.

I know that I could just change the search keyword for the particular search for "chef" to allow that particular query, but that's fixing the symptom, not the problem. For example, the same problem could happen when searching for "Amazon River".

One thing I noticed is that while the text says "Press Tab ...", Chrome actually does the search when I press either Tab or Space. Is there a way to set it to only search on Tab?

1 Answer 1


You can just use ? as the first character to search using the default search engine.

You might also find Ctrl + K useful; this transfers focus to the search bar (if you weren't there already) and adds a ? so you can begin a search.

  • For some reason, they also have <kbd>Ctrl + E</kbd> do the same thing...
    – Moshe Katz
    Apr 1, 2015 at 21:21

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .