I like Google Chrome because it is fast but I don't like using the arrow keys in the location bar to complete URLs. Is there any extension, or setting I'm missing, that allows me to use the Tab key (or other customizable key) for completion like in Firefox?

I am an Emacs user and am aware of Conkeror. I just wanted to give Google Chrome a fair chance.

Edit: I'm using version on Linux.

More here: http://www.reddit.com/r/programming/comments/algs4/ask_proggit_does_anyone_else_hate_using_the_arrow/

Edit 2010-05-18: I still find it frustrating to use the Google Chrome Omnibox. Besides a lack of tab-completion, Google provides too many extraneous suggestions. When I want to find a URL in my history, it should not suggest Google searches and vice versa.

Edit 2010-05-26: I upgraded to 5.0.375.55 beta (on Ubuntu 10.04). The tab key still does not appear to be used for completion. Is there a setting I can configure?

I've found some fellow Omnibox haters here: http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/Chrome/thread?tid=0e2820d8fd74c847&hl=en

I agree with cool boy's comments:

I think it does have this feature after all, but it could use some further improvement/tweaking. A few things i've noticed: first of all and should be the most obvious, it's considerably slower than Firefox, which is probably why i didn't notice it even working before. Takes about 4-5 seconds before some entries pop up. Secondly, i think maybe the search method is dfferent than FF? I think it's searching through my entire browse history, but i'm not sure if it takes "most recent website visited" or "most popular/frequented website" into account. All I know is that in FF, sometimes all i have to do is type in the first two or three letters of the word of the title, and BAM it's the first result. In Chrome, i typed out the entire word and it takes about 5 seconds to search

Here is an article which provides a list of command-line options: http://www.waltercedric.com/component/content/article/261-google/1713-google-chrome-exhaustive-command-line-switches.html

  • How is this programming related? Jan 4, 2010 at 22:26
  • Have you tried the latest beta? I'm using 5.0.375.38 beta on Ubuntu 10.04.
    – wag2639
    May 19, 2010 at 19:51
  • wag2639: thanks for your comment. see my edit above.
    – saltycrane
    May 26, 2010 at 18:57

4 Answers 4


It's a bug/miss/whatever, please go here and vote for it:

http://code.google.com/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=18251 (Issue 18251: Using Tab Key To Browse Address Bar History Broken)


I know its NOT an answer to your question, but I would nevertheless go with it. Try using firefox nightly build, if you're that sort of person. Okay, it won't open as fast as chrome itself, but its much faster than Fx 3.6 and as fast as chrome for all other tasks. As for the address bar, Fx awesome bar stands up to its name, and is really awesome. You can use tabs to navigate, and I rarely have to type a full address. You just type the first few letters, press tabs and you're done. Whats better is that it also has a much better search functionality than most people think it does, and its actually better than chrome. See here: http://home.iitk.ac.in/~ashishag/writings/smartsearch/smartsearch.php

  • Actually my main reason for using Chrome was not because of the speed benefits but because Firefox kept crashing on me on Ubuntu 10.04. So stability is important to me... Thanks for the answer. I will keep experimenting.
    – saltycrane
    Jul 21, 2010 at 18:21

Umm, it works already? What version of Chrome are you running?

Edit: my bad, I saw tab completion in Chrome, but it isn't for everything. For example, start typing facebook and it will tell you to press tab to search facebook.

However, hitting "enter" will go to the item in the top of the list.

  • I edited my question to include the version number.
    – saltycrane
    Jan 4, 2010 at 22:24
  • i saw that chrome uses the tab key for that other purpose-- it looks like it might me useful but i haven't tried it. thanks for the reply anyways. i checked out your website-- it looks like we have a few common interests.
    – saltycrane
    Jan 6, 2010 at 0:32

To cycle the results with TAB was only fixed for Windows, https://code.google.com/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=57748#c84

Vote on these bugs to get it fixed for Linux and Mac:

On Mac OS X you can use CTRL+N and CTRL+P to step through the results.

EDIT: TAB works now on OSX in latest Canary: https://code.google.com/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=116309#c12

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