Google reins in the madness and brings some sanity to Chrome's address bar

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Over the years Google has made sweeping changes to Chrome, introducing all manner of features and options. The constant stream of Beta, Dev and Canary builds of the browser are proof of the constant development that is going on, and some of the work has been rather controversial.

One move that was widely opposed was the decision to stop showing full URL of a web page in the address bar (or Omnibar if you want to use Google's nomenclature). Introduced almost a year ago, Google said the experiment was an attempt to help people spot spoofed URLs, but it caused widespread annoyance and confusion. Now the company has seen sense and is opting to show full addresses once again.

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Google had previously said that displaying just the domain of a site made it easier to determine that a genuine site was being viewed. The experiment started in Chrome 86, but now it is coming to an end in version 91 of the browser, with the search giant seemingly admitting defeat and conceding that people really do want to see the full address of the page they are visiting (so betanews.com rather than https://betanews.com/2021/06/13/ google-reins-in-the-madness-and-brings-some-sanity-to-chromes-address-bar/).

While it was previously possible to view a full version of a shortened URL, this involved having to manually hover the mouse over the address bar rather than just being able to see it at a glance.

Now, as spotted by Android Police, Google has decided to bring its experiment to an end -- although there as not been a major announcement about it. The company merely noted in a post on the Chromium bug tracker that the experiment "didn't move relevant security metrics, so we're not going to launch it".

It's hard to understand quite how Google thought that hiding part of a URL would help to increase security, but at least now sanity prevails. Are you happy with the change?

Image credit: Ilya Sergeevych / Shutterstock

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