Version 69 of the Google Chrome browser has changed the aesthetics of the software a bit, a material design that applies to tabs and menus. We also note the appearance of an image at the top right of the application, it is the avatar of the Google account (Gmail) connected to the browser. But something else may surprise regular users of the world’s most widely used internet browser (StatCounter announces a 67% market share of Google Chrome worldwide in August 2018). Chrome 69 no longer displays the entire URL in the browser’s address bar. The Omnibox is much more than a simple window to display the address of a site and its current evolution can even give the definition of a word without having to validate the search or display the weather forecast for a city. This bar is now removed from the start of the web address, hiding the protocol (http or https) and the “www” or other subdomain, but a trick allows it to be displayed again in the omnibox.
Put the entire URL back in the Google Chrome bar
1. Open the Google Chrome software.
2. Copy / paste the following line in the address bar of the browser:
3. Modify the value of ” Omnibox UI Hide Steady-State URL Scheme and Trivial Subdomains “By changing from” Default “to” Disabled “:
4. Apply and relaunch Chrome using the button ” Relaunch now ” at the bottom of the screen.
5. We now see the https / http protocol displayed in front of the URL and whether it is secure or not.
Unsecured HTTP site:
Reactions to this change
Internet users (users and webmasters) are offended by this voluntary masking of subdomains because they consider that the subdomain www is not necessarily the same as the domain name without a prefix. For example, the addresses www.domain.com and domain.com do not necessarily point to the same target. More concrete example, when you go to www.lemonde.fr or m.lemonde.fr, the display is totally different (adapted to mobiles in the second case). However, Google Chrome only displaying “lemonde.fr” by hiding the prefix, we do not know which version of the site we are accessing.
Google replied that the general public does not have to worry about this kind of thing because it is up to the webmaster to manage his domains and subdomains well. An in-house engineer indicates that the “m” prefix for mobile versions is not a good idea but that they will think about it.
We already notice that the function “Omnibox UI Hide Steady-State URL Scheme and Trivial Subdomains” no longer defines the URL displayed as a shortcut in the address bar, but this change could again take place to simplify the display and the general public use. Informed users can continue to display the full URL if it is of interest to them, but with such significant market shares, Google must provide a Chrome browser suitable for the greatest number of people in terms of its ergonomics and security.