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The Spacebar Shortcut For Custom Search Engines In Chrome 88
10 months ago
spacebar shortcut

With Chrome 88, there is no doubt that password protection and tab search have been greatly improved. With all the advancements, however, there is one feature (previously loved by users) that is no longer available on the desktop version of the browser.


Chrome allows you to add custom search engines (via chrome://settings/search engines), and you can save them with custom keywords so you can open them by hitting the space bar or tab. In practice, the process operated as if the user were able to type in "fa" or "yo" to visit Facebook or YouTube every time they typed from the address bar.


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With Chrome, you can add keywords for search engines and trigger them with a keyboard shortcut, tab, or space in the address bar. After Google disabled the Space bar shortcut in Chrome 88 and re-enabled it after backlash, the company is now allowing you to choose which keyboard shortcut should be used for keyword searches in Chrome in Search Engines. The user can choose between "Tab or space" and "Tab".


However, the space bar shortcut does not seem to be working any longer.


It's no longer a matter of users using all the sites in one tab, but they can still make use of this space in other ways.


Taking a deeper look at the finer details of the small interface tweak, we can confirm that tab is the only remaining option, to begin with, custom search all over again. To return to the old behavior, you will have to copy and paste either of the two URLs below in your URL bar and then disable one flag.






As it is entirely understandable that some of you are curious about why the in-browser shortcut for using custom engines is gaining so much popularity, it provides an extra level of convenience which many users love.


What is Spacebar Shortcut Update?  


The move by Google is almost identical to the one they made in the past with backspace for back and the huge amount of users who relied on the shortcut getting a lot of criticism. Later, that backspace removal made sense, as Google wished to save users from losing their information in forms.


So, removing the space bar shortcut may have been done with a similar purpose. Using Twitter as a keyword is a good example of this. It's likely that the intentions are to search Google for Twitter followed by a space, but instead, users end up going to the custom search engine. In this way, the problem will not exist if the space shortcut is eliminated.


As a result, we can still hope Google will create a browser extension in order to bring back this convenience, but for now, you can use the flag option to enable the spacebar shortcut in your browser.


How to Use Spacebar Shortcut ?



If you still want to try is it working then follow the below steps: 


Press the shortcut key and enter the keyword of the website you want to search.

  1. Open chrome://flags/#omnibox-keyword-space-triggering-setting if you're using Chrome Canary 92.0.4497.0 or later.
  2. Restart the browser after selecting Enabled.
  3. Navigate to Settings > Search engine.
  4. To manage search engines, click on Manage search engines.
  5. Under Keyword shortcuts for search keywords
  6. Choose “Space or Tab” or Tab.

Here is how you can do a custom search on Chrome.


How to Fix Chrome 88 Disable SpaceBer Shortcut?

 spacebar shortcut

The new space bar-less search comes with a small interface tweak, so you'll know if you're affected. People who are aware of the change will no longer see the old "Press Tab to search [custom search engine]" in the address bar itself, but rather a bubble in the results saying "Search [custom search engine]." 


In the new interface, there is no indication of which keyboard shortcut you can use to initiate a search, but we can confirm that tab is the only option for starting a custom search.


The change is the result of a server-side test. Two flags hide it: chrome://flags/#omnibox-keyword-search-button and chrome://flags/#omnibox-suggestion-button-row. You can get the old behavior and look back by copying and pasting either of these addresses into your URL bar, choosing "Disabled," and restarting your browser. There is no need to disable both flags; just one will do.


People who have always used the tab shortcut to search with custom engines might ask why this is such a big deal for some people, but it's all about muscle memory and convenience. 


It is similar to the situation when Google removed backspace for back, which caused a backlash among those who relied on the shortcut. 


However, getting rid of the space bar shortcut could also avoid confusion as well. If you use a common term as a keyword, like "Twitter," and then you happen to search Google using that term and space in it, you'll be taken to your own search engine. 


When the space shortcut is removed altogether, this won't happen.


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