Chrome Issue - Anybody Else Seeing This?

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I work on a desktop PC w/Win10 Pro every day (since I am working at home). Chrome has been my browser of choice for more years than I can count and Google has been my search engine, for better and/or for worse. I normally do not stay signed into my Google account(s) unless I need to, so most of my browsing and searching is done when I am not logged in. Suddenly, the google search box on the default home page is now displaying my prior searches when I start typing. I do not recall this ever happening before, and I cannot find a way to stop this. It is a bit annoying, and I would love to make it go away, but I have found no helpful articles about how to effectively do so permanently. I do not want to clear out my history or cache as my machine is "remembered" as a safe device for several of my accounts and I do not really want to re-introduce it to all of them, and this never happened previously, so it does not seem like a history or cache issue. Anybody else suddenly notice this behavior or have any idea why it is suddenly happening. I just checked and Chrome did an update this morning, so the issue pre-dates that update.

Thanks,

--Ken
 

Growltiger

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Google can remember what you have searched for when you are signed in.
Google can also remember what you have searched for when you are signed out.
In both cases you choose if you want this or not.
Do as follows.
  1. Go to the main Google search page, e.g. www.google.com.
  2. At the bottom right corner of that window it says "Settings". Click on it.
  3. A menu opens. Click on "Search settings". "Search history".
  4. If you are signed in then it lets you change the signed in setting for "Saving history". You can turn it off if you like.
  5. If you are signed out then it lets you change the signed out setting for storing the search history. You can turn it off if you like.
I hope this solves it for you.
 
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Thanks, Richard. First, it appears that while Google is set to be my home page, it is not the same home page as if I typed in www.google.com . The latter brings up the setting menu at the bottom, but the former does not have it. Unfortunately "Search Settings" itself does not have any option to turn things off if you are signed out. "Your Data In Search" does offer the ability to pause signed out search activity, but changing that and then closing Chrome did not impact the list from re-appearing. I cannot reboot at this time because I am also running a VPN for work, but plan to do so when I am done for the day. The funny thing is that my copy of Chrome on my work machine only shows sites I have visited if what I am typing matches the URL. I remember when you typed in the search box and were automatically taken to the URL line by Google. I thought it was the strangest arrangement since the search box seemed redundant, but that is another issue.

--Ken
 

Growltiger

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... Unfortunately "Search Settings" itself does not have any option to turn things off if you are signed out. ...
Sorry, I made a mistake. The entry on the Settings menu you want is "Search history".

I just tried again to check:
I signed out.
I went to www.google.com
I clicked on Settings.
I clicked on Search history.
This is what I see:
1615547599522.png
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What is very odd is that this is what I saw yesterday.
I tried again today and the first time it didn't show this option.
But when I went to www.google.com and again went to Search history, it does again show this option.
So try again a couple of times.
 
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I ended up using some "brute force" (i.e. deleting entries and re-creating them in the manage search engine dialog box) and while it no longer shows my history, it is still suggesting matches based on past entries. I think that I can live with this, but to be honest, I am now starting to wonder if this was there (matching, not history) and I did not notice it since I was using the URL line for searches instead of the search box.

But I am still wondering if Google somehow tinkered with the settings for my default search engine. I thought that I had initially told Google to use www.google.com as my start page and Google as my search engine. The page that I get is not the same as www.google.com as it does not have the menu at the bottom right of the page, and the URL search string was not straightforward like the new setting - http://www.google.com/search?q=%s . It has been an exhausting week and I have limited energy to fight with Google or Chrome, so I am going to call it a day with the search box only providing me with matches.

Thanks again for your help and for the article. I am going to read it shortly.

--Ken
 
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Does the screen you're describing look like this?
google.png
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So that is just a new tab window that will keep track of either frequent locations or top pinned locations. If you hit customize bottom right in that window, you can turn this feature off.

Autocomplete wise, this is built into chrome. There is a flag (I believe) that will disable this but major updates to chrome may re-enable this.

But I guess this all begs the question of why go through all the effort to turn it off when leaving it on isn't really hurting anything, especially when it's a browser you use frequently for known websites and such? I like making things easier for myself, not harder, so there is a little bit of skepticism over this type of effort.
 
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So that is just a new tab window that will keep track of either frequent locations or top pinned locations. If you hit customize bottom right in that window, you can turn this feature off.

Autocomplete wise, this is built into chrome. There is a flag (I believe) that will disable this but major updates to chrome may re-enable this.

But I guess this all begs the question of why go through all the effort to turn it off when leaving it on isn't really hurting anything, especially when it's a browser you use frequently for known websites and such? I like making things easier for myself, not harder, so there is a little bit of skepticism over this type of effort.
I have no objections to autocomplete in either the search box or URL bar, but I find it very distracting when I place the cursor in the search box and before I even type anything it displays a long list of searches. I thought I had taken care of this, but it seems this is not the case, at least on my home computer. On my work computer, it behaves as it should - no suggestions, but autocomplete when I actually type. I used to really enjoy using Chrome, but it has gotten a bit bloated over the years. Nice to have options, but if you have so many of them and you keep changing the set-up, then it can be frustrating. I do not enjoy menu diving in cameras, nor do I enjoy it on my computer.

--Ken
 
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I have no objections to autocomplete in either the search box or URL bar, but I find it very distracting when I place the cursor in the search box and before I even type anything it displays a long list of searches. I thought I had taken care of this, but it seems this is not the case, at least on my home computer. On my work computer, it behaves as it should - no suggestions, but autocomplete when I actually type. I used to really enjoy using Chrome, but it has gotten a bit bloated over the years. Nice to have options, but if you have so many of them and you keep changing the set-up, then it can be frustrating. I do not enjoy menu diving in cameras, nor do I enjoy it on my computer.

--Ken
People’s reluctance to menu dive is what data farming companies rely on to collect as much PII as possible.
 

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I have no objections to autocomplete in either the search box or URL bar, but I find it very distracting when I place the cursor in the search box and before I even type anything it displays a long list of searches.
Can we get this completely clear. I am still confused by what the problem is. Is the following description correct?

When you say "the search box" what exactly do you mean? I'm going to guess that you mean the address bar?

(Because if you mean the Google search field that is on a Google web page that is completely different to an address bar and has nothing to do with Chrome, you will see the same on every browser.)

You have a Windows computer. You run Chrome. You click in the address bar of Chrome. Text appears in the address bar before you have typed anything. (Does it also appear anywhere near in the address bar, such as below it?)

If that is what is happening I don't think that is normal behaviour, I have never seen that on any computer. Can you give an example of what appears? A screen shot would be helpful.

It may be that you are seeing the result of malware or adware. Have you checked for that?
 
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Can we get this completely clear. I am still confused by what the problem is. Is the following description correct?

When you say "the search box" what exactly do you mean? I'm going to guess that you mean the address bar?

(Because if you mean the Google search field that is on a Google web page that is completely different to an address bar and has nothing to do with Chrome, you will see the same on every browser.)

You have a Windows computer. You run Chrome. You click in the address bar of Chrome. Text appears in the address bar before you have typed anything. (Does it also appear anywhere near in the address bar, such as below it?)

If that is what is happening I don't think that is normal behaviour, I have never seen that on any computer. Can you give an example of what appears? A screen shot would be helpful.

It may be that you are seeing the result of malware or adware. Have you checked for that?
My apologies for any confusion. During a typical day, I will be using Chrome on a Win10 PC (home and work), an iPad, a Chromebook and an Android phone, so things start to look the same after awhile. But I'd like to try and clear this up and provide a better explanation of what I am seeing at present. Focusing just on the Win10 desktop PC's (work and home), the differences are as follows:

  • At home, when I click in either the address bar at the top of the window (where the URL's appear) or in the search box in the middle of the screen (just below the large "Google" script but above the two rows of shortcuts), the moment I place the cursor in either and click, recent search terms immediately appear in a dropdown list.

  • On my PC at work, when I click in either the address bar or the search box, nothing appears until I start to type letters and then it tries to match what I am typing to what is in my history. No dropdown list of recent search terms appears when I initially click, and this is the behavior that I thought I also had at home, but somehow got changed last month.

I have no objections to match suggestions as I type as I find them useful, but I find the immediate dropdown list of recent search terms quite annoying when I have not yet even typed in anything. This is the behavior that I would like to get rid of if possible. I hope this clears up any confusion.

--Ken
 

Growltiger

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The only anomoly I see is the appearance of search results when you click in the address bar when using Chrome with Google as your default search engine.
(Note that Firefox behaves almost as you describe, but lists various search engines before the suggestions.)

Can you just check the answers are yes to the following four questions.
On Desktop, using Chrome.
Go to Menu, then Settings, then on the left click Search Engine.
1. In the middle does it says Google Chrome is your default browser?
2. Above that does it say that the default search engine used in the address bar is Google?

Now open a new tab and go to any website. Click once in the address bar (it selects all the text) and press backspace.
3. You see a completely empty address bar with a color G to the left of it?
Now click, not in the address bar, but anywhere on the page
4. The address bar should now show grey text saying "Search Google or type a URL" ?

Now if you click once in the address bar do you get the suggestions below it? (I don't)
 
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You might need to deselect all these on your home machine AND clear history afterwards.
Your company machine may have these already deselected or have a policy implemented.
chrome://settings/syncSetup
especially this one:

Auto-complete searches and URLs
Sends some cookies and searches from the address bar and search box to your default search engine
 
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You might need to deselect all these on your home machine AND clear history afterwards.
Your company machine may have these already deselected or have a policy implemented.
chrome://settings/syncSetup
especially this one:

Auto-complete searches and URLs
Sends some cookies and searches from the address bar and search box to your default search engine
This is my guess too...since the loss of IE companies have struggled with how to work with Chrome since most will default it it now over other browsers and Chrome in their eyes can be the devil so they lock it down even more.

And just as Morty posted, that setting right there will turn off auto complete, the very setting that put Chrome on the map many years ago along with it's address bar integration with search.

I'm still confused as to why this is a bother, but to each their own I guess. Make life easier, make life harder...this sounds like the latter.
 
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The only anomoly I see is the appearance of search results when you click in the address bar when using Chrome with Google as your default search engine.
(Note that Firefox behaves almost as you describe, but lists various search engines before the suggestions.)

Can you just check the answers are yes to the following four questions.
On Desktop, using Chrome.
Go to Menu, then Settings, then on the left click Search Engine.
1. In the middle does it says Google Chrome is your default browser?
2. Above that does it say that the default search engine used in the address bar is Google?

Now open a new tab and go to any website. Click once in the address bar (it selects all the text) and press backspace.
3. You see a completely empty address bar with a color G to the left of it?
Now click, not in the address bar, but anywhere on the page
4. The address bar should now show grey text saying "Search Google or type a URL" ?

Now if you click once in the address bar do you get the suggestions below it? (I don't)
I get exactly what you described, with the exception of when I am on the page when the browser opens (which is www.google.com). On that page clicking in the address bar lists recent searches.

--Ken
 
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I'm still confused as to why this is a bother, but to each their own I guess. Make life easier, make life harder...this sounds like the latter.
I would not characterize this as a bother so much as a minor annoyance. My OP was to see if a simple setting got adjusted that could quickly get corrected. As is often the case with software questions/issues, large and small, it takes a few messages to make sure we are on the same page when we get "under the hood". Can I live with the current behavior? Sure. Would I prefer what I previously recall as Chrome's previous behavior? Yes - I spend a lot of time moving between the browser and other programs and find the display of recent searches a bit distracting when I am trying to focus while juggling numerous items. If I want to see what I previously searched for, I use the History window.

--Ken
 

Growltiger

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I get exactly what you described, with the exception of when I am on the page when the browser opens (which is www.google.com). On that page clicking in the address bar lists recent searches.

--Ken
I'm pleased we have pinned down the exact issue.
It is interesting that I cannot replicate that behaviour on my PC. I cannot get the address bar to offer suggestions until I have keyed a character in the address bar. (I can get it by switching to Firefox.)
 
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I'm pleased we have pinned down the exact issue.
It is interesting that I cannot replicate that behaviour on my PC. I cannot get the address bar to offer suggestions until I have keyed a character in the address bar. (I can get it by switching to Firefox.)
I am glad that I was able to clear things up. And while this is truly a minor issue that I can live with, I do find it interesting that we can have different experiences with the same software, with what we assume are the same settings, although I realize this assumes a lot of what was not discussed. Still, from a learning perspective I find these kinds of issues interesting. And Richard's earlier solution to my webcam settings turned out to be absolutely brilliant. It works like a charm.

--Ken
 
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