Chrome is ending its war with URLs in the address bar – at least for now. About a year ago, Chrome began experimenting with removing the URL shown in the address bar just next to the domain name, so instead of something like “https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2020/06/google-is-messing- with-address-bar-again-new-experiment-hides-url-path /, “the address bar will only show” arstechnica.com “and you will have no idea where you are in the site directory.
Android police noticed a post on the Chromium bug tracker that said Google was killing the idea. As early as June 2020, when the experiment began, Google engineer Emily Stark explained that the company was experimenting with simplified display of URLs to see if it was helping users more accurately identify malicious websites. A year later and now, Stark writes that the “simplified domain experiment” will be deleted from the code base, saying: “This experiment did not replace the relevant security metrics, so we will not run it. 🙁 “
Apple’s Safari browser also hides URLs like this.
The Chrome team is not afraid to blow up existing web standards and has publicly stated that it wants to kill the URL – it just hasn’t figured out how yet. This was just the last of a few crazy experiments, so don’t be surprised if Google comes back for your URLs.
Today, Chrome only hides “https: //” at the beginning of the URL, but you can opt out of this on desktops by right-clicking on the address bar and checking “always show full URLs.”
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