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Increase Google Chrome’s Omnibox Popup Suggestion Count With an Undocumented Switch

As almost everybody knows by now, Google has released their Chrome web browser, a stripped down browser built for speed and an inline search bar known as the Omnibox. The only problem is that by default there are only 5 suggestions, but with a simple command line switch we can increase that number.

To illustrate what we’re talking about, once you start typing in the Omnibox you’ll see 5 suggestions:

image

But we can increase that to 10, or even more if you choose:

image

The magic happens with a simple command line switch that we’ll add to the shortcut. Just open up the properties for your Google Chrome icon, and add the following switch to the end of the Target line (making sure to put a space between)

-omnibox-popup-count=10

image

Now when you launch Chrome with this shortcut, you’ll see more suggestions in the list. Note that you could put any number instead of 10.

Note: In case you missed the news about this browser, you can check out Lifehacker’s screenshot tour.

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 09/4/08

Comments (22)

  1. DiAnne

    I tried Google’s Chrome and within ten seconds I closed it out and opened up Firefox. Why? Because the first site I went to had those annoying flash banner ads that are always blocked thanks to “Ad-Block Plus” on Firefox.

    Unless I can eliminate the “annoyance factor” with the web, I’ll stick with Firefox no matter how much faster Chrome may be. Any tweaks for getting rid of flash ads with the new browser?

  2. The Geek

    @DiAnne

    Often the extremely annoying ads are actually animated gifs, and not flash. Since Chrome is open source, I can only imagine somebody will create an adblocking plugin.

  3. Blogsdna

    Indeed Great finding, i hope soon some one will get all those undocumented switch.

  4. USBman

    I may have missed similar comments on other sites with postings similar to this one, but I can’t help but think of the Firefox addon ‘CyberSearch‘.

    It’s made by the friendly folks over at CybernetNews and adds all the same search-directly-from-the-address bar goodness that Chrome seems to, only it also adds much, much for control and functionality. This direct-searching capability adds to the already existing “AwesomeBar” abilities.

  5. The Geek

    @USBman

    That is definitely a great Firefox add-on, and I’ve been a CybernetNews reader for quite a while now.

  6. USBman

    @The Geek: I know, I enjoy seeing your comments every now and then!

  7. SZ

    those of us browsing under the protection of SEP (Symantec Endpoint Protection) had a problem with Chrome in that it popped an error message reading “The application failed to initialize properly
    (0xc0000005).Click on OK to terminate the application.”

    The command line switch “–no-sandbox” allows Chrome to launch and work well, although with some diminished security in that each tab is not as restricted to its own sandbox.

    So, the last part of my properties/target field now reads: …\chrome.exe” –no-sandbox -omnibox-popup-count=10

    I imagine a fix will be rolling down in the future for this. The thread tracking the issue is at Google Groups is here (sorry for the ungainly URL) – http://groups.google.com/group/google-chrome-help-troubleshooting/browse_thread/thread/41ef35857180e154/cf4a13e901eae8f6?q=0xc0000005&lnk=nl&

  8. Jobin Martin

    I don’t think Google will allow Adblock on their browser, because it will be self destructive. Their main source of income is Adsense and Adwords do you think they are going to jeopardize it?

  9. Marco

    I wonder why people still think that Chrome is OpenSource. It is NOT. Chromium is OpenSource. Google Chrome is based on Chrome and it’s doubtable that Google will ever publish the source code of any Chrome updates.

    But people who want an Adblocker can simply use Chromium… and develop an adblocker.

  10. Shawn McCollum

    Try this one.

    -remote-shell-port=10

    Then telnet into your localhost on port 10. I’m not sure what you can do with it but i’m checking on it. I’m also not sure what the normal port is for it, might be a security issue since there’s no login needed, but it also only allows localhost to connect. I’ll have to use ethreal to see if there is any communication on that port.

  11. The Geek

    @Shawn

    I was testing that out, but didn’t have much luck last night… if you figure it out send me an email.

  12. Shawn McCollum

    It seems to be a automation interface. so far i’ve got basic javascript functions to work.

    if(13) {print(5+6)} else {print(4+7+3)}
    for (i=0;i

  13. Vincenzo

    You don’t need an ad block plugin.

    Just download and install PRIVOXY, then configure Chrome’s proxy as 127.0.0.1:8118.
    Privoxy is a proxy that filter almost all ads in the page you visit.

    Download and install PRIVOXY (www.privoxy.org)
    Go in Chrome’s options (inside the wrench button), then choose “Under the hood”, press the “Change proxy settings” button, then the “LAN settings…” button.
    Activate the “Use a proxy server for your LAN” check box and put 127.0.0.1 in the address text box and 8118 in the port text box.

  14. Matt Freedman

    @Marco: Google Chrome is Chromium. Chromium is just a codename (like Longhorn for Vista), they are the same product. As such, if you were to build Chromium manually you would end up with Google Chrome.

  15. Jake

    @Marco: Here is what you get when you build Chronium manually on Windows: http://www.itwriting.com/blog/869-building-chromium.html

    I have yet to get it built on my Kubuntu Hardy i686 box, but I haven’t looked into it much yet.

  16. Devon

    @TheGeek: Mind posting a how-to with instructions to remove the menu bar from Firefox? I’ve been looking, and I haven’t found an extension that deals with this the way I want it to (e.g., the menu bar disappearing). Thanks.

  17. MatthewObrn

    Hi, i like the look of google chrome. I’m a firefox user, have been for years, I downloaded chrome and tried it for about 3 min and then deleted it. The reason for this is it’s simplicity towards saved passwords. Firefox has the master password option which allows you to encript your passwords so that anyone using your computer can’t login to any of your accounts. I had to disable this in firefox to let chrome import the passwords, but when i went to enable a function like it in chrome i had no joy. So based on this alone it had to go.

  18. Ish

    Hi Geek
    I tried this switch -omnibox-popup-count=10 . It doesn’t seem to work.
    If I remove / apply the ” sign in front and the end of the full target name it gives an invalid target name error.
    What to do. ——
    More-ever I read in an article that a download in the chrome status bar can be dragged directly to the desktop.
    But, was failed to do so.
    Any comments ?? — mail me

    Thanks
    Ish Kapila

  19. Marco

    Interesting, BUT… like all the shortcuts it doesn’t work when you have an application open, let’s say Winamp and it starts up the default browser (Chrome)… then it’s starting it without any parameters.

  20. Toban

    This command has been removed: http://code.google.com/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=40083
    The old “no unnecessary options” excuse… same reason they won’t add find-as-you-type. They’re really not being nice to the power users.

    It was working in Chrome 5, but it just updated to v.6 today and I noticed it.

  21. cronk

    the omnibox-popup-count switch doesn’t work on the latest Google Chrome 6

  22. SAI

    this -omnibox-popup-count=10 switch is not working for me. chrome version: 12.0.742.100

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