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How-To Geek

Save 15 Keystrokes – Use Ctrl+Enter to Complete URL

I know what you are thinking. You want to open http://www.howtogeek.com, but it’s such a hassle to type in the http:// and the www and the .com. Here’s your shortcut method.

On modern browsers, such as IE7 and Firefox, hitting Ctrl + Enter will automatically fill in the www. and the .com part of the URL. Let’s see an example:

Just type in howtogeek into the address bar in your browser:

Now hit Ctrl + Enter together:

You saved yourself 15 keystrokes!

More Keystroke combinations:

  • Ctrl + Enter – Auto-complete *.com address
  • Shift + Enter – Auto-complete *.net address
  • Ctrl + Shift + Enter – Auto-complete *.org address

If you add Alt to any of those key combinations, it will auto-complete and open the new address in a new tab as well. Alt+Ctrl+Enter will auto-complete a *.com address in a new tab, for instance.

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 01/13/07

Comments (54)

  1. Tyler

    Hmmm. That’s been around since at least IE5. But I never see even computer-savvy users using it. It’s a good tip though.

  2. Arthur

    And it works in Opera9 too and with a great degree of configurability. Here is how it is by default Control+Enter defined in Opera shortcuts:

    Autocomplete server name, “http://www”, “com”

    Assigning other terminations and other keyboard shortcuts it’s a piece of cake

  3. Jordy Rossell

    and if you press SHIFT+ENTER, it puts:
    “http://www.” “.net”

  4. The Geek

    Jordy,

    Thanks for the tip, I wasn’t aware of that one!

  5. Jordy Rossell

    by the last. if you add ALT in all those shortcuts. it opens in another TAB

  6. fenryr

    I’ve always used this shortcut, ever since I learned about it, no one else I know uses it,a nd they always ask how I auto add the www. and .com

  7. mad dog

    is it possible to customise what goes on the end? ie: instead of “.com” or “.net” can it be made to put on “.com.au” etc.

    I know it is customisable in myIE2 but haven’t seen it in any other browsers

  8. Duncan

    I know you can customise what goes on at the end of the address in Opera (v 9.02):
    Tools > Preferences > Advanced Tab > Shortcuts
    Select ‘Opera Standard’ in keyboard setup and click Edit. Cick advanced (at the bottom) and then choose Address Dropdown Widget.
    The first shortcut will be Enter+Ctrl, and under description it says ‘Autocomplete server name, “http://www”, “com”‘ change the .com as you please.
    You can add new shortcuts (click New), provided you use the same format as the Enter Ctrl one.

  9. Phillip

    ALT+Enter opens a new tab in IE7, Then add in CTRL, to make CTRL+ALT+Enter to make new tab and append suffixes. Also to get to the address bar in IE7 use ALT+D. ALT+Tab no longer works in IE7.

  10. Phillip

    I meant to say CLTR+TAB

  11. mahis

    In IE7 for a site that has two parts for example http://www.research.ibm.com when I write research.ibm and hit ctrl+Enter it only adds .com and not the www.
    Does anyone know how to solve this?

  12. mahis

    I found a solution
    1. Create the following registry key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Toolbar\QuickComplete.
    2. Create the following registry value in the key above: QuickComplete REG_SZ http://www.%s.whatever
    3. Whatever is in the address bar will be inserted where the ‘%s’ is. This example would complete ‘microsoft’ to ‘http://www.microsoft.whatever’.
    4. Please note that the QuickComplete string is currently limited to 64 characters.

  13. DJ Krysus

    You can actually change the www and .com to whatever you like (handy when you live in .co.nz!!!)

    Go to about:config filter on prefix (for www) and suffix (for .com) and change the value of those preferences

    …. now i just have to save myself all the keystrokes i just used typing this message.

  14. 7egend

    also in IE7 Crtl+Click opens a link in a new tab….kinda like Safari… :) IE7 is such a Safari rip off.

    never used the crtl+enter it was always a hassle for me to hit the crtl key, it has always been faster for me to type it out then to hunt a key i never use unless my other hand is on a mouse.

  15. floater

    i want to replace my firefox shortcut for shift-enter appending “.net” to instead append “.co.uk”. anyone know how to do this? Thanks for the tip about using “about:config” to change the ctrl-enter being “.com” but i want to keep that one.

    my tips:
    - you can open in a new tab with middle-click too.
    - you can also move focus to address bar with F6
    - for anyone that doesn’t know, stick “about:config” in your firefox address bar to edit all sorts of parameters such as whether a image gets resized etc.

  16. Planet Lowyat

    Don’t be so lazy :P

  17. aymz

    you all forgot ctrl+shift+enter for .org

  18. susan

    Does anyone know what could have caused the ctrl+enter to stop working? For some reason this command is now placing the site info into my google search bar (I have google toolbar loaded) and automatically returning google results!?!? To clarify, if I type microsoft, hit ctrl+enter… “microsoft” appears in the google search box, and google results are displayed.

    I’m using IE 7 and have had Google Toolbar loaded for a long time.

  19. susan

    More detail on Ctrl+enter not working

    After hitting ctrl+enter, the address bar value reads: http://www.google.com/search?q=microsoft

    I’ve also already got the quickcomplete registry entry in place, but whatever is causing this is overriding it.

  20. spc_75

    Have known about this since i’ve known about internet. I have been looking for a .com.au shortcut however. In *shudder* IE. You could press ctrl + enter then quickly type .au and press enter again. In firefox you cannot do this though as the address bar loses focus. Very annoying to an aussie :-|

  21. MinefieldFan

    I don’t know if this works in Firefox 2, but the nightly build of Firefox 3 have a nice feature. The URL bar is heavy powered up, for example:

    When searching, you can write: “google howtogeek”, or “wiki h-bomb” even “imdb lotr”. Sometimes you might only write “commodore 64″ and you will be sent directly to Wikipedia.

    Also, when you want to visit digg, nintendo, howtogeek – there is no need to write any of the heavy stuff “http://www..net/com/org”. Just write howtogeek and press enter.

    And don’t forget the super-powerful search. Search for any browsed or favorited page right into the URL.

    When using search forms, you might also want to use the feature “Add a keyword for this search”. For example, i give the keyword “y” for youtube.com. This gives me the ability to write in the URL-bar “y you suck at photoshop”. Very nice indeed.

    Hope everyone now want to participate in the development for Firefox. Be aware of the nightly builds is quite buggy though. (And, I’m glad Firefox have a in-built spell-checker for forms)

  22. Rov

    xD i didn’t know of these things.. even if it was obvious to try them out xD

  23. rohit

    hello everyone any one knows short key for .biz

  24. Amit

    For IE 7 user, you can add ctrl+shift+enter to complete anything you wish.

    go to tools-> Internet options -> click on general tab.
    under apperance click on languages and at the bottom, in a suffix box, type .com.au (or whatever you like). Done!!!

    Does anybody know how to do same in firefox 3?

  25. thepiper

    excellent tip. Glad to see it on your site. I’ve been using it for years and I teach people about it all the time.

    Some computers won’t do it!

    TIP – It will stop working if you un-check
    [Internet Options -> Content -> AutoComplete -> Web addresses]

  26. Lucky

    Hey, this is really good !

  27. Lestarte

    I wonder when a plugin for Firefox 3 finally arrives to modify .com to .de for example. Btw: why do we need a plugin for this and cannot modify it in about:blank?
    Kinda is a huge factor that I’m still using FFox 2…

  28. Ginge

    Good Tip… Thanks

  29. Halmad

    Knew about it for long, @ some time i wus crazy bout using it but not anymore.

  30. Gabriel

    and if you hit ctrl+shift enter it does .org

  31. Sam

    I’ve known about the “Ctrl+Enter” trick but never bothered to use it.
    I only type in “website.com”, skipping the “www.”.

    Good to know about the additional Alt and Shift parameters.

  32. Spacegold

    I have a simpler way. Using Google as my home page, I simply type in the website name and hit search. The first three or four items in the search results will usually include one entry for the website’s home page. One more click and I am there.

  33. Sinoy

    Plz let me know what is the configuration settings required to get http://www….com for IE?
    Plz explain step by step.

  34. Nipuna

    It was a big help thanks geek

  35. David

    SWEET!!! Thanks for the info. Learning stuff like this make me tingle all over. I’ll have to show all my friends these neat shortcuts.

  36. Pressing CTRL+ENTER doesn’t work for me in IE7, But few days before it was working fine. What can i do now?

  37. Anuj Rathi

    Can someone suggest the shortcut for Safari 4 beta/ Safari 3 on mac?

  38. bailey cheng

    I hit Ctrl+ Enter but somehow it turn our http://www….com.tw. Anyone can hlep me change it?

  39. Matt Burns

    Depends on your browser but look in the comments above for the answers!

    Internet Explorer:
    mahis – March 30, 2007 7:27 am

    Firefox:
    DJ Krysus – May 21, 2007 12:08 am
    (type “about:config” in the address bar and edit the value for the key: “browser.fixup.alternate.suffix”)

    Opera:
    Duncan – March 10, 2007 8:30 am

  40. idw

    For those mentioning that Ctrl-Enter worked one day and not the next try uninstalling some of your web tool bar add-ins. I had a ‘mywebsearch’ add-on that once uninstalled got ctrl-enter working again.

  41. Yair Tendler

    Thats excellent, HotKeys saves so much time

  42. Aminur

    Holy cow, there is no short cut to add https:// instead of http :(

  43. Michael

    Hi Firefox users. The nURL Suffix plugin is the answer to all your questions. Makes suffixes totally configurable.
    Does anybody know how to do this with Safari ?

  44. zed

    okay… dat`s good!!

  45. smith

    Or you can just download google chrome and only have to type in the first couple letter of the website you want before it’ll just send you there.

  46. M3RL1N

    anything configured for .edu ?

  47. Brandon Lai

    the Shift + Enter doesnt seem to work. Ctrl + Enter works fine but Shift + Enter doesnt put in the *.net

  48. DaKoin

    This use to work for me and now it doesn’t, some site error comes up ( like when you type in a wrong website) how do i get this to work again?? Help please!!

  49. Azhar

    my ctrl + enter key is not working in firefox 4 please any tell me where i can find this option in firefox 4 for enable

  50. Azhar

    my ctrl + enter key is not working in firefox 4 please any one tell me where i can find this option in firefox 4 for enable

  51. Rohit

    what is the shortcut to to open .in sites ? (like ctrl + enter to open .com sites)

  52. phoenix

    wats the shortcut to get instead of ?

  53. Gaurav

    I’ve been using keyboard shortcuts like Ctrl+enter(for www.*.com) ,alt+enter & shift+enter(www.*.net) for years now…at least 7 or 8..& over a wide variety of browsers from IE to firefox to chrome…but ever since i installed beta version of firefox 7.0….autofill is not working…it might just be that i’d have to manually configure it all from the default (i was asked to import settings from IE & firefox when i downloaded chrome & this beta version, but it doesn’t seem to affect anything)…i know there is a registry key to set what ctrl+enter etc does or to create other various functions but i wanted to know if there was just a pathway is settings where there is a direct option to it in firefox 7.0 & chrome 4.0….it’s quite ironic to have to ask all this after educating people about these shortcut keys (incidentally prevalent from function keys days when an optical input device like mouse didn’t exist & ppl used to work on MS-95 or 98)…but i wanted to know if it isn’t just a new setting stopping these shortcuts to prevent a bug or in name of security against keylogging..or a separate option set to enable it again! just give me a pathway for these 2 browsers & any other registry or secpol settings as a hint people! thanks in advance!

  54. Jákup

    Also, saying that it ends with .com when you type ctrl + enter is wrong. The default depends on browser language. For instance, when having a Danish browser, it will end with .dk

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