How-To Geek

How to Auto-Hide the Address Bar in Google Chrome and Chromium

One of the features that many people love in Chrome is the minimal UI at the top of the browser. Want to minimize it even more? Then you will definitely want to make use of the new feature added to the Experimental Features page.

To get started enter “about:flags” into the Address Bar and hit Enter. Scroll down until you see the listing for Compact Navigation. Enable it and let the browser restart to gain access to the feature.

Once the browser has restarted right click on one of the tabs and select Hide the toolbar from the Context Menu.

Here is what the top of the browser looks like afterwards. As you can see the Back, Forward, and Tools Menu buttons have moved into the Tab Bar.

To access the Address Bar simply click on the tab. Keep in mind that the Address Bar will auto-hide rather quickly if you do not make use of it soon enough.

Hiding the Address Bar and Bookmarks Bar will really minimize the top UI section of the browser (see first screenshot above).

Note: For the moment the feature is only available on Windows systems for Chrome Dev, Canary, and Chromium releases.

[via Digitizor]

Akemi Iwaya is a devoted Mozilla Firefox user who enjoys working with multiple browsers and occasionally dabbling with Linux. She also loves reading fantasy and sci-fi stories as well as playing "old school" role-playing games. You can visit her on Twitter and .

  • Published 05/20/11

Comments (24)

  1. Chris

    I can’t get this tweak in Chrome 11.0.696.68. Probably it’s unsupported at this moment.

  2. Luke

    It requires Chrome Canary on windows for now…

    I really love it, even on my big screen, I just wish that there would be somewhere to display my extensions buttons.

  3. Luke

    Sorry, its also been pushed to Chrome Dev Build

  4. steve

    what version is this? i had 10.x and it wasnt on it. then i upgraded to 12.0.742.60 beta-m, and it’s not an option on this one either.

    so basically, this doesnt work on the 3 latest versions?

  5. Luke

    13.0.767.1 dev-m

    As I said above:
    Chrome Canary
    Chrome Dev

  6. Processor

    missing the Home button…

  7. Anomaly

    This feature makes me laugh. Is Chrome trying to reinvent the wheel here? If screen space is so important to you than just put Chrome in full screen mode and all the tool bars are gone. On a Mac when you do this all the tool bars appear when you move the cursor to the top of the screen and autohide when you move the cursor away again. For some stupid reason there is no autohide in full screen when using Chrome on Windows but they should be able to fix that.

  8. allanrockwell

    @ Anomaly: I just don’t like the full-screen part but enjoy the emptiness… And the immediate access and “readability” of other windows.

    So this certainly is a nice feature, but it’s long been available on Opera, like many other such options. I also set a shortcut to show and focus to the address field, then auto-hide. And one can also set the feature Anomaly talks about. Etc.

    Now i even hide the caption/title bar with an AHK script that will work on nearly all programs:
    #t::WinSet, Style, ^0xC00000, A ( #t stands for Win+t )
    This is somewhat off-topic, but i guess many howtogeek readers will already be interested by AutoHotkey scripts. On Chrome and ChromePlus, and IE9, it will only hide the caption buttons. But this is still useful to prevent my young children from closing windows at random…

  9. Chief

    Is it possible for the omnibar to be hidden by default when opening Chrome?

  10. pdcrittenden

    My only problem with this feature is that it also hides the extension icons. For some extensions that’s not a problem but there are some extensions that require you to click on the icon from time to time.

  11. AsianAngel

    @Chief – This feature still shows the new “altered address bar” here on my browser when I first start it up with the new tab page. If you have a regular page set as the home page, then the new “altered address bar” will appear just until the page finishes loading and then disappear.

  12. AsianAngel

    @pdcrittenden – That is definitely a big drawback to this feature. :( I do wonder if they will refine it more later to allow the extension icons to show in the tab bar as well (or in a different location).

  13. 1001

    it’s not yet available for google chrome 11 stable version

  14. Patrick

    If you want to hide more than the address bar in Google Chrome—like hide yourself from Google’s prying eyes, for instance—you might consider SRWare’s Chromium-based Iron browser. It’s pretty much identical to Google Chrome, but it’s optimized for privacy and security.

  15. markiz

    dammit, only dev? how many people are using dev do you reckon? Not that many. Put that in the title.

  16. Shadow

    Yes, it’s a very nice feature, especially for net-books or laptops. The only problem, like somebody else said, are the extension icons that disappear. The one for email, twitter, etc…

  17. Avidanborisov

    I would suggest to add the the addons near the “tools” because if not this minimal UI isn’t useful with addons and nothing is useful without addons!

  18. CS

    Google needs to take a look at Firefox from time to time and stop trying to reinvent the wheel every single time. Firefox 4 I can rearrange everything into one toolbar that has everything on it => ultra minimalist.

  19. weego

    I got version 11 and I don’t ave that feature.

    What another thing can I do?.

  20. mate

    Did love that feature, but it’s not working anymore on chrome :(

  21. mike

    Is auto hide in full screen really that freaking hard to put in…

  22. Az

    Did love that feature, but it’s not working anymore on chrome

    Mate its working on Dev Builds

  23. Dan

    It’s in the stable now, but I’ve noticed that the address bar isn’t automatically selected when you launch a new tab. It’s a tad irritating.

  24. michael

    +1 for Dan’s complaint. I have been using it for about a week and can’t get used to it not automatically selecting the address bar. I constantly hit ctrl-t to open a new tab and (normally) just start typing whatever it is I need. With this on I start typing, realize the address bar isn’t selected, and have to go select it. Annoying indeed.

    Anyone know a way to fix this? Some weird setting someplace hidden from we computer mortals?

More Articles You Might Like

Enter Your Email Here to Get Access for Free:

Go check your email!