Chrome is ending its war on address bar URLs, at least for now. About a year ago, Chrome started experimenting with stripping the URL in the address bar to just the domain name, so instead of something like “https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2020/06/google-is-messing-with -the-address-bar-again-new-experiment-hides-url-path/,” the address bar would only show “arstechnica.com” and you would have no idea where you are in the sitemap.
Android Police saw a post on the Chromium bug tracker announcing that Google is killing the idea. In June 2020, as the experiment kicked off, Google engineer Emily Stark explained that the company was experimenting with a simplified URL display “to understand if it helps users identify malicious websites more accurately.” It’s a year later, and now Stark writes that the “simplified domain experiment” will be removed from the codebase, saying, “This experiment didn’t move any relevant security stats, so we’re not going to launch it. :(“
Apple’s Safari browser also hides such URLs.
The Chrome team isn’t afraid to blow up existing web standards and has publicly stated that it wants to destroy the URL – it just hasn’t figured out how yet. This was just the last of some crazy experiments, so don’t be surprised if Google comes for your URLs again.
Today, Chrome only hides the “https://” at the beginning of the URL, but you can opt out of it on desktops by right-clicking the address bar and checking “always show full URLs”.
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