This new Chrome setting will help you protect yourself from online scams

Google Chrome
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Google Chrome has a new hidden setting that lets you see the entire URL of the current website in the address bar, which could make it easier to see whether you've accidentally landed on a scam or phishing site.

Back in August 2019, Google made the controversial decision to chop that it called 'trivial subdomains' off URLs displayed in Chrome's address bar (also known as the omnibox). 

Google claimed that it made the browser simpler and more accessible by only showing the part of the address that gets typed, but security-minded users and developers weren't convinced.

Following the update, it became necessary to double-click or tap the URL (depending on whether you're using a desktop or mobile device) to see whether it uses the HTTPS protocol, and whether you're on a desktop or mobile version of the site.

The change was also a problem for people creating and testing sites. "Please do NOT mess with URLs," said one frustrated developer. "Many developers use variations of the subdomain for development sites or differentiation of features and a/b testing. Not everyone's DNS settings for and are the same server!"

How it will work

As XDA Developers reports, it looks like Google might now be backpedaling and reversing this decision, or at least giving users the option to enable or disable it themselves. 

It's not yet available, but a future Chrome release will include a flag (a switch to enable experimental features), which you'll be able to find at chrome://flags#context-menu-show-full-urls. We'll keep you updated when it's available for testing, but it's worth bookmarking the link so you're prepared.

Cat Ellis

Cat is the editor of TechRadar's sister site Advnture. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better)