How to add a new Search Box to Google Chrome

Posted by Matthew on September 23, 2016

Google Chrome’s search box is integrated into the URL bar. Unlike Firefox it doesn’t have a separate search box. However, if a separate search box is more preferable you can add one to Chrome with the SearchBar or Search Box extensions.

This is the SearchBar page that you can add the extension to Google Chrome from. Then you’ll find a show/hide SearchBar button on the toolbar. Press that to open a separate search bar in the browser as shown below.

search bar

Now you can search for pages with this separate search box instead of the URL bar. Enter a keyword in the text box and then press one of the search engine buttons. That will then find some pages with the selected search engine.

You can add lots more search engine buttons to the search bar by pressing the Options button (cog icon). Then click Custom searches to open the page below. There are a few search engines listed there that aren’t selected, so click unselected check boxes to add their buttons to the search bar.

search bar2

If you need to add a search engine not listed there, open it in your browser and right-click its search field. Then select the Add to SearchBar option on the context menu. That will open the window in the snapshot below.

search bar4

You can assign a keyboard shortcut for it there by entering it in the Hotkey text box. Then press the Add to SearchBar button there. Now you can select the new search engine on the search bar.

By default, the search bar opens pages in the same tab. However, press and hold the Ctrl key when you click a search engine button on the bar to open the page listing in a new tab. You can also select an Open search results in a new tab by default option by clicking Basic Settings on the SearchBar Options tab.

Search Box is an alternative extension, with slightly more limited options, that adds a separate search box to Google Chrome. When you’ve added it to Chrome from here, click its Search button on the toolbar. That opens its search text box as in the snapshot below.

search bar3

Click Manage Search Engines there to add some new search engines to it. Then enter the search engine’s title and string in the URL box. For the search string you should replace a keyword in its URL with %s. For example, the Dogpile search string is http://www.dogpile.com/info.dogpl/search/web?fcoid=417&fcop=topnav&fpid=27&q=%s. Click Add on that page, and reopen the search box. Then you can select to find pages with the newly added search engine by clicking its button above the extension’s text box.

So now you can find pages in Google Chrome with a separate search box just the same as in Firefox. As SearchBar adds a new search toolbar to the browser, it effectively replicates Google Toolbar in Chrome. 

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