I write about the Web and have to get site URLs correct in my content. Which is a pain when Google Chrome tends to hide the “www” portion of a URL, so I don’t know if it’s www.something.com or just something.com. Is there a way to stop Chrome from hiding the full URL?
I’ve noticed the same thing and it all goes back to an experiment that Google launched a few years ago when it wanted to push us all away from that “www.” prefix. Their logic: If you can’t see the dub-dub-dub (as developers call it) then it won’t matter and we can migrate away from it entirely. If you ask me, that’s just social engineering via Web browser, but whatever it was, people didn’t really like it and as of the latest major release of Google Chrome in mid-2021 (Chrome 91), the full URL display feature is back. Sort of. You have to re-enable it.
This is weird if you think about it since most people won’t bother to find it on the menu and choose that option. I imagine that in a future update, the logic will be reversed and the default will be to again show the full URL with “http://” and everything. Meanwhile, though, here’s how to change it the fancy way and the shortcut way on your Mac and the Windows setting too.
ENABLE SHOW FULL URL ON GOOGLE CHROME MAC
Adding a feature tends to be something that just shows up without any fanfare, so I’ve found it beneficial to occasionally give the menus on a quickly evolving app like Google Chrome a close perusal. But let’s start by showing the problem. Here’s the Microsoft support home page, as shown in Chrome on my Mac:
You know that’s not the full URL for that page, however, because if nothing else the “https://” portion is hidden. Where it gets really confusing is that if you click into the URL to copy it, suddenly the full URL is displayed:
This is endlessly disconcerting and I really don’t under the logic of Google trying to hide this additional information.
So how do you restore it? There are two ways. You can choose “Always Show Full URLs” on the “View” menu:
Or here’s the really fancy shortcut: Control-Click anywhere in the Address Bar in Chrome and a context menu pops up with, you guessed it, “Always Show Full URLs” as one of the choices:
You can see that it’s selected here. Also note “Manage Search Engines…”, a feature worth exploring if you’d prefer something like DuckDuckGo as your default search engine in Chrome.
ENABLE SHOW FULL URL ON GOOGLE CHROME FOR WINDOWS
Since there’s no menu bar along the top of Windows computers (not even in Win11) you’ll want to right-click somewhere in the Address Bar on Google Chrome for Windows and that same basic context menu appears:
Either way, you’ve just reversed something Google should probably have never changed in the first place. I find it a setting well worth changing because I like looking at the Address Bar and seeing the full and proper Web page URL address, not an abbreviated version.
Pro Tip: I’ve been writing about the Mac since, well, the very beginning. Please check out my Chrome help, as well as my extensive Mac help library for hundreds of useful tutorials and how-to guides. Thanks!