Nine tasks you can tackle right from the Chrome address bar

Google Chrome's address bar (or Omnibox, as Google calls it) may look simple, but you can actually do more with it than just search for your favorite sites. It turns out that the Chrome URL bar also has a lot of handy features built into it. It can do unit conversions, talk to Google Gemini, and even turn browser tabs into blank notepads.

Drag and drop words to search

One of the most useful ways to make the most of your address bar actually has to do with how you search. No need to copy and paste the word into the address bar, just highlight it and drag it there.

This is a great feature to have when your hands are busy, such as if you're holding your mouse in one hand and giving your pet some well-earned scratching with the other. Simply highlight the word, release the mouse button, then click and hold on the highlighted word to drag it.

Chat with Gemini directly from the Chrome address bar

While some of these features have been around for years, this is a new one. Gemini has its own web page, but Google has made it possible to talk to Gemini directly from Chrome's address bar. All you have to do is enter @gemini before your query, and your browser will open Gemini's page and answer your prompt.

This feature is slowly rolling out to Chrome users, so you might not be able to use it yet. But once implemented, talking to Google's artificial intelligence chatbots will become even easier.

Get blank notepad in browser

This secret is especially useful if you take a lot of notes. In fact, you can always paste the following into the address bar to open a blank page in your browser:

data: text/html,

You can even bookmark this page to access it faster. Please note that nothing you write will be saved once you close the page.

Convert measured values ​​and temperatures

Let's say you're working on a new cake recipe for your significant other. The recipe requires one type of measurement, but you need to convert that unit to another unit. While you can Google the answer, you can also just go to Chrome and type the conversion you need into the omnibox, and it will give you the answer before you even hit Enter.

Just open Chrome and type something like " forty ounces = cup " (without the quotes). Chrome will spit out the answer below the address bar. It comes in handy if you need to convert multiple measurements at once. The same trick works for temperature, distance, etc.

Search bookmarks directly

Another useful feature is the ability to search for bookmarks directly from the address bar. Type @bookmarks , press the spacebar, and then enter the name of the bookmark you want to search for. It's useful if you have a lot of bookmarks and need to find something quickly.

Search the site for specific content

To search for specific content on the site, you don't have to rely on the site's built-in search functionality. Instead, open a new tab in Google Chrome and enter " site:sitename query." For example, to find Lifehacker articles about Chrome, just type " chrome " and press Enter. Google will pull a lot of results for that keyword, but only from the specified website.

Search Gmail and Google Drive more easily

This feature allows you to set Gmail and Google Drive as search engines in the address bar. This makes it easier to find specific content in your Google Drive folders because you don't have to manually navigate to them.

Right-click the address bar and click Manage Search Engines and Sites . Now, navigate to the Site Search section and click Add . For Google Drive, add as the URL. Then, enter @drive as the shortcut (or something similar) and name it Google Drive. Press "Add" again to save the shortcut. Now enter @drive in the search bar and enter your query to search for files.

To do this for Gmail, follow the same steps as above, but add as the URL.

Easily search browser history and tabs

Google Chrome's Omnibox can also find items in your history, provided you don't clear too much of your history for it to work. Just enter @history before the query to search sites you've already visited.

Or, if you have a lot of tabs open and need to find something quickly, type @tabs followed by your query.

Quickly start a new email

This is helpful for serial emailers: you can start sending an email from your default email client by typing mailto: in the address bar. This will automatically open a new email in the client you set up, so you can start composing an email without having to navigate there directly.