Disable Chrome Omnibox Search on Space Key

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Problem :

My Chrome Omnibox toggles the search on both TAB and Space key. This is really annoying. Is there any way I can tell Chrome to search only on TAB?

Solution :

I can recommend a workaround that saved my nerves a lot.

My problem was that when I tried to search something starting “php” keyword Chrome always activated php.net search engine after I pushed space. The solution is just to go Settings -> Manage Search Engines and find out your engine among Other Search Engines. Change the keyword adding 1-2 letters (in my case “php” -> “phps”) and here you go, it won’t bother you anymore other then you really call for it.

The only thing I can think of is just resetting chrome.

I know this might not be a valid answer but chrome (currently) has no way to change keyboard shortcuts without a plugin

Chrome Custom Keyboard Shortcuts

Even this might not allow you to change the spacebar issue.

If you want to reset chrome:

  1. click the three horizontal stacked bars to the right of the URL Box (Should open a drop down menu)
  2. Locate and click setting in the menu (Should open a new tab)
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the newly opened page and click “Show advanced settings…”
  4. Once again scroll all the way to the bottom of the page
  5. Finally, at the bottom of the page there should be a button labeled “Reset Settings”

This button should in fact fix your problem. It restores chrome to as if chrome was just installed.

If the problem still persists, I would suggest a clean reinstall of chrome.


As of Chrome 92.0.4505.0:

Enable chrome://flags/#omnibox-keyword-space-triggering-setting and in chrome://settings/searchEngines, switch the hotkey from Space or Tab to just Tab

Old answer:

In Chrome Flags, enable “Omnibox suggestion button row” and “Omnibox keyword search button”


I enabled both, but “Omnibox keyword search button” might be sufficient.

Good news! 7 years later Chrome added an option to use only the tab key

The option is above also in Manage Search Engines (chrome://settings/searchEngines)

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