Google Chrome’s new search function will help you keep tabs on your tabs

Find everything you need in that endless row of open tabs.
Hands on laptop showing google search on the screen
Searching your tabs is now easier, but you should definitely still close a few. Nathana Rebouças / Unsplash

Google regularly updates its browser with new features and functionalities, and the latest upgrade concerns search: Not the web, but your tabs, bookmarks, and browsing history.

While it was possible to run queries like this before, it’s now much easier to do—just use the address bar at the top of the Google Chrome interface, now officially your one-stop shop for all your searching needs.

These additions come in version 108 of Google Chrome for desktop, so if you don’t have this functionality yet, you may need to update your browser. You can check you’re running Chrome’s latest version by clicking the three dots (top right), then go to Help and About Google Chrome.

Search through your tabs on Google Chrome

There’s no doubt that the number of open tabs on your browser can quickly get out of control. You might have a particular website open, but not remember exactly where it is. And with so many open tabs, the headers have been reduced to slivers of space, making it impossible to find that lost page.

This is where tab search can help. Type out @tabs in the address bar, hit Space, and enter your search terms. Use keywords you’d find in the website title, like “Popular Science” or “Gmail,” for example, as this feature can’t search through entire pages yet. When you find the right result, click on it, and Chrome will jump to that tab.

[Related: The latest Google Chrome feature can make online research easier]

This feature is new, but you were already able to (and still can) search through tabs in Chrome without the special @tabs prefix—just type what you’re looking for in the search bar. The drawback of this approach is that the results from currently open tabs will be mixed along with results from the web and your browsing history, so you’ll have to do some filtering of your own.

Search through your bookmarks on Google Chrome

Many of us rely on bookmarks to retrace our steps on the web, and Chrome has a robust built-in system to manage them. For example, you can organize web links into folders, or pin them to the toolbar at the top of the browser interface for easy access. But just as with tabs, it can be difficult to keep track of everything you’ve collected.

Now searching through your bookmarks is easier than ever. Type @bookmarks in the address bar and tap Space to run a search through all of the bookmarks in the browser. You’ll then see a list of all the webpage titles that match your query. Simply click on any result to jump to it.

The old way of searching through your bookmarks in Google Chrome is still available. Click the three dots (top right), then choose Bookmarks and Bookmark Manager. Chrome will open a new tab and at the top of that screen, you’ll see a search box you can use to look through all of the various bookmarks you’ve accumulated over the years.

Search your browsing history on Google Chrome

Being able to retrace our steps on the web can often come in handy, so just in case you need to go back at any point, Google Chrome logs every website you visit on the web by default. (If you think this leans more toward creepy than useful, you can turn this feature off permanently from your Google Account page, or temporarily by opening up an incognito window.)

Chrome’s new search functionality covers your browsing history as well. Click on the address bar, type @history and tap Space to run a search through the titles of all the pages you’ve visited in the past. The results can be quite broad in scope, so keep in mind that the more specific you are, the better.

Chrome has long had a browsing history search option. It’s still there, but as you might have imagined, it’s not as accessible as the new address bar search feature. If you still want to find it, click on the three dots (top right), then choose History and History again. Chrome will open a new tab with your browsing history, and you can use the search box at the top to look for pages, or just scroll through the list of sites. Fortunately, Chrome has recently made this process more intuitive, so it’s way less daunting than it seems.

Search the web on Google Chrome

No matter how many features Google engineers plug in there, you can still use Chrome’s address bar to search the web. This will query Google by default, but you can to change the search engine if you want to—head to Chrome Settings (click the three dots in the top right corner, then Settings), and head to the Search Engine pane. You can also add more search engines to Google Chrome, which you’ll be able to summon with a keyword directly from the address bar. 

[Related: Google Chrome’s new tab page is a mess. Here’s how to make it better.]

We’ve written before about ways you can get more out of Google search, and a lot of these tips also apply to the address bar in Chrome. For example, put quotation marks around a search query to get Google to look for exact matches.

A site-specific search can also improve the quality of your results. Type out your key terms as usual, then add site: and the URL you want to query. For example, if you want to see all the stories on Popular Science that mention Google Chrome, you’d have to type Google Chrome You might never need to visit the actual Google search page ever again.