Twenty-four questions Google answers before you finish typing

Ask (or not) and it shall be given.

Person googling on laptop
Google may already know what you're about to ask. Andrew Lozovyi via Deposit Photos

Finding answers to our questions has come a long way since the early days of the internet. Today, whether we’re looking for information through a browser or a smart speaker, we can get what we need faster than ever.

So fast, in fact, that sometimes you don’t even have to finish typing your query for Google to show you what you’re searching for.

The best way to see this magic in action is to open up Google Chrome on your computer and start typing into the address bar (or “omnibox”) at the top of the screen. These 25 examples should get you started—and you won’t even need to hit “enter.”

It’s important to know that Google’s automatic answers work a lot like the autocomplete feature, which makes assumptions about what you’re looking for based on users’ search habits and trending queries. This means some answers may be determined by context—for instance, if you want to know when “It” came out, Google will assume you mean the movie, not the book, and will answer with its latest release date.

1. Conversions

You can run all kinds of instant conversions from the Chrome omnibox. Try turning feet into meters or U.S. dollars into Canadian dollars to see the answer immediately appear. All you have to do is type in the amount you want to convert and the unit you want to convert it to.

2. Calculations

The Chrome omnibox doubles as your calculator—start typing in any sort of simple equation, from addition to percentages, and the answer will show up underneath.

3. Definitions

If you type “define...” followed by a word in the Chrome omnibox, you’ll see a definition from the Oxford English dictionary before you hit “enter” (click on it for more detail). Sometimes it’ll even work without “define” in front, but it’s hit or miss.

4. Translations

Need a word beyond English? Type "translate hello into Spanish" into the omnibox, replacing "hello" with any word you like, and "Spanish" with whatever language you need.

5. Weather

screenshot google autoresults weather
Why look out the window when you can type on your browser?David Nield

Google loves to serve up instant weather forecasts, whatever device or platform you’re on. Try “weather,” followed by a day or a place in the omnibox to see a mini forecast appear.

6. Countdowns

If you want to know how many days are left until a specific date, the Chrome omnibox can tell you: Type "days until..." then a specific date (like January 1) or event (like Christmas).

7. Results

The Google omnibox can serve up instant sports scores, too. If you type in the name of (virtually) any sports team, that team’s most recent result will pop up right underneath.

8. Ages

If you want to know how old someone in the public eye is, just type their name, followed by "age" into the Google omnibox, and you'll see their current age appear instantly.

9. Birthdates

The same trick works for a variety of nuggets of information, including birthdates. Type “ birthday” or “when was born” to get a quick response.

10. Distances

The Google omnibox is able to help you if you're wondering how far away certain celestial bodies are—just type "distance to from Earth" to see an instant answer.

11. Planets

screenshot google autoresults mass
Whenever you think you might be a little overweight, check out Jupiter's mass. And look at it—it's gorgeous. David Nield

The space-related instant searches don’t end there, because you can type the name of any planet followed by “diameter,” “radius,” or “mass” to get the answer.

12. Heights

Want to know how tall the Eiffel Tower is? Or the Space Needle? Just append "height" to the name of a landmark in the Google Chrome omnibox to see the height show up. It works with people too—apparently, a popular search on Google. Find out how tall Dwayne Johnson is by typing his name followed by “height.”

13. Events

Type “when did...” and then an event into the omnibox to look up a wide range of dates. We’ve managed to get it to work for when people died and when movies, books and albums have come out.

14. Time

The Google omnibox will happily return an instant answer if you ask it how many minutes are in a day, or how many hours are in a year, or any sort of variation on those questions.

15. Movies

screenshot google autoresults running time
This is a useful feature that will help you understand exactly how long will you be tortured when your friends drag to a movie against your will.David Nield

Type in the name of a movie followed by “running time” or “release date” to see that information appear, though this trick only seems to work for some more recent films.

16. Albums

The Chrome omnibox can help you remember the most recent album by a particular artist—just type the name of the artist followed by "new album" to see the title appear.

17. Shares

Type in “share price,” followed by a ticker symbol to see how a particular company is doing on the stock markets. You could try AAPL for Apple or GOOG for Google, for example.

18. Dates

Here’s another date-related one: If you type in the name of an event (and a year, if you want)—like Mother’s Day or Easter Friday—the omnibox will return the relevant date.

19. Calories

screenshot google autoresults calories
What Google cannot do is tell you how amazing that haddock will taste battered and fried. David Nield

Type in the name of a food or drink followed by “calories” to see how many calories it contains. Try “how many calories in a banana” or “Coca-Cola calories.” It won’t work all the time, though—Google seems picky about which foods return instant results.

20. Cooking

Type the name of a dish into the omnibox, followed by “cooking time.” If it’s something simple that Google recognizes, you’ll see a rough estimate appear instantly underneath. Try “lasagna cooking time.”

21. Areas

If you’re interested in just how big somewhere is—a state, a country—just type its name into the omnibox, followed by “area,” and Google will return the answer straight away. Try “England area” or “Russia area.”

22. Elements

The Google Chrome omnibox can tell you the periodic symbol for any element in the periodic table, instantly—you’ll just need to type “symbol for...” followed by the element.

23. Authors

With a "who wrote..." query (just add on the name of a literary work), you can quickly look up the author of any book, play, or poem, without having to bring up the search results.

24. Animals

A fun fact you can look up about animals (via the animal name and “top speed”) is how fast they can go—though this only works for certain animals that are already known for their fast pace.