Last year, Google began an experiment with Chrome 86 to assist users to avoid phishing and other forms of social engineering. For some users, the experiment automatically hid part of the URL, leaving only the domain name visible. The goal of the move was to make it easier for users to distinguish between genuine and fraudulent websites. It doesn’t appear to have made much of an impact, though. As a result, Google has decided to call the experiment to an end.
According to a recent update on the Chromium bug tracker, hiding the URL did not increase user security as much as Google had expected. As a result, the company is now suspending the experiment. “This experiment didn’t move relevant security metrics, so we’re not going to launch it,” it says.
Chrome 91, which was released to the stable channel late last month, already has the changes. To access the complete URL, you won’t need to adjust your browser settings or enable/disable any flags if you have the update loaded on your device. Chrome will display the entire URL by default, with only the “https://” portion hidden. If you want to view that as well, right-click on the address bar and select the option to “Always show full URLs.”
In Chrome for Android, the ability to revert to the old tab design was similarly disabled in Chrome 91. Users are forced to use the new tab grid layout, which has gotten mixed reviews. I’m not a fan of the new tab grid-style either, so I’m hoping that the bad feedback will push Google to provide a way for users to disable it.