If Google has its way, you’ll never see full URLs in Chrome again

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Google has started experimenting with a new change in Chrome Dev/Canary 85 that hides the full address from the URL bar of the current page you are on. What you will get to see is just the domain name, like say a google.com, all through.

This decision has not been very well received and Google has revealed more details about why it decided to do this and how it plans to take it forward.

A Chromium developer working on the bug tracker for this change said that they consider this to be an important problem since phishing and some forms of social engineering are rampant on the web. And with the way current URL displays stand, they aren’t effective defences, the developer explained.

Google is experimenting with a simplified domain display to conduct qualitative and quantitative research into understanding if it helps at all in identifying malicious websites more accurately, the developer added.

This experiment ties is with a paper that was published last year that evaluated how people perceive the identities of websites. The paper suggested that no iterations of URL formats and HTTPS notices significantly affected how users understand the security or the identity of login pages.

However, if you still want the full address to show, there is an opt-out mechanism. There is the “Always show full URL” setting if you right-click on the address bar and the developer mentions that Google intends to keep this option available.