With magic and algorithms, Google Search’s autocompleted feature can predict what you’re going to type – for the most part, it gets it spot on. No, Google hasn’t installed a chip in your brain (or have they?), nor are they reading your mind, but keep a tinfoil hat on just in case. Rather, Google Search is simply good at what it does: search prediction.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work. For one reason or another, Google Search is refusing to autocomplete in Google Chrome, its proprietary web browser. Has Google Search finally grown a conscious like Puppet Master did in Masamune Shirow’s manga, Ghost in the Shell? Not likely. Instead, Google Chrome is merely acting up.
Thankfully, there are a few fixes that can get Google Search autocompleting your searches again in Google Chrome. Let’s take a look.
Is Autocomplete Enabled?
You, or someone else, may have disabled autocomplete at some point. After all, the feature itself can be annoying to deal with sometimes – it’s nice to have the option to disable it whenever you want.
1. Click “Customize and control Google Chrome,” the three vertical dots in the top-right corner. Once opened, choose Settings.
2. In your Settings, click “Sync and Google services.”
3. Ensure that “Autocomplete searches and URLs” is enabled
Restart Google Chrome
The next obvious solution would be to close Google Chrome. However, you need to go one step further. When you close Google Chrome, you may not have closed all of its processes. You’ll need to ensure it was shut down completely with Task Manager.
1. Start by right-clicking on your taskbar. In the menu that appears, choose Task Manager.
2. Right-click on Google Chrome.
3. In the drop down menu, choose End Task.
Clear Google Chrome’s Cache and Cookies
A corrupted file or two may have cropped up. You can dump your cache and cookies for a clean slate. You won’t lose any of your saved data, passwords or browsing history, but you will be logged out of websites.
This method is a game of trial and error. You will be disabling all extensions and, one by one, re-enabling them to find the problematic extension.
1. Open Google Chrome’s Settings.
2. On the left-hand side you’ll see a column of options. Click Extensions. It’s near the bottom.
3. For each and every extension, move the slider to the left to disable them.
4. Restart Google Chrome, then check if that solved your issue.
5. If so, head back into Extensions and re-enabled each one until the problem arises again. When it does, you’ll know which extension was causing the issue.
Manage Your Search Engines
You can add more than one search engine to Google Chrome. However, if Google isn’t a part of that list, the autocomplete function may refuse to work. Make sure Google is added.
1. Open Google Chrome’s Settings.
2. Under “Search Engine” subsection, click Manage Search Engines.
3. If Google isn’t set as “Default,” click the three dots and choose Edit. For the “Keyword” entry field, place “google.com.”
Syncing your Google account across devices can tangle itself, especially when your Google account is trying to sync. You can disable syncing for good or disable it, close Google Chrome, and enable it once again.
1. Open Google Chrome’s Settings. Click “Customize and control Google Chrome” to reveal them, the three vertical dots in the top-right corner.
2. At the top you’ll see your Google account. To the right, click Turn Off.
3. Restart Google Chrome.
4. Re-enable syncing by going back into Settings and clicking “Turn on sync.”
Disable Google Chrome Extensions
Google Chrome can be enhanced through “extensions,” so aptly named because they are, quite literally, extensions of the web browser. These additional functions aren’t always offered by Google, which means they may not be developed properly (sometimes Google gets it wrong, too). Disabling them may reinstate Google Search autocomplete.
1. Open Google Chrome’s Settings… again.
2. Scroll down until you reach the end of the page. At the bottom, click Advanced. This will reveal additional options.
3. Under “Privacy and Security,” click Clear Browsing Data.
4. In the pop-up window, open the Advanced tab. Place a checkmark in “Cookies and other site data” as well as “Cached images and files,” and only those two.
5. Clear Clear Data, then restart Google Chrome.
Having such a nice feature giving you trouble can be frustrating, especially one as helpful as an autocomplete feature. It can be a real time saver and, admittedly, a bit creepy that Google knows what you’re going to say next. Hopefully, your problem was solved with one of the solutions above.