Skip to main content

Google is going to start tinkering with one of Chrome's most important features

Google Chrome
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

The next major Chrome update will make a big change to the way URLs are displayed in the address bar. When Chrome 86 rolls out in October, rather than seeing the full URL of the current page, you'll only see its domain.

As 9to5Google explains, this change is intended to help Chrome users avoid falling for fraudulent sites that look genuine, but are hosted on different domains. The thinking is that when long URLs are involved, it's not always easy to spot small discrepancies that give away a phishing site.

For example, following the update, instead of seeing an URL like https://www.amazon.co.uk/Apple-iPhone-11-128GB-Purple/dp/B07XRNQ69W/, you will only see amazon.co.uk.

Testing times

This change isn't necessarily permanent, but Google says that over 60% of its users have been fooled by this type of scam, so it's trying it out as an experiment.

"Our goal is to understand — through real-world usage — whether showing URLs this way helps users realize they’re visiting a malicious website, and protects them from phishing and social engineering attacks," a spokesperson for the company said.

The change will first appear in Chrome's beta channel in September. If you want to be the first to check it out, download Chrome Beta now and make sure you have automatic updates enabled.