Google Chrome Fullscreen Address Bar

Martin Brinkmann
Oct 5, 2009
Updated • Sep 9, 2012
Google Chrome

Google Chrome's fullscreen mode is similar to that of other popular web browsers. It will limit the web browser controls and interface, and maximize the web browser window at the same time to display the website using as much screen estate as possible. The Google browser on the other hand removes the address bar completely from fullscreen mode unlike Firefox or Internet Explorer which remove the address bar initially, but display it again if the user moves the mouse cursor to the upper edge of the screen.

Google Chrome users on the other hand have to press F11 again to leave fullscreen mode to enter a new url in the address bar before they can enter fullscreen mode again. That's not a practicable solution especially in situations where screen estate is scarce and every pixel counts (think netbooks and other devices with small computer screens).

The Chrome extension Toolstrip Address Bar provides an interesting solution to the fullscreen problem that Chrome users are facing. Once installed it will display a small arrow icon in the Google Chrome status bar. A click on that arrow will display an alternative address bar which can be used to load websites without leaving fullscreen mode in the Google browser (Ctrl left-click closes the address bar in the status bar of the browser again).

The address bar can also be displayed in normal mode where it becomes an alternative option to open new websites in the Internet browser. The extension can only be added to Google Chrome versions that support extensions which are currently only the developer builds of the Google browser. Google Chrome users can download and install the extension directly by visiting the forum page where it was announced.

Update: Google Chrome's fullscreen mode has not changed in recent time, but the initial extension is no longer maintained and we had to remove it from this article. You can however download and install the Fullscreen address bar extensions instead which is available directly from the official Chrome Web Store.


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  1. Johny Why said on August 26, 2015 at 9:00 pm

    “Google Chrome users on the other hand have to press F11 again to leave fullscreen mode to enter a new url in the address bar before they can enter fullscreen mode again. That’s not a practicable solution especially in situations where screen estate is scarce”

    –it’s not just about screen real-estate. It’s about the inconvenience of having to constantly leave and enter, leave and enter, leave and enter full screen mode if you want the full chrome experience and full-screen at the same time. Google says “sorry, no you can’t.” Worst thing about chrome! Firefox wins on full-screen, for years. Cannot believe STILL not native or extension to show NATIVE extension-toolbar, ominibar, tabbar, and bookmarks on HOVER.

  2. Peter said on November 9, 2010 at 3:52 am

    Here’s a trick, press the Windows icon on the keyboard, the one between Ctrl and Alt, to bring up the start menu. Into the search box, right above the start button, type the Internet address, including http:// (e.g., type ‘’), and hit enter. That should bring you right to the site without interrupting your full screen experience. All the other keyboard shortcuts work in full screen mode. For me, its a perfect substitute, except I can’t make use of the multi-functional Chrome address bar. Happy surfing!

    1. 9k said on December 28, 2010 at 9:41 am

      good tip. thanks

      1. Peter said on December 28, 2010 at 4:35 pm

        BTW, two things:

        1) If you don’t see the search box, press R (effectively pressing the windows button+R, to bring up the Run box, which works the same as the search box that normally appears). This depends on if you have chosen to have the search box visible or not by adjusting the Windows settings.

        2) When you are in incognito mode, a new browser window appears. When you are in normal mode, a new tab appears. So, it doesn’t work in incognito mode.

        Happy surfing.

  3. Justin said on October 6, 2009 at 5:54 pm

    This extension has been very handy on my low-resolution work PC. I like full-screen and theres shortcuts for moving between tabs and the bookmarks, but with this I can use fullscreen more efficiently.

  4. Mf said on October 5, 2009 at 5:36 pm

    Using F11 to enter/exit full screen mode, ala Opera, seems a very practical solution, especially for netbooks. Why have anything except the page content displayed when reading? Exit full screen mode to do your navigation.

  5. Dingoe said on October 5, 2009 at 4:27 pm

    I don’t see a toolstrip in my version of Chrome (4.220..1) in fullscreen (F11) mode. so what’s the advantage of this extension?

    1. Martin said on October 5, 2009 at 4:51 pm

      Well it is displayed when my Chrome version is in fullscreen mode. Same version as yours.

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