5 Search Features Google Removed (And How to Bring Them Back)
Google Search launched over 20 years ago, and in that time, it has introduced and removed several features. Here’s how to bring back some of the best ones for those users who still like them.
From the classic “Instant Preview” to the latest move to remove the “View Image” button, Google doesn’t always do what’s best for its users. Giving the option to enable or disable such features would be nice, wouldn’t it?
But while Google doesn’t want you to officially have these Search commands anymore, a few Chrome extensions will make sure you don’t miss them. And no, none of them are made by Google .
1. Bring Back “View Image” and “Search by Image”
Let’s start with the newest feature removal. Google recently discarded two of the most useful features from the Image Search feature: View Image and Search By Image. It took almost no time for developers to make extensions to fix that.
Install the extension and you won’t have to do anything. It’s almost as if Google never removed those buttons. And there’s a Firefox version as well.
“Search by Image” was actually one of the coolest features in Image Search , so everyone would be glad to have that back. Unfortunately, the Firefox extension doesn’t support this yet.
If an extension isn’t your thing, there are other alternatives to the View Image button you can consider.
Download: View Image for Chrome (Free)
Download: Google Search View Image Button for Firefox (Free) [Broken Link Removed]
2. Get the “I’m Feeling Lucky” Button in Chrome
When Google started, the “I’m Feeling Lucky” button was one of its highlights. Clicking that instantly sent you to the most appropriate result for what you wanted, according to Google. While the button still exists on the main Google site, it’s not a part of the powerful Chrome Omnibox , which is where most people conduct searches.
So how do you get it in the Omnibox? There’s an extension for that. Install it, and type \ followed by Tab to activate a search with I’m Feeling Lucky. It’s that simple. Apart from search, it also works with Google’s easter eggs and hidden treasures .
There’s a Firefox add-on equivalent of this too, but it didn’t work as well in our tests. Still, try it out, it does the basic “I’m Feeling Lucky” search well.
Download: I’m Feeling Lucky for Chrome (Free)
Download: Google I’m Feeling Lucky for Firefox (Free)
3. Search Forums With Google Discussions Again
Google lets you filter search results based on several parameters, like images, videos, shopping, applications, and so on. One of the options was Discussions, which let you search several forums . It’s gone now, but you can get it back.
This Chrome extension adds the Discussions button back to the Search results like it was. Carry out your search query, select the Discussions tab, and you will only see forums in the results.
Unfortunately, Google not only removed the cosmetic button but also the base algorithm behind it. But the extension’s developer has done a good job in replicating what Google used to do by automatically adding search operators to your query.
Download: Discussions Button for Chrome (Free)
4. Type Again With Google Instant Keyboard Shortcuts
Google Instant is dead. The feature, which let you see new search results as you typed in the Google bar, was removed in 2017. That’s not coming back, unfortunately. But you can bring back one of the features that Instant added: keyboard shortcuts .
The first search result is automatically selected, denoted by a little bulleted arrow next to it. You can go back and forth with Tab and Shift+Tab, or scroll the page with j and k. Press Enter to visit the page.
Download: Google Search Keyboard Shortcuts for Chrome (Free)
5. Get a Sneak Peek With Google Instant Preview
Instant Preview was a tremendous feature. It added a thumbnail next to search results, so you could see what the page you were visiting would look like. And of course, Google killed it citing lack of use.
But if you loved it, some extensions can bring it back, and Search Preview is the best of them. It works for Chrome, Firefox, and Safari, and even extends the function to other search engines in case you aren’t using Google exclusively.
The thumbnails aren’t coming from Google’s servers, so they can be a bit slow to load at times. But as long as you’re on a decently quick internet connection, you’ll be fine.
Let’s Make Google Search Great Again
Google Search is the company’s core product and perhaps its best. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be better than it is. These other sites and apps prove that already.