What Google Chrome Instant Is And Why It’s Badass

Steve Campbell 16-02-2011

google chrome instantHow familiar are you with the ‘instant’ experience the web has given us all lately? As you may have noticed, Google gives you instant search results from the moment you start typing your search query. This was intended to save you time, which would enable you to complete more searches, which in turn would make Google more money. A win-win, you might say.


In recent months, Ann has shown us how to take this instant feature and apply it to Firefox searches and our YouTube experience 3 Websites To Enjoy A YouTube Instant Experience Read More , as well as how to shut it off How To Permanently Disable Google Instant & Google Suggest Read More altogether, if you didn’t like it or its sheer power frightened you. Now however, Google has given us the next piece in the instant puzzle: instant browsing. In this article, I’m going to explain what that means, how to enable it, and why I’m so excited about it.

What Is Chrome Instant?

Chrome Instant is a feature that was rolled into the latest stable version of Google’s Chrome browser. If you spend a lot of time surfing the web, it can save you some serious time while browsing different websites.

Similar to instant search on, Chrome Instant loads websites for you as you’re typing in the URL. For example, let’s say you open up your browser and want to head to Facebook. As you start typing ‘www.fa’ your Facebook homepage loads up. If you were intending to go to, say, instead, just keep typing and Chrome Instant will continue loading pages instantly for you.

The more you use it, the better it gets at understanding what site you’re probably trying to go to. Coupled with the instant search results, it’s pretty impressive.


How Do I Enable Chrome Instant?

This is the easiest step-by-step walk-through I’ll ever do. Are you ready?

google chrome instant

First, make sure you have the latest stable version of Google Chrome installed (regular or beta). If you don’t have Chrome, you can download and install it here. If you do have Chrome installed, open it, click on the wrench icon in the top right, and go to About Google Chrome to see if you have the latest version. If you don’t, you may need to install updates and/or restart your browser.

instant browsing


After you have the latest version of the Google Chrome browser, the second step is to enable the feature that you now should have. Go back up to the little wrench and select Options (Preferences if you’re on a Mac).

google chrome instant

On the Basics tab, down where your search settings are there should be an empty box that says “Enable Instant for faster searching and browsing“. Go ahead and check the box, click Close, and you’re done.

Now, take it for a spin. Start typing ‘www.’ and a website and the page will instantly load while you’re typing. Badass right? I know!



If you don’t have a fast Internet connection, or you simply have too many people connected to your network at the same time, I could see this feature being a little frustrating for you at times, but that’s really the only potential cause for complaint that I see with it.

Google’s primary objective seems to be speed and that really excites me. Loading my website before I’ve even finished typing it is a really cool feature, and I’d imagine it will get even cooler as Google becomes able to predict what website I’m going to after only typing a letter or two. I’m a big fan of this instant kick that Google’s on, and you should be too.

What do you think of Chrome Instant? Did this fast browser just get even faster?

Related topics: Google Chrome, Google Search.

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  1. Anonymous
    February 17, 2011 at 7:55 pm

    Is this the same thing as the Google Search Instant? Because that one is really horrible. I hate ajax powered searches like that.

    • Kwad_Kore
      March 2, 2011 at 3:10 pm

      Why? What is wrong with them? They are displaying innovation and making searching easier... Have I missed something?

      • Anonymous
        March 2, 2011 at 7:48 pm

        Because it's not really necessary, and makes the browser slower.

        • Steve Campbell
          March 2, 2011 at 7:57 pm

          It really comes down to personal preference. I love the instant results I get as I'm typing. It's saved me a lot of time, but I do know of others that would prefer browsing without it. Luckily, it's a feature you can opt out of.

  2. John
    February 17, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    Well, I'm not a fan of Google Instant and turn it off wherever possible. This Chrome instant is again a cause for concern. What if (and I may be wrong here) my kids begin typing in a site address, only to be confronted with something potentially disturbing while doing so?

    • Steve Campbell
      February 17, 2011 at 2:03 pm

      I've been using it for a while now and that has not happened to me. It's pretty good about knowing what I'm looking for and it's pretty much based on my most-visited sites.

    • TGeorge
      February 18, 2011 at 4:17 pm

      Google Instant does not show porn sites.

  3. Pikapi
    February 16, 2011 at 11:09 pm

    Speaking of Chrome, does it presently has a reliable ad-blocking feature like Firefox's adblock

  4. James Bruce
    February 16, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    I only just noticed this option the other day and hadn't heard of it before. It's pretty amazing, especially on a really fast connection - having the page loaded before I've figured out how to spell the rest of the URL!

    • Steve Campbell
      February 17, 2011 at 12:40 am

      Thanks James. I think it's pretty awesome. Its' been saving me a lot of time, that's for sure.