How to fix Google Chrome Omnibox Search Issue

When running a Google Search via the Google Chrome Omibox, Chrome defaults to Google.com US or another countries search results and you may wish to use Google Australia / Canada / New Zealand, UK etc.

Here's what you need to do to change the dafault Google Chrome Search engine while still allowing Google Instant and all other search functionality to work perfectly right from the Chrome Search omnibox.


I spent hours searching for a solution to this Chrome issue, and eventually found it, so thought I'd share it, and help make your life easier. Would be apprecaited if you could kindly link to this article and share the love.

 

How to fix Google Chrome Default Ominibox search country, and keep Google Instant search and autocomplete working perfectly:

  • Fully exit Google Chrome
  • Find the Google Chrome "LocalState" file.

    Windows XP:
    (/Users/[your user name]/Library/Application Support/Google/Chrome/Local State).
    Windows 7 / Vista:
    (C:\Users\[USERNAME]\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\Local State)
    Mac OS X: (/Users/(user name)/Library/Application Support/Google/Chrome/Local State)

  • Open the "LocalState" file using a text editor such as notepad or textedit on Mac OS X
  • Locate the two lines within the Chrome LocalState file:
    "last_known_google_url"  
    "last_prompted_google_url"
  • Update these to use the the correct default Google Search country domain. e.g. to change to default to Google Search in Australia, change this to google.com.au, for Canada google.ca, for the UK google.co.uk, New Zealand google.co.nz etc.
  • Save the changes to the file, and re-open Google Chrome, and try entering a test search term into the Chrome omnibox. Figners planned, this should now default to the correct country!
  • This should now also allow Google instant to work rightfrom the Chrome Omnibox (make sure it's turned on: (Click the wrench tool, then under basics look under the search section, and check 'enable instant for faster searching and browsing...')

If still not working, double-check to make sure you have your default search engine in Chrome set to 'Google' (Click the wrench tool, then under basics look under the search section).

 

Method 2

Another method to try, which works ok (but doesn't work with Google Instand from the omnibox, and may not let autocomplete work):

 

  • Click the wrench tool from within Google Chrome, then under basics look under the search section, and click manage.
  • Click Add
  • Enter the custom name (e.g. Google + Your Country) and keywords (e.g. google.com.au) of your choosing and enter the following under URL format (the important part):
    http://www.google.com.au/search?hl=en&q=%s&btnG=Google+Search&meta=&aq=f&oq=&pws=0

    This will use Google Australia and show the 'pages from Australia' option. If you want to use Google UK, simply replace google.com.au with google.co.uk. Or same process for other countries.
  • Now, click OK, then scrool to the bottom of the list, find the new custom search engine, select and and press 'make default'
  • Done! This is now your new default Google Search engine, and will be used when running searches from the omnibox in Chrome.

 

Special thanks to siavash, daaaveeeee and viperdriver for some ideas which helped me put together this guide.

Please feel free to link to this guide, and share the love!