Google released Google Chrome 75 on June 5, 2019 for all supported operating systems. Some Chrome users who upgraded the web browser to the new version noticed that Google is adding images to search suggestions in the browser.
A search for Mario might return an image of the iconic video character Super Mario or a hot of a Super Mario Kart game in the results. Results are based on the location of the user but all have in common that Chrome may display images next to search suggestions.
Images are only displayed for certain types of searches, e.g. when you search for the name of a celebrity, or a TV show or movie name. Images of anime and video game characters may be returned as well, but images of some characters such as Donald Duck or Micky Mouse, are not.
I experienced this on one test PC in Chrome Stable but not on another. It is possible that Google is rolling the feature out over time to the entire user base.
Google calls the feature rich entity suggestions and seems to have enabled it for a larger part of Chrome’s userbase after running tests for a while.
The main idea behind the feature is to provide Chrome users with visual cues which they may find useful. One situation where images may help is if there are identically named suggestions. The photos or images may help distinguish in this case.
Other users may dislike the feature as it does not really add that much value to the search suggestions and may be distracting. The images are tiny as well and it is difficult sometimes to identify anything on the image.
Disabling image search suggestions
There are two options to disable the images in Chrome’s search suggestions. The first depends on an experimental flag in Google Chrome that turns it off. While that returns to the status quo, it is quite possible that Google will remove the flag eventually to enforce the feature.
Omnibox rich entity suggestions
Display entity suggestions using images and an enhanced layout; showing more context and descriptive text about the entity. – Mac, Windows, Linux, Chrome OS, Android
Here is what you need to do:
- Load chrome://flags/#omnibox-rich-entity-suggestions in the Chrome address bar.
- The status of the flag defines whether images are displayed next to search suggestions.
- Set the status to Disabled to turn the feature off.
- Restart Google Chrome.
Second option: another search engine
The second option that Chrome users have is to change the search engine that is used to display suggestions in the web browser.
Here is how that is done:
- Visit https://www.startpage.com/, https://www.duckduckgo.com/, or another custom search engine that you would like to use instead of Google Chrome.
- Load the Chrome Settings afterward: chrome://settings/ or select Menu > Settings.
- Scroll down to the Search Engine section on the page.
- Select “Manage search engines”.
- Locate the search engine in the list of “other search engines”, click on the three dots next to it, and select “make default”
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