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Related: Chrome: Keyboard shortcut to go to Address Bar?

You can go to address bar by +l / Ctrl+l, but how can I go back to, or focus, the browsing area again?

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[EDIT:] Does simply pressing Tab a few times work for you? [/EDIT]

There doesn't seem to be such a shortcut. What you can do is press CTRL+F, search for a word close to where you are on the page and then Esc.

Of course this is not really convenient, so you could also do what this other answer suggests and type javascript: in the url bar, followed by Enter. This executes the javascript following the colon, so it does nothing. However, it DOES refocus the page.

This is still not convenient, but using AutoHotkey, you can remap any shortcut you'd like to do this. The AutoHotkey Script would probably have to simulate CTRL+L to make sure focus lies on the url bar, followed by javascript: and Enter.

I hope this helps. Sadly, AutoHotkey is only available for windows but there might be a similar tool for Mac.


Another option I just found out about: On windows, I can press Alt followed by Tab. This might work on mac as well.

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  • In case @Riveascore (who bountied this question) happens to see this comment: In my current chrome version, pressing <kbd>Tab</kbd> once does the trick already. Is this not the case in your chrome? (Or if that works for you, why is my answer not "proper"?)
    – lucidbrot
    Dec 4 '20 at 7:43
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There's no good way to do it, but if you're focusing the address bar to copy the URL, you could install something like Vimium, it ads yy hotkey that saves the URL to the clipboard.

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  • Sadly, Vimium doesn't work for all sites/pages, e.g. those that implement there own keyboard shortcuts/hotkeys/commands/whatevers. Dec 29 '21 at 20:53
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I have a solution for this, which works, but it's a little convoluted. You need to install Vimium (Chrome extension) + Keyboard Maestro (commercial Mac automation software).

Vimium has a shortcut m that allows you to save your scroll position to a named register, e.g. a, so ma will save your scroll position to a register a, and to go back to that position you type `a.

So the solution is to create two macros (automations) in Keyboard Maestro:

The first one detects ⌘L and then simulates the keypresses mm before the ⌘L. What this does is bookmark your scroll position before focussing the address bar.

The second macro is a keyboard shortcut that simulates a ⌘f keypress followed by space followed by esc followed by ` followed by m. In my example I've mapped this to ^P for 'page'. What this does is use the ⌘F workaround to focus the page, and then triggers Vimium's go to mark hotkey (specifying m as the mark to go to, which was set in the previous automation).

macro 1: mark position macro 2: go to position

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Pressing Tab should be doing what you want. This works even when the page has no focus-able elements. Tab will cycle though all the focus-able page elements and return to the address bar/location field, and whatever other browser UI controls can receive focus, in a loop, in that order.

Simple example: setting focus to the address bar/location field pressing Cmd+L/Crtl+L, pressing Tab proceeds from the address bar/location field, to the page/first focus-able element, through the page's other focus-able elements in the order determined by the HTML/JavaScript, and then back to the address bar/location field.

More complicated example with other browser UI present: with the Inspector open, then setting focus to the address bar/location field pressing Cmd+L/Crtl+L, pressing Tab proceeds from the address bar/location field, to the next browser UI controls, which is the Inspector (and through all it's focus-able controls), and then to the page.

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Cmd+Option+Up/Down cycles focus between address bar, tab bar, bookmarks bar and page content. Therefore, you can use these shortcuts to get from the address bar back to the page content.

(On Windows and Linux, the same can be done by using F6 and Shift+F6)

Source: https://keycombiner.com/collections/chrome/

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  • Boom! Ignorance of this this has been driving me crazy - Tab is a non-starter for me as I have 34/150 extensions enabled, and approx 1 gazilion tabs 😆
    – ptim
    Dec 25 '21 at 14:57
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Pressing esc will "undo" your previous keystroke and eventually take you back to the browsing area. You may have to press esc multiple times though.

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  • 1
    well, this doesn't work.
    – akai
    Apr 13 '16 at 3:52
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    That's very odd, it works for me. Have you tried pressing <kbd>esc</kbd> multiple times? Apr 13 '16 at 3:54
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    yes, no effect.
    – akai
    Apr 13 '16 at 23:58
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I handled the problem by installing autokey (linux) and creating a macro for <Alt>+<Esc> which essentially runs <Esc><Tab>. After that I have focus to the website.

Note that I have switched Esc and Caps.

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  • What has a Linux programn to do with macOS?
    – mmmmmm
    Feb 20 '21 at 13:57
  • Oh my bad. I searched for the same thing and got this post (despite looking for linux). Thought I just leave it here.
    – Dimfred
    Feb 20 '21 at 14:06
  • This answer is useful because it points users of any operating system to the only way to automatically take the focus out of the address bars greedy hands. "Give your users options", yeah, sure Google. Mar 13 '21 at 16:42
  • For the records, for Windows this would be Auto Hotkey, for macOS try one of these solutions (i don't have that OS installed). Mar 13 '21 at 16:48
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The following works if:

  1. You are using Shortcat - a tool for macOSac similar to what Vimium is to Google Chrome.
  2. Your mouse is inside the Google Chrome window.

You can press your Shortcat hotkey and just press "Enter". It works as though just clicking the mouse left key wherever the mouse current position is.

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