chrome logoUsers of Google Chrome on Android have stumbled across a new feature which allows them to start a new search without leaving the current page. Touch to Search, as it is being called right now has started rolling out to devices courtesy of a server-sided update from Google.

Touch to Search allows users to highlight a part of text and they can see additional search results in nice card style popup. Google gives the description of this new feature rather ‘plainly’:

Touch to Search sends the selected word and the current page as context to Google Search. You can turn it off in Settings.”

touch to search chrome

Touch to Search looks very much similar to Google’s Now on Tap feature which was unveiled at Google I/O 2015 as a part of Android M. Touch to Search works only inside Google Chrome for now as opposed to the Now on Tap which is a system wide feature.

Android user Blake Bryant recently discovered this feature and posted it on his Google+ page. To check if it works in your phone just highlight a word on any webpage in Chrome and see if the magic happens. Didn’t work? Well don’t be sad now, its fairly simple to turn it on.

Here are the steps to enable Touch to Search for your phone:

  1. Open a new tab in Chrome and navigate to this url: chrome://flags#contextual-search
  2. Under ‘Enable Contextual Search’ tap on the box that says ‘Default’
  3. Change to ‘Enabled’
  4. Scroll down and select ‘Relaunch Now’

That’s it! Now enjoy this new feature.

If you want to disable it, then just navigate to Chrome’s ‘Privacy Settings’ and you will see an option there to turn off Touch to Search.

Nonetheless, it’s a much faster, simpler, and cleaner alternative to opening a new tab every time you want to search.

Have you tried Touch to Search feature on your phone yet? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.


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