As you type in the search box, you can find information quickly by seeing search predictions that might be similar to the search terms you're typing. For example, as you start to type new york, you might see other popular New York-related searches like "new york times" or "new yorker."

How Autocomplete works

When you choose a search prediction, you do a search using that prediction as your search term.

About Search predictions

Autocomplete predictions are possible search terms, not statements by other people or Google about the terms, and not the answer to your search.

The search queries that you see as part of Autocomplete reflect what other people are searching for and the content of web pages.

You might also see predictions from:

  • Relevant searches you’ve done in the past (if you’re signed in and have Web & App Activity turned on)
  • Google+ profiles that match the name of a person you’re searching for

Apart from the Google+ profiles that may appear, all of the predictions shown in the drop-down list have been typed before by Google users or appear on the web.

For certain searches, Google will show separate predictions for just the last few words.

Where predictions come from

Autocomplete predictions are automatically generated by an algorithm without any human involvement. The algorithm is based on a number of objective factors, including how often others have searched for a word.

The algorithm is designed to reflect the range of info on the web. So just like the web, the search terms you see might seem strange or surprising.

Note: Our algorithm automatically detects and excludes a small set of search terms.

Reasons you might not see predictions

If no predictions appear for a particular word or topic, it could be that:

  • The search term isn't popular enough.
  • The search term is too new. You might need to wait a few days or weeks to see predictions.
  • The search term was mistaken for a policy violation. Sometimes, we try not to show a search in one language that would be perfectly fine in another language. For example, we might accidentally not show a compound word because it includes a translation of an offensive word from another language.

Can I turn off Autocomplete?

You can’t turn off Autocomplete because it’s built into Google Search to help you search for information faster and easier. You can always choose not to click on the Autocomplete predictions.

Report offensive predictions

If you see an offensive Autocomplete prediction, let us know. We’ll use your report to improve predictions for everyone.


Ashley is a Search expert and the author of this page. Leave her feedback below about how to improve it.

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