I’ve had this gripe with Chrome for a while, and recently found the solution.
When using a keyboard shortcut to reload a webpage (“Ctrl + R”), I often hit “Ctrl + E” instead since the “E” key is right next to “R”. What this does is it turns the address bar into a Google query prompt:
Problem is, I can’t exit out of this using common techniques, such as right-clicking and choosing “Undo” or hitting “Ctrl + Z.”
(Undo is dimmed-out above.)
It just leaves the question mark there. If I then hit “Ctrl + R” accurately, it succeeds with reloading the page but the URL still does not appear so I can never figure out what URL I was just accessing!
The fix is somewhat obvious, and I feel pretty stupid after learning it: just hit Escape, which puts the URL back in the address bar.
The obvious factor is lost on me, because when I normally edit or remove text by accident, I always hit “Ctrl + Z” to undo it (this is common in most text-editor desktop applications). I would expect the same behavior in this case since I am, technically, editing text (the URL).
(Note: Firefox allows “Ctrl + Z” to function as I would expect in this case, but Internet Explorer 9 does the same thing Chrome does.)