18 Best Google Chrome Features and Hacks That Will Make Your Life Easier

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“Launch early and iterate” has always been the work philosophy of Google. Keeping this philosophy in mind Google Chrome, an open source browsing platform, was launched by Google in 2008 to add value for users and, at the same time, help drive innovation on the web.

After the launch Chrome earned tremendous success because of various features and seamless browsing services. Various hidden chrome features attract user’s curiosity and users tend to know more about Google Chrome tricks and secrets.

Prior to Google Chrome era browsing was not much fun. Web browser were limited to getting the input URLs or web addresses and returning the Web pages.

Google always knew that all the online activities like Uploading and watching videos, playing online games, chatting are not just web pages, but they are applications and should be given more importance than just web pages. Read this interesting comic from Google to know more about Google’s intention before launching its well-known Chrome browser.

A very few people know the fact that Google used Apple’s WebKit and Mozilla’s Firefox component to build Chrome. Google made it open source in the hope to collaborate with the entire developer community to help the technology move forward.

Today Chrome is so powerful that Google has used it to design operating system and it is empowering many Chromebook computers.

In this article you will learn about 18 Google Chrome hacks and mods that will make your day to day browsing life easier. Let’s learn about each of them in detail.

1-Enable ‘HTTP/3 QUIC Support’ for Faster Browsing in Chrome-

QUIC, i.e., Quick UDP Internet Connection protocol, is an experimental transport layer network protocol designed by Google. Goal of this protocol is to reduce the latency compared to TCP protocol.

Reduced latency leads to fast data communication. So, enabling this protocol will significantly improve your internet speed.

This setup is a part of Chrome experimental flag feature. As we already know Google works on the rule of “Launch early and iterate”. Chrome experimental flag is also an initiative of Google to let user try QUIC, an experimental features, and based on the feedback or user experience Google would roll it out.

In order to enable this experimental feature, you need to navigate to the URL “chrome://flags” and search for #enable-quic in global search option. There you will get an option to enable or disable this feature. Select the enable option from drop down list.

Enable Experimental QUIC feature in Chrome

2-Turn Chrome into your personal Notepad application –

While browsing the internet it is always wise to keep a notepad beside you. You don’t know when you are going to get some important piece of information that you would like to note it down.

You have a lot of applications where you can note down the information like, inbuilt windows or mac notepad application, notepad++ etc. But how cool it would be if you get to note the information inside your favorite Chrome browser itself.

You can convert Google Chrome browser tab into notepad by simply pasting this piece of code into chrome search bar, also known as omnibox.

data:text/html,

Use-Chrome-as-notepad

This Google Chrome hack looks cool but there is a limitation of this trick. Once you close the browser tab all the information stored in notepad will be lost. As a caution you can click “Ctrl + S” keys to save the information in .html format and you can access this file anytime in offline mode using any browser.

Also Read: 10 Best Google Search Tips and Tricks

3-Guest Mode browsing in Google Chrome–

Browsers these days store a lot of personal information like, saved login credentials, Credit Card details, Browsing history, Cookies etc. All these details are stored in browser to make the browsing experience smooth and pleasant.

Having all the personal information in browser is not always helpful. You might have to share your computer with someone else for internet browsing and you might not want to expose your personal details to other. Guest mode is built for this purpose.

All you have to do is activate the Guest Mode Browsing in Google Chrome and Chrome will hide all the sensitive information from exposure.

Other benefit of Guest Mode browsing is that it doesn’t store any credentials and flushes all the cookies and browsing trails once Browser is closed.

How to activate Guest Mode?

You can activate the guest mode from three dot option in the top right corner. There is one more way to activate Guest Mode. Right click on the chrome shortcut on your desktop and select “Properties” option. Then put ‘–guest’ in the end of Target text box as shown in the below screenshot.

start-chrome-guest-mode-via-shortcut

Guest mode is activated, and it should look clean like this.

share-chrome-with-guest-mode

How is ‘Guest Mode’ different from ‘Incognito Mode’ in Google Chrome?

Incognito browsing: In this browsing session user can access all the saved Credentials, bookmarks, browsing history.

Guest Mode: All the personalized information like save login details, bookmarks, saved address, auto-fill details and browser history are not accessible in Guest Mode.

In both the cases cookies and browsing history get deleted after closing the browser. Read more about Browser Cookies and their Working.

4-Enable Reading Mode Flag in Chrome –

This is one of the experimental Google Chrome Flag. If you are a student or someone who reads a lot of articles on web, you should consider enabling this feature. Enabling reader mode will remove all the unnecessary distracting advertisements and you will have pleasant experience of reading on internet.

How to enable Reading mode feature?

In order to enable Reading Mode, Put the URL “chrome://flags” in the omnibox or search bar of Google Chrome and click enter. Once experimental flag opens search for “Enable Reader Mode” and select the enabled option from drop down list.

Enable Reader mode flag in Chrome

Once Reading mode flag is enabled you can configure the background color and UI as per your choice.

Check the screenshot below. Article in the left side is before enabling the reading mode and right side is after enabling it. You can see the significant difference between both the pages.

5-Enable ‘Parallel Downloading Flag’ to increase the download speed –

This is one of the best experimental flags that Google has enabled for the users to enhance the downloading speed of files from web.

Working of this useful feature inside chrome engine is simple. Chrome split the downloading process into three separate, concurrent jobs. Smaller jobs take lesser time to complete the process.

Using this feature, you can see the significant difference in downloading time while downloading larger files.

In order to enable this feature, you need to navigate to the URL, “chrome://flags” and search for “Parallel Downloading” and select the Enabled option from list of choices.

Parallel Downloading in Chrome

6-Navigate back to the web-pages in smart way–

You must have used back button in the browser when you feel like you want to go back to the original page or any other previous page you browsed in single tab.

Chrome provides a value addition to the back button and let the user browse back to the page of his choice without multiple back clicks.

All you need to do is click on the back button and hold for few seconds, chrome will display the list of web-pages that you have browsed in that tab. Isn’t it one of the cool Google Chrome Features?

Back navigation

7-Reopen recently closed tabs in Chrome –

Let’s say you are doing research for your webinar and you have opened multiple articles related to your subject and accidentally you closed the browser. I am sure this will not be a very happy moment for anybody. Well, Chrome has solution for this problem.

You can always go to browser history and reopen all the articles but there is a simpler way to do it. You can just click “Ctrl + Shift + T” or right click on title bar of browser and select “Reopen closed tab” (As shown in below screenshot). All the recently closed tabs will automatically start loading in your browser and you can resume your work.

8-Open Multiple Tabs on Chrome Startup –

Opening a page of your choice in browser startup is a popular feature and a lot of people use it. But there is a feature that most of us are not aware of is Opening multiple pages on browser startup. This feature can be handy in cases like monitoring multiple financial sites or Opening all of social media sites at browser startup.

To configure this setup, you need to navigate to setting menu (top right corner) and then click on startup icon as shown in the below screenshot.

You will be able to setup all the sites or pages that you would like to open when you start your Chrome browser.

on startup setting in Google Chrome

9-Google Chrome task Manager –

Very few people know that Google Chrome has its own task manager. Task manager is especially helpful when there are many tabs open and sites are loading slow. Using Chrome Task Manager, you can identify which tab is using most of the resource and you can close that tab to improve the loading speed of other sites.

In order to access the task manager, you need to right click on top bar of Chrome browser and click on Task Manager.

Alternatively, you can use the keyboard shortcut “Shift + Esc” to access the Chrome Task Manager.

Google Chrome Task Manager

10-Pin tabs in Chrome for better look and feel –

You can pin the tabs of chrome browser to display only the icon of the website instead of name and meta description. This feature is especially useful when you have opened a lot of tabs and things look messed up.

Right click on the tab and select the pin option. All the meta description and site name label will disappear from the tab. This will look less clumsy and easy to manage.

pin google chrome tabs

11-Keyboard shortcut to switch tabs in Chrome –

When there are multiple tabs opened in Google Chrome you can use keyboard shortcut to navigate quickly between tabs.

Navigate forward: Use “Ctrl + tab” to navigate to the tabs in right side

Navigate backward: Use “Ctrl + Shift + tab” to navigate to the tabs in left side

Navigate to the specific tab: You can use “Ctrl + n” to navigate to the nth tab of the browser. For example “Ctrl + 1” will navigate to the first tab of the chrome.

12-Hide or Show Bookmark bar in Chrome –

You can go to Bookmark related setting in menu icon in top right corner to hide or show bookmarks in Chrome browser.

There is an easier way to hide/show bookmarks using keyboard shortcut. You can use “Ctrl + Shift +B” to hide or show bookmarks in Chrome.

13-‘Force UI Direction’ flag of Google Chrome–

This is an experimental flag provided by Google to let the user play around with Google Chrome browser UI. Using this feature, you can reverse all the UI components of browser into Right-to-Left or Left-to-Right directions.

This is how it will look like if you enable Force UI direction of Chrome browser.

Force UI Direction flag of google chrome

In case you still want to play around with this option you can enable it by navigating to URL “chrome://flags” and search “Force UI Flag”. Later you can select the option “Right-to-Left” and click relaunch.

Once you are done with the option don’t forget to revert it back.

Force UI Direction enable in Chrome

14-Create Desktop Shortcuts of your favorite Websites using Chrome –

Chrome let you create the desktop shortcut for your favorite site to save your time and provide the browsing comfort.

In order to create a shortcut for a website you need to follow below 3 steps:

    • Open the file or place where you want to store the website shortcut.
    • Open the website in Google Chrome and resize the browser so that you can see the space in the background where you need to store the shortcut. See the screenshot below. I have put browser above the file where I want to store the screenshot.
Create Desktop Shortcut in Chrome
    • Click on lock icon beside the web address and drag-n-drop it to the file in the background.
Drag n drop web shortcut in Chrome

Your website shortcut is created, and you can click on this shortcut anytime to navigate to web page associated with this web page.

15-JSON formatter in Google Chrome-

JSON Formatter is a developer tool, useful for programmers who deal a lot with complex json data. There is a Google Chrome extension named as json formatter to make the json data easy to read in browser itself without any manual formatting.

This extension is an open source. You can access the code on GitHub.

Json Formatter Google Chrome extension

16- Easy identification of nofollow, dofollow and sponsored links using Chrome-

This feature is useful for those who are dealing with SEO and want to identify if links shown on web-page are dofollow, nofollow or sponsored.

There is an extension available for Chrome to identify the link type. Once you install this extension all the nofollow and sponsored links will be highlighted with dotted red outliner. You don’t have to go deeper into processes like inspect-element.

Read More about nofollow, dofollow, noopener and noindex terminology.

Chrome extension to identify nofollow link

17-Chrome ColorZilla extension to pick the color hex code –

ColorZilla is a Chrome extension especially helpful for UI designers, Graphic designers or Front-end developers in identifying the hex code of any visible element in any web-page of Chrome Browser.

You just need to install the extension ColorZilla from Chrome web-store and click on the drop icon on extension list.

ColorZilla-Pick any color from any element on web-page

Once you activate the color picker, you can hover the mouse on any element to capture its color hex code. You can see in the below screenshot the hex code of reddish element is identified in the highlighted region.

18-Play Games inside Google Chrome –

Google chrome provides a lot of extensions to play usual games like Tic-Tac-Toe, Sudoku, Chess etc.

In order to play these games, you need to go to Google Chrome Web Store, search the game of your choice, install the extensions and access the application from top right bar. You can install or uninstall these extensions any time like Mobile phone games.

Accessing Chrome extensions

Few words of caution while working with Chrome flags-

Google chrome flags are experimental features and you should be using it with caution. Since these features are experimental, they can be either moved as permanent feature or can be removed from the list. 

In case you are not able to find any of the above mentioned experimental chrome flag in your browser, there are good chances that Google has already moved it into Chrome or has removed, based on user feedback.

Final Thoughts

I hope you enjoyed learning about best Chrome hacks of 2020. In case you have any cool feature that is not mentioned in the list you can share it with us in the comments or email us. We will include it in the list and you will earn the credit.

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