Google Chrome users need to know these tricks to get the most out of surfing the web

Google Chrome users need to know these tricks to get the most out of surfing the web

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really treated Chrome users in 2019. The last year has seen the browser receive a feverishly anticipated dark mode, new password management options and an improved system for tab management to name a few. While many of the browser’s best features are easy enough to enable, others are a lot trickier to find. That’s why Express.co.uk has put together a list of the best tricks every Google Chrome user needs to know about.

Tab switching

Did you know there’s an incredibly easy way to switch between tabs on Chrome for Android and iOS? Well you do now.

Instead of pressing the tab button located to the right-hand side of the URL, you can simply swipe across the top of the display to quickly flick between different pages you have open. Handy right?

Google really treated Chrome users in 2019 (Image: Google / Getty)

Gesture navigation

Google Chrome users on Android finally caught up to Apple’s Safari on iPhone with the introduction of gesture navigations earlier this year. This allows users to swipe inward from the left-hand side of the display to go back and inward from the right to go forward.

Unfortunately, this feature still can’t be enabled within Chrome’s settings. Instead you’ll need to head to the browser’s flags page to leverage it.

Simply type chrome://flags/#overscroll-history-navigation into your URL bar and make sure the setting is switched on. You’ll then have to restart Chrome for the setting to kick in.

Google Chrome best features

Google Chrome users on Android can finally enable gesture navigations (Image: Express Newspapers)

Media controls

Google recently launched a feature in Chrome version 79 aimed at tackling one of the browser’s most frustrating problems – when audio starts blasting out from your computer and you can’t figure out which tab is responsible.

Google’s browser already shows a little volume symbol next to a tab that’s playing sound, but this can still be hard to see, especially if you’ve got numerous pages open at once.

But now the Mountain View company has added what it’s dubbing a “media hub” for Chrome that’ll let you control site audio with a single tool.

A button to open up the media hub is positioned next to your Google account picture in the top right-hand corner of the browser. Clicking it will immediately display controls for any sound being played.

Google Chrome best features

Google is adding a “media hub” to Chrome (Image: Google)

The interface itself looks very similar to that found in Google’s Android operating system – it’ll showcase relevant album artwork if you’re playing music for instance. At the bottom of the media hub you’ll find three buttons that’ll let you play, pause, skip forward and skip backwards.

The media hub is rolling out to those using Chrome version 79. However, it’s possible to enable it immediately using this flag:

chrome://flags/#global-media-controls

Simply type this into your URL bar and ensure the setting is enabled. Once again, you’ll have to restart your browser for the new tool to appear.

Recover lost tabs

Ever had an important tab open and accidentally closed it? Well all isn’t lost. Chrome has a nifty feature that’ll let you reopen any pages you’ve discarded, intentionally or not.

The easiest way to do this is by hitting Control-Shift-T on Windows or Command-Shift-T on Mac. However, the functionality can also be performed by right-clicking on the “+” sign to create a new tab and pressing the aptly titled “reopen closed tab” button.

Things are a little different on Android and iPhone. When you close a tab a little prompt will appear at the bottom allowing you to undo the action.

Pin your tabs

Google Chrome lets you pin important tabs to make sure you never lose track (or accidentally delete) them. This can be done by right-clicking on a page and pressing “pin”.

Once the feature is enabled for a page, it’ll then move to the front of your tab queue and take up less space with a smaller icon. Most importantly, the tab can’t be deleted until you unpin it, so you won’t have to worry about accidentally getting rid of something important.

Search sites with Chrome’s Omnibox

The Omnibox is one of the most fundamental backbones of Chrome. The tool is much more than just a URL directory and can actually be used to search through particular sites without having to navigate to them first.

When you put a URL into Chrome, a button will appear for supported sites that’ll let you press the tab button to search through the domain you’re heading to. That means if you type in “Wikipedia.org” for instance, you can quickly find the topic or item you’re looking for.

Although not all sites are supported from the get-go, you can add as many as you like by heading to Settings > Search engine > Manage search engine. This will display your default search engine and let you add new sites you want to support Chrome quick searches.

Dark mode

Dark mode debuted on Chrome earlier this year and brings a gloomier look to the browser that should not only be easier on your eyes, but should also prolong device battery life (if you’re using an OLED display).

The process of enabling dark mode on Chrome is different depending on which device you’re using. On Windows you’ll have to head to Settings > Appearance and make sure your theme is adjusted to “Material Incognito Dark Theme”.

On Mac, you’ll need to enable dark mode on a system-wide level for Chrome to adjust its colour pallet. This can be done by heading to System preferences > General > Appearance > Dark.

Android devices are different once more. If you’re running a handset with Android 10 installed, Chrome will conform to your theme on a system-wide level. But if you’re running an older version of the operating system you’ll have to turn on dark mode using a flag.

Simply head to chrome://flags and search for “Android Chrome UI dark mode” and make sure this is turned on.

If you’ve got an iPhone you’ll have to make sure you’re running Apple’s all-singing, all-dancing iOS 13 operating system to take advantage of Chrome’s dark mode. Once again, the browser will adjust to your system-wide theme.

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