11 Hidden Google Chrome Features for Power Users

For anyone who wants to access the WWW (World Wide Web), a browser is a mandate. And which browser one chooses entirely depends on what features the browser has to offer.

Quite simply, Google Chrome beats the other browsers fair and square in this race. The number of features Chrome has to offer is unparalleled and that makes it the best web browser in the world as of now.

Google-Chrome-Keyboard-Shortcuts

Google Chrome has a lot to offer, much more than what meets the eye of a common user. There are hidden features and some experimental features that are usually not available to everyone and you need to enable them specifically.

Here, we are going to talk about 11 such unique features of Google Chrome that you can unlock to become a power user.

Stop
Source: Maxpixel
Before we begin, we should know what Google has to say about these features:
"These experimental features may change, break, or disappear at any time. We make absolutely no guarantee about what may happen if you turn one of these experiments on."

Nevertheless, we at Guiding Tech have tested these features and have benefited from them. Hence, we decided to share our experience with you. 

Open Sesame!

Google Chrome has a nifty little secret hidden in plain sight. There is a cool tab with all the experimental stuff that's going on at Google and you can access it from the address bar

Chrome-Flags

All you need to do is type the following in the address bar.

chrome://flags

Once done, hit Enter and you will have unlocked the magic land. Most tech enthusiasts would agree with me here that all this information seem a bit overwhelming. Worry not as there is another cool tool, the humble Find key, which can lead you to specific features in no time.

Chrome-Dropdown

Use the following combination on any page on Chrome to get the search tool. 

Press and hold Ctrl+F keys at the same time.

Now that we are on the same page (figuratively speaking), let's begin exploring the 11 hidden Google Chrome features for power users.

Note: All the tips we are sharing here are for the experimental features. You can access these by simply typing "chrome://flags" in Chrome's address bar.

1. Password Generation

Of all the things that we do on a web browser, making new passwords each time you have to register a new account is quite literally a pain in the rear part of your body.

password-migration

However, Chrome promises to help by offering password suggestions every time you are about to create a new account on a web page.

Find the 'password generation' option from the list of experimental features. Once there, select Enabled from the drop-down menu and the browser will ask you to relaunch it. 
Chrome-Password

Once this feature is enabled, Chrome will automatically offer a suggestion each time you'll fill up a form where a password is required, and trust me it'd be better than what you usually use. 

You are also free to modify this feature as per your need so that you don't lose a password if it's too tough to remember.

2. Audio Muting UI control 

Internet access or, as we commonly call it, web browsing has become very complex and rich with multimedia. These days, websites offer a variety of content and make full use of audio-visual media for maximum impact on the audience.

Chrome-Wikipedia

However, there are times when you are on a particular music portal listening to your favorite radio channel and you visit another website that has some embedded content playing on it. 

You can choose to move away from that tab in order to continue listening to your radio channel or you can simply mute that tab. 

Chrome-Tab-Audio
Simply select Enabled as the option under Tab audio muting UI control from the list of hidden features and make sure that the browser tab changes color form a gradient of grey to white (see below).

Chrome-tab-mute

3. Important Sites Options in Clear Browsing Data Dialog

Here's another very important tool that I personally feel Google should make public. While clearing browsing data, often there are certain websites that we do not want to be erased from history. 

With this feature, we get the option to save data from just a few websites while clearing everything else.

Chrome-Important

Chrome has a hidden built-in feature that allows it to exclude certain websites, which the users are free to choose. 

Head over to the Important sites options in clear browsing data dialog option in the list and select Enabled from the drop-down menu.
Chrome-Important-site

Once done, every time you feel the need to clear your browsing data, Chrome will save the sites you have told it to keep and delete the rest.

4. WebUSB

What comes to your mind when you hear the word USB? Pen drives, external hard discs, keyboards, and mice most probably? Well, it's quite common. However, there are tons of other USB-based devices that we can use but, unfortunately, our computers cannot install such devices. 

WebUSB is an important feature for devices that can be controlled directly from a website and do not require a computer to act as a middleman.

Chrome-Wikipedia-1
Source: Wikipedia
To enable this, search for the WebUSB option in the list and select Enabled from the drop-down menu. 
Chrome-Web-USB

This can be a useful little hack if you use devices such as 3D printers. You can simply connect your printer to the computer and allow the website to control the device.

5. In-form Warnings for Sensitive Fields

There are some neat tricks for enhancing your security on Chrome's list of experimental features. Although these are not as complex as the features that we have already mentioned but are pretty useful. 

First up, we have the warnings for sensitive fields such as passwords or credit card information when not using an HTTPS page.

security

This comes in handy if you do a lot of financial transactions using your computer and Chrome will constantly be on the lookout for suspicious links. So if there's no HTTPS in the address bar of the page, Chrome will flag it.

Chrome-HTTPS
To enable this, search for the Show in-form warnings for sensitive fields when the top-level page is not not HTTPS option and select Enabled from the drop-down menu.

6. Last Used Date of Credit Card in Autofill

If you are a regular online shopper like me, keeping a tab on when you last used the credit card online can prove to be of utmost importance. Google Chrome is ready to help you here as well.

shutterstock-online-payment-credit-card-macbook

With this feature, Chrome can show you the last used date of your credit card in autofill during any online transaction.

Chrome-Credit-card
To activate this feature, search for the Display the last used date of a credit card in autofill option from the list of hidden features and select Enabled from the drop-down menu.

7. WebVR

Similar to WebUSB, Chrome can also help users take full advantage of virtual reality or VR content on the browser.

vr-chrome

There are a number of websites that offer VR content and if you have Chrome, you don't need any specialized hardware to view the content.

Chrome-VR
To enable this, search for the option WebVR from the list and select Enabled from the drop-down menu.

8. HDR Mode

With more and more devices recording 4K video, many content providers are uploading HDR video on the Internet. HDR, which stands for high dynamic range, offers a higher contrast ratio that results in stunning images and videos. 

HDR

If you are a Netflix subscriber, you can use this feature quite often, along with several other services that offer support for online HDR content.

Chrome-HDR
To enable this, search for HDR Mode from the list and select Enabled.

9. Pause Background Tabs

With the support for tabbed browsing, Chrome revolutionized the way we surf the Internet. Now, instead of multiple browser windows, a single window can be opened that houses multiple tabs

Taking this super handy feature a couple of steps forward, Chrome has released a number of hidden features that maximize browser performance. One of them is the ability to pause background tabs.

Browsing_Mac

Every time you leave a tab open in the background, Chrome will keep it alive for a span of five minutes and it will pause the tab after that, offering better performance for active tabs.

Chrome-pause
To enable this, search for the Pause background tabs option and select Enabled from the drop-down menu. 

10. Auto-reload Visible Tabs Only

These days, most websites rely on something called automatic page refresh in order to keep their content up-to-date. It might sound really great but imagine all your tabs refreshing at the same time. Not so great after all, right?

Chrome-Memory

Such heavy performance can put a lot of load on the system resources and could also cause the system to crash. To tackle this, Chrome has introduced a built-in feature. It can prevent background reloading of tabs, saving precious resources and offering a much better browser performance. 

Chrome-reload
To enable this, search for the Only Auto-Reload Visible Tabs option and select Enabled from the drop-down menu. 

11. Discard Inactive Tabs Automatically

Another cool feature that can be really helpful is Automatic tab discarding. When enabled, it allows Chrome to kill inactive tabs automatically when the system resources reach a critical point.

Chrome-Tabs

This handy feature keeps the system resource consumption in check and frees up resources when needed.

Chrome-Tabs-open-1
To enable this, search for the Automatic tab discarding option and select Enabled from the drop-down menu. 

That's Not All, Folks!

To be honest, what I've told you here is just the tip of the iceberg. But you have to keep in mind that a seemingly innocent iceberg did sink the Titanic. Make sure that you take baby steps towards adopting these features as these are experimental and may cause some issues. 

However, these are really useful and I believe regular Internet users should certainly use some of these features if not all. In future, I will make more such lists of hidden secrets that Google has kept rolled up in its sleeves. So, stay tuned!

Do let us know which of these features you found to be the most useful. The comment section awaits you.

Rahul Gupta

By

See more posts by this author.

Show CommentsHide Comments