In 2008, Google released the Chrome browser to the world. At the time, nearly 75% of users preferred Internet Explorer. 11 years later, roles have reversed. Today, some reports show nearly 80% of users opting for Chrome as their daily browser.
For Chrome’s 11th birthday this month, here are 11 tips and tricks you may not have known about. Hint: if you’re not a Chrome user, a few of these tricks probably exist in your browser also (browser developers are shameless copycats). You’re welcome!
Delete Your History & Cache
Clearing cache can fix issues on some websites, and clearing your history protects your privacy. Click the three-dot menu at the top right, hover over “More tools,” and click “Clear browsing data.” You can also press Control+Shift+Delete to jump straight to it.
From here, you can select a time range and which data to clear. Chrome offers explanations of each in the Basic section. If you know what you’re doing, you can dive into the Advanced selection to fine-tune data deletion.
Reopen Closed Tabs
We’ve all closed a tab only to realize we weren’t done with it yet. Consider this trick the undo button. Simply press Control+Shift+T, and the most recently closed tab reappears. You can keep pressing that key combination to relaunch any tabs you’ve closed in reverse order.
Did you close the entire window? Launch a new Chrome window, use the same key combination or right-click on any tab, and click “Reopen Closed Window.” Just like that, everything is back where you need it.
Close a Tab
Eventually, you will need to close those tabs on purpose. Yes, pressing the “X” on the tab works, but Control+W will close your current tab even faster.
If you’re like us, you probably visit a few sites regularly. You can save some time by pinning these tabs. A pinned tab will reopen every time you launch Chrome. Just right-click on the tab, and select “Pin tab.” That tab will shrink down to just the icon and move to the front of your tabs. Hint: it helps to browse to the specific page you need before pinning.
Keyboard Shortcuts for Switching Tabs
Working back and forth between multiple tabs? You can move between tabs quickly with these keyboard shortcuts.
- Control+Tab – move forward through all open tabs in the current window.
- Control+Shift+Tab – move backward through all open tabs in the current window.
- Control+ [number 1-8] – jump directly to one of your first 8 tabs.
- Control+9 – jump directly to your last tab.
Rearrange Multiple Tabs
We’ve all probably figured out that you can drag tabs to reorder them or even move them to new windows pretty easily. However, did you know that you can move multiple tabs at once? Just hold down the Control key and click on every tab you’d like to move. Now you can move all of them as though they were one tab!
Open Links in a New Tab
Opening links in a new tab offers a great way to keep your place on the original tab. Sure, you can right-click and select “Open link in new tab,” but who wants to click twice? Hold the Control key, click on any link, and watch it open in a new tab.
Search Google with a Right-Click
This feature makes searching quick and easy. Just highlight text anywhere, right-click, and select “Search Google for [selected text].” A new tab opens up display search results for the word or phrase you highlighted.
Share Your Screen with Chromecast
If you own a Chromecast or Chromecast-enabled device, you can easily share a tab or even your entire desktop to your TV. Click the three-dot menu at the top right or right-click anywhere, and click “Cast…” Simply choose an option from the list of compatible devices that pop up.
Enjoy Privacy in Incognito Mode
For the privacy-conscious, Incognito mode prevents your browser from tracking history and storing cookies. You can launch an Incognito window from the three-dot menu and clicking “New incognito window.” It’s perfect for holiday shopping or any other browsing you’d prefer other people not know about. It won’t block traffic monitoring at a network level, so your employer will still know you’re browsing social media while you should be working.
Today, Chrome runs practically likes its own operating system. Now, Chrome contains its own task manager. To launch the task manager, click the three-dot menu at the top right, hover over “More tools,” and click “Task Manager.” Windows users can also press Shift+Esc. No keyboard shortcuts for us Mac users.
In the task manager, you’ll see every Chrome process and the resources it’s using. Often, your browser can slow down your entire computer. Use the task manager to close any problem processes and bring back the speed.
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