One of the great things about Google Chrome is that it can be as simple or complex as you like. You can be up and running with the basic uncustomised format in seconds or you can spend ages tweaking it and getting it set up in dozens of different ways. Even if you have been using Chrome for a while, there are probably dozens of tricks that you never even knew were possible. Here are a few tips and tricks to get you started.
1. Incognito Window
There are several ways to open a new incognito window for Chrome. If you have a Chrome shortcut pinned to the task bar, you can right-click it and select New Incognito Window. You can also click the Settings menu button at the top right of the browser window and select the same. The quickest way to do it however, is to use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Shift + N. Content displayed in an incognito window will not show up in your browser history, nor will cookies be saved.
2. Chrome Keyboard Shortcuts
There are several useful keyboard shortcuts for Chrome. Remember that the browser window must be currently selected for these to work.
- Ctrl+Shift+N – New Incognito Window
- Alt+Home – Load your Home Page
- Ctrl+T – Open a new tab
- Ctrl+Shift+T – Open most recently closed tab
- Ctrl+Tab – Scroll through open tabs
- Ctrl+J – Opens your downloads screen
3. Chrome Task Manager
The Task Manager is a useful tool to see how much memory your currently open tabs and browser plug-ins are using. To open the task manager, right-click the top of the browser window and select Task Manager from the menu. Highlight one and click End Process to stop it running. You can also press Shift + Esc as a quicker way to bring up the Google Chrome Task Manager.
4. Spring Cleaning
To delete cookies, click on the Menu button and go to Settings. Scroll down to the Privacy section, and click Content Settings. Now you can click Remove All or Remove Individual Cookies. To clear more data such as the Google Chrome browsing history and cache, click the Tools icon and select Clear Browsing Data. To clear the most visited websites that appear on your Google Chrome Start page, you must clear your browsing history using the method already described. Clearing your Google Chrome browser history will also stop matches from previously browsed sites appearing as suggestions in your address bar.
5. Adjust Text Size
Having trouble reading small text on a page in Chrome? No problem! Chrome lets you easily zoom both in and out, increasing or decreasing the size of both text and images. You can do this a couple of ways. The first is to click the Settings menu button and use the Zoom controls you fi nd there. An easier way to do it is to hold Ctrl and use the scroll wheel on your mouse to zoom in and out; as you do this, a small window will pop out of the address bar to show you the level of zoom.
6. Rearrange Tabs
If you have several tabs open in Chrome, you can rearrange them easily by simply clicking on a tab and dragging it along the row to the position you want. If you want to open one of the tabs as a separate window, click on it and drag it to the desktop. Release the mouse button and a new window will open. Right-click on any tab to see the tab options menu. Here you can reload tabs, close all tabs to the right of the selected one and even reopen closed tabs (Chrome remembers the last ten closed tabs).
7. Pinning Tabs
Another useful thing you can do with tabs is pin them. Pinning tabs means that whatever is shown on the tab when it is pinned will automatically be loaded when you next open a new Chrome browser window. To pin a tab, right-click on it and select Pin Tab from the menu. Pinned tabs appear smaller in the row than unpinned tabs. To unpin a tab, simply repeat the process and select Unpin Tab from the menu.
8. Start-up Preferences
By default, when launching a new window in Chrome, the browser displays the New Tab page, which is a blank tab with links to your most visited websites. It is possible to customise this. Click the Settings icon and select Settings. Under the On start-up section, choose the ‘Open a specific page or set of pages’ radio button and click the Set pages link next to it. Then, either click ‘Use current pages’ or type an address to set an alternative home page.
9. Syncing Chrome
With Chrome’s sign in feature, you no longer need to fret about your bookmarks or apps being stuck on one computer. When you sign in to the Chrome browser or a Chrome device, your bookmarks, extensions, apps, theme and other browser preferences are saved and synced to your Google Account. You can then load these settings any time you use Chrome on other computers and devices. Signing into Chrome also makes using Google services, like Gmail, YouTube and Maps easier since you generally only need to sign in once from your browser.