When you launch Google Chrome, it opens a clean homepage with a simple Google search bar and a collection of your most visited pages. You can change this behavior if you want. You can even choose to launch a single tab or multiple tabs. For example, I have set it to launch a couple of websites (WordPress, Quip, Mail, and Beebom Website). It’s helpful as these are the tabs where I spend most of my time working. To set it up on your browser, click on the three-dot menu at the top-right and go to Settings. Here, click on the “On startup” option and select the “Open a specific page or set of pages”. An easy way to add all the pages you want to open on launch is to keep them open in tabs and then click on the “Use current pages” option. It will automatically select all the open pages. If you want to add pages one-by-one, you can click on the “Add a new page” option and enter the website link in the pop-up window. Once everything is set-up, Chrome will open selected webpages when you launch it. Note: Select the “Continue where you left off” option if you want to open the last website that was open on Chrome before quitting.
I spend hours inside Google Chrome writing, searching, and researching. This means I open and juggle dozen of tabs at a time. However, as much as I open new websites, there are a few websites that are permanent in my workflow. And to easily access them, I pin them. Pinning websites allows you to make sure that those websites are always accessible. To pin a website, you right-click on a tab and then select the “Pin” option. It will automatically attach to the left-most side of the browser. This is a handy Google Chrome trick for anyone who works with multiple tabs (which is most of us).
Many of our favorite websites are web-apps. And if you want to keep them separate from normal browsing sessions and want a quick shortcut to access them, you can convert them Into Google Chrome apps. You can use this Google Chrome trick on both smartphones and desktops. To create Chrome apps on desktops, launch the website, and then go to the 3-dot menu -> More Tools -> Create Shortcut. Now, change the name if you want and click on the “Create” button. This shortcut will behave like a desktop app on the system. You can search for it and even add it to your Dock (macOS) or Taskbar (Windows). On your smartphone, launch Chrome, and open the website. Now, tap on the three-dot menu and select “Add to Home screen” option. A pop-up window with the shortcut name will open. You can change it if you want. Tap on the “Add” button to add it to your home screen.
One of the newest feature addition to Google Chrome is the ability to manage audio and video playback from anywhere. Previously, you had to open the tab that was playing music/video and then control the playback from there. Now, when you are playing media on Chrome, you will see a music-playlist icon right beside your profile icon. Clicking on it reveals a mini-player. You can use this player to play/pause, go to previous and next video/track, and even fast-forward or backtrack songs on the supported website. In the above screenshots, I have shown how it looks on YouTube and SoundCloud. But you can use it on pretty much any website. Even if you have multiple websites playing media, it will work. I find it useful for finding which tabs are playing media. This is one of the handiest Google Chrome tricks that I can teach you.
One of the niftiest Google Chrome tricks and the one that stops me from moving to an alternate browser like Firefox is the ability to search inside websites without creating custom searches. For example, for searching a video on YouTube, I don’t have to first go to youtube.com, wait for it to load, and then search for the video there. I can just type YouTube (you don’t even need to type the entire name, only till the part where it becomes the first suggested link), and hit tab. Now, I just type the search query and hit enter to perform the search. One thing to notice here is that this feature becomes available once you have performed a manual search on the said website. That means once you make a manual search on YouTube or IMDB or any supported website, this “Tab to search” functionality will become available for that website.
There are times when we want to search for specific terms on a page when browsing on Chrome. On desktops, it’s simple. You hit Ctrl+F (CMD+F on Mac), and a search box opens. You enter the text and hit enter and it searches for that string of text on the page. If you want to do the same thing on mobile, it’s not so obvious. Well, it might not be obvious but it is easy. When you are on a website, hit the three-dot menu, and then tap on the “Find in page” option. It will open up a search box. Type your query and it will showcase all the existing instances of the query in sidebar marked with yellow lines. Tap on the line to switch to the location on-page. It’s a handy Google Chrome trick that can help you when you are reading a long article.
Just like your desktop, Google Chrome comes with a built-in task manager. You can use this to curb the resource usage of the Chrome browser. We all know that Google Chrome is a resource hog. But sometimes, it’s not the fault of the browser. Instead, it’s a website you are visiting or a Chrome Extension that you have installed. If your Chrome browser is eating up too much resources, remember to open the task manager to check it out. To open the task manager, go to Settings -> More Tools -> Task Manager. Here you can see all the tabs and extensions along with their resource usage. If you find a culprit, click on it to select it and then click on the “End Process” button to kill it.
Google Chrome comes with a built-in casting capability. It allows you to cast your browser and even your entire desktop to Chromecast or Andy Chromecast supported device. I use to cast my laptop’s screen on my TV. To initiate casting, click on the three-dot menu and select “Cast”. It will open a small window where you can select the source and the cast device. It’s pretty easy and takes seconds to set-up. You only need to remember that both your laptop and Chromecast supported devices should be on the same network.
Chrome URLs are a good way to quickly open specific pages such as settings, extensions, and more in your Google Chrome browsers. There are plenty of Chrome URLs and you should click on the link to read our article on Chrome URL usage. You can find all the Chrome URL’s and their usage in the linked article. Below, we have mentioned some of the most used Chrome URLs that you can start using.
Chrome’s Omnibox aka the address bar packs in a lot of functionality. You can use the Omnibox to do calculations, check weather, convert units, start timer, search into websites directly and more. Moreover, you can use the Omnibox for more advanced tasks like sending an email or saving an event to the Calendar. However, you will have to follow a few steps before you can start adding Google Calendar events from the calendar. Here goes: