Google Chrome has become the browser of choice for many people. It’s packed with powerful features that make it popular, but you may not have found all of the best yet. We’ll make sure you do.
You may think you need fancy software to share a Chrome tab or your entire screen to another. Chrome actually has this built in, and it’s incredibly easy to use. Chrome gives you three options when casting to a Chromecast or a Nest Smart Display. You can cast tabs, files, or your entire screen. This option can be easily accessed from the Chrome menu. It works on Chrome for Windows, Mac and Linux.
Chrome’s address bar, also known as the address bar, is so named because it can do many different things. You probably know that you can search directly with any search engine you want, but it can also search for specific websites.
Instead of searching Google for things like “howtogeek google chrome” to find an article on our site, you can search How-To Geek directly from the address bar. In fact, you can do this with any website you want. This can be a great time-saving feature.
Right click to find highlighted text
Another great search feature in Chrome is the ability to quickly find anything just by highlighting text. It will work with the search engine you have chosen to use in Chrome.
All you have to do is highlight some text, then right click and select “Find [vendor] for [text]”. A new tab will open with a pre-populated search for the highlighted text. A super quick shortcut to finding anything.
If you find yourself opening too many tabs in Chrome, then you really need to know about tab groups. This feature allows you to organize tabs into groups and collapse them to save space on the tab bar. Groups of tabs can be moved together and labeled with colors and names. It’s a handy feature that most modern browsers have added, and it’s become a must-have way to prevent tabs from taking over your browser window.
Find open tabs
Another feature that can help you untangle your cluttered tabs is tabbed search. Can’t find the tab you need right now? Just tap the little arrow in the top bar of the Chrome window and you can see them all in a list. If you know the tab name, type it in the search bar to quickly jump to that particular tab.
Automatically change new tab background
Chrome’s New Tab page is surprisingly useful. It has shortcuts to Gmail and Google Images, a search bar, and websites you visit frequently. You can add accent to the New Tab page with a background.
You can set the background to use all the time, but if you want to take it a step further, Chrome can automatically cycle through different backgrounds. Every day you will be greeted with a new background.
Change where downloads are saved
Here’s a little trick that can make your life easier. By default, Chrome saves downloaded files to the “Downloads” folder on your device. You can actually change where these downloads are saved.
Actually, you have two choices for your download folder. You can choose any default location you want or choose to be prompted every time. If you find that your Downloads folder is getting out of control, you should change Chrome’s behavior.
Live captions for any video or audio
Closed captioning is an essential feature for many people with visual or hearing impairments. Sites like YouTube have well-embedded subtitles, but not everywhere. Chrome can fix this problem for you. “Live Captions” is a feature that automatically places on-screen captions for any video or audio playing in your browser. It’s built right into Chrome: no feature flags or extensions are required.
Enable the extension in incognito mode
Chrome’s incognito mode feature does not include your installed extensions. This is a security feature, but you can allow certain extensions to stay incognito mode if you want.
The good thing about this is that you don’t have to select all or nothing. You can specify which extensions you want to allow in incognito mode. Just be aware that this will allow these extensions to access your incognito browsing.
Experiment with hidden features
Finally, Chrome has a lot of hidden features that you might not know about. These features are hidden behind “flags” that need to be manually activated. Google is constantly adding and removing new feature flags. This is an important thing to remember with flags. They are not in the stable version of Chrome for a reason. Sometimes they will eventually find a stable release, but sometimes they will never. However, it can be fun to try out these features, just don’t get too emotionally attached.