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10 Google Chrome Power User Tips and Tricks

Google Chrome is one of the best browsers out there and certainly the most popular. What you didn’t know is that Chrome can be even more useful to you if you check out the tips below.

Chrome Power User Tips

1. Update Google Chrome to the Latest Version Manually

If you’ve read about the features in the latest Chrome version and you can’t wait to get your hands on said features, you don’t have to wait until Chrome updates automatically.

Just click the Options button, then go to About Google Chrome. If a new update exists, the browser will download it and you’ll just have to restart to install it.

More details on Manually updating Chrome here.

Manually update

2. Pick Your Own Location

Maybe you want to view a site as users from a certain location do. There can be many reasons for this, like different content depending on region (or some content unavailable altogether in a certain location). This is easily done.

Start by opening Chrome’s Developer Tools by hitting F12 on your keyboard. Once the tool is open, click the phone icon on its left side.

Chrome developer tools emulation

Under Emulation, click Sensors. 

Chrome developer tools emulation sensors

Now, tick Emulate geolocation coordinates and input the coordinates you want.

Chrome developer tools emulation sensors lat long

3. View Site as Mobile Device

And since we’re using the the Developer Tools to emulate mobile device features, how about viewing a website as you would on a mobile device? If you’re on a slow internet connection, this could help make things a little faster.

Click Device in that same emulation menu.

Chrome developer tools emulation sensors device

Now, in the Model section, pick the device you want to see the site as.

Chrome developer tools emulation sensors device select

Now you see the website as you would on that mobile device.

Chrome developer tools emulation sensors device nexus s

4. Save a Page as PDF

Google Chrome can save a page as a PDF directly, without the need for any additional software. Just open the page you want to save and press Ctrl+P on your keyboard (in Windows), or Cmd+P if you’re using a Mac.

Click Change under the name of your printer.

Chrome print pdf

In the list which appears, choose Save as PDF.

Chrome print save pdf

Using Google Chrome as a PDF reader is nice because it’s light on system resources versus installing a hog of a program like Adobe Reader. In fact, check out our article on how to make Chrome your default PDF reader. Even if you don’t want to set Chrome as the default, we recommend using something lighter and more secure than Adobe Reader. Check out our article on five PDF tools to read and create PDFs.

5. Change the Default Search Provider

Google is normally Chrome’s default search provider. However, you can change that if you prefer another one. Click the Options button on the top right side of the Chrome window, then click Settings.

Chrome search settings

Now scroll down until you find the Search section. Choose a search engine from the list or click Manage search engines to add another one like DuckDuckGo.

Chrome search provider

6. Delete an Auto-Complete Entry

If you’ve ever searched for something and you don’t want other users to know about it, Chrome allows you to delete auto-complete URL suggestions one at a time, without deleting the whole history.

Just highlight the entry you want to delete and press Shift + Delete on your keyboard.

Chrome delete URL

7. Enable Do Not Track

In the same privacy department, enabling the Do Not Track Feature is always a good idea (even if not all websites will actually care about it). You can find it in the Settings menu you’ve used a little while ago, under Advanced settings.

It’s under Privacy, but if you need more details, we have an article covering Chrome’s Do Not Track Feature in detail.

Chrome Do Not Track

8. Search Only for Results on A Certain Website

What if you want to only get search results from a certain website for a specific search term. Let’s say I want to get results about Google Chrome from our website.

Just type: in the Chrome omnibar, followed by the search terms, like I did in the screenshot below. Here I am searching groovyPost specifically for items related to Google Chrome.

Chrome search just one site

9. Make Chrome Faster by Closing Processes

If Chrome is on the slow side, know that Google’s browser has its own task manager, which you can use to see what’s slowing things down and close those processes to make things work faster.

You can get to it by pressing Shift+ Esc on your keyboard or you can find it in the menu which appears by clicking the Options button, under Tools.

Chrome task manager

If you want to close something, click it an then hit End process.

Chrome task manager

10. Reset Chrome to Default Settings Without Reinstalling

If you’ve been experimenting with extensions and settings, resulting in Google Chrome behaving strangely, know that you can reset it to its factory state.

The homepage, new tab state, pinned tabs, cache (including cookies, content and site data) will all be reset. Extensions and themes will be disabled, not deleted.

However, your bookmarks will be kept. Here’s how to reset Chrome without reinstalling.

These are our Chrome power user tips. If you have one of your own that you think should be in the list, let us know in a comment below!

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8 Responses to 10 Google Chrome Power User Tips and Tricks

  1. Bob Sellars September 4, 2014 at 10:44 am #

    Some really neat tips! Thanks

    • Bogdan Bele September 12, 2014 at 1:12 pm #

      You’re welcome! Glad they were useful.

  2. Graeme McRae September 5, 2014 at 7:24 pm #

    Great stuff! It’s fun to explore new options. I like Chrome’s sense of humor. After I clobbered the most memory-intensive process using tip#9, Chrome said, “He’s dead, Jim”.

  3. Matt Dickinson September 7, 2014 at 8:20 am #

    Found Chrome strangely slow lately (past couple of months). thought maybe it was my computer, but switched to opera and it feels like old chrome again. Was it adobe? I had a lot of problems with “Shockwave Flash” crashing.

  4. Graeme McRae September 7, 2014 at 11:16 pm #

    Matt, I had problems in Chrome with both Shockwave Flash and Adobe’s PDF viewer, and both problems went away when I upgraded to the 64-bit version, which is “37.0.2062.103 unknown-m (64-bit)”, all my problems went away. (Knock wood!)

    • Matt Dickinson September 7, 2014 at 11:21 pm #

      Thank you. Strangely I downloaded it today and tried it for a few minutes – maybe I read a post elsewhere on this site because i hadn’t heard of it before.

      I used to get IE 32-bit and 64-bit versions mixed up because they keep two .exes in different directories and you have to check the about page to know which one you’re running.

      • Bogdan Bele September 12, 2014 at 1:13 pm #

        The same thing happened to me, but things are much better since I’ve switched to 64-bit (ever since it was on the beta channel, now I’m back to stable)

        • Matt October 3, 2014 at 8:58 am #

          I continued to encounter the problems with the 64-bit version, as well as other browsers. However I just disabled Flash in Chrome (typing about:plugins into the address bar) and now everything is about 3x faster. Amazing.

          I suppose some sites won’t be fully viewable now though..

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