There are lots of hidden features in Google Search and there are also some hidden settings of Chrome which a lot of people never know.
So today, we’re going to take a look at 11 settings in Google Chrome that you should probably change. These may be things you may need to disable or cool stuff that is disabled by default, that you may need to enable for better browsing experience.
Now, I’m using version 63 of Chrome, which is actually the current beta version, so if you’re reading this video at a later date, or you’re not using the beta version, things may look a bit different, so don’t be surprised at that.
I think you’ll find these interesting. Anyway, let’s get started.
Close Continue Running
To start off, we have a feature that last I checked is enabled by default that you probably want to disable.
So, go to settings, click advanced, then under system look for the option called “Continue running background apps when Google Chrome is closed.”
I don’t know about you, but when I close Google Chrome, I expect it to actually close, and not have apps keep running in the background
I don’t know about. I mean really, what browser apps do I want to keep running, if I’m not even using the browser?
So yeah, I’d disable that if I were you and save some system resources.
Privacy and Security
Ok, number two, this one is also in the settings page, but this time under Privacy and Security.
Look for the setting that says “Automatically send some system information and page content
to Google to help detect dangerous apps and sites”.
This one is disabled by default, but personally, I think it’s worth it to actually enable it.
If you’re very privacy conscious you don’t have to, but there are so many malicious websites out there that if more people enable this setting, it’ll end up benefitting yourself in the future.
Plus, it may make it more likely Chrome will detect a new malicious site you go on even if it hasn’t scanned it before.
Alright now, all the rest of the settings we’re going to go over are actually in a hidden settings menu called the Chrome Flags menu.
Getting it is really simple, you just go to the URL bar and type in Chrome://Flags, and hit enter.
It will warn you these are experimental features, so it’s best to not go randomly enabling and disabling features without knowing what they do.
Again, this menu might have a different design based on your version of chrome, but the functionality is the same.
So, let’s move on.
Show saved Copy Button
There is a search for a setting called “Show Saved Copy Button”.
You can either search for it at the top or hit Control + F and type it in there. What this does, is will allow you to load a cached version of a website if that website either fails to load, or you are currently offline.
So, to enable it, go to the drop-down and select “primary”. That way, you can at least look at a previous version of the website even if it’s not live, which might still be helpful.
With this enabled, on the failed to load a page, you’ll see a button to load the saved copy.
If you’re wondering what the secondary option means, it just changes whether the Load Copy Button is on the left or right, so it doesn’t really matter.
This one is really great, it’s called “Parallel Downloading”. So search for that one and turn it to enabled.
This will let chrome use multiple download threads to speed up the downloading of a file. This means if a website has a limit for how fast you can download a file, chrome can basically download multiple parts of that file in parallel, so you can cut the download speed to a fraction.
There’s not really much documentation on this feature so I’m not sure how well it works, and if it does it every time, but I don’t see a reason to not enable it unless you start having issues or something.
By the way, there are extensions that can do this as well, I’m not going to get into those because it’s beyond the scope of this article, but you can look those up.
Hopefully, this feature will make those obsolete and just work as well without any extensions.
Smooth Scrolling is the setting which is by default.
This is a personal preference, but I really hate smooth scrolling so I disabled it. It just changes the way it feels to scroll on a page and makes it seem a lot slower and sluggish.
You can turn it off and on to compare for yourself, but I find when smooth scrolling to be disabled.
Scrolling with the mouse wheel just feels so much more responsive and instant, whereas there seems to be a bit of a delay otherwise. That’s because to smooth out the scroll movement, it has to slowly build up speed, then slow down to a halt.
It’s not something you would really notice until you compare it for yourself, so try it out and see.
Omnibox Answers in Suggest Types
This one is really cool look for the setting called “New omnibox answers in suggest types” and enable that.
This makes it so you can type questions and other queries into the Omnibox or URL bar, and it can offer answers right there.
For example, if I type in “2nd president of the USA”, it will give me the answer John Adams right in the auto-complete dropdown, instead of having to do a search for it.
The only problem is, it actually really sucks at working half the time, and you can type something in one time, and it will answer, and if you type it in again two seconds later, it won’t.
So, it’s definitely hit or misses, but I guess not bad to have enabled anyway, and you can always just hit enter to do a google search which will show you the same information.
Omnibox UI Show Suggestion Favicons
I really like this one, it also has to do with the Omnibox. It’s a setting called “Omnibox UI Show Suggestion Favicons”, that you can enable.
What this does, is when you type something into the URL bar, and it lists the suggestions, it will now show the favicon or the site icon next to each result.
So, this is really great if you’re searching for a website you visited previously, and the results are from a bunch of different sites, you can more quickly identify results from the site you’re looking for by the icon.
Plus, I think it just looks nicer, because it would just show little icons that didn’t mean anything, and it was sometimes hard to sift through the results. This is definitely one of my favorites I’d say.
Automatic Tab Discarding
This one is something you may or may not want to enable, called “Automatic tab discarding”.
What this will do, is if you have a lot of chrome tabs open, and your computer starts to run low on memory, it will stop running some tabs you haven’t been using. This way, those tabs are no longer using up resources in the background. And if you do want to go back to it, Chrome will simply reload the page when you click on the tab again.
The only downside I can see is if you have tabs running in the background that are actually doing something, I don’t know, like a game or something, you don’t want that to close. It will refresh it automatically, it will mess things up.
So, you can decide yourself whether to enable this or not.
Tab Audio muting UI Control
This is seriously one of my favorite features that as far as. It is not enabled by default for some reason. It’s called “Tab audio muting UI control”, and makes it really easy to mute annoying tabs that are playing sounds.
When something is playing sound in a tab, chrome by default will tell you which tab it is using a little speaker icon. To mute that tab, you can normally right click it and hit “mute tab”.
But if you enable this feature, you can mute the tab simply by clicking on the little speaker icon. Sure, it only saves you one click, but it’s so simple that it’s a no-brainer.
Fast tab/window close
But sometimes that might take a second, which will seem like a delay when you’re closing tabs and can get annoying if you have to close a bunch of tabs at once.
With this, according to the limited documentation, Chrome will immediately close the tab visually, then shut down anything running from that tab in the background.
I like this because if I close a tab, I want it to just disappear because it’s taking up space, I don’t care if Chrome has to take an extra second for it to close it in the background. So this is nice.
This feature is really amazing to enable, called “Scroll Anchoring”. Now it does technically work on the desktop I guess, but if you’re on Android, you can also enable this, and that’s where it really shines.
Basically, scroll anchoring can help prevent the page from jumping whenever you go on a site, and it keeps loading new stuff.
For example, how many times have you gone to a site, and you start reading it on your phone, and the STUPID FREAKIN ads start loading and pushing everything out of the way, so, obnoxious.
When scroll anchoring is working, you won’t actually notice, because it simply stops the page from doing that.
But over time I’m sure you’ll start to take note that it happens less and less often. And I guess this does happen on desktop everyone in a while too, just less often, but still worth it to keep enabled.
So, that’s everything. I hope you enjoyed reading it. There are tons of chrome extensions on which I have written the article. You can check those as well and let me know down in the comments if I missed anything.