Cool Hidden Features of the Google Chrome Browser
We all use different browsers. Some of us prefer Firefox citing its user-friendly privacy, others use the Tor browser because it enables them to browse the Internet almost anonymously. No matter what type of browser you use, there is a big chance that you have the Google Chrome browser installed on your smartphone or on your computer. Chrome is the browser that has the majority share of installation on the market – some estimate this number to be more than 60%. Whether you have intentionally installed it or it came pre-installed on your device, it is interesting to see what cool hidden features the Chrome browser has, and how can you adjust its settings for faster and smoother user experience.
1. Hidden and Experimental Settings in chrome://flags
It is better to play around with these settings if you are an advanced user but even if you mess something up, Chrome has a reset button that will let you set everything back to the defaults. It is advisable to be careful and double-check with the documentation before making significant changes, or you risk losing data or compromising your security and privacy.
• Experimental QUIC Protocol
The QUIC connection protocol is another Google development (#enable-quic). It is a combination of the TCP and the UDP protocols. While it is still in the experimental phase, the QUIC protocol has been used in more than half of all connections from the Chrome web browser to Google’s servers. The benefits of using this experimental feature are faster and more secure internet.
• Smooth Scrolling
There is a setting for enabling and disabling smooth scrolling (#smooth-scrolling). By default, smooth scrolling is enabled in Chrome, but some users argue that smooth scrolling worsens their browsing experience so they have an option to disable it.
2. Also for the Advanced User: chrome://net-internals
This will show you all kinds of network data information. For instance, you will be able to clear bad proxies, clear the host resolver cache or explore the domain security policies.
If you go to chrome://net-export, you see a tab that will let you capture your browser’s network-level events. A log with this kind of information might be useful if you are experiencing issues when working with Chrome. It will help developers debug problems and analyze performance.
This is a place where you can find a list of websites that have stored files on your computer. This setting is more for your information than it is something that you can adjust to your needs. It will also let you create a dump file in .json format in case you need to use this information for developer’s purposes.
4. Play any media file in Chrome
There are times when you might not be sure what program opens a certain media file. There fastest resolution to solve this issue is to drag and drop the file into the Chrome browser. It will play both audio on video files. If you have the Google Chromecast, you can even broadcast this media file and play it on any of the TVs that are connected with Chromecast.
5. The Chrome Dino Game
This is probably the cutest thing that you will find in Chrome. It is a hidden game that not many know about. This game will become available to the user only when the internet is down (the no-connection error). While many have seen this dreadful error, just a handful of people know about the hidden game on the error page. There are three ways to play the game:
– disconnect from the internet and try loading a page
– type chrome://network-error/-106 in the address bar.
– go straight to chrome://dino to play the game
Either way, you will see the ERR_INTERNET_DISCONNECTED message. On top of the message, you will see a small T-Rex dinosaur. If you press the SPACE bar on your keyboard, the dinosaur will start running on the screen and you will have to help him not run into the cactuses and the pterodactyls (the flying dinosaurs). This game will help you kill time until internet connection resumes.
6. Chrome Task Manager
The Chrome browser has its own task manager. Just as any other task manager, it is useful to see what tasks are running in the browser, you will be able to see their process ID and find out which one is consuming more memory. The way to get to the Task Manager is:
– Click on the three dots in the top right corner in the browser.
– Go to More tools and then click on Task Manager
The shortcut to get to the Task Manager is SHIFT+ESC.
7. Open a Closed Tab
Everyone has been in a situation where you accidentally close a tab. The Chrome browser has an option that will let you reopen your last closed tab. The shortcut for opening your last closed tab is CTRL+SHIFT+T (Command+SHIFT+T on Mac).