Google keeps adding new features to Chrome from time to time. Users often add extensions to get extra functionality on the web browser.
These features stem from Chrome flags, which are experimental features that the company keeps on testing before bringing it to the standard version.
Table Of Contents
- What are Chrome Flags?
- How To Enable Chrome Flags Settings?
- Best Chrome Flags for Windows and Android
- 1. Parallel Download
- 2. Tab Groups (Desktop only)
- 3. Chrome Duet (Android only)
- 4. Focus Tab (Desktop only)
- 5. Enable Reader Mode (Desktop only)
- 6. Smooth Scrolling
- 7. Enabled Share clipboards
- 8. Force Dark Mode
- 9. Tab Hover Card images (Desktop only)
- 10. Extension Toolbar Menu
- 11. Memory Saver
- 12. Energy Saver
- 13. Desktop Screenshot
- 14. UPI Values Auto Fill
- 15. Accessibility Page Zoom
What are Chrome Flags?
Chrome flags are experimental features that are hidden inside the FLAGS section of settings. These experimental features may not become part of the standard version of Chrome in the future.
Some Chrome flags tricks that come in handy for developers can be found in developer mode and Chromium.
Also Read- Best Google Chrome Alternatives
How To Enable Chrome Flags Settings?
The Chrome flags settings can be enabled by using the flags in the Chrome web browser.
Copy and paste this to Chrome://flags in the address bar to find the flags of your liking.
Click on the drop-down button next to a flag and select Enabled.
Once enabled, it will prompt for a compulsory browser restart to make changes in the settings and apply new features.
Best Chrome Flags for Windows and Android
1. Parallel Download
Slow download speed on Chrome is not a new thing. If you are downloading files from anywhere on the Internet, the download speed of Chrome will be slower than usual.
Your Internet service provider could be offering a fast internet speed, but Chrome lets you down at times.
The parallel download is just the feature to address that. It will increase download speed in Chrome by splitting the files into many pieces and downloading them simultaneously just like IDM or any other good download manager. Access the Chrome flag for speed from here.
2. Tab Groups (Desktop only)
Anything over half a dozen tabs in Chrome becomes overwhelming and confusing to manage. Shuffling between different tabs to complete your projects, assignments is not an easy task.
Update – Tab Groups added as an official feature starting with Chrome 83, released on May 19, 2020.
Tab groups help simply the juggling by making the identification of tabs easier. Group the tabs with related work by color-coding them in 8 different colors.
The colours feel fluid and flexible with a streak of below the inactive and above in the active tabs. The groups can be given individual names as well, which provides it a more distinct look.
Right-click on a tab to start a group. Add tabs to a group through the right-click menu.
Remember that one group of a tab stays in one colour only if they are next to each other. Dragging them to a different location breaks the tab out of the group.
3. Chrome Duet (Android only)
Screens are getting bigger on smartphones and tablets while our hands are the same size. Surfing the Internet on Chrome becomes difficult when you are juggling between different pages. Reaching the top of the screen every time for searching, entering a website address can be more than a bother.
Chrome Duet has been around for years to address that once for that. This Chrome flag for Android works on older versions of Google Chrome.
Chrome Duet brings down the home button and search bar to the bottom of the browser. One-hand display users can benefit from Chrome Flags Duet.
Before the Google Chrome update on Feb 07, 2020, Google Chrome Duet had tabs at the bottom as well. Users are downloading older APKs to get tabs in the bottom.
4. Focus Tab (Desktop only)
Next in the list of the Best Chrome flags for Chrome web browser is Focus Tab. The next default home toolbar, tabs button and other icons in the toolbar can be a distraction if you are trying to focus on the content of a particular tab.
The focus tab detaches a particular to a separate window of its own. The address bar, other toolbar options are hidden in the window as well. It feels like a distraction-free zone to help focus on the content in a tab.
This would come handy when you are trying to read long essays, create reports and much more. You can always add the tab back to the main Chrome window through the 3-vertical-dot menu by clicking on Open Chrome.
5. Enable Reader Mode (Desktop only)
If Focus mode feels not enough, then reader mode might hit it out of the park for you. Reader mode removes all the clutter from a webpage and presents the text part in a simplified way.
It would come in handy for web pages with elements that take most of the screen, leaving a small amount of space for the text. Intrusive ads, toolbars, share widgets are few of the biggest culprits.
The size of the text can be altered along with the ability to interchange between three fonts for the page. The icing on the cake is the Dark theme for readers who prefer dark themes in their displays.
6. Smooth Scrolling
Scrolling in Chrome is as conventional as it could be. You have to keep scrolling the scroll button to move up or down the page. The scrolling is rough and jittery, often making the text unreadable while scrolling. Smooth Scrolling provides you with a touch like a scroll feel while scrolling up or down on a webpage. It animates smooth scrolling and feels like butter through a knife in smoothness.
This one is a popular flag and amongst the best Chrome flags to save time. Save something for later that you found on your PC to read later on your smartphone. With the Share clipboards flag, send the copied text directly to Chrome on an Android phone.
Although Chrome has the feature to send the entire webpages, tabs to synced Android smartphones, it does not support sending text directly with one click.
Enable both the Chrome flags on Android and PC to make it work both ways.
8. Force Dark Mode
Web Pages on the Internet mostly have a white background to complement the text in black. It has become the norm for most of the pages. Some applications and social media sites have started offering a dark mode to users.
Force Dark mode flags aim to provide dark on all webpages on every tab in the Chrome browser. There are varieties of dark mode offered by this feature which has different shades and themes of darkness. The chrome flag for Dark Mode can be accessed from here.
Update – Google has added the feature by default. Access it from hamburger icon > Settings > Themes.
9. Tab Hover Card images (Desktop only)
Google Chrome introduced a first feature to this flag a while back in the stable version. The feature is about displaying information of the tab when a user hovers their pointer over a tab, mostly the title of the page and web address.
This flag is about going a step further. Tab Hover Card Images flag displays a thumbnail size preview of the tab in question.
It comes in handy when there are a lot of identical-looking tabs pinned, and you need to access a specific tab.
10. Extension Toolbar Menu
The more you surf the Internet through a desktop web browser like Chrome, the more the need for extensions arise to add more functionalities and features.
They help in making Internet surfing efficient and more relaxed. The only problem with that is that it clutters or takes up much space in the toolbar menu, next to the address bar.
Extension Toolbar menu helps hide all the extensions in a menu, making the toolbar look minimal and clean. The extensions can be accessed by clicking on the plugin menu where a list of extensions installed appears.
You can bring them back to the main toolbar by clicking on the Pin icon next to the extension name. Extensions that require hotkey functions like click to access their feature works in the list quite effortlessly.
11. Memory Saver
Clearly, Google Chrome is a feature-packed browser. However, it consumes a considerable amount of system resources for its proper functioning. Consequently, it doesn’t offer the best performance on aging computers.
Luckily you can easily fix this problem using the Memory Saver flag in chrome. The name says it all, Memory Saver mode on Chrome “frees up memory from tabs you aren’t currently using” so the active tabs and other apps get more computer resources.
To activate a sleeping tab all you have to do is simply navigate to the tab and it will become an active tab instantly.
According to Google, this feature reduces Chrome’s memory usage by up to 30 percent.
12. Energy Saver
Last on the list we have Energy Saver for Chrome. Similar to Memory Saver, Energy Saver does exactly as its name suggests.
Energy Saver aims to reduce battery consumption on notebooks and Chromebooks. You can activate this mode when the battery level reaches 20% while browsing the Web with Chrome.
To save energy what this mode does is limit background activity and visual effects, such as smooth scrolling and video frame rates.
When enabled, the mode will be denoted by a leaf icon to the right of the Omnibox with the ability to quickly disable it along with a few visual effects in the tab you are using.
13. Desktop Screenshot
Oftentimes, we need to download certain images off Pinterest or other social media sites, but they don’t generally allow that.
As a result, we take screenshots through specific shortcuts of the operating system and then paste them into MS Paint or another graphics editor to save them after making the desired modifications.
This Desktop Screenshot flag lets you take screenshots of any Chrome tab.
14. UPI Values Auto Fill
As India paved the way for centralized payments through UPI, Google Pay was at the forefront of bringing it to the masses.
Now Google has brought UPI to Chrome through the UPI values flag. When the user enters their VPA(Virtual Payment Address) on any website, Chrome will let you save UPI information in the browser.
And later, it will offer to autofill UPI/VPA address upon recognizing a VPA form on a payment page.
15. Accessibility Page Zoom
This amazing Chrome flag adds a page zoom feature to Google Chrome on mobile. It is like the Zoom feature on the regular Chrome version, which makes everything on a website bigger.
Once you turn on this Flag, it remembers how much you zoomed in on each site for your next visit.
To make things happen, head over to the Chrome Settings menu. Once you are there, find the Accessibility tab and give it a click.
Look for the zoom option and switch it on. The Zoom option will appear in the overflow menu, ready for you to use on any Chrome tab.
Over to You
These were some of the best Chrome flags to try for adding new features and functions to the Chrome web browser on Desktop, smartphones.
If you ever feel like something is broken because of your experiment with the Chrome flags, then hit the Reset All to Default in the flags page. If you feel that any of your favorite flags deserve to be on the list, then let us know via the comments section.
|Important note – Remember to use these Chrome flags with care and discretion. They are experimental and may malfunction, causing damage to browsing data, amongst several other things.|