The best browser hacks (part 2) - Google Chrome

5/9/2012 5:40:15 PM

Google Chrome

This browser conceals interesting configuration options in the settings page 'about:flags'. For example, activate the in-built Flash stopper and use different profiles simultaneously.

Even Google's own browser can be adjusted to a large extent. Chrome hides a huge number of additional config options in a total of 15 hidden pages, and allows experienced users to change numerous minute settings.

Description: Google Chrome

Google Chrome

Play Flash Only On Request

[+] about:flags

[-] Click-to-Play

VALUE: Enable

The first thing that you get to see on many websites is an irritating Flash advertising banner. These increase the download time and make even newer computers sweat. It is better if you yourself control what Flash content you want to see. For this, the browser has a function called 'Click-to-Play' which you can activate on the 'about:flags' page. To bring the changes into effect, you have to re-start the browser. Now open the page 'chrome://settings/content' through the address bar and activate the option 'Click-to-Play' under 'Plug-ins'. Chrome then immediately makes the necessary changes.

Determine Tab Focus

[+] about:flags

[-] Focus existing tab on open

VALUE: Enable

When several tabs are open, you often lose sight of things. Many a times, you type in a web address and open it just to find it is already open in another tab. Now, instead of opening a new tab. Chrome can recognize the double entry and simply jump to the available tab. For this, in the 'about:flags' page, navigate to the option 'While opening, focus on available tabs' and click on the link 'Activate'.

Use Other PDF Readers

As a standard setting, Chrome opens files in the widely popular Adobe PDF format with the help of its integrated PDF reader, even if Acrobat Reader or even Acrobat are installed. It is not a problem, since the Chrome Viewer loads the documents at lightening fast speed. But it does have one disadvantage: its functionality does not compare to that of the Acrobat Reader, for example it does not display a table of contents. That can be irritating with large PDF documents. This problem can be easily solved: search for the entry 'Chrome PDF Viewer' in the 'chrome:// plugins' page and there click under 'Deactivate'. Now, without having to restart, PDF files opened on the Web will directly be opened in the default external Reader.

Use More Profiles

[+] about:flags

[-] More profiles

VALUE: Enable

There is no dedicated provision for using several website profiles at the same time. However it would be useful to be able to do so: this way you can open different Google accounts at the same time and use the respective features the way you need them.

For turning on this function, click on the settings page 'about:flags' under 'More profiles' on 'Enable'. Now you can determine which profile to use for every single tab. The change takes place on the website through the button 'Sign in'.

Block Suspicious Links

[+] about:flags

[-] Disable hyperlink auditing

After clicking, some hyperlinks do not just open the target webpage, but also inform an additional server about the link being clicked. Scripts, for example, can be hidden behind them which collect user tracking information—that is, information about your activities on the web. That is not how it should be. Scroll on the page 'about:flags' to the point 'Disable hyperlink auditing' and click on 'Activate'. In the future, your privacy is better protected.

Use Incognito Lightly

[+] chrome://extensions

[-] Allow in incognito mode

VALUE: Activate

In the incognito mode in Chrome, you can surf without leaving behind traces. You can separately define whether each plug-in should also be available in incognito mode. For this, open 'chrome:// extensions'. Under every plug-in, there is the option 'Allow in incognito mode'. According to your need, mark the add-ons that you want. These functions will immediately become available to you in the private surfing mode.

NOTE: Chrome cannot supervise the function of the add-ons. If a plug-in collects your web history or similar data, it will also be visible in the normal surfing mode. That is why this feature is disabled by default, and you should be careful with it.

Description: Rebuffed Activate 'Click to Play'

Rebuffed Activate 'Click to Play' so that Chrome blocks all Flash videos till you approve of them.

Description: use add-ons in the incognito mode

Incognito power With one tick, you can use add-ons in the incognito mode.

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