Chrome is one of the most widely used browsers in the world. Still, only a few people know about the amazing experimental features hidden in this browser. These features might be hidden but they are not restricted by any means. You can enable various Google Chrome flags and boost your browser in ways you wouldn’t have thought possible.
The Chrome flags can not only tweak the UI but can also add new features to your favourite browser (in this case it has to be Google Chrome).
“What Are Google Chrome Flags, Anyway?”
Google Chrome flags are prototype experimental features that are hidden in the Chrome browser for geeks and tinkerers like us. These features are not in the consumer Chrome build, that is, they are not yet released to the public. But if you like trying new things and playing around with the browser, this is for you.
How To Enable Google Chrome Flags?
Before we come to how you can enable Google Chrome flags, it is important to note that these are experimental features and may behave differently at times. Here’s a quick note from Google:
“We make absolutely no guarantees about what may happen if you turn one of these experiments on, and your browser may even spontaneously combust. Jokes aside, your browser may delete all your data, or your security and privacy could be compromised in unexpected ways.”
Now, to access Google Chrome Flags, you simply need to put “chrome://flags” or “about://flags” in the address bar and search for the flags you need in the search box.
However, the feature list on Google Chrome flags is fairly extensive. Some of them are extremely useful, some not so much. Hence, we have put together a list of the 18 Google Chrome flags to enable:
1. Parallel Downloading
Do the sluggish download speeds bother you? If yes, this Google Chrome flag is for you. The parallel downloading flag accelerates your download speeds. It works by creating parallel jobs in the backend of the browser.
Search for this Google Chrome flag as – #enable-parallel-downloading
2. Autoplay Policy
One of the most annoying things on the internet is when a video starts to autoplay when you open a website. It’s irritating! If you’ve always wanted to get rid of such annoyance, Chrome has the autoplay policy flag to control when an audio or video is played. Search this Chrome flag and change the setting from “Default” to “Document user activation is required”.
Search for this Google Chrome flag as – #autoplay-policy
3. Smooth Scrolling
Do you dislike little stuttering in the scroll animation of Chrome? I do. Hence, this is one of my favourites. As the name suggests, it lets the user reduce the jitters and scroll smoothly through the content. It is one of the coolest Google Chrome flags to enable.
Search for this Google Chrome flag as – #smooth-scrolling
4. Fast Tab Close
Chrome is a bit sluggish when it comes to closing tabs when multiple tabs are active. Users from around the world have reported the sluggishness. Well, time to bid adieu to those issues has come! Enable this flag to close tabs faster than before. It is one of the most useful Chrome flags to enable if improving speed is your priority.
Search for this Google Chrome flag as – #enable-fast-unload
5. Offline Auto Reload
Sometimes the Wifi connection is lost forcing us to go offline suddenly. And, all the loading pages break down into an error. Then you have to press the refresh button to reload the page when you are online again.
This Chrome flag does all that automatically. You don’t have to take the trouble of clicking the refresh button when you get re-connected to the internet. It is one of the most helpful Chrome flags to enable.
Search for this Google Chrome flag as – #enable-offline-auto-reload
6. Automatic Password Generator
Are you tired of those websites with tricky password rules? If yes, this one’s for you. As the name suggests, it generates passwords automatically as soon as Chrome detects that you are creating a new account on a website.
Search for this Google Chrome flag as – #automatic-password-generation
7. Password Import
What if you want to move to Chrome from one of its competitors and all of your passwords are saved on the latter? Well, Google thought of this and made the password import flag to let you import passwords from a different browser.
Search for this Google Chrome flag as – #PasswordImport
8. Input Saved Android Passwords On Web
The affiliation based matching in the password manager allows you to input passwords of Android apps into their corresponding websites. It saves a lot of time as, once you have logged into the app, it saves the password on the web so you don’t have to re-enter it while visiting the corresponding website.
It is one of the most productive Chrome flags to enable.
Search for this Google Chrome flag as – #AffiliationBasedMatching
9. Say No To Unwanted Redirections
Have you ever clicked on a link expecting something, but instead of opening what it said, the website redirects you to an unwanted link? Not cool, right? Chrome has taken several measures to secure your browsing experience but the framebusting flag is still hidden. Once you enable it, the redirects will cease. It is truly one of the handiest Chrome flags to enable.
Search for this Google Chrome flag as – #enable-framebusting-needs-sameorigin-or-usergesture
10. Automatic Tab Discarding
Having twenty tabs open at once when you are not using nineteen of them is a substantial waste of memory. It slows down the PC. To solve this, enable the “automatic tab discarding” flag. It discards the tabs which are open but not in use.
However, it does not mean that this flag closes the unused tabs. It just means that the unused tabs remain asleep. It makes sure they are not using system memory until you click on them again. This is one of the most effective Chrome flags to enable.
Search for this Google Chrome flag as – #automatic-tab-discarding
11. Display Page Titles With Url In Omnibox
If you rate clarity higher than space when you type stuff into your Chrome address bar, this one is for you. The “Omnibox UI Vertical Layout” Chrome flag displays the page title beside the URL. It makes the page topic clearer when you make a selection.
Update: It is active by default in the updated Chrome browser.
Search for Google this Chrome flag as – #omnibox-ui-swap-title-and-url
12. Media Router Component
If you have a Google Cast-enabled device, this Chrome flag is for you. It loads the media router components at startup and enables you to share your Chrome tabs to your Google Cast-enabled devices.
Search for this Google Chrome flag as – #load-media-router-component-extension
13. Picture In Picture
I love the picture-in-picture feature on Android as it allows me to carry on with my web browsing while the video plays in its own window. Thanks to Google Chrome flags, it is now on Windows. It is one of the handiest chrome flags to enable if you would like to dedicate a little pane for your videos.
Search for this Google Chrome flag as – #enable-picture-in-picture
14. QUIC Protocol
Quick UDP Internet Connection (Quic) is an experimental connection protocol created by Google. It is a mixture of TCP and UDP protocols with very low latency. In short, it will increase your data exchange and browsing speed considerably. It is one of the most efficient Chrome flags to enable along with the next one.
Search for this Google Chrome flag as – #enable-quic
15. Improve Image Load Times
This Chrome flag allows you to load images much faster than normal. After searching for the “raster” keyword, change the “default” value to “4” to speed up the time Chrome takes to load the images. It is one of the most helpful Chrome flags to enable when it comes to speed.
Search for Google Chrome flag as – #num-raster-threads
16. Stop Navigation Hijacking
There are websites which don’t allow you to go back. Even after pressing the back button, the same page reloads. Such websites abuse the history of your browser. Put an end to this navigation hijacking by using the “new history entries” flag. It is one of the most convenient Chrome flags to enable.
Search for this Google Chrome flag as – #enable-history-entry-requires-user-gesture
17. HDR Mode
Yes, you read that right, there is a way to enable High Dynamic Range (HDR) for Chrome. Use this flag if you have an HDR display to deliver accurate colour output inside the browser while viewing content. It is one of the most useful Chrome flags to enable if you consume a lot of media.
Search for this Google Chrome flag as – #enable-HDR
18. A More Secure Browsing Experience
You don’t have to enable any flag here, instead, you have to disable it. Unsurprisingly, Chrome browser is constantly in touch with the Google servers. It means less privacy and sharing of data. If you want a more secure browsing experience, disable this flag.
Search for this Google Chrome flag as – #disable-hyperlink-auditing
Update: This flag has been removed from the latest Chrome update.
Google Chrome Flags To Enable On Windows
All the Chrome flags mentioned here work on Windows, Linux, Chrome OS and Mac. Also, note that some flags might work for you and some may not, it depends on your region and system.
If there’s a sudden change in browser behaviour, you can turn off all these Chrome flags by pressing the Reset button.
So, which of these Chrome flags did you find useful? Do you think we missed some useful flags? Please let us know in the comments below!