Google Chrome Flags
What are Chrome Flags?
I’m sure you’re well aware of the Developers Option, especially if you use an Android Smartphone. Developer Options is kind of a secret menu hidden away from the average user. It has multi uses as it helps in rooting your phone and install a custom ROM, you can transform the look of your phone and even fake your GPS location, you have to enable the Developer options.
It also allows you to enable debugging over USB, capture bug reports on to your Android device, and show CPU usage on the screen to measure the impact of your software. Developer Options, as the name suggests, is built for the benefit of developers, but you don’t have to be planning to write your own Android Application or Game to turn it on.
Similarly, in the Chrome browser, there are a set of experimental features and settings hidden from a normal user. These are known as Chrome Flags. These experimental features include functionality that Google is working on (or in Beta or testing stage) but haven’t enabled it yet in the consumer Chrome build.
With Chrome flags, you can improve your browsing performance and also use new in-development features. Advanced options like hardware and GPU acceleration, which should be great for developer testing. The feature list on Chrome flags is pretty extensive but it should interest you if you love tinkering with new features.
WARNING: EXPERIMENTAL FEATURES AHEAD! By enabling Chrome Flags features, you could lose browser data or compromise your security or privacy. Enabled features apply to all users of this browser. You can always press the Reset all to default button to sort things out on Chrome in your PC or you can wipe the app data on your Android device to get Chrome back to normal.
How to enable Chrome Flags?
Follow the steps to enable Chrome Flags:
- Type “chrome://flags” or “about://flags” in the search/address bar.
How to use Chrome Flags?
- Once Chrome flags open, you’ll see a long list of features that you can enable or disable. You can easily search for specific features typing in the search box or find it using Control+F or Command+F.
- All the advanced features have a short description below it along with the platforms (Windows, OS X, Linux, Chrome OS and Android) they are available in.
- You can enable any feature you like by just hitting the Enable button or changing it from Default to Enabled or Disabled.
- Once Enabled or Disabled, you will be presented with a Relaunch Now button that will save your changes and restart Chrome with your changes in place.
- You can always use the Reset all to default button to reset all the Chrome flags settings.
Top 27 Chrome Flags to Use
Automatic Spelling Correction
There are a number of spell checker extensions on Chrome but Google is testing an inbuilt spelling corrector.
This feature enables automatic auto-correction while you type. This flag is not available for Android and Mac/OS X.
This one is for Android devices. This flag places most of the options like tabs, search, home, and the options menu at the bottom of the screen instead of the top.
Debugging keyboard shortcuts
There are various additional Google Chrome shortcuts that can be used for debugging the browser.
Well, this flag lets you enabled those additional Chrome shortcuts.
This is one of my favourite chrome flags. This flag once enabled, lets you resume the downloads even after interruptions
The inbuilt download manager on Chrome can be a little frustrating at times, with downloads getting interrupted by something or the other.
Download Status in Notification Centre
This flag lets you see the download status in the Notification Centre once enabled.
The download bar is not very efficient and if you want to see your download status in the Notification Centre, then this flag should be great for you.
Experimental Canvas Features
This amazing flag is experimental but if you want your browser to be speedy, then you may as well try it.
This flag enables “opaque canvases”, which requires less compositing, making the page loading time and performance a lot better on Chrome.
Emphasize Titles in the Omnibox Drop-down
With this Chrome flag, the drop-down in the Search box shows you more suggestions instead of just URLs.
Generally, when we search for something in the Omnibox, the density of URLs are more than search suggestions. With this flag, things change that way.
In most cases, what’s fast isn’t secure and vice versa. Even the very best of Chrome VPNs slow things down a little.
Google has been working on a new protocol that combines elements of TCP and UDP and is both faster and more secure.
QUIC works by reducing the number of connection requests required to establish a secure connection with the server.
This Chrome flag is for developers. This should come in handy for developers who want their apps or websites to be up-to-date with the latest web standards.
Experimental Web Platform features
This one is for developers. Developers can choose to use the latest experimental web platform features that are still under development using this flag.
Extension Toolbar Redesign
If you use a lot of chrome extensions, then this flag will let you see them all at the end of the Search box.
The extensions that you hide will be seen in the hamburger settings menu of Chrome. This flag is not available for Android.
Fast Tab/Window Close
You can simply enable this flag, which should result in tabs and windows closing faster than before.
This Chrome flag when enabled shows you the frame rate in frames per second on every web page if the hardware acceleration is enabled.
This one is for smartphone devices. Once you enable it, you can head over to the ‘Top Sites’ in Chrome to view a dedicated games section and getting easy access to these fun games.
Lazy Image Loading
This Flag lets you load image-heavy pages faster by forcing “lazy” image loading, which prevents images from loading until they’re actually about to be displayed on the screen.
Maximum Tiles for Interest Area
Another interesting one, if you are having memory issues with Chrome on your PC or Android smartphone, this flag is definitely for you.
With this Chrome flag, you can change the “maximum tiles” from “Default” to “512” allowing Chrome to access more RAM than before, thus making your experience faster.
This flag is only recommended for people using PCs or smartphones with a good amount of RAM, as devices with low RAM won’t be able to provide enough memory to Chrome.
This feature enables spell checking for multiple languages at the same time.
If you converse in multiple languages on the web, then you should definitely enable this. This flag is not available for Android and Mac/OS X.
Number of Raster Threads
This flag improves the image loading time on Chrome, so this should be pretty helpful for people who visit webpages with lots of images.
This is set to “Default” by Google but you have the ability to set it to the maximum.
Override Software Rendering List
This Chrome flag is not for a normal user rather it is for developers. This flag makes sure that GPU and hardware acceleration is used instead of the default software rendering.
When this flag is enabled, the system forces the usage of GPU resources while overriding software rendering.
This flag should come in handy for developers wanting to test their apps or websites with GPU acceleration rather than software rendering.
Parallel downloading creates three separate downloads “jobs” to accelerate the downloading of large files. It works just like Internet Download Manager (IDM).
Enabling this Flag can make downloads of large files much faster.
This flag, when enabled, lets Google create passwords for you.
Save Passwords Automatically
As the name of the flag suggests, enabling this will remove the password prompt and save all your passwords automatically.
This might be helpful if you are the only person using a PC since passwords prompts can be somewhat intrusive in your experience. This flag is not available for Android.
This one is also interesting. The “Scroll Prediction” flag, once enabled, predicts where you would scroll to next in a web page and renders the page in advance for smoother scrolling.
This flag is not available for Android smartphones and tablets.
Show Autofill predictions
This Flag is one of my favourite ones. It shows Chrome autofill predictions as placeholder text in online forms.
When you come to signup or other forms, Chrome offers you autofill to save you typing the same email address, name, and ZIP code you use in a zillion forms.
This Flag means as soon as the form comes up, it’s auto-populated without you having to type anything.
When you have a lot of tabs open in Chrome, the experience can get a little sluggish, especially while scrolling. Thanks to the “smooth scrolling” implementation, you can get a smoother scrolling experience.
This flag is available on Windows and Linux.
Tab Audio Muting UI Control
When enabled, this flag brings a mute button alongside the audio indicators in a tab. It also enables a “mute multiple tabs” option in the contextual menu of tabs.
There are times when audio starts playing on a page and we want to mute it but it takes a lot of time. Well, that is where this flag should be beneficial.
Tab Freeze and Discard
This Flag on really important. It replaces the Automatic tab discarding Flag. If you’re in the habit of leaving multiple tabs open, this Flag is for you: it keeps those tabs open but stops them from using memory.
With Tab freeze and discard, you can leave as many tabs as you want open, still, see their content, but not sacrifice memory to keep them visible. They “wake back up” when you navigate or interact in them.
[Video] Amazing! Now Google Chrome Now Lets You Create Links for Highlighted Text on a Webpage [Hindi/Urdu]
Copy Link to Highlight
When we surf the web and find something interesting in an article or story, there are times when we want to share only that particular paragraph with someone instead of the full text. If you are someone who would like to use such a feature, Google Chrome 90 brings the ability to share a dedicated link for highlighted text on a webpage.
The Mountain View giant recently rolled out the Chrome 90 update with a new option to hide the Reading List, a new AV1 encoder, and more. Among these, there is another nifty feature that the software giant did not mention in the official changelog or blog post. Nonetheless, it was recently shown by Google Chrome’s Director of Engineering Adrienne Porter Felt via a tweet.
Chrome’s New “Copy Link to Highlight” Feature
As you can see, in the Chrome 90 update, you will be able to copy links of highlighted text to share with others. When the person, with whom you share the link, opens it on his/her device, it will lead to the particular part of the source text which you highlighted. The selected text will be highlighted in yellow.
This is pretty useful when you want to share a certain section of an article with someone to make your point. So, with this feature, just highlight the section you want to share, select the new “Copy link to highlight” button that appears in the right-click options menu, and share the link.
I tested it on the Canary version of Chrome running the Chrome 90 update and it worked perfectly fine for me. As you can see in the screenshots below, there is the new “Copy link to highlight” button included in the right-click options list.
So, if you head to this link, you will find the section, which I selected to share, highlighted in yellow in the video below.
As per reports, Google has been testing the ability of Chrome to shared web pages with highlighted text since last year. The company reportedly released a Chrome extension dubbed “Link to Text Fragment” to enable the option for users. However, with the Chrome 90 update, the company integrated the feature right into its browser.
Copy Link to Highlight Availability
Now, the “Copy link to highlight” feature, as per Adrienne, will gradually roll out to the users running the latest Chrome 90 update. However, if you’re running the Chrome 90 update and do not see the feature, you can enable it manually via the Chrome://flags copy-link-to-text Chrome flag. For more details about the usage of Chrome Flags, please watch the video given below at the end of the post.
Chrome Flags to Avoid
Well, not all chrome flags are useful. Some of the flags, at least by the time of writing this post, should be avoided. Either these are unstable and crash your site a lot or too buggy to test. Some of such flags are:
- Bleeding Edge Renderer Paths
- Site isolation opt-out
- Zero-copy rasterizer
Why should we use Chrome Flags?
Most of the chrome flags are really handy and should definitely be used for an average user or a developer. Following are some of the highlighted points of chrome flags which show that, Yes, we should use chrome flags.
- Chrome Flags should be used for low powered PC or a low-end Android device. Thanks to various Chrome flags we mentioned above, we can bring a lot of performance improvements to our Chrome experience which include better page rendering, faster page & image loading, etc to name a few.
- Apart from performance improvements, various Chrome flags also bring features that aren’t part of the stable consumer Chrome build. For example, “Download Resumption” is one feature we have been wanting for a long time and thanks to flags, you can enable them.
- The flags are basically designed for developers who early want to test or access different features and also a boon for developers who can test their apps before release and make sure that it works equally well in diverse situations. Chrome flags are certainly a win-win for both consumers and developers.
If you don’t see the Chrome Flag you’re looking for, it might have been discontinued or built into regular Chrome – or it might not have made it into Flags for regular Chrome yet. Try Chrome Canary or Devs to see more Flags.
[VIDEO] ?Top 10+ Most Amazing Flags You Must Use [Urdu/Hindi]
- [0:03] What is Developers Option (in Android)?
- [0:20] What are Chrome Flags?
- [1:23] How to enable Chrome Flags?
- [2:16] Important note regarding Chrome Flags
- [3:50] How to use Chrome Flags?
- [4:05] Top 10 Chrome Flags you must use
- [4:58] How to access/search for any Chrome Flag?
- [4:31] #1 Flag – Download Resumption
- [6:55] #2 Flag – Lazy Image Loading
- [8:16] #3 Flag – Maximum Tiles for Interest Area
- [9:13] #4 Flag – Parallel Downloading
- [9:37] #5 Flag – Show Autofill Predictions
- [10:12] #6 Flag – Smooth Scrolling
- [10:39] #7 Flag – Tab Freeze and Discard
- [11:31] #8 Flag – Save Passwords Automatically
- [11:51] #9 Flag – Password Generation
- [12:24] #10 Flag – Games Hub
- [12:45] #11 Flag – Experimental Canvas Features
- [13:05] #12 Flag – Chrome Duet
- [13:33] #13 Flag – Automatic Spelling Correction
- [14:01] Important Flags for Developers
- [14:32] Chrome Flags Usage Precautions
- [15:00] Chrome Flags to Avoid
- [15:11] Advantages of Chrome Flags
So, what do you think of Google Chrome Flags, tell us your favourite flags in the comments section below.