These Google Chrome tips and tricks will supercharge your Android web browsing experience. Google Chrome comes pre-installed on nearly all Android phones and tablets, and millions of people use it every day. Google’s browser has a lot to offer, and with our help, you can make your experience even better.
While the app has received tons of new features over the past few years, there are still plenty hiding in plain sign. If you know where to look, or what to enable, Google Chrome becomes better than ever.
Some of these features are only available after you change a few settings. While others you just need to know about and take advantage of. We’ll show you how to move the address bar to the bottom for easy access, switch tabs faster, download a page to view later, and other helpful tips.
Move Chrome’s Address Bar to the Bottom of Your Screen
Whether you have a big phone or just small hands, moving the Chrome address bar to the bottom of the screen is extremely helpful. This makes it easier to use one-handed and adds a hidden but fancy modern user-interface at the same time.
To start, just copy and paste (or type) chrome://flags/#enable-chrome-home into the address bar, tap the highlighted Chrome Home option and select Enable. Then, scroll down a little further and enable flags/#enable-chrome-home-modern-layout, and then restart the Chrome Browser twice, per the on-screen instructions. For a more detailed set of instructions click here.
Now you can easily use Chrome with one hand, and your bookmarks and address bar are easier to reach.
Switch Tabs Faster While Browsing
When you’re viewing the web and have more than one tab open, you usually tap the little square “tabs” button then select a different window to go to a different website. However, there are two faster ways to do this.
First, just swipe across the address bar (where you type the website name) to switch between tabs quickly. This little trick is super helpful, and something I use daily. As you can see above, it swipes over just like homescreens on your Android phone. Or, swipe down on the address bar to instantly see a rolodex layout of all your windows and web pages currently open. Tap the one you want to view.
Search or Ask Questions in the Address Bar
You probably use the address bar to type in your favorite websites or type www.google.com to navigate to Google. Then from there, ask questions or do a quick Google search. Did you know you don’t have to do any of that?
Right inside the address bar type a math equation, type how’s the weather, or ask nearly any other question you’d usually Google. You don’t even have to hit enter, the answer just automatically appears. Basically, if you’re at a website reading something and have a question, just type it in the address bar. There’s no need to open another page or do anything else.
Quickly Copy & Share a URL or Address
Instead of finding the share button and tapping “Copy to clipboard” to copy and paste or share a website address, you’ll be happy to know there’s a faster way. Tap or press and hold at the top right of the address bar, then just tap the copy button. Or select the 3-dots menu button and tap select all to copy an entire URL. Now, just share the link with friends or in a text or email.
If you’re on a website that’s HTTPS just tap the little lock icon and long-press the URL to copy the full website address. This saves you a few clicks when you’re sharing links or doing any copy/paste work.
Additionally, in the address bar type chrome://flags and look for “Omnibox clipboard URL suggestions”. Enable this hidden feature, and next time you copy a link just open Chrome and watch the magic. It automatically checks your clipboard and pastes any website links for you. Basically instantly opening a website you copied somewhere else on your phone.
Supercharge Chrome with Reader Mode
We know, viewing websites on a mobile device isn’t always the best experience. You’ll see ads everywhere, different font colors or sizes, and auto-playing videos. Sometimes there’s no standard style or format, making things difficult.
You can force Google Chrome into reader mode, which strips just about everything to deliver a pretty barebones experience. Reader mode pops up automatically sometimes, but we can force it all the time.
To start, just copy and paste (or type) chrome://flags/#reader-mode-heuristics into the address bar and tap the highlighted box. Like some of our earlier tips, enable Reader Mode Triggered. If this is too aggressive, go back in and change it to “With article structured markup”. This way reader mode kicks in when it thinks you’re reading an article, instead of all the time. Pages will load faster now too.
Add a Home Button to Chrome on Android (Root Required)
If there’s one thing missing in Chrome for Android, it’s the home bottom from the desktop version. Letting you always go back to your homepage with a single tap. Some manufacturers have it, while others don’t. It’s actually completely optional and most companies skip it in favor of their own browser. Like Samsung’s “Internet” web browser.
Manufacturers include an optional file known as the ChromeCustomizations APK. This little file is what gives Chrome the home button. You can get the APK from this XDA thread, and copy it to /system/app/ChromeCustomizations. You’ll need root access to create that folder, but once you’re done, you’ll finally have the home button on Chrome for Android.
Supercharge Web Page Load Times
No one likes waiting forever for a website to load. We want information, and we want it fast. Thankfully, there’s a way to supercharge this on Chrome for Android too.
Data Saver in Google Chrome is nothing new, but in 2016 Google added video to the technology. Basically, data saver compresses and optimizes content for you, remotely. Then delivers it faster all while using less of your monthly data plan. This makes browsing the web faster and saves you money.
Open Chrome and tap the 3-dots menu button near the top right. Hit Settings, and turn on Data Saver.
Tap on Words, Emails, Phone Numbers & More
You’ve probably done this before and didn’t know how, or you’ve used Chrome long enough to know a lot of the tricks. In case you don’t, tap on any word to instantly search Google for that word or phrase. A pop-up appears at the bottom of the screen, where you can swipe up for more details. This is great for learning info about a word or getting more information on something like “Android” or anything else you tap.
You can tap on anything in Chrome to get more information or interact with it. Hitting a word will search for more information. However, try tapping on a phone number, email address, or even a street address. Tapping an address takes you to Google Maps to see it, or instantly start navigation. One tap will open a phone number to the dialer for a quick phone call, and more.
Pull Down to Refresh
This next tip is a small one that a lot of users already know, but if not, you’ll love it. Simply pull down on a website to instantly refresh the page. Put your finger near the top of the screen and pull down.
This is a lot faster than hitting the 3-dots settings button and searching for the circular refresh button. The more you know, right?
Download Pages When You’re Online
Last but not least, is a way to download a webpage once you’re online. This is especially helpful if you’re traveling and have a choppy internet connection. We’ve all seen the “You are offline” failed to load notice, with the little Dinosaur icon on the screen. This is Google Chrome telling you that you don’t have a stable internet connection and it can’t load the page. Instead of constantly trying to reload a page and getting frustrated, let Chrome download the webpage once you have a stable connection.
If you try to load a webpage and you get the “You are offline” notice, just tap the blue “Download Page Later” button at the bottom of the screen. Now, Chrome will instantly and automatically download that specific webpage as soon as you have an internet connection. It’s ready and waiting when you go back to Chrome.
You now know 10 super helpful Google Chrome for Android tips and tricks to supercharge how you browse the web. Drop us a comment below with any other features you find helpful.