Chrome

Updated: 06/30/2019 by Computer Hope
Google Chrome browser

Chrome is a free Internet browser officially released by Google on December 11, 2008. Its features include synchronization with Google services and accounts, tabbed browsing, and automatic translation and spell check of web pages. It also features an integrated address bar/search bar, called the omnibox.

Tip

Google Chrome can be downloaded for free at www.google.com/chrome.

Overview and benefits

Chrome works quite well with Google sites and services such as YouTube and Gmail. It also manages its system resources differently than other browsers. Its V8 JavaScript engine was developed from scratch at Google, and may improve your experience on heavily scripted websites and applications. Essentially, it should make the things you do on the Internet faster.

Note

Some Google services, such as Google Cast, require Chrome to use a Chromecast.

After being installed, the Chrome browser is automatically configured to download and install updates when they're available. To verify updates are being installed automatically, see our page on how to update your browser.

Incognito mode

Chrome Incognito Mode logo.

Chrome offers a private browsing option called Incognito Mode. This mode allows you to browse in an isolated sandbox web session. It gives you temporary control over your browsing history and session identity, because when you close the browser, your logins and history are deleted. However, it does not guarantee anonymity.

Note:

Use Incognito mode as a tool to increase your privacy, but understand that the privacy of your Internet activity is never absolute. Your ISP, employer, or other people using your computer may be able to analyze your network or hard drive to ascertain your web activity while using Incognito mode.

To launch a new incognito browser, press Ctrl+Shift+N (Windows, Linux) or Command+Shift+N (macOS X). Essentially, when you're in Incognito Mode, the browser doesn't log what you've been doing during your last Internet session.

Unfortunately, there is no way to display this menu bar in Chrome as it was removed. However, all these features may be accessed by clicking the The menu icon in Chrome. button in the upper-right corner of the screen.

Configuring privacy settings

To fine-tune your privacy settings in Chrome, click the The menu icon in Chrome. icon in the upper-right corner of the browser, and select Settings.

Accessing the Settings interface in Chrome

The settings interface opens in a new browser tab. Scroll to the bottom and click Show Advanced Settings.

Chrome privacy settings options

The first advanced settings listed are your privacy settings, which make be changed to you're liking.

Chrome Developer Tools

If you're developing a website, Chrome Developer Tools are second to none. They allow you to closely analyze all the visual, interactive, and technical components of website locations.

To launch Chrome Developer Tools, go the View menu and select DeveloperDeveloper Tools, or press Ctrl-Alt-I (Windows, Linux) or Option-Command-I (macOS X).

Accessing the Chrome Developer Tools

The developer view allows you to navigate the web on one side of the window, and inspect the resource's components and attributes on the other.

Viewing a web page with Developer Tools

Chromium projects and browser

Chromium Projects

The Chromium projects are open-source, community-driven projects to develop technologies for Chrome and ChromeOS. The Chromium browser is similar to Chrome, but is developed exclusively with Chrome's open-source components.

Ungoogled Chromium project and browser

Ungoogled Chromium is a development fork of the Chromium browser which strips out selected browser components. The project's stated goals are to:

  • Disable or remove offending services and features that communicate with Google or weaken privacy.
  • Strip binaries from the source tree, and use those provided by the system or build them from source.
  • Add, modify, or disable features that inhibit control and transparency.

The Ungoogled Chromium browser source code can be downloaded from its repository on GitHub.

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