How to

7 Advanced Chrome Features to Make Browsing Faster

Key Takeaways

  • Chrome introduced a tab group feature, allowing you to organize multiple tabs within a single browser window for better task management.
  • You can easily reopen closed tabs in Chrome by using the shortcut Ctrl/Cmd + Shift + T, even if you closed multiple tabs in succession.
  • Google implemented an @ shortcut in Chrome that allows you to quickly search through bookmarks, tabs, and history by typing @bookmarks, @tabs, or @history into the address bar for easier navigation.

Getting the most out of your browser’s features can make the web a faster and more enjoyable experience overall. Chrome has innovated some of the most impressive browser features over the years (and borrowed a few) to create one of the smoothest online experiences around.

So let’s see how many of these advanced Chrome features you’re making the best use of.

1. Organize Your Tabs Into Groups

Managing multiple tabs is one of the most frustrating aspects of heavy browser use. Sure, you can group tabs in different browser windows, but this only gets you so far. Thankfully, in 2021, Chrome introduced a tab group feature that allows you to group tabs within a single browser window.

Selecting group tabs in Google Chrome

By having multiple tab groups in the same window, you can start to arrange different tasks without getting yourself into a mess.

For example, let’s say you’re working on a project. You can keep web apps like Gmail and Drive in one tab group, and documents you need to reference in another. This way, they’re always available when you need to access them.

managing multiple tab groups in chrome

As you get more involved in the project, you might create a new group for existing articles to serve as inspiration and another one for researching new ideas. As your project takes shape, you might create another tab group for resources you plan to cite, and so on.

You can even create permanent tab groups for your most important tabs, allowing you to quickly restore them after restarting Chrome or accidentally closing them.

2. Open the Last Tab You Closed

Have you ever found yourself closing a bunch of tabs, only to accidentally close one you really needed to keep open? We’ve all been there, desperately searching through the history tab for one specific page, knowing you probably won’t even recognize it if you see it.

Even tab groups aren’t immune to this if you frantically hit the close tab shortcut too many times. So, the world rejoiced when Google introduced a reopen closed tab feature for Chrome, which you can use by pressing Ctrl/Cmd + Shift + T to instantly undo your mistake.

Best of all, if you’ve closed a bunch of tabs in succession, you can hit the shortcut multiple times to reopen each tab individually until you find the one you want. Phew!

3. Quickly Search Bookmarks, History, And Tabs

Bookmarks, browser history, and tabs are some of the most important features for any browser power user. Unfortunately, even the tidiest bookmark system turns into a maze over time, making it increasingly difficult to find what you need or remember what’s where.

We’ve already discussed the wonders of tab groups, but quickly finding one specific tab can become difficult when they’re all buried in groups.

Luckily, Google has addressed both problems by implementing an @ shortcut in Chrome that allows you to quickly search through bookmarks, tabs, and your history by typing @bookmarks, @tabs, or @history into the address bar.

Searching for lost tabs

4. Stop Websites Asking to Send Notifications

Constantly getting asked by websites to send you push notifications has got to be one of the most annoying things about browning the web these days. As if selecting your cookie settings and closing any pop-ups isn’t already enough to deal with, you have to deal with one of these on half the websites you visit:

a request to send notifications in chrome

Arguably, Chrome has made it a little too easy for websites to send notification requests. That being said, it’s made it even easier for users to block notification requests in Chrome. The only downside is the browser’s default settings give websites free roam to send requests.

To put a stop to this, click the three-dot icon at the top-right of a Chrome browser window and select Settings > Privacy and security > Site settings > Notifications.

block sites from sending notifications and notification requests in chrome

At the top of the Notifications tab, you’ll see a section labeled Default behavior with three options: Sites can ask to send notifications (selected by default), Use quieter messaging, and Don’t allow sites to send notifications.

Select Don’t allow sites to send notifications, and this will prevent websites from sending notification requests as you browse the web.

5. Mute Website to Stop Notification Sounds

If there’s anything more annoying than constant notification requests, it’s got to be on-site notification noises for things like chatbot widgets. Let’s say you click on a bunch of Google Search results at once and, then, switch back to another browser window.

Suddenly, half a dozen bell sounds ring in your ears from chat widgets telling you they’re ready to answer your questions. Headphone users and music listeners, in particular, will understand the struggles of invasive audio while browsing the web.

To save us from this madness, and other issues like autoplaying videos, Chrome allows you to mute entire websites. All you have to do is right-click on the offending tab and select Mute site from the dropdown menu.

you can mute any website in chrome

Chrome will remember this setting and continue to mute the same website for future visits, as long as you’re signed in to your Google Account.

6. Manage Your Passwords And Authentication Methods

In 2023, Google introduced a new shortcut for Password Manager in Chrome on desktop. Now, you can access it by simply clicking the three-dot icon at the top-right of a browser window and selecting Password Manager from the dropdown menu.

access password manager in chrome

From here, you can manage your passwords for sites you regularly access, allowing you to log in faster. You can also add a desktop shortcut for Google Password Manager for direct access to the tool in your Google Account.

Simply open Password Manager in Chrome and click the Add shortcut button at the top of the dashboard.

password manager in chrome

Aside from managing your passwords for websites and apps, you can also add verification methods, save notes about your accounts, and import data from other password manager tools.

7. Summarize Articles with Generative AI

As generative AI reshapes the web, Google is experimenting with new features to enhance the search experience. One of its most exciting AI features is called SGE while browsing, an experimental Chrome feature that uses generative AI to summarize page content.

For example, if you’re reading an article on Route 66, you’ll see a Generate button at the bottom-right of the browser.

chrome summarizes articles using generative ai

Click the Generate button and Chrome will summarize the article for you, creating a list of key bullet points to help you pick out the information you need faster. If you click on any of the key points, Chrome will take you to the part of the page showing the relevant information and highlight it for you.

As an experimental feature, the only way to currently access SGE while browsing is to sign up for Search Labs.

Are You Making the Most of Chrome’s Advanced Features?

Google is constantly adding new features to Chrome–so many that it’s sometimes difficult to keep up with them all.

However, it’s always worth checking Chrome updates for new features and revising previous updates for features you’re not making full use of. You’ll often find there’s more to a feature than first meets the eye, or Chrome has quietly enhanced functionality through sequential updates over the years.

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