The Google Chrome browser has a ton of features. Many of which are hidden inside Chrome’s flag menu. In this article, I will go over the experimental features located in the flag menu that you can tweak for a better browsing experience.
How to access Chrome flags menu?
To access any of the chrome flags, go to your address bar and type chrome://flags and hit enter on your keyboard. You’ll get a warning regarding enabling these experimental features. You could end up with data loss or have your security or privacy compromised. If you have any issues with any of this you can change back at any time or hit the reset button at the top of the screen to change all the flags back to their original settings.
The flags listed are not in any sort of order. You could scroll through the list to find what you’re looking for but thats not very efficient. I’d recommend using the search bar at the top to quickly find the features that I’ll be showing you.
1. Automatic Tab Discarding
There is no denying that Chrome is a giant resource hog. Enabling Automatic Tab Discarding will help to conserve memory by disabling tabs that you haven’t used in a while. When your system runs low on memory they’ll still appear in your browser and will reload whenever you click on them. If you have a lower end computer with low system RAM this is a feature that you should enable.
2. WebRTC Echo Canceller 3
If you use Chrome to voice chat on a number of websites including Facebook, one issue many users experience is the echo picked up by their microphone. enabling WebRTC Echo Canceller 3 will help to reduce the echo making it sound better. Don’t expect any miracles, enabling this feature will not eliminate all the external sound picked up by your microphone.
3. Tab audio muting UI control
If you enbale Tab audio muting UI control, it allows you to quickly mute a site without having to go to the audio or video source manually. In the tab making noise clicking on the sound icon will mute it. Even if you don’t enable this feature you can still right-click on the tab and select mute site.
4. Smooth Scrolling
There may be times when you have several tabs opened that the scrolling experience becomes sluggish. Enabling Smooth Scrolling may give you better scrolling experience with less lag when navigating webpages.
5. Number of raster threads
Most websites these days use raster images. Raster threads are responsible for faster rendering of those images. If you find that images are loading slowly for you on the sites you visit you’ll want to change the numbers of raster threads. From the drop-down menu select the number 4. Now on the sites you visit you should notice an increase to the rendering speed of those images.
6. New history entries require a user gesture
You’ve probably encountered websites that when you go to your back button to return to a previous page or site that it ends up keeping you on the same page. These websites are abusing the history feature there for hijacking your browsing experience. Enabling new history entries require a user gesture makes it more difficult for websites to abuse the history feature in your browser.
7. Single-click autofill
When you start typing in a form crumble attempt to autofill your data including your address, phone number and other information. Enabling single-click autofill speeds up the process. Now there is no need to start typing into a form to fill it out. A single click into the form will bring up the list of autocomplete options.
8. Offline Auto-Reload Mode
We’ve all experienced the dreaded error page when your internet goes offline suddenly. Offline auto reload mode is a cool feature. When enabled, it will auto reload pages that fail to load when you get back online again.
9. Only Auto-Reload Visible Tabs
If you don’t want all your pages reloading when you get back online after enabling the previous flag. If you have only auto reload visible tabs enabled when you get back online it will only reload the tab that you’re currently looking at.
10. Fast tab/window close
A lot of users have complained that Chrome is sluggish when closing tabs when multiple tabs are open. Enabling fast tab window close will exit those tabs and the Chrome window faster than before.
11. HDR mode
HDR which stands for high dynamic range allows for higher contrast and more vivid colors. It’s been in TVs for a while and more recently there’s been an increase in the number of computer and monitors being produced that supports HDR. If you own an HDR supported display you should enable HDR mode. HDR content on the web is limited right now but if you have a monitor that supports HDR. There’s no reason not to enable this feature with more content expected in future.
12. Experimental QUIC protocol
Google has created a new connection protocol called QUIC. Which is a combination of the TCP and UDP protocols. With the goal of creating a faster and more secure internet at the same time. You will need to enable experimental QUIC protocol to try it out. I’ve been testing this feature for the past few weeks and the browsing speeds do appear to be faster.
Whenever you make any changes to any of the flags, Chrome will need to be rebooted for the changes to take effect. At the bottom of the screen just click on relaunch now. All the pages you had open will automatically reload when Chrome restarts.