Chrome Tips: Keyboard Shortcuts, Canary Build, Settings, Commands, and Address Bar Tricks

For part II of Becoming a Chrome All-Star, here’s a bunch of miscellaneous Chrome Tips and Tricks. This article might be a little boring for most, but I wanted to get it out there people releasing the bigger ones coming such as the one on the Chrome Console.

Useful Chrome Keyboard Shortcuts You Should Be Using Now

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Here’s a list of all the Keyboard shortcuts for Chrome for Mac. The less you touch the mouse, the better. These shortcuts are literally copy and pasted over from the Chrome Official Docs; however, I went ahead and highlighted the ones I find most useful.

Non-Mac Users: For a full Window’s list of Chrome shortcuts, click here. Linux users can find Chrome shortcuts here.

Tab and window shortcuts

⌘-N Opens a new window.
⌘-T Opens a new tab.
⌘-Shift-N Opens a new window in incognito mode.
Press ⌘-O, then select file. Opens a file from your computer in Google Chrome.
Press and click a link. Or click a link with your middle mouse button (or mousewheel). Opens the link in a new tab in the background .
Press ⌘-Shift and click a link. Or press Shift and click a link with your middle mouse button (or mousewheel). Opens the link in a new tab and switches to the newly opened tab.
Press Shift and click a link. Opens the link in a new window.
⌘-Shift-T Reopens the last tab you’ve closed. Google Chrome remembers the last 10 tabs you’ve closed.
Drag a tab out of the tab strip. Opens the tab in a new window.
Drag a tab out of the tab strip and into an existing window. Opens the tab in the existing window.
Press ⌘-Option and the right arrow together. Switches to the next tab.
Press ⌘-Option and the left arrow together. Switches to the previous tab.
⌘-W Closes the current tab or pop-up.
⌘-Shift-W Closes the current window.
Click and hold either the Back or Forward arrow in the browser toolbar. Displays your browsing history in the tab.
Press Delete or ⌘-[ Goes to the previous page in your browsing history for the tab.
Press Shift-Delete or ⌘-] Goes to the next page in your browsing history for the tab.
Press Shift while clicking the + button in the top left corner of the window. Maximizes the window.
⌘-M Minimizes the window.
⌘-H Hides Google Chrome.
⌘-Option-H Hides all other windows.
⌘-Q Closes Google Chrome.

Google Chrome feature shortcuts

⌘-Shift-B Toggles the bookmarks bar on and off.
⌘-Option-B Opens the bookmark manager.
⌘-, Opens the Settings page.
⌘-Y Opens the History page.
⌘-Shift-J Opens the Downloads page.
⌘-Shift-Delete Opens the Clear Browsing Data dialog.
⌘-Shift-M Switch between multiple users.

Address bar shortcuts

These shortcuts only work within the selected address bar.

Type a search term, then press Enter. Performs a search using your default search engine.
Type a search engine keyword, press Space, type a search term, and press Enter. Performs a search using the search engine associated with the keyword.
Begin typing a search engine URL, press Tab when prompted, type a search term, and press Enter. Performs a search using the search engine associated with the URL.
Type a URL, then press ⌘-Enter. Opens the URL in a new background tab.
⌘-L Highlights the URL.
⌘-Option-F Places a ‘?’ in the address bar. Type a search term after the question mark to perform a search using your default search engine.
Press Option and the left arrow together. Moves your cursor to the preceding key term in the address bar
Press Option and the right arrow together. Moves your cursor to the next key term in the address bar
Press Shift-Option and the left arrow together. Highlights the preceding key term in the address bar
Press Shift-Option and the right arrow together. Highlights the next key term in the address bar
⌘-Delete Deletes the key term that precedes your cursor in the address bar
Select an entry in the address bar drop-down menu with your keyboard arrows, then press Shift-Fn-Delete. Deletes the entry from your browsing history, if possible.
Press Page Up or Page Down in the addess bar menu. Selects the previous or next entry in the menu.

Webpage shortcuts

⌘-P Prints your current page.
⌘-Shift-P Opens the Page Setup dialog.
⌘-S Saves your current page.
⌘-Shift-I Emails your current page.
⌘-R Reloads your current page.
Esc Stops loading of your current page.
⌘-F Opens the find bar.
⌘-G Finds the next match for your input in the find bar.
⌘-Shift-G or Shift-Enter Finds the previous match for your input in the find bar.
⌘-E Uses selection for find
⌘-J Jumps to selection
⌘-Option-I Opens Developer Tools.
⌘-Option-J Opens the JavaScript Console.
⌘-Option-U Opens the source of your current page.
Press Option and click a link. Downloads the target of the link.
Drag a link to the bookmarks bar. Saves the link as a bookmark.
⌘-D Saves your current webpage as a bookmark.
⌘-Shift-D Saves all open tabs as bookmarks in a new folder.
⌘-Shift-F Opens your page in full-screen mode. Press ⌘-Shift-F again to exit full-screen.
⌘-+ Enlarges everything on the page.
⌘ and – Makes everything on the page smaller.
⌘-0 Returns everything on the page to normal size.
⌘-Shift-H Opens your home page in your current tab.
Space bar Scrolls down the web page.
⌘-Option-F Searches the web.

Text Shortcuts

⌘-C Copies highlighted content to the clipboard.
⌘-Option-C Copies the URL of the page you’re viewing to the clipboard.
⌘-V Pastes content from the clipboard.
⌘-Shift-Option-V Pastes content without source formatting.
⌘-X or Shift-Delete Deletes the highlighted content and copies it to the clipboard.
⌘-Z Reverts your last action.
⌘-Shift-Z Repeats your last action.
⌘-X Deletes highlighted content and saves it to your clipboard (cut).
⌘-A Selects all the text on your current page.
⌘-: Opens the Spelling and Grammar dialog.
⌘-; Checks your current page for spelling and grammar

Nightly Builds with Chrome Canary

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Chrome Canary is a stand-alone version of Chrome that can run side-by-side on your computer with the regular version. Chrome Canary is updated nightly and experiments with all the coolest modern web technologies and experiments. If you use this, you usually can beta test some cool features before they are merged into the master production branch of Chrome. Fair warning though that it can break and probably shouldn’t be used as your default browser – especially during development. You can download it here.


Chrome Settings You Should Care About

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I’m not going to go into great detail about this, but there are some settings that are well worth using or at least looking into.

Chrome Sync

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p>I personally don’t use this feature, but it’s great if you are the type of person who is hopping from device to device. You can learn more about it on the Chrome website here.

Chrome Task Manager

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I’m surprised by the amount of people who haven’t heard about this. Chrome has a built in task manager to let you kill off individual tabs, and it works quite well (especially if a tab ever becomes unresponsive). To access it, click the top-right options button on Chrome, go to tools, and click Task Manager.

Change the Default Search Engine

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You’re probably thinking why the heck would you ever change it from Google. Maybe you’re a Microsoft Fanboy/girl, or an advocate of search privacy. Here’s how to change your search Engine to DuckDuckGo in Chrome:

  1. Right-Click the Address Bar.
  2. Select “Edit Search Engines…”.
  3. Add a new search engine called “DuckDuckGo”.
  4. Add “ddg.gg” in the Keyword field.
  5. Add “https://duckduckgo.com/?q=%s” in the URL field.
  6. Select “Make Default”.

Enable Do Not Track

The Do Not Track (DNT) header is the proposed HTTP header field “DNT” that requests that a web application disable either its tracking or cross-site user tracking (the ambiguity remains unresolved) of an individual user. Sadly, I don’t think anyone actually honors or cares to respect this. It is gaining traction, however. I believe Internet Explorer 10 even has it enabled by default, and it is possible to enable it in Chrome. To enable it:

  1. Go to Chrome Settings.
  2. Select “Show Advanced Settings…” all the way at the bottom.
  3. Select “Send a ‘Do Not Track’ request with your browsing traffic” under the Privacy section.

After you do this, you can see that your browser sends a DND item in the header of requests you make. For example, check out the example below for visiting reddit.com.

Show the Home Button

This is simple enough. It will put a nice little home icon next to your refresh button. To do this, simply go to settings and click “Enable Home Button”.

Pinning Tabs

Pinning tabs is great, and chances are that you already use this or know about. Simply right-click any tab and select “Pin Tab”.


chrome:// Commands

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If you haven’t noticed by now, you can access Chrome’s various services all via a Chrome URL (or Chrome Command). For a full list check out the URLs below (note that these are not accessible via a tags. These are copied directly from <chrome://about>.

List of Chrome URLs

For Debug

The following pages are for debugging purposes only. Because they crash or hang the renderer, they’re not linked directly; you can type them into the address bar if you need them.

  • chrome://crash
  • chrome://kill
  • chrome://hang
  • chrome://shorthang
  • chrome://gpuclean
  • chrome://gpucrash
  • chrome://gpuhang
  • chrome://ppapiflashcrash
  • chrome://ppapiflashhang
  • chrome://restart/
Heads Up: These are generally pretty useless to most people, but it’s still cool to go through and see how the different parts of Chrome operate. It’s also worth checking chrome://flags and enabling some beta features. Only do this temporarily though since it’s probably going to break things and is really just for testing.

Tricks with the Chrome Address Bar

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Site Search

If a site has search functionality, chances are Google knows it, and therefore Chrome knows it. You can search any of these sites directly all from the Chrome Address Bar (also called the Omnibar). Doing this is ridiculously easy. Simply type the URL in the address bar, wait for Chrome to detect the URL, then press tab. After that, you can enter search query and you will automatically search the site you specified. I mainly use it for these two sites, but I’m sure you can think of use cases for yourself:

Calculations

You can also do minor calculations in the Chrome Address Bar. Type these commands in the address bar to see it in action (the last one is a nice little Easter Egg):

  • 100 + 100
  • 100 * 52 + 38 - (8^3) / 555
  • 200 lbs in kg
  • 1 ounce to ml
  • 205.3 miles in km
  • hours in a year
  • what is the answer to life the universe and everything

The Series Continued…


Leveraging Multiple Chrome Users for Ultra-Fast Session Swapping

Useful Chrome Keyboard Shortcuts You Should Be Using Now

Nightly Builds with Chrome Canary

Chrome Developer Tools

Chrome Console Tips and Tricks

Chrome Settings You Should Care About

Tricks with the Chrome Address Bar

chrome:// Commands

The Best Plugins and Extensions