Today we are going to look at flags, Google Flags, to be specific. I thought I had written about this before, but I missed it. These have been around, in some form, for years and are useful if Google Chrome is your default browser. Depending on when, in the future, you are reading this, these flags may no longer be available. Google tests the features in “flags” and if people like them and use them, they will roll them out automatically in new versions of Chrome and they will vanish from the flags menu.
I will give you the ones that I use and you can skip them, use them or try them out and remove them if you dislike them. I suggest only using one at a time to see if you find it useful or not.
To get to flags, go to the URL address bar at the top of the Chrome browser and type “chrome://flags” without the quotes, of course. You will get a new window that starts with, “WARNING: EXPERIMENTAL FEATURES AHEAD! By enabling these features, you could lose…” Yes, the warning goes on but I have been using Chrome Flags for years and encountered no issues other than occasionally, like one mentioned below, they do may not work in all circumstances.
In the “Search flags” box, above the warning, type the flag you want to try. Below are the ones that I use. Type the words quoted in each paragraph below, choose “Enable” from the dropdown menu, and finally click the blue “Relaunch” button. Chrome will shutdown and reopen with all the same tabs available and the flag will start working.
“Smooth Scrolling” which will make the pages scroll more smoothly as you use your mouse to scroll down the page. On my desktop, it is quite noticeable. But in my notebook I saw little difference. So, mileage may vary.
Next, I have “Parallel downloading” enabled. This can significantly increase your download speed. It allows you to download your files in several “pipes” meaning you can get in more data at once. Very useful.
“Tab Hover Card Images” is one of my favorites. Once you enable this one, you can hold your mouse pointer over a tab in the browser, or hover the pointer over a tab, and see a preview of the page. Select “Enable alternate hover card format” choice from the dropdown menu.
Finally, today one that changes the look of Chrome and not much else. But what the heck, give it a whirl. It is called, “Windows 11 Style Menus.” This basically changes your menus and shapes in Chrome to match the upcoming release of W11. It is only a “theme” that changes the browser to look more like Windows 11 menus but without the defects of Windows 11.
Yes, I believe Windows 11 will have issues for a couple of months after its recent rollout. Every new version has them for a month or so after it starts up. You can check the issues page at Microsoft. Go to ghtech.site/W11probs and scroll down the page to “Known issues” and see the latest.
I hope to see you here next week with a couple more interesting Chrome features. One which I recently discovered and think it is fantastic.