Google Chrome is a pretty awesome browser and each new update always brings an additional cool or useful feature. Chrome is a special browser in my view because it’s created by Google. For this reason, Chrome has some features that utilize the advanced technology that Google has developed over the last decade with their other products like search, docs, etc.
In this post, I’m going to go through some of the advanced options and settings in Google Chrome and explain what those features do. In some cases, you may want to enable them and in other cases, you may want to disable the advanced options. Either way, it’s good to know what your choices are and how they can benefit you.
To get started, let’s go to the Advanced Settings section in Chrome. Click on the Customize button in the top right corner and click on Settings.
Then scroll down and click on the Show advanced settings link at the bottom of the page. Here you will see all of the advanced settings, some of which I will talk about more in this post.
All of the interesting advanced features of Chrome are under the Privacy section in advanced settings. Here you can clear the cache, manage cookies and pop-ups and enable or disable the use of a couple of web services.
Up until a couple of days ago, Google Chrome was the only major browser that did not have an option for enabling Do Not Track. It’s now been added as an option under the Privacy section.
If you want to enable this option, check the Send a ‘Do Not Track’ request with your browsing traffic box. This basically will notify each website that you wish not to be tracked while browsing. Note that this doesn’t guarantee your privacy in any way, it just tells a website that this is your preference. It’s up to the website to actually heed the request. They can completely ignore it if they like and capture any data they like. When you check the box, you’ll get a pop up message explaining this:
This option is not enabled by default, so you will have to manually enable it if you want the feature. Another advanced option is the Use a web service to help resolve navigation errors checkbox.
What exactly does this option do? Well, it basically can help you find an alternative website if the site you are trying to visit is down. Or let’s say you type in an address and it cannot be resolved to a web page, Chrome will try to give you helpful options. For example, if i type in abcnewsss.com, I will get the Oops! Google Chrome could not find abcnewsss.com, but will also get a suggestion for the correct site.
This has proved to be very helpful in a lot of situations when I could not remember the exact URL for a website, but had a slight inkling. Using their advanced algorithms and huge datasets, you always end up getting the right answer or the answer you are looking for.
Next up is the Use a prediction service to help complete searches and URLs typed in the address bar check box.
This is another really useful feature that utilizes Google’s advanced algorithms to give you suggestions as you type in the address bar. The feature will show you related matches from your browsing history, related web searches and list popular websites that might match what you are typing.
As you can see in the example above, if I type in car prices, I automatically get a couple of extra options including car prices in india, kbb.com and car prices in usa. This is cool because I’m currently in India and it detected my location and then gave me a location-specific option. The next option, Predict network actions to improve page load performance, can speed up your browsing experience in Google Chrome.
Chrome has an awesome prerendering technology that will automatically prerender a page before you click on it if it feels there is a high chance you will visit that page next. I have found browsing to be faster, especially when using the Internet on a slow Internet connection.
The Enable phishing and malware protection is an advanced option you should definitely enable. Google is the king of indexing web pages on the Internet and therefore it knows a ton about each page, including whether the page is spammy, has malware, or is a phishing website.
Chrome will give you a huge warning page telling you that the site may contain malware and could harm your computer. You even have to check a box and then click Proceed Anyway to actually visit the site. I have found that this warning isn’t always accurate, but the percentage of false positives is tiny. There have been a bunch of times when I clicked on a link from an email or from Facebook and didn’t visit the site because Chrome notified me of possible malware.
The last web service in Chrome is the Use a web service to help resolve spelling errors checkbox. This is really great because you can basically upgrade your spell checker in Chrome to the same spell checker that is used in Google search and Google docs.
The basic spell checker will basically match words against a dictionary, which is good, but if you check this option, you also get an advanced spell checker that understands context also. For example, if I type in Icland is an icland, you can right click and see that Google managed to figure out you were trying to type Iceland is an island.
Pretty neat! You won’t get that kind of spell checking if you don’t enable this option. These are a couple of the really useful advanced features of Chrome that you should check out if haven’t done so already. Enjoy!