10 features of Chrome on Android that not many people know about

1. Dark mode for websites

Chrome has an unpleasant feature: even when you switch your smartphone to dark mode, the sites in the browser remain light and literally burn out your eyes. But this can be fixed.

Enter chrome://flags/#darken‑websites‑checkbox‑in‑themes‑setting in the address bar. In the drop-down list below, select the Enabled item and click Relaunch. Then click in Chrome “Menu” → “Settings” → “Theme” → “Dark” and “Use a dark theme for sites when possible.”

You will now have a Dark Theme option in your browser. Activate it and you will be able to read in the dark with ease.

2. Fast flipping tabs

If you’re switching between open sites by clicking on the square icon of mobile Chrome tabs and then manually selecting them, you’re just wasting your time. Swipe the search bar at the top of the browser to the right or left, and you can go to the next tab. It’s much faster.

3. Built-in reading list

Yes, mobile Chrome also has a reading list, just like the desktop browser. It’s bookmarked and it’s not very obvious. To find it, you need to press “Menu” → “Bookmarks” → “Reading List”. The pages saved there are preloaded for offline viewing, so you will have access to them even without the Internet .

To save links to this list, click on the URL and hold your finger until the context menu appears. Then select Add to Reading List.

If this feature is not available for some reason, open chrome://flags/#read-later in the address bar and switch the parameter to the Enabled position.

4. Force scaling of web pages

Many websites do not allow you to enlarge their pages, so it is very inconvenient to see small details on them. But this can be fixed. Press “Menu” → “Settings” → “Spec. capabilities” and then turn on the “Force zoom” option. And you can influence the size of even those pages that usually do not respond to stretching.

5. Faster File Downloads

By default, Chrome for Android downloads files in a single thread, which makes the process incredibly slow. But you can enable multi-threaded loading, and then the data will be saved much faster. Open chrome://flags/#enable‑parallel‑downloading in the address bar and select Enabled from the dropdown.

6. Picture in Picture

The Android Picture-in-Picture feature lets you play videos in the lower right corner of the screen and use other apps at the same time. Chrome can open videos from most sites in the background, including YouTube . And you don’t need a YouTube Premium subscription.

Open “Settings” on your smartphone and go to “Apps” → “Accessibility” → “Picture in Picture”. In MIUI, this is done a little differently: “Passwords and Security” → “Privacy” → “Special Access” → “Picture in Picture”. Select Chrome and click “Picture in Picture Support”.

Now open a video in Chrome, like YouTube, and click on the Home Screen button. Or swipe up from the bottom to minimize apps. You will be logged out of Chrome, and the video will continue to play in a small window in the corner.

If this does not work on your smartphone, then open the video in full screen before minimizing Chrome.

7. Control over auto-play sound

Sometimes when you open the site, music immediately starts playing loudly or replicas from advertising sound. This is somewhat annoying, especially if you are wearing headphones with the volume turned up to the maximum. Click “Settings” → “Site Settings” → “Sound” and turn it off. At the same time, you can add sites to exceptions where the audio track is still important – for example, YouTube or VKontakte.

8. Notification settings

Sites are very fond of showing all sorts of notifications that are very annoying. Fortunately, this behavior can be stopped once and for all. Click “Settings” → “Site Settings” → “Notifications” and turn off the “Notifications” option.

9. Site preloading

This is a useful feature for those who use Wi-Fi or unlimited internet. Chrome can download the sites you frequently visit in the background so that they open faster later.

Enable this feature in Settings → Privacy & Security → Page Preloading. Here you can select the option “Standard Preload” or “Advanced Preload”. The latter consumes more traffic, but increases the speed of opening pages more.

10. Grouping tabs and disabling it

By default, Chrome offers to group open sites to make switching between them more visual. Open the tabs you want, then tap Menu→Group Tabs. Select the pages you want to merge and click “Group”.

But for some users, this feature is annoying, because due to the automatic grouping enabled by default, pages that are opened are sometimes combined even when it is not necessary. And before opening any tab, you must first select the appropriate group. It’s annoying.

In this case, open the settings page chrome://flags , type Tab in the search bar and disable the three items found: Tab Grid Layout, Tab Groups and Tab Groups UI Improvements. Restart and tab grouping will turn off.

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