Mobile devices have outperformed their desktop counterparts in almost all market metrics. Though, Google Chrome for the web still has a lot to offer that cannot be accessed on mobile phones and tablets. Most of it has to do with the desktop peripherals, allowing us to use Google Chrome tools.
Everyone knows about the speed and exquisite functionality of the Google Chrome browser. However, you would be glad to know that shortcuts available on Chrome can enhance your day-to-day productivity even more. These shortcuts are pretty simple and help routine web browser tasks.
Useful Google Chrome shortcuts
The following article will list the 10 most useful Google Chrome shortcuts you will ever need.
1. Launching incognito mode
- ChromeOS / Windows / Linux: Ctrl + Shift + N
- Mac: Command + Shift + N
The Google Chrome incognito mode offers a private browsing experience that allows you to effectively mask all online history, remove cookies, and delete site data. It also keeps Google Chrome from saving the information you enter in online forms and login pages. However, the web activity in incognito mode is still visible to the websites you visit, your employer or school, and your internet service provider.
To open the incognito mode, the Google Chrome menu has to be launched from the three-dot icon on the homepage. Here, you get the option to open a “New incognito window.” When you click on that, a new tab opens up on your screen modified with all the privacy mentioned above settings. Alternatively, the keyboard shortcut lets you launch this new tab from anywhere within Google Chrome without opening the drop-down menu.
2. Closing the currently active tab
- ChromeOS / Windows / Linux: Ctrl + W
- Mac: Command + W
For those who did not know this before, Google Chrome lets you open thousands of tabs simultaneously. Even though you might not ever need to launch as many tabs, the bar at the top displays opened tabs that can get crowded quite quickly. Then, it becomes increasingly difficult to navigate between different windows and close them.
A small x icon appears on the currently active tab to close an opened tab in Google Chrome. As soon as you click on that icon, the tab closes without asking for confirmation. You might accidentally close an adjacent tab when you have got many of them opened at once. Having to browse for the same web page one more time becomes noticeably frustrating. Thus, the keyboard shortcut makes sure that only the intended tab gets closed in the first place.
3. Opening the downloads page
- ChromeOS / Windows / Linux: Ctrl + J
- Mac: Command + Option + J
Whenever a download begins on Google Chrome, a new tab slides up from the bottom of your screen. It shows the title and the progress of each active downloading process. This tab is usually the primary information element for Google Chrome downloads. There is one problem, though. The entire banner takes up considerable space in the browser window. It sometimes shrinks the media player or any other graphical component on the main page.
Still, users compromise for everything else because they deem it not so easy to open the downloads page every time the progress or status is to be checked. With a keyboard shortcut that takes you directly to that page, this problem gets essentially resolved. Therefore, you can close the tab at the bottom and visit the downloads page with Ctrl + J. You do not even have to be on a new tab to make it work. Browse the list of the 5 best video downloaders for Google Chrome.
4. Activating the address bar
- ChromeOS / Windows / Linux: Ctrl + L
- Mac: Command + L
The address bar is probably the most functional element in any internet browser. It lets you type in any URL and then takes you directly to that web address within moments. We have news if you have constantly been activating the address bar with your mouse cursor. A keyboard shortcut lets you immediately move the insertion point to Chrome’s address bar.
This shortcut can be pretty valuable in specific circumstances. Just like desktop games, many web applications take up the entire screen. Most of them also move away from the mouse cursor, which can only be brought back when the application is closed or minimized. With the Ctrl + L shortcut, you no longer have to go through that. Just engage the bar with these keys and type out the URL. There is no need whatsoever even to move your mouse.
5. Reopening recently closed tabs
- ChromeOS / Windows / Linux: Ctrl + Shift + T
- Mac: Command + Shift + T
Google Chrome keeps track of each tab that was opened and recently closed. With the memory stack always at your disposal, this keyboard shortcut lets you reopen the tabs in reverse order. As described earlier, when several tabs have been opened simultaneously, you may close one by mistake. In that case, there is no need to go through the laborious effort of opening the same web page again. With Ctrl + Shift + T, that tab will be redirected.
Besides this useful application, the shortcut mentioned above can also follow the trail of all tabs in order. By pressing the same keys repeatedly, you will keep opening former tabs. Please note that it will only work for the current browser session. The shortcut will stop working as soon as it hits the first tab opened in that session.
6. Opening the bookmark manager
- ChromeOS / Windows / Linux : Ctrl + Shift + O
- Mac: Command + Option + O
One of the most widely praised features on Google Chrome is bookmarks. They let you save the most favorite and frequently visited sites. When you save bookmarks, they start showing right below the address bar and on the Google Chrome homepage. However, as this list grows, the homepage cannot possibly accommodate all entries. Google then developed a separate bookmark manager to handle all relevant settings.
The bookmark manager page displays a list of all bookmarks and provides many features to manage them flexibly. Here, you can add new bookmarks, delete existing ones, or import and export entire records. Without the keyboard shortcut, you will have to go to the Google Chrome menu > Bookmarks > Bookmark manager. Simply replacing that with Ctrl + Shift + O saves you three clicks at a bare minimum.
7. Clearing browsing data
- ChromeOS / Windows / Linux: Ctrl + Shift + Delete
- Mac: Command + Shift + Delete
When you face any commonplace issue with Google Chrome, the first and most essential thing recommended is clear the browsing data. It includes browsing history, download history, cookies, site data, cached images, cached files, passwords, autofill form data, site settings, etc. You essentially give Google Chrome a fresh start by clearing all of that. It usually resolves most issues and also polishes the browser operation.
The shortcut to clear the Google Chrome browsing data probably saves more time than any other shortcut on this list. It gives you direct access to a window that otherwise calls for going at least four tiers into the Chrome settings. Once on that window, you only need to select an appropriate time range and data types to clear the browsing data. Please read our detailed guide on clearing cache and cookies in Google Chrome.
8. Opening Google Chrome history
- ChromeOS / Windows / Linux: Ctrl + H
- Mac: Command + Y
The history sections on internet browsers record every site you visit. Google Chrome history settings have been recently revamped to include much more. It now hosts a separate tab on “Journeys.” It lets you track every tab after a specific URL was requested. Besides, the conventionally dated list is present there as well.
You can also employ the history page to see tabs from other devices, clear the browsing data, and turn off the Journeys feature. You typically need to open the drop-down Chrome menu to open Google Chrome history. However, these additional steps are cut down with the Ctrl + H shortcut. It lets you instantly open the Google Chrome history from anywhere within the browser.
9. Zooming in and out of the web page
- ChromeOS / Windows / Linux: Ctrl + ‘+’ / Ctrl + ‘–’
- Mac: Command + ‘+’ / Command + ‘–’
With more and more programs shifting to their online cloud-based versions, internet browsers need to incorporate inventive features. Google Chrome certainly has not lacked to provide such productivity tools that improve the overall workability. A combination of just two keys on your keyboard allows you to zoom in or out of any web page on the internet.
Since this feature is inherent to Google Chrome, it does not matter if the source site supports zooming in and out or not. Quite predictably, the + key is used to zoom in, whereas the – key is used to zoom out. These readjustments are made in increments and decrements of 10, 15, and 25 percent. You can also click on the “Reset” button to take the page back to its original form.
10. Finding text
- ChromeOS / Windows / Linux: Ctrl + F
- Mac: Command + F
Find bar is a pretty helpful Chrome tool that works on all online web addresses. It is simply a search feature that lets you find any text on a web page. As soon as you press Ctrl + F, a bar-shaped window will pop up in the top right corner of your screen. It has a typing space, up and down arrows, and an x icon.
When you type in anything in that bar, it will scan the entire Chrome window and highlight the exact matches. If there are multiple matches, you can use the up and down arrows to move between them. It may also be done with Ctrl + G and Ctrl + Shift + G, respectively. After finding what you were looking for, click on the x icon to close the find bar.
Google Chrome is nothing short of an extensive program that has all that it takes for you to become proficient in internet browsing. The keyboard shortcuts on Google Chrome enable faster operations and make transitions seamless. These shortcuts are exactly similar for Windows and Linux, though the Ctrl key is commonly replaced with the Command key when it comes to Mac. Here is a Google Help link for Chrome keyboard shortcuts.