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Mainstream browsers like Chrome and Firefox have quite a few features in common. Many useful ones are hidden in plain sight, such as the three listed below.

1. View site history: Click and hold the Back button when you’re on any website to get a dropdown list of pages you have visited before on that website.

2. Get site info: Look for an icon — usually resembling a padlock or a blank page — next to the address bar on a web page. Click on it to bring up a menu with information about the site you’re on, such as its security certificate and the cookies the site has stored on your computer. The information varies from site to site.

3. Search a site directly from the address bar: If you search a specific website often, instead of first navigating to it and then using the search box on the website every time, search directly from the address bar with a custom search engine.

custom-search

On Chrome you can create a search engine via Settings > Search > Manage search engines. On Firefox, you can add one via Preferences > Search. You can also use an extension like Add to Search Bar Turn Any Site's Search Box Into A Firefox Search Engine Turn Any Site's Search Box Into A Firefox Search Engine Do you visit your favorite websites several times a day to search their archives? Speed that process up. Read More instead.

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If you want to use Google search to filter results from a particular website, prefix your search query with site: For example, to search Google for the term password tips and retrieve results only from MakeUseOf, type site:makeuseof.com password tips in Google search.

Which browser functionality can’t you do without even when you switch browsers? Is it available by default or does it need an extension to work? Tell us in the comments.

  1. Swaminathan Venkatesh
    December 22, 2015 at 6:00 pm

    On Point 1, I believe you mean "the list of pages you have visited before on that TAB". That can also be achieved by right clicking the back button (Not sure if it is applicable for Mac).

    • Akshata Shanbhag
      January 1, 2016 at 3:49 pm

      Right-clicking is indeed quicker, Swaminathan. Thanks for pointing it out. And yes, it doesn't seem to work on Mac...not on Safari and Chrome anyway.

  2. techstress
    December 22, 2015 at 5:59 pm

    instead of click and hold for browser history, it is quicker to right click the back button.

    • Swaminathan Venkatesh
      December 22, 2015 at 6:01 pm

      Sorry for the redundancy.. Guess we both posted at the same time..

  3. Gilbert J.
    December 22, 2015 at 5:00 pm

    I find search engine shortcuts extremely useful.The easiest way to add a site as a search engine is usually to right-click on the site's own search box, then click on "Set as search engine" (or equivalent, depending on the browser) in the menu that appears, then set a short keyword for that site. It's best to make sure that your keyword isn't a word that could be part of an unrelated search term, for example "go" or "duck". For regular search engines I use the initial letter(s) followed by "!", e.g. "g!" for Google, "b!" for Bing, and so on. For other sites I use a short keyword that makes sense to me, for example "oed" for the Online Oxford Dictionary. In Chrome and Opera you can right click on the search bar to get to the search engines menu to edit entries. This doesn't seem to work in Firefox; I don't know if there's an equivalent shortcut.

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