8 Cool Tips & Tricks to Make Most Of Google Chrome

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The popularity of any software can be guessed from the number of hacks that trail it after a release. Or the number of add-ons. Google Chrome seems to be not only holding its own but also trotting along. As of April 2009, it is the world’s fourth most popular browser. Not bad for a browser which is few months away from its first birthday.

As user opinions sally back and forth about browser preferences, one thing is not open to question. Firefox is definitely more expandable and customizable than all others out there (Don’t they call it the Swiss Army knife for the web).

But if you like the Chrome’s agility then there are ways to make it more versatile. We at MakeUseOf.com have gone over quite a lot of ground with the Chrome. You can read about some tips and tricks here and here.

Here are some more ways to reach under the hood and exploit some handy Chrome features.

    1. Make Chrome’s consume less memory

    By default, Chrome is a multi-process browser. Yawn! What’s that? Simply, it means that each tab runs as a separate process asking for separate resources from the computer. The current working tab gets the most priority over the others. This was intentionally designed to make web apps run faster in Chrome. This feature makes the browser zippier and more stable even with multiple open tabs.

    But if you aren’t a heavy user and use the browser to surf only a single site at a time then disabling multiple processes can free up some CPU resources. To handle each web process Chrome has three settings ““

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    The default mode; each tab gets an independent process of its own. This increases the rendering of webpages and makes the browser stable as each tab is a separate process from the rest. But it also consumes memory.

    One process for each unique website; for instance a user with two tabs open for Gmail and another for MakeUseOf will have the two Google tabs running under the same process.

    The simplest mode; all tabs run in a single process, much like the other browsers we have now. This setting frees up memory for other applications. This is what we are looking for.

    Create a shortcut for Chrome. Open the Properties tab. Edit the Target field as shown in the picture by appending –single-process to the path.


    Similarly you can create two more shortcuts for the other two processes to handle your web sessions in three ways.

    2. Manage tabs with the Task Manager

    This is an offshoot of Google Chrome’s multi-process nature which allows each tab to run separate from the other. This allows us to manage, reload or shut down each tab without affecting the rest of our browsing. All this can be done through the Task Manager. Press Shift and Escape to start the task manager or right click on the blue top bar. An unresponsive tab can be shut down without bringing down the browser by a simple press of the End process button.


    3. Some stats for nerds

    There is a simple way to tell which browser is using the most resources on your computer. Chrome’s task manager lets you examine the memory use of the opened browsers on your computer irrespective of make. Open task manager and click on the ‘Stats for nerds’ link at the bottom. A new tab opens with detailed memory info for all running browsers. The second part of the page also describes Chrome’s process usage stats.


    4. Some more stats on the Resources page

    More for site administrators than for you and me but the resources page has a ton of info to offer. To track the resources used by a web page – right click inside the page. Select Inspect element ““ go to the Resources tab and reload the web page. You can view a list of images, scripts and objects from the web page and you can sort them by size or by loading time.


    5. Drag to resize any text box

    Do you feel that the size of a text box on any website is not worthy of your thoughts”¦then just place your mouse on the bottom right edge and drag to increase the size. Give MakeUseOf.com’s comment box the first drag.


    6. Split Chrome into double-pane view

    This bookmarklet from Chromeplugins.org is incredibly useful. The dual view feature is useful when you want to compare two websites or search results side by side. Drag the Chrome Split Browser bookmarklet into your bookmarks toolbar. When you click the bookmarklet, it asks you to choose the two websites you want and displays them in a double pane.


    7. Startup with multiple pages

    On launch, Chrome opens up with the “˜Most visited’ area. But it also lets us set options for starting the day by opening our most favored sites in several tabs at once. Click on the wrench icon (Customize and control Chrome) on the top right corner. Under Options – Basic tab we can add the pages we want to open on startup.


    8. Drag and drop downloads from Chrome

    After finishing a download, you can copy it to the desktop or to any other folder by a simple drag and drop directly from Google Chrome.


Did I miss any of your favorite tips or tricks? Let us know in the comments and lets help each other create a more sleek Chrome experience.

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15 Comments - Write a Comment



Hi guys

thanks for the wonderful tips..

For all those who cant make the chrome run under one single process based on this article can follow my idea here..

the dash given here on this page doesnt work if you copy and paste.

and also as shown in the picture , dont include that [“] at the end of the chrome.exe

next step would be not to copy paste the “-single-proces” from here and paste… it wont work..

go to the properties and TYPE in c:/……../chrome.exe[space]-single-process

type in , dont copy.!!

hope this helps ..

afain thanks for the wonderful article makeuseof



Happy browsing



why would someone download a script for number 6 when you can jsut simply drag the tab to the right or left, and it will show the pages side by side!



You can drag tabs out of Chrome to create new windows, and drag windows into each other to create multiple tabs in one window. You can also drag tabs from Firefox to Chrome. I typically use Chrome for browsing, but use Firefox when I’m doing web development, because of its many tools that are handy for developers. This makes it easy to switch between the two.


David Gerrold

Good stuff, thanks.



re tip 1: I thought that isolating the processes was also a security feature, so is disabling it a good idea?



Great tips…Very useful for Google chrome lovers.



I disagree about running Chrome in a single process to save RAM. Sure, it works in the short-term, but it loses in the long-term. One of the biggest advantages of the multi-process approach is that when a tab/process is closed, *ALL* memory associated with that tab is freed.

With everything running in a single process, the RAM usage will slowly bloat ever larger as RAM is incompletely freed due to fragmentation.

So, in the long run, the default multi-process mode will save the most memory.



Biggest improvement needed? Adblock Plus! Haha!


clickbank products

I was under the impression that multiple processes consumed less resources than one single process


political opinion

Agreed, but resizing text boxes has been on Safari for a while.


Jack Smith

Unfortunately, Opera is still the browser to use if you are trying to shun the mouse. WHY NOT add keyboard shortcuts to all menu options and right-click context menus?? Why not add the Opera speed dial function that lets me get to a website by simply pressing Ctrl-1 … Ctrl-9 even if that site isn’t open yet. Please get to work, Google Chrome. Otherwise: great browser.



what? you can’t improve upon perfection



The –process-per-site switch saves the most memory for me, especially when you often Ctrl-click to open tabs loading pages from the same domain (my surfing pattern). Try starting Chrome with the following five tabs opened by default:


On average I save almost a whopping 100MB of memory using the –process-per-site switch instead of the –single-process switch (I’m using Chrome



firefox is a system hogger .. ive stop using it.chrome tha best



Chrome is awesome!

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