9 Quick Tips to Make You a Google Chrome Power User

Joel Lee 11-04-2016

We recently ran a full comparison of four major browsers Which Browser Is Best? Edge vs. Chrome vs. Opera vs. Firefox The browser you're using right now may not be the best one for you. The browser arena changes so frequently that your conclusions from comparisons made last year may be completely wrong this year. Read More  and found that Chrome came out on top in most areas. If you aren’t using it right now, maybe it’s time to give it another shot? It’s pretty darn good.


The beauty of Chrome is that anyone can pick it up in minutes, yet it has a lot of neat and useful features hidden beneath that simple exterior. These features aren’t too impressive on their own, but put them all together and suddenly they can make your life much easier.

If you consider yourself to be a power user — someone who uses Chrome every day and needs optimal workflow — then you’d do well to start using these features. Any increase in productivity can really add up over time, after all.


1. Bookmarks Bar

The Bookmarks Bar is one of the best browser features of all time. Like the Windows Taskbar or the OS X Dock, it lets you access any site with a single mouse click. The problem is that it can quickly get cluttered and out of control, which is why I use two tips to keep it organized.

First, don’t title your bookmarks. Every website has a unique favicon that you can use as an identifier, so titles are just unnecessary wastes of space. In fact, erasing titles could free up enough space to fit 3x or 4x more bookmarks on the bar.


Second, use folders! Folders are an essential component for keeping your bookmarks library organized, yet users somehow forget that folders can also be used on the bookmarks bar. Create folders for News, Games, Work, Music, etc. and marvel at how much extra space you now have.

2. Pinned Tabs

With the prevalence of modern Web apps, browsers like Chrome are turning into full-blown workstations. For example, I have a lot of tabs that I keep open 24/7, including Slack, Trello, and Google Docs. If you also have tabs that are always open, consider pinning them.

Pinned tabs have two benefits: first, they collapse in size so they take up less space in your tab bar, and second, they stay there even after you close and reopen the browser. The latter benefit is great if you don’t like the setting where Chrome saves tabs from session to session.

To pin a tab, just right-click on it and select Pin Tab.


Improve your Chrome tab organization even more by using these awesome tab management extensions Speed Up Tab Handling on Chrome with These 7 Extensions Chrome’s built-in tab management features can help you manage tabs well, but extensions from the Chrome Web Store can do that job even better. Read More .


3. Custom Search Queries

One of the defining features of Chrome is its Omnibox, which is the combination of the address bar and the search bar into one. On top of showing the current website’s URL, the omnibox can do a whole lot 11 Quick Tricks To Become A Chrome Omnibox Power User Do you want to become an Omnibox power user and save plenty of time and keystrokes? All you need are a few good extensions and a little knowledge of how to tweak the search settings.... Read More of other things that you really should learn if you really care about productivity.

First things first, use Ctrl + L to instantly select the Omnibox at any time. This is a fundamental keyboard shortcut to know to really take advantage of its features.


Once you know that, you’ll need to set up advanced search queries 11 Advanced Searches to Bookmark to Become a Google Power User Turn yourself into a true Google power user with these 11 advanced searches and pro tips. This will make sure you never have to recall these searches and yet will always have them at your fingertips. Read More  that let you easily perform all kinds of specialized actions like doing quick math as well as searching specific domains, websites, your Gmail or Google Drive accounts, your Google Calendar, your bookmarks, and more.

4. Save All Open Tabs

As a power user, you probably juggle dozens of tabs every single day. In fact, if you’re like me, you probably use your tabs as a “I’ll check this out later” bar, letting the tabs pile up until they start affecting browser performance What Can You Do To Speed Up Your Browser? If you’re like me and you spend a huge portion of your day browsing the web then you understand how frustrating it is to have a slow, bloated browser that seems to be on its... Read More . It’s a bad habit and one worth breaking.

Here’s one workaround that I like: Go to the Bookmarks menu and select the Bookmark All Tabs… option. This will take all open tabs and save them inside a new folder in your bookmarks library, allowing you to close all of those resource-sucking tabs and revisit them later.

When you’re ready to check them out again, just open the Bookmarks Manager, right-click on the folder you made, and select Open All Bookmarks.



5. Advanced Sync Settings

Another way to know if you’re a power user? You use Chrome across many different devices, especially if you use it across several different computers. For a flawless user experience, it’s important to keep your settings consistent from machine to machine, which is where synchronization comes into play.

Open the Settings page for Chrome, click on Sign in to Chrome at the very top, and enter your account credentials. You can now pick between Sync everything (which is convenient but most likely unnecessary) and Choose what to sync (which is what we recommend).

By syncing certain settings and details across multiple machines, you can ensure a consistent experience no matter which machine you use. Plus, if you ever reformat or get a new computer, you can sync up and be ready to go in no time.

6. The Task Manager

As awesome as Chrome is, it’s pretty much guaranteed that you’ll run into performance issues at some point. The most common problem is high RAM usage but CPU spikes are also frequent, so you’ll want to be familiar with the Task Manager.

You can access it by pressing Shift + Escape. If that doesn’t work, go to the options menu, navigate to the More Tools submenu, then select Task Manager.

The Task Manager shows you all processes that belong to Chrome and how many resources each one is taking up, including RAM, CPU, and network bandwidth. It’s a great way to diagnose — and kill — tabs that are frozen, hogging memory, or slowing down your system.


7. Recent History List

Unlike the History page in Chrome, which is one big pile of all the webpages you’ve visited, each individual tab in Chrome keeps track of its own history of visited webpages. Navigating this per-tab history can be a pain though because you have to keep clicking the Back and Forward arrows.

Except you don’t have to do that all. Just right-click on the Back arrow to see the list of previous pages visited from within the current tab. The same works for the Forward arrow too if you navigated into one of those in-the-past pages.

8. Incognito Mode

One of the first things that any Chrome power user should learn is that Incognito Mode isn’t just for porn Not Just for Porn: Other Uses For Private Browsing Private-browsing mode has many other names, including "incognito mode" in Chrome and "InPrivate Browsing" in Internet Explorer. Some people refer to private-browsing mode as "porn mode", but it isn't just for porn addicts. It can... Read More . There are many mundane yet practical reasons why Incognito windows should be part of your daily browsing experience. Here are two in particular:

Log into other accounts. What if you want to sign into two different Google accounts at once? The easiest way is to be logged into your main account regularly, and then open an Incognito window that you can use to log into the second account. No logging out necessary.

Better prices online. Sometimes online retailers will save cookies on your computer and then jack up prices the next time you visit their site. (Airlines are notorious for doing this 5 Rules to Finding Cheap Airline Flight Tickets Who says you can’t fly for cheap? Sometimes it comes down to whether or not you click the right links, search the right terms, or pick the right times to search the web. Read More .) Incognito mode prevents those cookies, allowing you to keep prices at a minimum.


9. Extensions for Productivity

What would Chrome be without its extensions? While Chrome itself is a power user’s haven, you can ramp it up several levels by choosing a few extensions 25 Chrome Extensions to Make You More Productive We hear so much about productivity. How do we become more productive? What can help us be extra productive? Which tools make us the most productive? Read More  that complement your personal workflow. Here are a few that we recommend.

StayFocusdBlocksite, and Productivity Owl can help you curb your procrastination habits by blocking certain websites. Each one works in a unique way, so you should pick the one that best suits the way you procrastinate, but regardless don’t underestimate how helpful they can be.

Integrate with your favorite to-do list — such as Todoist or Trello — and make it possible to manage all of your tasks and projects right from your browser. No more need to waste tab space.

Autocopy [No longer available] automatically copies text to your clipboard when you highlight anything. If you do a lot of copy-pasting off the Web, this can really save you a lot more time that you think it would.

Imagus enlarges image thumbnails as you hover your mouse over them. It’s easy to set up and works with thousands of sites across the Web.

Vimium (inspired by the Vim text editor) adds a whole host of keyboard shortcuts that makes it possible for you to browse the Web without using a mouse at all. Absolutely perfect for advanced power users who want to wring out every last bit of productivity possible.

And while we’re on the subject, make sure you familiarize yourself with these awesome Shift key shortcuts 3 Ways the Shift Key Will Change How You Browse the Web Here are three Shift-based browser shortcuts that will make your web-surfing much more convenient. Guaranteed. Read More  and these mouse scrollwheel shortcuts 3 Mouse Scrollwheel Tricks to Improve Your Web Browsing These three mouse tricks will turn you into a web browsing pro. Read More  that can boost your productivity without any extensions involved.

Do you consider yourself a power user? What other Chrome tricks do you think everyone should be aware of? Is Chrome really the best browser? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!

Image Credits:superman by via Shutterstock

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  1. Bob
    April 13, 2016 at 12:54 am

    Joel- The extension is actually called "Tab Snooze" and can be found with other Chrome Extensions.

    Similarly, Google's Inbox does the same with emails. Not sure why regular Google mail doesn't have that feature.
    Both work great!

    • Joel Lee
      April 18, 2016 at 9:51 pm

      Thanks Bob, that helps. I appreciate it!

  2. Anonymous
    April 12, 2016 at 2:57 am

    CHROME Has Various Clone Browsers.

    Most Extensions Are Compatible Among All Of Them.

    GOOGLE Yanks Extensions From Their CHROME Web Store As A Daily Sport, And Does Not Allow CHROME To Use Them Ever Again.

    If You Are Truly A Power User, Then You Will Save All The Extensions You Love To .CRX Or .NEX Files In Your Hard Drive, So You Can Install Them In Another Clone, If Necessary.

    If You Are Completely Dependent On The **Cloud**, You May Never Be Able To Use Them Again, Period.

    • Joel Lee
      April 12, 2016 at 11:15 pm

      Pretty good tip about saving .CRXs to your drive. I'm personally too lazy to do that and I don't rely on many extensions, but yeah, it can be useful to have backups like that!

      • Anonymous
        April 13, 2016 at 6:10 am

        There Are Several Extensions That Allow That Backup To Be Made Effortlessly, As Long As, The Extension You Want To Save, Is Still Legally Available In The CHROME Web Store.

        I Am Still Waiting For The Day That CHROME Has An Extension Like FEBE For FF - It Allows, In Only 1 Operation, To Save All Your Already Installed Extensions As Individual .XPI Files - Now, That Is 1 Hell Of A Power User Utility.

        Thank You For Responding.

  3. jon
    April 11, 2016 at 3:37 pm

    I consider myself a power user, but the saving of open tabs in a window, and the advanced sync settings were new to me, and essential. Thanks!

    • Joel Lee
      April 12, 2016 at 11:14 pm

      Glad you got something useful out of the article, jon. Thanks! :D

  4. Anonymous
    April 11, 2016 at 2:52 pm

    "The Great Suspender" is the perfect way to keep your tabs from using all the CPU. It's a free extension in Chrome, suspends or puts to sleep the tabs you're not actively on, and they are instantly re-activated with one click. You can also designate a tab to never sleep and set the time before the tabs go to sleep. I find this really, really useful, and it has worked flawlessly since I installed it a month ago.

    • Joel Lee
      April 12, 2016 at 11:14 pm

      Oh wow, that's awesome! That's actually one of my biggest issues with Chrome so that should end up helping a LOT. Thanks a ton, Marjorie!

  5. Bob
    April 11, 2016 at 2:49 pm

    I find a Snooze extension very helpful. you can have pages return at numerous periods of time and not clutter while you don't need the page.

    • Joel Lee
      April 12, 2016 at 11:13 pm

      Hmm, that's the first I'm hearing of this. I'll check out Snooze! Thanks Bob.

  6. Randall
    April 11, 2016 at 2:03 pm

    I find that Profiles work very well and has more flexibility than using Incognito mode

    • Joel Lee
      April 12, 2016 at 11:13 pm

      Do you share your computer with people? If not, can you explain how you use your Profiles? I'd love to hear more!