Guide to Google Chrome Flags

Chrome flags are great at performance and UI tweaks. This should improve your browsing experience.

However, it’s also true that flags can disappear at any time since they’re either removed or integrated into Chrome. This is why you should keep an eye on the availability of Chrome flags.

The following will describe how to access these flags and you’ll also find out some of the flags that you might like. Some are more consumer-centric and some can improve productivity and browsing experience.

Accessing Chrome Flags

After launching Chrome, enter chrome://flags and press enter to access the page. You’ll arrive at the most up-to-date list of flags. This is also where you’ll find a warning about the ephemeral nature of flags.

To find a particular Flag, just press Ctrl + F (find) and type the Flag’s name. If you want to find out about the flags that have been removed, click on the Unavailable tab.

Chrome Flags That Might Interest You

Flags are available for both the desktop and the mobile version of Chrome. There are also Chrome Global flags and they are grouped under Desktop Flags.

Desktop Flags

Global Media Controls

This flag pulls up Chrome media controls. It allows you to skip tracks and play or pause audio video content. Once enabled, a media toolbar will show up in the top right corner of Chrome.

The flag works with YouTube, Netflix, Spotify, and most other streaming services that offer a web client.

Reader Mode

As you might know, Reader Mode is a highlight of Safari. It removes all the ads and surplus content such that a page becomes easier to read and navigate.

This Chrome flag is not as streamlined as Safari’s Reader Mode, but it gets the job done. It’s particularly useful if you like to visit product review pages and websites.

Treat Risky Downloads

This flag is great for protecting against adware and malware by way of preventing file downloads and execution. The targeted files include DEB, EXE, and DMG, to name a few. Furthermore, the flag also prevents all downloads from insecure websites.

In the end, however, this flag is going to be more useful for novices than veterans.

Parallel Downloading

One of the oldest flags in Chrome but it still works like a charm. It can markedly speed up your downloads by breaking files into smaller parts.

Secure DNS Lookups

So here’s the story. DNS running over HTTPS is already part of Firefox. Of course, Chrome users need to turn on Secure DNS Lookups.

Prior to the availability of this flag, many users took advantage of the HTTPS Everywhere extension to force an HTTPS connection during browsing. The flag removes the need for the extension and does everything automatically.

And with the flag enabled, Chrome will always try to find a secure HTTPS for every website that you visit.

Password Import

Chrome password exports have been in the stable channel for a while. But you need to use a flag if you’d like to import from another browser.

After enabling the flag, go to Chrome Settings and select Passwords. Proceed by tapping on the More icon (three vertical dots) and you should find Import as the first option in the drop-down menu.

UPI/VPA Values

As of recently, Google Pay has really built out its user base. In fact, UPI is close to becoming the primary payment method in India. This is why the company now allows for autofill of UPI/VPA values.

With the flag on, Chrome automatically recognizes VPA or UPI ID and gives you the option to autofill or save the VPA address within the payment box.

Mobile Flags

Google Lens

Available on mobile Chrome, this allows you to reverse search images. Look for Lens in the Flags window and turn on “Google Lens powered image search in the context menu” to pull it up.

Password Leak Detection

Android users should probably enable this flag. Chrome will send you an alert every time that you type or create a password and inform you if the password is leaked or not.

As you can imagine, this can significantly improve your online safety.

Share Clipboard Across Devices

Whatever you copy on your smartphone, you’ll be able to paste onto your desktop with this flag. Look for Clipboard in the Flags window and then enable “shared-clipboard-receiver” and “shared-clipboard-ui”.

For the flag to work, you might need to get it on your desktop as well. After that, you can select any text on your phone and then select Share followed by the destination.

Google Spangled Banner

Although technically Google’s experiments, Chrome flags usually work great and they can improve one’s browsing experience. Best of all, they don’t take up too much computing power or slow down the browser.

 

Leave a Comment