7 advanced Google Chrome tips and tweaks that save you time

If you spend most of your workday with Google's browser, you'll want to put these Chrome tips to work, so you can get more done in less time

Live your best Chrome life
Google

Live your best Chrome life

You probably live most of your computing day inside Google’s browser. Despite its tendency to be a resource hog, it’s still the most capable browser for its speed and optimization on the web’s most important sites.

But there’s always room to improve, especially given Chrome’s flexibility and strong feature set. This collection of tips will help you start the day off with only the sites you want, work quicker with keyboard commands, and ensure you can save the stuff you need for later use.

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Stick a pin in it

Stick a pin in it

Pinning tabs that you use throughout the day saves you screen real estate and keeps you from having to reopen tabs several times over. Right-click on a tab and select Pin Tab to minimize it to the left side of the browser. It’ll be identifiable by the page’s favicon.

Keep in mind, when you close the browser, those tabs will reopen as pinned tabs when you relaunch Chrome. If you don’t want to start your next session with 10 pinned tabs, you’ll need to unpin them by right-clicking, then selecting Unpin Tab before closing the browser.

Reopen that tab you didn't mean to close

Reopen that tab you didn't mean to close

There’s one specific hotkey command that saves my bacon about 25 times a day: Control-Shift-T, which reopens the last tab closed. When you have 70 or so different tabs open, you’re bound to close the wrong one from time to time.

That’s why it behooves you to memorize this command. Better yet, take a few moments to learn some of the other hotkeys shown here that will help you zip through your tabs, close them all, or quit Chrome altogether. Just as hotkeys help you work faster in Windows, the same level of convenience applies to Chrome.

Grab a Chrome extension

Grab a Chrome extension

It’s very likely that your favorite desktop software has an accompanying Chrome extension that lets you perform related tasks within the browser. If so, grab it. After all, the web touches a lot of aspects of the work you do. For example, Microsoft’s OneNote offers a useful Chrome extension for grabbing articles and other bits of the internet for later retrieval. Same goes for Evernote, another popular note-taking solution. And there’s a Chrome extension that notifies you of Skype alerts. Head to the Chrome Web Store to find the extensions you need.

Embrace Google Cloud Print

Embrace Google Cloud Print

Google Cloud Print may still have that annoying beta tag, but it’s vastly improved since the service’s early days. It’s now reliable and the fastest way to print a document without needing to futz with the Windows print menu.

Most printers can be added quite easily, so head to the Cloud Print site to enroll yours. Another great feature is that you can also save files right to Google Drive, helping you keep track of tax payment confirmations or other key documents.

Know your history

Know your history

Macs and iOS devices talk together very well through a feature called Handoff. Open a browser tab on the iPhone, and you can pull it up right away on your Mac.

Chrome has created something that’s not quite as seamless, but gets the job done for those of us who live outside of Fortress Apple. Control-H pulls up a list of your most recent tabs from all your devices. Next, touch "Tabs from other devices" to choose the site you want to check out. You can select what you were recently looking at or something from a while back.

Go big (with text)

Go big (with text)

Save your eyes from strain. You can expand the text on a browser page in a couple of different ways. Hit Control- to zoom in, and Control- to zoom out. Alternatively, pinching and zooming on a PC with a touchscreen will do the trick and gives you a more direct feel for what you want to see.

Control 0 will return you to the normal page size once you’re done with the close inspection.

Start off right

Start off right

You can get right to work more quickly if you launch your browsing session with the sites you use most often. Go to Settings > On Startup and choose "Open a specific page or set of pages."

Then, you can add your favorite pages by typing in the URLs or clicking the button for Use Current Pages. This’ll ensure that next time you launch Chrome, you can get right to work with the pages you need.