There are many ways to customize Chrome to optimize your browsing experience, such as using Chrome Extensions. One such method is to use Chrome flags to access experimental features.
Chrome flags are hidden experimental features of Chrome that haven’t made it to the main Chrome interface yet. Unfortunately, many people don’t know these features exist because they have an unconventional method of accessing them, or they simply don’t use them because, being experimental, they could be counterproductive.
If you want some cool new features in Chrome or to increase the speed of Chrome, Chrome flags can help you. Although there are hundreds of flags, not all of them are designed to improve the Chrome experience or are even used by regular users. Therefore, I have selected some of the best Chrome flags for you that will surely enhance your Chrome experience.
Notice: As these are experimental features, there is a small chance that they may be broken and adversely affect your browser. This could mean a slight drop in performance, or in the worst case, losing your data. Although rare, you should understand and use these features at your own risk.
How to access Chrome flags?
Before I tell you about these Chrome flags, you should know how to access Chrome flags. There are two ways to access them; You can use a direct URL for a flag or go to the main flags page and search for the flags you need.
For the direct URLs, I’ll provide each flag, and you’ll have to copy/paste them into the address bar to access them. If you want to access the flags page, type
chrome://flagsin the address bar and press enter to open it. There is a search bar at the top, which you can use to search for flags using related terms (I’ll provide the keywords as well).
You have to enable them and restart Chrome to start using them. Now that you know how to access and enable them, let’s look at some of the best Chrome flags you can use:
#1. Heavy Ad Intervention
Chrome already blocks intrusive ads that can negatively affect your browsing experience. If you want to further improve ad blocking, you can enable this flag to prevent heavy ads from loading. Ads like video or gif that use too much browser resources will not load when this flag is enabled.
Search term: heavy ad
URL: chrome: // flags / # enable-heavy-ad -vention
#2. Enable Reader Mode
Like Firefox Reader View, Chrome also has a reading mode, making it easy to read articles online. When you use this feature on a page, it will only display the main content and images and remove everything else, including side panel content and ads.
After enabling the flag, you will see a new Page icon in the address bar to click to activate reading mode.
Search term: reader mode
URL: chrome: // flags / # enable-reader-mode
#3. Parallel downloading
This flag can speed up download speed up to 4 times. If you have used download manager software before, you should already know how they download faster by creating multiple connections. This flag does the same and allows Chrome to create multiple connections to the download source to speed up the download.
Search term: parallel download
URL: chrome: // flags / # enable-paralelo-downloading
#4. Tab Hover Cards
This flag adds a feature to see more information about a tab just by hovering over it. The information includes the main title and the URL of the page. This feature is useful for people who open dozens of tabs simultaneously, making it difficult to see the tab’s website name without opening it.
With floating cards, all you have to do is hover your mouse over a tab to see which website or page is open.
Search term: floating cards
URL: chrome: // flags / # tab-hover-cards
#5. Tab Hover Card Images
If you enable the above card, you can also enable this flag to display an image of the tab along with the page information. This can only be enabled once the aforementioned flag is enabled. The image will be of the exact area of the page where you left the tab. This means that you can also compare the content of two pages by opening them in two tabs side by side.
Search term: floating card images.
URL: chrome: // flags / # tab-hover-card-images
#6. Force Dark Mode
This flag forces all web content to load with a dark theme. This can be a useful feature if you use your PC in a dark room and don’t want to strain your eyes. The text and buttons turn white or a lighter color, and the entire background turns black.
Search term: dark mode
URL: Chrome: // flags / # enable-force-dark
#7. GPU rasterization
Rasterization is basically the process of creating pixel-by-pixel images or web content to display on your PC. Chrome generally uses the power of your CPU to complete this process. However, if you have a dedicated GPU in your PC, you can enable this flag to force the GPU to always complete rasterization.
The GPU can reduce the frame rate to a minimum of 5ms/frame from 100ms/frame, so you can significantly increase the speed of Chrome if you enable this flag.
Search Term: GPU Rasterization
URL: chrome: // flags / # enable-gpu-rasterization
#8. Smooth Scrolling
This flag makes a small change that can greatly improve its readability. Usually, when you scroll through a web page, it stutters a bit with each scroll tick. After enabling this flag, the page will scroll smoothly and you can easily see the content while scrolling quickly. This is perfect when you need to flip through content quickly.
Search term: smooth scrolling
URL: chrome://flags/# smooth scrolling
#9. Experimental QUIC protocol
QUIC (UDP Fast Internet Connection) is a new connection protocol similar to TCP and UDP protocol, but much faster and more secure at the same time. Reduce connection time by creating a single connection instead of multiple ones. Although it is already being used in Chrome for connecting to Google services, you can enable this flag to use it on other sites as well.
It’s still experimental; you should disable it if you notice any connection problems.
URL: chrome: // flags / # enable-quic
#10. Prevent risky downloads
This flag adds an extra layer of security by preventing executable files from being downloaded from unsafe sources. Viruses usually spread as direct executable files and an unsafe source can be compromised to share these files. This flag will prevent such downloads, but of course it can also have a lot of false positives.
Search term: risky downloads
URL: chrome: // flags / # treat-unsafe-downloads-as-active-content
#11. Enable Tab Search
Another great feature for those who stack dozens of tabs at the same time. Tab search will add a small button at the top, which you can use to search for a specific open tab. You just need to enter the title of the page or the name of the website, and the open tab will appear.
Search term: search tab
URL: chrome: // flags / # enable-tab-search
#12. Enable lazy image loading
This feature prevents all images on a web page from loading at once. Once you enable it, images will only load when you scroll down and zoom in on them. This helps to load the pages faster and also saves bandwidth as only the required images are loaded.
Be sure to choose the enable option that allows you to lazy load images without the lazy load attribute.
Search term: lazy image
URL: chrome: // flags / # enable-lazy-image-loading
#13. Back-forward cache
If you use the back and forward buttons in Chrome, this option is great for saving data and faster browsing. Enabling this flag will cache entire web pages to allow you to navigate to them again without using an Internet connection. Forward/backward navigation will also be instant.
There is only one option to enable caching for the same pages of the site or for all web pages you open.
Search term: cache back forward
URL: Chrome: // flags / # back-forward-cache
#14. Enable LiteVideos
If you are looking to save internet data and don’t mind watching standard quality videos, enable this flag. This flag will tell media requests that your internet is slow, so videos will only load in SD quality.
Search term: litevideos
URL: chrome: // flags / # enable-lite-video
I am using many of these flags myself and haven’t had any noticeable problems yet. However, they are still experimental, so depending on your PC and activity, any of these flags may have a negative impact. Fortunately, the flags page shows all the activated flags at the top. If you notice that your Chrome browser is malfunctioning, simply go to the flags page and undo the changes to fix the problem.