5 Hacks and Tricks for Google Chrome

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Every browser has its intriguing secrets and devoted fans, whether Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari or Opera. If your thing is Chrome, you probably love the Gmail advantage and the new Chrome mobile browser for iPhone. But you’ve got to dig a little deeper to get to some of the best aspects of Chrome. Let's take a look at 5 favorite Chrome hacks:

1) Permanent Pin Tabs
Chrome Pin Tabs are super helpful, allowing you to create a small browser tab that always stays open and in place. This comes in handy for sites like Gmail or Facebook that you tend to keep open. Creating a Pin Tab is simple: just right-click a tab and then select Pin Tab.
Unfortunately, when you close your browser window, this Pin Tab will disappear. To make your Pin Tabs stay in place for every Chrome session, you need to execute a short command switch:


  • Right-click on your Google Chrome Shortcut and select Properties. Then, add the following command switch at the end of the target path:
    - -pinned-tab-count=x
    X signifies the number of permanent Pin Tabs you'd like to create. Pick whatever number you'd like. Let's say that we choose 2.
    Your target path should now read:
    C:\Users\Nakodari\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe – -pinned-tab-count=2
  • Now, you want to add in the URLs of the permanent tabs at the end of the target path, separated by spaces. Let's say that we select Gmail and  
    Facebook:
    C:\Users\Nakodari\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe – -pinned-tab-count=2 http://gmail.com http://facebook.com
    If you want more than 2 permanent tabs, just change 2 to whatever number you'd like and add the URLs of the additional tabs. 
    Voila! 

2) Chrome Experiments
Navigate to chrome://flags/ to access Chrome Experiments, a bevy of experimental Chrome features that you can enable, such as Cloud Print Connector, which lets you print  from a stored printer from anywhere by logging in to your Google account.
Beware, though: Google warns that "these experiments might bite" and elaborates with a very explicit warning:
WARNING These experimental features may change, break, or disappear at any time. We make absolutely no guarantees about what may happen if you turn one of these experiments on, and your browser may even spontaneously combust. Jokes aside, your browser may delete all your data, or your security and privacy could be compromised in unexpected ways. Any experiments you enable will be enabled for all users of this browser. Please proceed with caution. 
Play at your own risk.

3) Compose Emails from the Chrome Omnibox
This awesome hack, which lets you compose emails from the Chrome omnibox (address bar), comes courtesy of Abhishek Gupta, Lead UX Designer at Lumosity. (The whole thread on Quora is worth reading.)
1. Go to Settings (shortcut on a Mac is Command + , )
2. Under 'Search' section click on the 'Manage Search Engines' button
3. Create a new row called 'Email Compose'
Use the keyword 'e'
Use this query in the third box 'mailto:?subject=%s'

4. Just as you type 'e' and a spacebar in the omnibox, it will turn solid

Whatever you type next will become a part of the subject of the email.
5. Hit enter and a new tab with the email composing UI will open (if you are already signed in)
This hack takes seconds to set up and can really come in handy when you don't have Gmail open and need to send an email very quickly.

4) Get Chrome Canary
If you're an early adopter, Chrome Canary is for you. Canary is a version of Chrome that has "the newest of the new Chrome features," which get updated daily.
However, it's not "for the faint of heart," as "it's designed for developers and early adopters, and can sometimes break down completely."
If you're feeling bold, download it here.

5) Action Box
If you're constantly sharing links and moving between your desktop and mobile devices, the Action Box Experiment is for you.
You can enable the Action Box on the Chrome Experiments page (navigate to chrome://flags/) and once you restart your browser, it'll be in action.
The star at the end of your omnibox will be replaced by an Action Box that gives you three new options: send the page to your mobile device, bookmark the page, or share it.

I use this Chrome hack more often than any other. It's just plain helpful.

Know any great Chrome hacks? Let us know! Leave a comment below.

Joe Lazauskas

Joe Lazauskas is co-founder and CCO of Faster Times Media, a content studio and consultancy firm that help businesses to create exceptional  articles, video, blogs and social media updates. He's also a total social media dork