Google’s web browser continues to battle for market share against rivals from both Microsoft and Mozilla. Likely many of you who read this site are using Chrome — it tends to be popular with those familiar with technology, while the less initiated folks stick with Internet Explorer…because it came with Windows.
Chrome can be customized in almost anyway the user sees fit, from the use of extensions to apps to a personalized background for the New Tabs page. The browser is sparse — Google kept things simple, though bloat has crept in over the time since the original release. Still, many things an average user expects are missing, and many features are not readily obvious.
This post could honestly go on for pages, but I shall reel it in to three simple steps that a newcomer can easily grasp and likely will find useful.
Add a Homepage
It seems such a simple thing, but when its gone you may find it suddenly isn’t. The homepage may be becoming a relic to many of us, but there are a surprising number of people who are quite happy with that comforting page opening each time the browser is clicked. Chrome has the option, but its not enabled by default. Adding it requires only two simple steps. First head into Settings and, under Appearance, tick the box to the left of “Show home button”.
Second, you will need to visit the page which you wish to use as your landing spot. Type the URL into the Omnibar and, when you arrive at the site, simply click the favicon (a little icon at the left side of the address) and drag it over the home icon. You will be prompted to OK the change.
Access Your Tabs From Anywhere
Most Chrome users are likely aware of the ability to sign in using a Google account and then sync data, including bookmarks, passwords and more, between browsers. During this setup process on a new device you will notice that “open tabs” is an included option, but those tabs from your desktop don’t magically appear on your screen.
Google elected to hide the option just a bit — you won’t find it anywhere in the Tools drop-down menu, but instead need to open a new tab. In rather small print at the bottom you will find “other devices”. Click this to find a list of your devices, including Android phones and tablets, and the open tabs on each, then click one to bring those tabs over to your current device.
Create Your Own Theme
Google allows you to add an image (theme) to your New Tab page, and there are loads to choose from in the Chrome Web Store, But, you can also create your own by using a simple free app called My Chrome Theme.
Simply choose an image and follow the instructions. Once completed, you can even share the theme by sending it to people or making it available for download.