Google Chrome is an excellent browser, which can be used to search the internet, maintain your email, and keep track of your contacts and calendar.
Let’s begin by looking at some of the features of Google Chrome
New Tab, New Window, and New Incognito Window
Click on the three vertical buttons in the upper right corner. The first item that appears is “New tab.” When you click on this a new tab appears on the top of your screen, to the right of any tabs you currently have open. You can also open a new tab by clicking on the plus (+) sign to the right of any tabs that you currently have open.
The next item is “New window.” When you click on this, a new Google window will open. The previous window you were looking at is behind this window. To get back to it, just click on the “X” in the upper right corner to close this window.
The next item is “New incognito window.” If you click on this, a new window will open with a black background. Any websites that you look at in this window, are not stored in your browsing history. The previous window you were looking at is behind this window. To get back to it, just click on the “X” in the upper right corner to close this window.
History and Downloads
“History” is the next item listed. When you click on it, a tab opens on your browser, which shows the web pages you recently opened in Google Chrome. You can scroll down the screen and view the web pages you looked at in the past. When you stop scrolling, if you want to search for a particular word or words, type that word or words in the “Search history” box at the top of your screen. Google will list all of the web pages that you looked at in the area you just scrolled, which contain that word or words in the web page description. If you want to clear your browsing history, click on the box on the left side of your screen, to the right of the words “Clear browsing data.”
Next is “Downloads.” When you click on it, anything that you downloaded over the past week is shown here. To look further back than that, click on the three vertical dots in the upper right corner, and then click on “Open downloads folder.” Now you can see all of the downloaded items that are in your Downloads folder. I routinely remove the downloaded items from this folder, as I no longer need them stored here, and they take up storage space on the computer.
Move your cursor over “Bookmarks,” and click “Bookmarks manager.” This is where you can set up folders to organize your bookmarks. By setting up bookmarks folders, you can easily find a particular web page when you want to open it. To set up a folder, click on the three vertical dots in the upper right corner, and then click on “Add new folder.” Type in the folder name, and click “Save.” Once you have set up a few folders, to organize a folder alphabetically, hold down the left clicker on the folder you want to move, and drag the folder so that it fits alphabetically. When you right click on a folder, you have the option to rename or delete that folder. This group of folders is your Bookmarks bar.
To show the Bookmarks bar near the top of Google Chrome, click on the three vertical dots in the upper right corner; move your cursor over “Bookmarks,” and then click on “Show bookmarks bar.” If you don’t show the Bookmarks bar there, then you can access it by clicking on the three vertical dots in the upper right corner; move your cursor over “Bookmarks,” and then the Bookmarks bar is visible. You can also access the Bookmarks bar by clicking on the yellow star near the upper right corner of Google Chrome. I access the Bookmarks bar a different way, by adding it as a saved tab at the top of the screen. I will explain how to do that later in this article.
Now that you have created a Bookmarks bar, let me tell you how to add bookmarks to the Bookmarks folders that are in the Bookmarks bar. When you have opened a web page that you want to add to the Bookmarks bar, click on the uncolored star symbol near the upper right corner of Google Chrome. When the “Edit bookmark” box opens, type in the “Name” and the “Folder” where you want to store the bookmark. Then click “Done.” This particular web page shortcut will now be stored in a folder where you can easily find it. Then you just double click on it, and the web page will open. When you add a bookmark to a folder, it automatically is stored at the bottom of the folder you added it to. To move it so that it is alphabetically listed in this folder, hold down the left clicker on the bookmark you want to move, and drag the bookmark so that it fits alphabetically.
To search for a bookmark, click on the three vertical dots in the upper right corner of Google Chrome; move your cursor over “Bookmarks,” and click on “Bookmarks manager.” Then in the “Search bookmarks” box at the top of the page, type in the word you want to search for. As you type, all bookmarked web sites that have that word will appear. When you see the one you want, just double click on it to open it. If you want to see where that bookmark is stored, right click on it, and click “Show in folder.” You will now see where it is stored. If you want to move the bookmark to another folder, just drag it to the folder you want it moved to.
Zoom, Print, and Find
“Zoom” is the next item in Google Chrome. This is where you increase and decrease the magnification for a particular web page. When you have a web page open in Google Chrome, you click on the plus (+) icon to increase the magnification, and you click on the minus (-) icon to reduce the magnification. The magnification will remain at that level until you change it.
“Print” is the next item in Google Chrome. If you want to print the web page you have open, you click on “Print” to print that page. Or you can hold down the “ctrl” button on your keyboard, and while doing that, hit the “P” key on your keyboard.
“Find” is the next item in Google Chrome. When you click on “Find,” a search box will open up on your screen. When you type a word into the search box, Google Chrome will search for that word in the web page that you have open; and that word will be highlighted in the text. If that word is found more than once, the search bar will indicate how many times that word was found in the text. When you scroll down the text, you will see that word highlighted each time it appears in the text. Or you can click the up or down arrow in the search box, and Google Chrome will show you each instance of that word, one after the other.
“More tools” is the next item in Google Chrome. Move your cursor over “More tools,” and then click on “Clear browsing data.” There are two tabs here – Basic and Advanced. In the Basic tab, you can clear browsing history, cookies and other site data, and cached images and files. You can set the time range for clearing this information to Last hour, Last 24 hours, Last 7 days, Last 4 weeks, or All time. Most people will pick “All time.”
If you check “Browsing history,” then the record of all the websites that you have looked at will be deleted. If you check “Cookies and other site data,” then when you go to a web page that has stored your login information and other data, you will now have to enter your login information. If you check “Cached images and files,” then it may take a little longer for images to appear on a website. Once you have checked what you want to clear, just click on “Clear data” to complete the process.
In the Advanced tab, you can clear browsing history, download history, cookies and other site data, cached images and files, passwords and other sign-in data, autofill form data, site settings, and hosted app data. As I already spelled out briefly what happens when you clear browsing history, cookies and other site data, and cached images and files, I will now briefly explain what happens if you clear the other data.
If you check “Download history,” the history of items you downloaded from the internet will be deleted. If you check “Passwords and other sign-in data,” any passwords that Google stored for you will be deleted. If you check “Autofill form data,” then any saved information from forms you filled out previously, will be deleted. If you check, “Site settings,” you are removing any permission you gave to a website to access your location or other permissions. If you check “Hosted app data,” you will remove any data stored for apps you have added to Chrome.
Also under “More tools” is “Extensions.” Move your cursor over “More tools,” and click on “Extensions.” You will now see a list of all the extensions that you added to Google Chrome. This is where you can look at details for each extension, turn the extension off, or remove it. You may not have known that you added these extensions. To turn off an extension, click on the blue dot for that extension, and slide it to the left. Only turn off or remove an extension if you know you are no longer going to need it in the future.
When you click on “Settings,” the first block is “People.” When you click on the arrow to the right of “Sync and Google services,” you will see the heading “Other Google services.” Services that are turned on are in blue. This is where you can decide whether to turn off a service by sliding the blue dot to the left, or turn on a service by moving the white dot to the right.
The second block in Settings is “Autofill.” This is where your passwords, payment methods, and addresses are stored if you have the autofill features turned on.
The first item in “Autofill” is “Passwords.” Click on “Passwords” to see the passwords you have saved. Or if you haven’t saved any passwords, and you would like to turn that feature on, this is where you do that. To turn the autofill feature on or off for “Passwords,” click on the circle, which is to the right of “Offer to save passwords.” The passwords are all listed in alphabetical order in the “Website” column. The next column shows your “Username.” And the third column has your password listed as eight black dots. To see the password hidden behind the black dots, click on the eye icon to the right of the dots, and your password will then appear. You can then edit the password here, if it is wrong, by clicking on the password, and typing in the correct password. Click on the eye icon to have the password disappear again. To remove a password, click on the three vertical dots to the right of the eye icon, and click “Remove.” To see the full URL for a website password you have saved, click on the three vertical dots, and click “Details.”
The second item in “Autofill” is “Payment methods.” Click on “Payment methods” to see the list of credit and debit cards that you have authorized Google to save for you. Or if you haven’t saved any payment methods, and you want to turn that feature on, this is where you do that. To turn the autofill feature on or off for “Payment methods,” click on the circle, which is to the right of “Save and fill payment methods.” If this feature is turned on, Google will save your credit and debit card information here, which includes the name of the card, the credit card numbers, and the expiration date. You can only see the last four digits of the credit card, but the full credit card numbers are stored by Google, and will fill in when you use your credit card to make a purchase online. To add a credit card here, click on the “Add” box to the right of “Payment methods.” Then fill in the credit card details on the lines. To delete or edit credit card information for cards that are in this system, click on the box with an arrow in it, which is at the end of the line where the credit card is listed. This will open a new web page that shows all of your saved credit cards. Just click “Remove” for the credit card you want to remove. Click “Edit” to edit the credit card you want to edit.
The third item in “Autofill” is “Addresses and more.” Click on “Addresses and more” to see the addresses that you have saved. An address you have saved will fill in automatically when you have to fill out a form on a website. Or if you haven’t saved any addresses, and you want to turn that feature on, this is where you do that. To turn the autofill feature on or off for “Addresses and more,” click on the circle, which is to the right of “Save and fill addresses.” To add an address, click on the “Add” box to the right of “Addresses.”
The third block in “Settings” is “Appearance.” This is where you pick the theme, set the font size, customize the font, and adjust the page zoom.
The first item in “Appearance” is “Themes.” When you click on “Themes,” a web page opens where you can pick the background you want for your Chrome browser.
The next Item in “Appearance” I will review is “Font size.” When you click on the drop-down box on this line, you can pick Very small, Small, Medium, Large, or Very Large. The size that you pick will be the size of the font that you see when you look at a web page.
The next item in “Appearance” is “Customize fonts.” When you click on this, you can change the font size by dragging the blue dot. You can also pick the font style you want from a long list of different fonts.
The last item in “Appearance” is “Page zoom.” When you click on the drop-down box on this line, you can change the zoom setting. I prefer 125%.
Search Engine, Default Browser, On Startup, and Advanced
The next block in “Settings” is “Search engine.” This is where you can indicate your default search engine. When you click on “Manage search engines,” you will see a list of search engines. After you click on the three vertical dots to the right of the search engine you want to be your default search engine, click on “Make default” to make that search engine your default search engine.
“Default browser” is the next block. This is where your default browser is listed.
The next block is “On startup,” and this is a very important block. If you click on “Open the New Tab page,” when you open your browser the next time, you will see a web page with the Google logo, a search bar, and thumbnails of your most visited web sites. If you click “Continue where you left off,” after you close your browser and then reopen it, you will now see the web pages that were open before you closed your browser.
When you click on “Open a specific page or set of pages,” this is where you can set the specific web pages you want shown when you open your browser. If there are specific web pages that you look at a lot, this is where you indicate that you want these web pages to be automatically opened when you open your browser. To add a web page to this list, click on “Add a new page.” Then type in the URL for that page, and click “Add.” Add as many web pages as you like, but know that the more web pages you add here, the smaller the tabs will appear at the top of your web browser. To edit a web page that you added here, click on the three vertical dots to the right of the web page, and click “Edit.” To remove a web page that you added here, click on the three vertical dots to the right of the web page, and click “Remove.” If you want to add all of the web pages that you currently have open, click on “Use current pages.”
The last area to look at in “Settings” is “Advanced.” Click on the drop-down arrow to the right of “Advanced” to see all of the “Advanced” settings. This is where there are more detailed settings for many of the features we reviewed earlier, as well as a number of new settings. I suggest you review your options in “Advanced” to see if there are any changes you want to make.
To search for a specific setting in the “Settings” section, type in the setting you are looking for in the blue rectangle at the top web page where it says “Search settings.” Then when you scroll down, you will see highlighted in yellow everywhere that word is listed.