Nowadays, mobiles apps help in a big way to access content on the web. However, web browsers still play a vital role in desktop for searching and getting the required details. Among many available browsers actively used by users, Chrome is the leading browser in terms of market share. Google Chrome has more than 60% of desktop market share and many users use it as a default browser due to its simplicity.
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Most of us understand the basics of Chrome well. However, we often overlook simple steps involved in using Chrome that can help in doing tasks more convenient. In this guide, we have explained how to use Google Chrome effectively both for Windows and Mac users. This guide will provide you how to install Chrome, some fundamentals associated with it and important tips and tricks that you should keep in mind while using Google Chrome.
Even if you are an experienced user, this guide can tell you all steps in the sequence and the right guideline.
1. Advantages of Google Chrome
Before we start, let us see the some of the most noticeable advantages of Google Chrome.
- Sleek design and easy to use browser.
- Secure and auto update to latest technology.
- Chrome is an open source and platform independent browser.
- Possible to install with or without administrator access on your computer.
- Easy to synchronize bookmarks, history and browsing data across all your devices by logging into your Google account.
- Large extensions to enhance the browser’s functionalities for special needs.
- Easy to integrate other Google products like Gmail and tools for developers.
- Various release channels for stable use, beta, developer and canary versions.
It is not that every feature of Google Chrome is good and advantage to the users. There are some major issues with Chrome like privacy and high resource (CPU and memory) consumption. However, the growing market share of Chrome indicates that there are no good alternative browsers available. If you are much worried about privacy then Mozilla Firefox is one of the alternate you can try out. You can learn more about Firefox in our beginners guide for Firefox.
2. Using Omnibox in Chrome
Chrome has address box under the tabs used to type the website address. However, you can also use the address bar for searching the web using search engines. Google calls the combination of address bar and search function together as an omnibox function.
Just type in the name of the website that you want to visit and hit enter, it will take you directly to that website. This is similar to any other browsers like Microsoft Edge, Firefox or Apple Safari.
In order to search from the omnibox, type google.com and press tab or spacebar. Chrome will show “Search Google”, now enter the search term and hit enter to get Google search results.
You can setup any website as your custom search engine to use this omnibox search. In order to setup a search engine, you can go to “chrome://settings” and scroll down to “Search engine” section. Select your preferred search engine from the dropdown.
3. Installing Google Chrome
The installation process of Chrome on your PC or Mac is simple. You can install without administrator privilege which helps to have Chrome on any computer you own.
In order to install Google, go to the official Chrome website and click the “Download Chrome” button that appears on the landing page. Google will automatically detect your operating system and download Windows or Mac version accordingly.
After that a pop-up will appear. Click Accept and start the downloading. When you got the executable file (for Windows) or disk image file (for Mac), open it and follow the instructions to install Chrome on your computer.
4. Understanding Chrome Tabs and Windows
Before we explore further, you need to understand the basics of tabs and windows in Google Chrome browser.
- When you open the browser, the page you land on is a home page.
- You can open new tabs on the same browser window by pressing the + icon on the title bar.
- You can also open a new window to open a webpage in additional Chrome window.
- In addition, you can use incognito mode and guest mode to browse anonymously without storing any history of your browsing. You can access guest mode from the profile icon next to address bar and incognito mode from the settings menu.
5. Google Chrome Menu
You can see a three dots button on top right corner of the browser named as “Customize and control Google Chrome”. Generally, people refer this as Chrome customizing menu as Windows version of Chrome does not any have other menu items. However, you can see the application menu on Chrome Mac in addition to this three dots button.
We will refer to the use of these menu items throughout the guide. You can access quick functions like zooming, opening new tabs, bookmarks, history, downloads, help, etc. from the customizing menu.