We are all of us creatures of habit, and those habits can easily extend to our Web browsers, where we’re so focused on our usual daily routines, we often overlook certain capabilities that can save us time or improve our productivity.
In Google Chrome, for example, there are three features so neatly tucked away that I suspect many users have never noticed them.
Luckily for you, I have:
1. Other devices
One of Chrome’s most powerful capabilities is synchronization–not just your bookmarks and passwords, but also your open tabs. (You can enable this via Settings, Advanced sync settings.)
For example, if you have Chrome installed on, say, another PC, a smartphone, and a tablet, you can use your desktop browser to access the open tabs on all those devices.
To do, so simply open a new tab, then click the Other devices menu in the lower-right corner of that tab. You’ll see a categorized list of open tabs from all other instances of your Chrome browser. Easy to overlook, but insanely handy.
2. Recently closed
As you may know, if you accidentally close a tab, you can immediately reopen it by pressing Ctrl-Shift-T. However, what if you need to recall a tab you closed a while back? Or a tab that wasn’t the very last one you closed?
What you need is a list of closed tabs, which Chrome quietly provides: While you’re down in that lower-right corner, look at the option right next to Other Devices: the Recently closed menu. Click it and you’ll see links to your 10 most recently closed tabs.
3. Web Store
Newcomers to Chrome simply may not be aware that Google offers a fairly massive library of apps for the browser, and that it’s accessible via the Chrome Web Store.
As you’ve no doubt spotted, the link resides in that same corner, right alongside Recently Closed. Click Web Store to open the app aisles in a new tab, then browse or search to your heart’s content.
For more than 20 years, Rick Broida has written about all manner of technology, from Amigas to business servers to PalmPilots. His credits include dozens of books, blogs, and magazines. He sleeps with an iPad under his pillow.