Currently, even though Microsoft Edge comes standard on a new computer, users are downloading one of the most common browsers, Google Chrome. Chrome is the most popular web browser, accounting for about two-thirds of the browser market. But while Google Chrome does everything you want, it can do a lot of other things that you don’t need and probably don’t know about.

We’ve listed 9 settings you should check out and consider changing for a better, more private, or more personal web experience👇

Security audit

Internet surfing has become such a mundane part of our daily lives that most of us don’t even think about it. We use the Internet to keep in touch with our friends and family, answer questions, or simply fill in the moments between meetings.

However, using the Internet is inherently a connected activity. Every time we open a browser, we enter an interconnected space full of other people, some of whom may be malicious. We are especially vulnerable when we create accounts with shared passwords or share payment or other personal information. This information can fall into the wrong hands months or even years after we enter it into a browser, so it’s important to make sure your data is secure. This is where the Chrome security check comes into play.

To check the security check:

  • Click on the three dots next to your account, or type “chrome://settings/privacy” in the search tab.
  • Click on the “Privacy and Security” section to the left of the inbox settings tab.
  • Here, under the heading “Security Check” you will see a “Check Now” button.

This way, Google Chrome will scan for browser updates, compromised or weak passwords, malicious extensions, and more.

Managing Site Permissions

Google Chrome

Sometimes a certain site may send you notifications. Besides; can access your location, microphone or camera. There are many reasons why a site might temporarily gain access to one or all of these features. The most commonly used excuse here was “improve our services”.

You probably have no idea what sites have access to the capabilities of your computer. In Chrome, you can see which sites have access to what and revoke them at any time.

  • Click on the three-dot menu and go to settings.
  • In the window that opens, select the privacy and security section.
  • Here, click “Site Settings” in the fifth line of the privacy and security list.

In the permissions section of the incoming page, you’ll see location, camera, microphone, notifications, and background sync settings. In addition, there are many settings in the additional permissions section in the form of a pop-up window.

Block pop-ups

Google Chrome

Pop-ups can be one of the most hated things in the history of the internet. But for the time being, we can prevent this with a few simple tweaks.

As usual, select the three-dot menu in the upper right corner of the screen and click Settings. From here, open Security & Privacy, then Site Settings. You’ll see a “Content” heading under the “Permissions” heading in the middle. Click “Pop-ups and redirects” at the bottom of this settings section. On the page that opens, in the “Default Behavior” section, replace the selected pop-ups and redirects with the resolution below.

Disable site notifications

Google Chrome

By default, Chrome notifies you when a site or extension wants to send you information. These notifications can start to pile up, especially since almost every site asks you to add notifications. Over time, notifications can get overwhelming as long as they don’t interfere with your comfortable browsing experience.

Click the three-dot menu and select settings. Then click on the security and privacy menu. From here, select the notifications section. In this menu, you can see which sites are allowed to send you notifications and which are not. You can also block all sites from stalking you or sending notifications. Notifications should be an added convenience that doesn’t distract from your normal browsing. Regularly checking the site’s permissions menu gives you control.

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Add an auto-delete option to your history

Google Chrome

The thought that everything you do is recorded forever bothered everyone. We will do all of us a good service if we forget about everything we did online more than ninety days ago. We’re lucky in this regard because Google offers the option to delete your web and location history after a certain period of time.

To do this, we’ll need access to Google’s activity controls. Go to the activity management page via the link here (opens in a new tab). You can automatically delete your history on this page, including “web and app activity”, location history, and YouTube history at certain times. You can automatically delete your history by selecting the 3, 18 and 36 months options on the new page that appears by entering auto delete on the options screen you want.

Close background apps

Google Chrome

Many plugins work in Chrome or other browsers even when the browsers are closed. The intent here does not always have to be malicious. The plugins and sites continue to work to provide you with the latest updates and notifications.

However, keeping your apps running in the background consumes system resources and battery. If your computer’s speed and battery life are more important than constant updates, you can limit or exclude apps that are allowed to run in the background through Chrome. Chrome allows this background activity by default.

  • To restrict or disable it, click on the three-dot menu in the top right corner of Chrome and select Settings.
  • Enable performance from the left menu
  • At the top of the screen, you will see a memory saver setting.
  • Here you will see a toggle that allows background apps to continue running when Chrome is closed.
  • Just press the button to close all background applications.

Edit tab groups

Google Chrome

If you’re the type of person who has dozens of tabs open at any given time and struggles to find the page they’re on, tab groups might be the solution you’re looking for. As in the example above, there are no settings that you can change.

Right click on a specific tab and add it to a group. If you don’t already have a group set up, you can create one at any time. Here you can create a group from e-mail, Slack and Discord, for example. Similarly, Spotify, YouTube, and Netflix can also enter the entertainment group. Regardless of how you decide to divide your tabs, it will be easier for you if you sort them into groups.

Add subtitles to everything

There may be times when you have hearing problems, or you are used to watching everything with subtitles. Google offers a very useful solution for this.

  • To do this, as always, open the settings menu.
  • From here, enter the “Accessibility” section on the left panel.
  • Activate the toggle for the “live subtitles” option at the top of the accessibility page.

This means that whether you’re browsing social media, watching YouTube, or listening to something from Spotify, Chrome will always create subtitles when audio is available.

Assigning Keyboard Shortcuts to Extensions

One of the main reasons for the widespread use of Chrome is the massive support for extensions that allow users to modify Chrome and extend its capabilities.

To set keyboard shortcuts for Chrome extensions:

  • Click on the extensions section with the puzzle piece icon in the top right corner of Chrome.
  • Click “Manage Extensions” at the bottom of the small window that opens.
  • Open the menu by clicking the three horizontal lines at the top left of the incoming page and select the keyboard shortcut option.

Here you can set the keyboard shortcut for the extension you need.

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BONUS: how to reset Google Chrome settings?

Google Chrome

You can reset the Google Chrome browser to its original state. This action will clear all cookies, disable all extensions, clear start page configuration. It does not delete your bookmarks, saved passwords, or web history.

To do this, click on the three-dot menu at the top right and select settings. Then enter the factory reset option from the left menu. From here, you can reset all Chrome settings with the reset button.

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