11 Chrome Flags to Boost Your Browsing

Chrome Flags come and go at a rapid rate, with some becoming full-fledged browser features while others disappear forever. These features have been aptly renamed to “Experiments,” as they let you experiment and test beta features. There are plenty of Chrome Flags you can set to boost your browser performances. These are the best current Chrome Flags you should enable right now.

Note: we update this list regularly to ensure that the flags we list are still available, but sometimes an outdated flag may slip through the net. If that happens, then let us know in the comments, and we’ll remove it.

How to Access and Enable Chrome Flags

Follow these steps to view and enable Chrome flags:

  1. Type chrome://flags in the Chrome address bar and hit Enter.
  2. You will see a list of Chrome Flags with a warning that the features are not stable.
  3. Use the search bar at the top to find the desired flag. Once you find it, click on the drop-down box next to it to enable or disable the flag.
chrome-flags-how-to-access

4. Click on the “Relaunch” button to restart Chrome and activate or deactivate the flag.

Helpful hint: if you’re considering using Incognito Mode, first read about the truth behind private browsing and Incognito Mode.

1. Disable System Notifications

There are two types of notifications that Chrome can send to your PC: some are native within Chrome, and will only appear when Chrome is running, others link to your OS and will appear within the OS UI.

A lot of people find these notifications annoying, so you may want to disable them in Chrome Flags.

In the Flags search box, type “system notifications”, then when it appears, set “Enable system notifications” to “Disabled”. No more interruptions!

Tip: Learn how to customize Chrome like a pro.

2. Quiet Permission Chip

Make no mistake, the permissions notification in browsers is super-important, asking you whether you’re happy for a given site to have access to your location, microphone, and whatever else.

But the notification in Chrome has always been a bit ugly and intrusive. This flag addresses that issue by integrating the permissions box into the search bar. It’s nice and clear with a bright blue background, so there’s no chance you’ll miss it, while not taking up your browsing screen space.

To enable this flag, type “quiet permission” into the Flags search bar and enable the Quiet Permission Chip Experiment.

Tip: if you’re looking to take away some of your grunt work, check out these Chrome extensions that automate boring browsing tasks.

3. Force Dark Mode

Dark mode is the thing that everyone’s after right now, making your screen much less strenuous on the eyes when you use it in the evenings or in a dark environment. You can make window borders darker using your OS settings, but to actually make entire web pages dark, you’ll need to enable this flag.

Find “dark mode” in Chrome flags, then click the drop-down menu next to “Auto Dark Mode for Web Contents.”

You’ll see that you have many different variants of dark mode to choose from. You can experiment with these different Dark Mode variants to see which works best or just select “Enabled” for the default option.

Tip: are you looking to space things differently on your monitor? Learn how to get vertical tabs in Chrome.

4. Reader Mode

While Microsoft’s twist on a Chromium-based browser now includes a reader mode clickable from the URL bar, Google Chrome is yet to have it as a default feature. However, a quick tweak in Chrome Flags, and you can add an “Immersive Reader” mode to your omnibox. Search for “reader mode” in Flags, then turn on the Enable Reader Mode flag.

An icon will appear in your address bar. Click it to turn that page into “Immersive reader mode. You can then click the “A” icon at the top of the page to change your reader settings.

5. GPU Rasterization

Chrome doesn’t rely too much on your GPU to process images and data, but if you have a dedicated GPU, there are a few things you can do to offload some of the processing onto it, speeding up the browser.

Rasterization is the process Chrome uses to organize website data into the pixels and tangible information you end up seeing on the screen in front of you. It does this by organizing each page into “Tiles,” at which point it effectively paints in the information in each one to add up to the whole you see in front of you.

Enabling the “GPU rasterization” flag gets your GPU to always do the above process instead of your CPU (or processor). This can make browsing faster if your CPU isn’t particularly powerful or, conversely, if your GPU is very powerful.

Helpful hint: do you find it hard to concentrate on your work when the fun of the Web is pulling you in? Learn how to block websites on Chrome.

6. Zero-Copy Rasterization (Desktop/Android)

There are a few things you can do with rasterization through Chrome flags, but one of the best is zero-copy rasterization, where writers raster streams straight to your GPU memory (or VRAM), which can work faster than using your regular RAM (particularly if you have 4GB or less RAM on your PC).

This can be particularly helpful on mobile devices, with the potential to reduce battery usage when you browse the Web. Search for “Zero-copy rasterizer,” then enable it.

7. Enable Parallel Downloading

There are several features of Chrome Flags that can speed up your browsing, many of which are enabled by default. One such feature, which specifically speeds up your downloads, is “Parallel downloading,” which splits each file you download into three separate jobs, speeding up the whole process.

To enable it in Chrome flags, type “parallel downloading,” click “Default” when it appears in the list, then click “Enable.”

Tip: check out the best extensions to speed up Chrome.

8. Enable Smooth Scrolling

As the name suggests, this lets you smoothly scroll through content. When you scroll in Chrome using your mouse or the arrow keys, there is a little stuttering in the animation. This makes it hard to quickly go through the content while also reading what is important (which is bad for content skimmers). With this option enabled, smooth scrolling just feels right and professional.

Just search for “Smooth Scrolling” or type chrome://flags/#smooth-scrolling into the address bar to access it directly. Enable it using the drop-down menu.

9. Enable Experimental QUIC Protocol

QUIC protocol is a new connection protocol created by Google that is still under development. QUIC is supposed to be a mixture of TCP and UDP protocols that is much faster and more secure. Usually, when we are on a TCP or UDP connection, it takes multiple trips to the server before a connection is stable (which takes time) and ready to exchange data. The main goal with QUIC protocol is to make a single trip to create a connection and start the data exchange process, thus increasing the overall browsing and data exchange speed.

In Chrome, you can enable QUIC protocol to start taking advantage of this protocol and speed up browsing. Look for the “Experimental QUIC protocol” flag or type chrome://flags/#enable-quic to access it directly. Use the drop-down menu below it to enable it.

Tip: looking to take notes while you’re browsing on Chrome? Check out these Chrome extensions that will allow you to annotate text.

10. Enable Incognito Screenshot

For privacy reasons, you cannot take screenshots with your phone while in Incognito mode in Chrome. However, enabling the Incognito screenshot flag allows you to take screenshots in Incognito mode as well.

Look for the Incognito Screenshot flag and select Enable in the drop-down box.

11. Enable Web Feed

This flag enables the Following feed on the “ew tab page of the Chrome browser on Android phones. Under the Following feed, you will see articles from the websites that you have subscribed to.

To enable the web feed, search for the “Web feed” flag and enable it.

Once enabled, relaunch the Chrome browser, then open the website that has posts that you want listed on the New tab page of Chrome. Tap the three-dot icon at the top and Select “Follow” next to the website’s name. Follow other websites in the same manner.

Open a new tab page to find the “Following” tab right next to “Discovery.” Articles from the websites you are following will be listed below.

Tip: Would you like to have your extensions more accessible? Learn how to pin extensions to the Google Chrome toolbar.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it possible to reset a Chrome flag to the default value?

To reset a single flag, you must search for it in chrome://flags, then click on the drop-down box next to the flag. Choose “Default” from the list. To reset all of the Chrome flags to default values, open chrome://flags and click on the “Reset All” button at the top.

Can I use Chrome flags on my mobile?

Yes, you can experiment with beta features by using Chrome flags on both Android and iPhone. Check out the best Chrome flags for Android.

Featured image: Pixebay. All screenshots by Mehvish Mushtaq.

Mehvish Mushtaq

Mehvish is a tech lover from Kashmir. With a degree in computer engineering, she's always been happy to help anyone who finds technology challenging. She's been writing about technology for over six years, and her favorite topics include how-to guides, explainers, tips and tricks for Android, iOS/iPadOS, Windows, social media, and web apps.

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