15 Useful Android Chrome Flags You Should Enable

Google Chrome Android Flags Featured

Just like the Google Chrome you use on your desktop, the Chrome browser for Android also comes with Chrome Flags that contain many hidden and useful features. You can easily enable these features and improve your browsing experience. This list shows some of the best Chrome flags for Android Chrome and how to enable them.

How to Enable Chrome Flags

To get started, you just have to open the Chrome browser and enter chrome://flags in the URL field to access the Flags page. Alternatively, copy and paste the URL we provide below to directly access the individual flag.

1. Search for the flag’s name in the omnibox/search bar. This would highlight the flag.

2. Click a drop-down menu where you will find different options for the flag, ranging from “Disabled” to “Default” and “Enabled with conditions.”

3. Choose one of these options and change the flag settings.

4. Click “Relaunch” to ensure the flag settings have been activated.

1. Tab Grid Layout

Flag URL: chrome://flags/#enable-tab-grid-layout

Chrome Android Flags Tab Grid Layout

Tab Grid Layout allows you to arrange the open tabs in the tab switcher as adjacent rectangular thumbnails. In Portrait view, you can see two tabs in a row and six on the visible phone screen, similar to a matrix-like grid. The aim is to get a magnified preview of all open tabs and freely move the tabs to any grid thumbnail with a drag-and-drop action. You can further arrange the tab tiles in various tab groups for a more organized appearance.

Note: depending on which Android and Chrome versions you are using, some flags may not be available for a much older device. After enabling the Chrome flag, simply click “Relaunch” for the effects to take place.

2. Enable Lite Videos

Flag URL: chrome://flags/#enable-lite-videos

Enable Lite Videos Chrome Flags

If you are often streaming videos on mobile data and have a limited data pack, you can enable the lite videos flag. This flag will optimize the video quality and save data on the media stream on Google Chrome for Android.

3. Hardware Accelerated Video

Flag URL: chrome://flags/#enable-accelerated-video-encode

Hardware Accelerated Video Flag

If you often play high-quality video directly on your Chrome browser, then you may want to enable the hardware-accelerated video flag. Enabling this flag puts less load on the CPU but plays the video smoothly by using GPU, RAM, and other hardware components to handle this work.

4. Parallel Downloading

Flag URL: chrome://flags/#enable-parallel-downloading

Android Chrome Flag Parallel Downloading

If you regularly download large files using Chrome, this new Chrome flag can help you increase the download speed. With parallel downloading, Chrome tries to initiate multiple connections so that it can download the file in multiple parts at the same time and join them at the end.

5. Smooth Scrolling

Flag URL: chrome://flags/#smooth-scrolling

Chrome Android Flags Smooth Scrolling

Whether or not a website is built with responsive design for mobile, all mobile users want their scroll behavior to be free of jitters and lags. The Chrome flag for smooth scrolling ensures that you can effortlessly drag the scrollbar in a mobile page even if there is a delay in page load time.

6. Tab Hover Cards

Flag URL: chrome://flags/#tab-hover-cards

Chrome Android Flags Tab Hover Cards

It can be a bit annoying to click on tabs to view it completely, especially when you are dealing with many Chrome tabs. Enabling this tab hover cards flag will show you a preview of the Chrome tab in the form of a hovercard once you put the mouse cursor over a tab.

7. Take Screenshots in Incognito

Flag URL: chrome://flags/#incognito-screenshot

Incognito Screenshots Chrome Flags

While taking screenshots on Android is easy, you can’t do it when using the browser in incognito mode. With the help of this flag, you can take screenshots, even in incognito mode. There are other methods of taking screenshots in incognito mode.

8. Reader Mode

Flag URL: chrome://flags/#reader-mode-heuristics

Chrome Android Flags Reader Mode

If you are reading a long article or if there are many distractions on the page, you can use the new reader mode flag to simplify the view. To enable the reader mode, select either “Always” or “All Articles” from the drop-down menu and relaunch the browser. From now on you will see a new option titled “Simplified View” at the bottom. Tap on it and the page will reload in reader mode.

9. DNS Over HTTPS

Flag URL: chrome://flags/#dns-httpssvc

Chrome Android Flags Dns Over Https

Secure DNS is one of the best features of Google Chrome. It’s enabled as a global default setting and is actually helpful in protecting your browsing data from eavesdroppers, packet sniffers and hackers. The support for HTTPSSVC records in DNS enables the encryption of all your DNS queries by forcing an HTTPS connection on websites that aren’t equipped. Enable this important security flag to keep your browsing safe and private, even in public Wi-Fi networks.

10. Hide Clipboard Content

Flag URL: chrome://flags/#omnibox-clipboard-suggestions-content-hidden

Clipboard Suggestions

Using this Omnibox Content Suggestions Google Chrome flag on your mobile, you can disable the clipboard suggestions from continuously popping up when you tap on the address bar. It basically prevents the clipboard from retrieving the clipboard content.

11. Back Forward Cache

Flag URL: chrome://flags/#back-forward-cache

Chrome Android Flags Back Forward Cache

If you go back and forth on a website quite often, then you will find this back-forward cache of use. Notably, this saves the entire website in the cache. The benefit of this is that whenever you press the back or forward key, the web pages load instantly with no waiting time.

12. Dark Mode

Flag URL: chrome://flags/#enable-force-dark

Chrome Ui Dark Mode

Chrome has a built-in dark mode and can be easily activated by enabling this flag. Keep in mind that it is not yet fully completed, which simply means you may see some inconsistencies here and there, but it’s pretty good.

13. Read Later

Flag URL: chrome://flags/#read-later

Reading List Chrome Flag

You may have the “Read Later” feature on the desktop version of Google Chrome, but you can also enable it on your mobile. This experimental Read Later flag gives you one more option, apart from Bookmarks, to save certain websites and read them later.

14. QUIC Protocol

Flag URL: chrome://flags/#enable-quic

Quic Flag Google Chrome Android

Google Chrome has an experimental flag that improves the browsing speed. Although you won’t notice a significant jump in the browsing speed, it still has a noticeable impact. Basically, enabling this QUIC Flag combines both TCP and UDP protocols together to provide a much faster and safer browsing experience.

15. Heavy Ad Intervention

Flag URL: chrome://flags/#heavy-ad-privacy-mitigations

Chrome Android Flags Heavy Ad Intervention

For a smooth browsing experience on an Android device, you want to do away with most random advertisements, especially annoying pop-up ads. Left unchecked, these avoidable programs act as vehicles for malware and frequently cause mobile page crashes. Rounding off our list, Google Chrome offers an excellent flag for heavy ad privacy mitigations. It’s really effective, and you should definitely not browse or install anything on your device without this preventive adware filter.

Honorable Mentions

Here are a few other flags that are useful, but don’t make the list above:

  • Password Leak Detection: chrome://flags/#password-leak-detection
  • Password Import: chrome://flags/#PasswordImport
  • Sharing Hub: chrome://flags/#sharing-hub-desktop-omnibox
  • GPU rasterization: chrome://flags/#enable-gpu-rasterization
  • Site Isolation for Password sites: chrome://flags#enable-site-per-process
  • Enable Video Tutorials: chrome://flags#Video-tutorials

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the fastest way to search for a Chrome flag?

The fastest and easiest way to search for a flag on Chrome is to go to chrome://flags, rest the pointer in the search bar/omnibox and type the desired flag. Using the correct spelling and the first few initials will greatly narrow down your search and you can see the flag prominently highlighted. Read the description to know whether the flag is what you plan to use.

2. What are the experimental feature flags in Chrome on Android?

Google Chrome marks many flags that it hasn’t rolled out to its default browser yet and labels them as “experimental.” The reason behind this is that the given feature wasn’t verified to be stable for all versions of Android devices. However, you can freely use the experimental feature flags without any problems or security concerns.

3. Are all flags in Chrome available for both Android and desktop devices?

Each Chrome flag clearly mentions the operating systems where it is supported. Not all Chrome flags for the Web/desktop have matching Android counterparts. For example, a “Pull-to-refresh-gesture” flag, which helps refresh a web page with a simple swipe, is available on the desktop and not mobile.

Read on to learn about Google Chrome extensions to annotate text on the Web and how to use Google Assistant with Chrome on Android.

Sayak Boral Sayak Boral

Sayak Boral is a technology writer with over ten years of experience working in different industries including semiconductors, IoT, enterprise IT, telecommunications OSS/BSS, and network security. He has been writing for MakeTechEasier on a wide range of technical topics including Windows, Android, Internet, Hardware Guides, Browsers, Software Tools, and Product Reviews.

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