The Google Chrome web browser is a free-to-use browser developed by Google. It was first released on 2008 for windows operating system devices. It is a multiplatform internet browser that can be used on computers, smartphones, and tablets.
In this guide, we are going to discuss all the main settings and uses for a beginner to confidently use the Google Chrome browser. The guide is specifically meant for users of computers and Windows operating systems.
Table of Contents
How to download and install the google chrome web browser
To install the chrome browser you can use an offline installer or you can install directly from the google chrome website online installer. When using an online installer it will download either 32 or 64bit depending on your system operating system. For offline installers ensure you download the correct type depending on your system
Installing chrome browser from online installer
To install from the online installer use your favorite search engine and search for google chrome and click on the google website which redirects to the Chrome download page. Click on Download Chrome to start the process of downloading and installing.
Ensure you have a fast internet connection for fast download. Wait for the Chrome setup to download and follow the steps that are guided by the chrome web page after download. Follow the prompt until full installation.
Install chrome using the offline installer
Google encourages users to install from the online installer but that requires you have the internet at the time of installation. However, you can download a full package that you can install even when not connected to the internet. Click on the link below to download for windows 10 32 or 64-bit installer.
How to uninstall or delete the google chrome web browser
To uninstall chrome from windows 10 open settings and click on Apps and features. You can also access the same from the control panel and then open Programs and Features.
Scroll until you find Google chrome from among other installed applications. Click on it and select uninstall option to start the uninstallation process.
How to Update to the latest version of google chrome
When you install from an online installer it will install the latest version of the web browser. However, if you have an old version or you want to check for the latest version you can do an update. To update navigate from your web browser and open “About Chrome”.
If you are connected to the internet the internet browser will check for updates automatically and prompt you to update. After the update, you will need to restart the browser to finish the update.
How to use google chrome to search or access webpages
When you launch chrome for the first time it will ask to be set as the default browser. You can set it at that time or later. By default, the homepage of the chrome browser is a google search page.
To search for the content open the browser and add the URL or keyword in the address bar. For keywords, it will use the google search engine to return your query.
A tab is a web browser feature that helps to open more than one web page on the same browser. You can open independent web pages in different tabs.
Click on the + sign on top of the address bar to open a new tab.
You can also click on the 3 dots on the top right corner for customization to access the new tab
Another way is right click on the current tab to access more options on the tab
Other tab options
- Add a tab to reading list: it adds the page to the read list that can be accessed by showing the side panel. After reading the page you can delete it.
- Add tab to new group: used to group tabs with related content.
- Move tab to another window: it opens another google chrome window and moves the content of that specific tab there.
- Reload: it refreshes the current tab
- Duplicate: it opens another tab to the right with the same content
- Pin: it pins the selected tab to the left side of the browser.
- Mute site: if the web page has a video or audio running in the background it mutes the sound.
- Send to your devices: this sends a link that you can open from your other device. For it to work 2 devices should be synchronized.
- Close tabs: there are 3 options for closing the tab. You can close the current tab and all other tabs except current or all tabs to the right of the current one.
Making changes to google chrome browser settings
Chrome has many more settings that users can make to ensure the browser operates at its optimum level. Below we discuss some of the basic settings that you should know.
How to make google chrome the default browser
If google chrome is not set as the default browser every time you open it will prompt you to do so. To make it default click on the options then settings. You will be presented with the screen below. Click on the default browser on the setting.
If it is already set as default it will indicate. Otherwise, click make default which will automatically change. When one browser in your device is set to default all others are removed from default. Only one can be a default internet browser at a time.
Changing the home page in the Google Chrome browser
The browser home page is the first page that opens whenever you open the web browser. By default, every internet browser set its company’s main page as the default home page.
To change the home page in google chrome.
Click on the option (3 dots on the right) and open the settings
Click on Appearance to change the home page
You will be presented with the interface below.
Enter the URL of your preferred page to set it as the home page. Ensure you show the home button so that it will appear on the address bar next to the refresh button.
How to clear, view and manage the cache and cookies on google chrome
Cache stores data that is most frequently being requested by users on the browser to increase web page loading time. Cookies store user data that can be used to track how the user is using the internet and web pages visited and preferences. By default, many internet browsers save both cookies and cache.
Clearing and setting cache and cookies data
Click on the 3 dots on the right top side of the browser and click on settings
On the left slide click on Privacy and security.
To clear all browsing data click on the first option to clear the browsing history, cookies, cache, download history saved password among other data.
You can be specific about the type of data that you wish to delete and the period. Make sure you mark the checkbox of data that you wish to delete.
Managing types of cookies saved by websites
To further manage cookies data click on cookies and other site data.
Google chrome offers 4 options buttons that you can use to automatically select how cookies are dealt with when you open your browser. You can select depending on your preferred choice.
- Allow all cookies: it allows all cookies from all websites.
- Block third-parties cookies incognito: it blocks third parties cookies when you open the browser in incognito mode
- Block third-parties cookies: it blocks all third parties
- Block all cookies (Not recommended): it blocks all cookies from all websites.
Other than the 4 options you can further customize how cookies are treated. Scroll down and you will have customized behaviors that you can set.
To see all cookies that are currently saved on the browser click on the see all cookies and site data. It will give a list of all cookies saved including the date it was saved and the size.
Other cookie customization options.
- Always clear cookies when windows are closed.
Managing google chrome extensions
Web browser extensions add more functionality to the browser. They are compatible with the specific browsers that they were developed for. Google Chrome web store offers many extensions for different categories that you can download and install.
How to manage installed extensions
Click on the 3 dots and select more tools.
Click on extensions to access all installed.
You can deactivate any extension, view details, or remove it completely.
You can also access the chrome store where you can still download more extensions for use.
Customize google chrome themes
A theme personalizes how the web browser looks and feels. In chrome, it is part of the extension and can be downloaded from the same chrome store. To change themes click on the settings and select appearance.
The theme will be the first setting under appearance. If you have installed any then you can be able to select it otherwise open the chrome web store to download.
To use google chrome dark mode you can download it from the store.
How to manage history data on google chrome
Internet web browsers keep records of all web pages visited in what is called browsing history. This data can be used to access a web page faster in the future.
To access history and manage click on the 3 dots then select history or you can use the shortcut CTRL+H.
You can view the list of all history data which is arranged by date and time. The journey option shows how you moved from one webpage to the next. It shows you track from one web page to the next.
How to clear history on google chrome
To delete one history record you can select the checkbox and then click delete. To delete more than one history record tick all checkboxes you want to delete.
However, if you need to delete the whole history data click on clear browsing data which will redirect you to deleting history and cookies windows.
Managing bookmarks google chrome
Bookmarks save the page that users want to revisit later. It can only be accessed when connected to the internet. They create a keyboard shortcut to the favorite web page for the user. They help access pages faster without the need to type the URL or search the page on a search engine.
To access bookmark manager click on 3 dots and select bookmarks then bookmark manager. You can also use the bookmark manager shortcut CTRL+SHIFT+O. It will open the window below.
How to save bookmarks
There are several ways to add or save a bookmark in google chrome. To save a new bookmark open the preferred web page. Click on the star icon (✰) at the end of the address bar to bookmark the tab. Again you can click on the 3 dots and then select bookmark. You can bookmark this tab or all tabs open.
How to view bookmarked web pages
To view and use saved bookmarks, open bookmark manager and you can access all bookmarked pages. You can also activate the bookmark bar which shows select pages that comes below the address bar of the browser.
How to hide bookmarks
To hide the bookmarks bar unmark the show bookmark bar from the bookmark option when you click the 3 dots. You can use the shortcut CTRL+SHIFT+B to toggle between the show and hide the bookmark bar.
How to delete bookmarks
Bookmarks can be deleted from the bookmark manager where you right-click and delete the desired bookmark. You can also right-click on any bookmark on the bookmark bar to delete. The 2 options can also be used if you intend to edit the bookmark.
How to import and export bookmarks
You can move bookmark data from one web browser or device to another. Bookmark import is used to move from another browser to google chrome, while export moves data from Chrome to another browser of the device. This function can be mostly applicable when you change the default browser and you want to move the bookmark to the current default internet browser.
To import bookmarks you can use two methods. Click on 3 dots and select bookmark then move to import bookmark and settings…
It opens an option to import bookmarks and settings from all other installed browsers or any other HTML file. Select the source and click import. Another option is you can import from the bookmark manager.
If you need to move your current bookmarks from your google chrome browser to another you can export them and save the file as an HTML file that can be imported later.
When you open bookmark manager it comes with its own 3 dots for more options click on that to get the window above. Click on the export bookmarks to save an HTML file.
Managing downloads in the google chrome browser
When you use any browser you may want to download files from different pages and save them to your local drive. By default, files are saved into the download folder in the windows operating system. To change the default saving folder click on the 3 dots and select settings. Click on downloads.
Click change to change location. You can also activate “Ask where to save each file before downloading”. This option will be prompting users to choose a location every time they need to download a file.
How to use google chrome task manager
Chrome task manager shows all processes and services that are running on the current browser. Each tab is counted as a separate process. All extensions are also part of the process that can be managed from there. To open the manager you can use the chrome manager shortcut SHIFT+ESC. You can also open it by clicking on 3 dots then selecting more tools and clicking on task manager. You will be presented with the window below.
By default, it shows only 3 columns memory footprint, CPU, network, and Process ID. You can add more data columns by right-clicking on one and ticking on extra data required.
The numbers on the google chrome manager show how each process or tab is utilizing computer resources. You can terminate any process by selecting and clicking on the end process in the bottom right corner.
How to go to google chrome incognito mode
Incognito mode is also called private browsing. It allows users to browse without saving most of the data such as cookies and history. To open Chrome in private mode first open chrome the normal way then right-click on the taskbar and click on incognito to open. It will open in dark mode and give a message that now you are on incognito mode.
All other operations are the same when in an incognito mode other than saving cookies and history data and the dark mode part.