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How to Customize Google Chrome With Chrome:flags

Posted by Matthew on November 24, 2018

Advanced browser configuration is a topic that is something of a dark art. However, there are many ways you can access your browser’s most advanced features and customize its behavior. In this TechJunkie article we covered how you can customize Firefox using about:config. Google Chrome’s equivalent of about:config is chrome:flags. Chrome:flags enables a variety of additional settings you can use to customize your browser. In this article I will describe some of the more useful chrome:flags options and show you how to use them.

Getting started is simple. Just type “chrome:flags” in the Google Chrome address bar and press Enter. That opens the page shown in the snapshots below. The page includes a list of experimental settings to customize the browser with.

You can scroll down and look for interesting flags yourself, or press Ctrl + F to open the search box and search the page for flags by name.

Note that whenever you change a flag, before the change takes effect, you’ll need to relaunch Chrome. The browser will automatically prompt you to do this when you make a change, or you can make a bunch of changes and then relaunch once. It’s up to you.

Change Smooth Scroll

For a long time, Google didn’t have smooth scrolling in Chrome! Although the feature is now on by default, you might want to turn it off, and chrome:flags is the place you can do that. Enter “smooth scroll” in the search box to find the setting, and you can set smooth scrolling to use the default value for a page, to be always on, or to be always off.

Customize the UI Layout

You can also select further UI layout options that alter the browser design. Input ‘material design’ in the chrome:flag search box to find the setting. Then click the drop-down menu for that option and select the option you like.

Add a Mute Button to Chrome Tabs

When you play a video in Chrome, a tab speaker icon highlights which page the clip is playing in. You can turn that icon into a mute button that switches off the video audio from the tab. To do so, Open chrome:flags again and search for Tab audio muting UI control  by entering the setting in search box. 

Click Enable under that option to switch it on. Then restart Google Chrome, open a YouTube page and play a video. Click the speaker icon on the tab to mute the video audio. The speaker icon will then have a line across it as shown in the snapshot below.

So those are a few of the chrome:flag settings you can select to customize Google Chrome within Windows 10.

2 thoughts on “How to Customize Google Chrome With Chrome:flags”

VanguardLH says:
With no mention for their version 71, Google has removed the audio icon in a tab functioning as a mute control. chrome://flags/#enable-tab-audio-muting was removed. In addition, the chrome://flags/#sound-content-setting defaults to muting by site (for all tabs for the site) when you mute just one tab. Since it is also an experimental flag, it will also disappear someday, so you won’t be able to mute by tab using the right-click context menu but only for an entire site in all tabs that loaded a page from the site. To restore the per-tab muting function, I had to get the Tab Muter extension. I already had to install the Tab Mute extension to address a deficiency in Chrome of allowing sites to blare their loud audio from their auto-playing videos. Google took away the mute action on the audio icon in tab, so I had to install yet another extension.
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Charlie Wilson says:
How do I change the color of visited sites to RED?

Charlie

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