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How to Use Content Settings in Chrome

Posted by Arch on November 25, 2019
chrome settings content

Google’s Chrome browser is arguably the best on the market currently, as it is extremely fast, easy to use, and highly customizable. Even though the majority of us use Chrome every day, we don’t really pay that much attention to the browser’s settings and options. The default settings are supposed to improve your web experience, but they also give companies and third-party trackers access to your online data. So if you would like to protect your privacy, or just tinker around with some of the content settings, here is what you need to know:

Accessing Content Settings

Make sure you have the latest version of Chrome. If you don’t, you can download the latest one by going to Google Chrome’s download site. You may also be able to just close and restart your Chrome browser.

Settings

  1. Open your Chrome browser
  2. Click on the three dots on the top right side of your tab. This will open a dropdown menu.
  3. Click on Settings near the bottom of the dropdown.
  4. Scroll down to the bottom and click on Advanced. This will allow you to access additional settings.
  5. Under the Privacy and security section, find Site Settings and click on it. This will open the Site Settings tab, where you can tinker with your Chromes content options.

Changing Your Site Settings

There are a lot of settings to play with, so we will cover what each one does and how to change them.

Cookies and Site Data

Sites create files called cookies when you visit them. These small files allow you to have a more convenient web experience by storing browsing info. Cookies allow sites to keep your accounts active, store website settings, and provide you with local content. If you delete cookies, the sites will sign you out of your accounts while also resetting the stored settings.

To remove cookies, click on “See all cookies and site data” then click on Remove All. If you want to remove cookies individually, you can click on the Trash Can icon next to the chosen website.

Location

In the preset, Chrome will ask you when a site wants to see your location. To let the site know where you are, choose Allow.

To block websites from accessing your location, you can toggle it off by pressing “Ask before accessing”.

Camera and Microphone

Some websites like Google Hangouts or Skype will request to use your camera or microphone, and you can allow or block it when prompted.

To block websites from accessing your camera or microphone, you can toggle it off by pressing “Ask before accessing”.

Motion Sensors

Some websites will access your device’s motion-sensing features (light or proximity sensors). With the default setting, the feature is allowed for sites, but it is recommended to toggle this off in order to protect your privacy.

NotificationsNotifications

With the default setting, Chrome will alert you when a site, application, or extension wishes to notify you. You can change this at your leisure. If you don’t want to get any notifications try using Incognito mode.

JavaScript

If you disable JavaScript, in some cases you will not be able to use certain features on a website while other websites might break completely or you will be stuck using a very old version of the page. It is highly recommended for you to keep this toggled on.

Flash

Adobe Flash is a software tool required on some websites that run Flash content. Flash is being phased out and it will be gone in 2020. The website will ask for permission first so it is recommended to keep this toggled on.

Images

With the default setting, this option is toggled on, which means that Chrome will display all images on a website. You should only toggle this off if your internet connection is really weak or slow, and you can’t load the images quickly.

Pop-ups and Redirects

With the default setting, Google Chrome prevents pop-ups from showing up on your screen. It is highly recommended to keep this option toggled on. If pop-ups keep appearing it is very likely your computer is infected with malware.

Ads

Chrome doesn’t offer an option to block all ads on websites, but it will block them on sites where they are intrusive or misleading. It is recommended to keep it this way, and if you would like to completely block ads, you can find some highly-rated extensions that do that on the Chrome web store.

Background Sync

This option allows websites to keep sending and receiving data in the background even when you close them. You should keep this option toggled on as it will make your web experience smoother.

Sound

If you want to prevent websites from playing sound, you can toggle this off.

Automatic downloads

The default setting requires sites to ask permission to download multiple files, but you can toggle it Off if you are worried about malware.

Unsandboxed Plugin Access

You can switch between blocking plugins from all websites and sites asking for permission. The toggled-on option is recommended.

Handlers

Protocol handlers handle links and URLs with certain schemes. Keep this toggled on.

MIDI Devices

Musical Instrument Digital Interface or MIDI is a protocol designed for recording and playing back music on digital synthesizers. Keep this toggled on.

Zoom Levels

The default zoom level on Chrome is 100%. You can manually adjust a website’s page magnification by using Ctrl and “+” or “-“.

USB Devices

Keep it toggled on for sites to ask permission when they want access to USB devices. If you don’t want to allow any access, toggle it off.

File Editing

You can toggle it off if you want to block sites from editing files or folders on your device.

PDF Documents

Chrome automatically opens PDF files in the browser. Toggle this on if you want to download them instead.

Protected Content

With the default setting, Chrome will play copyrighted content. If you prefer your browser not to do that by default, just disable the setting.

Clipboard

With the default setting, you will be asked when a site wants to see text and images copied to the clipboard.

Payment Handlers

Keep it toggled on to allow sites to install payment handlers. If you don’t want sites to install payment handlers, toggle it Off.

Highly Customizable This Chrome

The default content settings on Chrome are usually the ones you want to have, but some of them need to be changed based on your preferences. Keep experimenting with the options until you find the ones that work for you.

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