The Penultimate Google Chrome Post

by Ruud Hein September 5th, 2008 

With Google Chrome nary a week old and its release analyzed from every. single. angle. I think you don't need analysis or opinion; you need some good old Friday "hey-its-they-day-before-the-weekend!" browser fun.

10 Google Chrome Tips & Tweaks

1) Enable the Home button

Its been one of people's first misses: where is the home button on Google Chrome?

Not to worry, its there, only hidden.

Go to the Options

Google Chrome Options

and enable the Home button:

Enable Google Chrome Home button

2) Drag & Drop URL to create new tab

Drag the current URL from the address bar to the new tab indicator to open the URL in a new tab.

drag drop URL to new tab in Google Chrome

You can also drag any URL on the page to a new tab. Try it.

Textual "links" can be highlighted and drag-and-dropped as well: Try it!

3) Increase Number of Omnibox Suggestions

Right-click on the shortcut to Google Chrome and choose Properties. In the Shortcut tab add after the target the text -omnibox-popup-count=10 -- or use any other number you'd like.

More Google Chrome Omnibox Suggestions

4) Disable Google Chrome Omnibox

Of course some people don't want to increase or decrease the Omnibox suggestions: they want to get some privacy and get completely rid of the darn thing.

You can.

Right-click in the address bar Omnibox and choose Edit search engines

Google Chrome edit search engines

Then simply uncheck the option to use a suggestion service:

Disable Google Chrome Omnibox

Although it sounds tin-foil hat weird to try to stay private while using a Google browser (helloooo!), Omnibox goes much further than any previous Google user data collection tool:

Provided that users leave Chrome's auto-suggest feature on and have Google as their default search provider, Google will have access to any keystrokes that are typed into the browser's Omnibox, even before a user hits enter.

What's more, Google has every intention of retaining some of that data even after it provides the promised suggestions. A Google representative told CNET News that the company plans to store about 2 percent of that data--and plans to store it along with the Internet Protocol address of the computer that typed it.

In theory, that means that if one were to type the address of a site--even if they decide not to hit enter--they could leave incriminating evidence on Google's servers.

5) Create Multiple User Profiles

Google Chrome User ProfilesIn a browser where the very first keystroke you make triggers the display of sites you visited and searches you performed, having multiple user profiles may be a plus.

There's no automated profile manager type of way to create one in Google Chrome but you can use a simple, 4 step process to manually create user profiles in Google Chrome.

6) Portable Google Chrome on a USB Thumbdrive

Carsten Knobloch from Germany has his 5 minutes of fame, as he writes himself, after making a portable version of Google Chrome available (also available via Softpedia).

Download, unzip to your thumbdrive and start with ChromeLoader.exe

7) Crash Google Chrome Instantly

Type into the Omnibox:


8 ) Back Button & Forward Button with History

Click on the back or forward button and hold for a few seconds.

Google Chrome back and forward button

9) Change Google Chrome Theme

Want to skin Google Chrome? Not a problem!

There's a long, tedious manual way or you can use the Google Chrome Theme Editor (see also this one).

Don't want to do the creative yourself? Grab a Google Chrome theme

Google Chrome themes

Themes only work on XP: on Vista Google Chrome goes with the Vista theme.

10) 50+ Keyboard Shortcuts

have fun

10 About Google Chrome Screens

Type the following about: pages into the address bar Omnibox. Some of these will only work when performed in the first and/or only open tab.

1) about:crash

about crash google chrome

2) about:internets

And thanks to US President George W. Bush for the term Internets.

This easter egg doesn't work on Windows Vista.

about Internets Google Chrome

3) about:histograms

about histograms Google Chrome

4) about:network

about network Google Chrome

5) about:plugins

about plugins Google Chrome

6) about:memory

about memory Google Chrome

7) about:cache

about cache Google Chrome

8) about:dns

about DNS Google Chrome

9) about:version

about version Google Chrome

10) about:stats

Tip: use the filter search box

about stats Google Chrome

5 Security & Privacy Issues

1) Google Chrome carpet-bombing flaw

Despite the whole "look how brilliantly careful we are" attitude behind the release, Google Chrome used an outdated, unpatched version of WebKit which makes it vulnerable to so-called carpet-bombing where a user gets to download a JAR file which then gets immediately executed. (read more)

2) Omnibox Indexes Your Bank Account

Google Chrome's Omnibox indexes a little bit too eagerly, it appears, as it gobbles up data on HTTPS connections. Yes, that includes your online bank account, information of which can be found back through the Ombinbox by typing words like "account", "balance", "Visa" etc. (read more)

For now the only way to prevent Omnibox from indexing all content on a HTTPS page is to use Incognito Mode.

3) Omnibox = Pandora's Box

The way Omnibox works, sending information back before anything has been submitted, had some worried. cNet's Ina Fried calls it Pandora's box.

It has the EFF concerned.

"We are genuinely really worried about the Omnibox thing [] It's just one more piece of the complete puzzle of Google seeing everything that everyone is doing.

I'm astonished that these terms are sent to Google even without the return being hit. That is beyond anything that Google has ever contemplated before.

This is why Google is running into trouble with regulators in Europe. They will trip themselves up at some point very badly. The patience of regulators is growing thin."

4) Content Posted With Google Chrome belongs to Google?

There was indeed that concern, yes, as the End User License Agreement reads:

""By submitting, posting or displaying the content you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any content which you submit, post or display on or through, the services. This license is for the sole purpose of enabling Google to display, distribute and promote the services and may be revoked for certain services as defined in the additional terms of those services."

However, Matt Cutts says this was just a small ooops!-y where the standard EULA was used for this software product (you did know this was in the standard EULA, right?).

Google has updated the EULA and explains the ooops!-y.

5) Google Chrome Phones Home Everything You Do All The Time

Not true, says Matt Cutts. He outlines 6 ways in which the browser communicates in one way or another with Google, all but two which can't be switched off by the user.

5 Google Chrome Comic Parodies

Each of these consists of multiple images.

1) yayhooray

2) Conde Nast Portfolio

3) facesaerch blog (sic)


5) The Register

With information from or via valleywag, lifehacker, digital inspiration, guardian, nspeaks, how to geek, stad-bremerhaven, blogoscoped, winmatrix, unlock for us

Ruud Hein

My paid passion at Search Engine People sees me applying my passions and knowledge to a wide array of problems, ones I usually experience as challenges. People who know me know I love coffee.

Ruud Hein

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26 Responses to “The Penultimate Google Chrome Post”

  1. Metaspring says:

    What a comprehensive post! Thanks so much! But then everything that Google does is examined, reexamined, commented on, analyzed, criticized etc. :).

    I have been hesitating to try the Google browser but this post of yours has made me want to try it out now.

  2. I am still very concerned about user privacy issue when using Google chrome. Since it is developed by Google, i suspect that the browser is used to collect personal surfing pattern and datas. What do you guys think?

  3. For the moment at least, I have no intentions of using Chrome. I shall wait and see what they do about the EULA. I am quite happy with FF.

  4. Metaspring says:

    i have been hesitating to try the google browser…

  5. oceangray says:

    great post as always! thanks :)

  6. ps3 fan says:

    This is actually scaring me.

    To being with it said everything you viewed through the browser became Google's property.

    Secondly, Google storing keystrokes?? That's mad!! I'm going to stick to Firefox as I value my privacy.


  7. Mr Article says:

    I don't like google's chrome browser at all, i think i'll be sticking it out with Firefox for quite some time. Another great post, you really throw yourself into these things! Which is great for us readers of course.

  8. MOin says:

    oh nice and really long article. but i think there is a long way when they’ll be known as best. to compete firefox they need almost a year firefox plugins and other tweaks can kill any other browser in no time i am doubtful about chrome at the moment. because i know how much firefox penetrated in people’s heart =/

  9. Great tips! Nice to see all the Chrome tricks consolidated in one place. I see big things for this browser.

  10. seo guide says:

    I will give this a try, most of google services are good so I guess this one worth a try.

  11. seo guide says:

    I have just installed the google chrome, it looks neat and clean, loads quite fine, and uses less memory. So far so Good!

  12. skyline says:

    I used Chrome on my pc, but it was quite unstable. However, the website loading speed was excellent. I will try Chrome on the future releases.
    BTW: how long it will pass untill we will see Yahoo having it;s own browser ? 😀

  13. seo guide says:

    I have used the chrome for one day and paid quite good attention for the performance, it is neat and clean, speed is very good both for loading pages and downloading , bookmarking, searching is quite easy, but it is not stabe , crashes easily, it has not any extension such as firefox has. It cannot repalce the firefox in this step, at least for savy people.

  14. seo guide says:

    Forget to mention that it uses less resources compare to firefox.

  15. Hi Ruud,

    I've just used Google Chrome for one whole week but IMO it doesn't provide anything really new (for now).

    I'm still a Great fan of Firefox with its extensions. & for sure G.C. is just another product to collect data & web surfing preferences to propose more ads in the future.

    I see no reason to switch from Firefox to G.Chrome…


  16. Utah SEO says:

    Very nice hacks! thanks for this post. Didn't know it could do half that stuff.

  17. diTesco says:

    Great post. Have not known anything about the pandoras box, before reading this article. Scary that Mr G can see through almost everything I do without a webcam:) What next? As far as I concern , I will stick around FF for a while. By the way, what are your views of IE 8 beta?

  18. Matt says:

    I have been missing my home button! Thanks so much for the tips.

  19. Hey thanks for the tips. Just testing out my chrome browser and trying to get everything working

  20. Eva White says:

    I have yet to get Chrome. After this detailed post I feel it should be fun to try out. Thanks a lot for all the information.

  21. kouji says:

    i continue to adopt a wait and see attitude on this one. seem to be quite a lot of great things about this browser, but i think i'll let the early adopters play with it for a while longer. :)

  22. Surveys says:

    In spite of some of its cool features, I haven't bothered downloading it yet, for now I'll just stick to FireFox :) Does anyone think its actually worth 'upgrading' to?

  23. I like Chrome. It’s simplistic design. BUT Firefox is like that until you add in the functionality – toolbars, delicious buttons, DIGG etc. I’m interested to see if they can keep the minimal approach when implementing these addons or just throw in tool bars to accomodate everything.

  24. Psychic says:

    I liked the tips, but i liked the comics more.

    To be true, I was really surprised when Google first announced their Browser launch. Before that, I used to think that Firefox, although owned by Mozilla, was pretty much a Google game. Come on, they never could have manged this far without Google backings (Google even used to promote Firefox through their adsense campaigns, and publishers gained about $1 per download).

    However, I think Google now has made their intentions a bit more clear. Its utter dominance they are looking for. Maybe years later we will get to see Google operating systems too (They already have operating systems for mobiles).