Chrome Flags are experimental features that allow you to try out new features. You can find these Chrome Flags under the “Flags” section of your settings tab at chrome://flags/. These experimental features are fun to play with, and sometimes they make it into the public release. They could be anything from a new way to use the right-click menu to bug fixes or even major changes in UI.
Some flags have been around for a while but have not been released yet, like disabling scroll anchoring on mobile devices, which prevents websites from locking your scrolling position when you tap outside an element. Some other flags don’t seem as useful, like enabling autofill suggestions for credit card forms on desktop (as opposed to just filling them on mobile).
Since there are so many flags, I couldn’t possibly cover them all here. So instead, I’ve put together a list of my favorite Chrome Flags that will make your life easier in one way or another.
What are Chrome Flags
We’re all familiar with Chrome – well, maybe not all of us, but at least most of us. It’s an incredibly useful and powerful tool that can make our browsing experience much better. But what are Chrome Flags?
Chrome Flags are experimental features that allow you to try new features a little bit at a time to figure out what changes you want to see in the future. You can find these Chrome Flags under the “Flags” section of your settings tab at chrome://flags/. These experimental features are fun to play with, and sometimes they make it into the public release. They could be anything from a new way to use the right-click menu to bug fixes or even major changes in UI. Some flags have been around for a while but haven’t made it into the public release yet, like disabling scroll anchoring on mobile devices. Scroll anchoring prevents websites from locking your scrolling position when you tap outside an element. Some other flags don’t seem as useful, like enabling autofill suggestions for credit card forms on desktop (as opposed to just filling them on mobile).
My Favorite Chrome Flags
These are just some of my favorite flags. Of course, there are many more that you could try out for yourself, but these are the ones I found most useful and have used myself regularly.
Reading List: To bookmark a page, click on the star icon underneath the address bar or right-click on the tab to save it as a reading list.
Side panel: To give you a better browsing experience, Chrome allows you to view some of your favorite content in side panels. Not only can these panels improve your navigation experience by showing recent links, but they can also help save space on the main screen and provide more room for sites you are visiting.
Permissions Chip Experiment: This allows a prompt for location permission that includes the new chip in the address bar.
Quieter notification permission prompts: For sites that request permission to show notification, you’ll see a quieter modal dialog. It would replace the usual and more visible one.
Native Client: Make Native Client support the default for all websites, even those not installed through Chrome.
Smooth Scrolling: Smooth scrolling between pages when viewing webpages.
Dark Theme: The dark theme provides a darker color scheme with light text and is easier on the eyes.
Instant Extended API: Enables the Instant Extended API to enable sites to read user input event streams without triggering composition (and blocking rendering). This feature requires that software be restarted after enabling this change to take effect.
Allow Backspace: Disables the Chrome 36+ behavior of forcing backspace to go back when on a blank page. Instead, it reverts to the pre-Chrome 36 behavior, allowing users to freely navigate between visited pages while keeping the ‘go back’ action.
Show Saved Credit Cards: This makes it easier for you to use saved credit cards on websites.
Error Report: This will allow you to submit more information when a popup error appears. For this experiment, you’ll need to download and run the Error Reporting Service from https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/error-reporting-service/. To start submitting additional details about popup errors, check “Report exceptions via error reporting service” in chrome://flags/#show-exceptions.
Autofill Preferences: To choose which credit cards and addresses to fill out automatically when you’re on a web page that requires them.
Experimental Web Platform Features: For most of the features, it’s possible to get a good idea if they will be useful for you by just trying them out. Want to use CSS Grid layout or requestAnimationFrame()? Just add the flag and see what happens. It’s that simple! Some Chrome Flags are there because they are experimental features, and you can try them out to see whether they are useful if you want.
Faster Flags: You’ll be able to access a list of all the popular Chrome Flags from a simple drop-down menu on the experimental features page at chrome://flags/. This will make it easier for you to get where you need to go.
Strict Secure Cookies: This will report errors when insecure domains set cookies with the “Secure” flag or access them.
Force P3 Color Gamut: This forces the use of Display P3 color gamut on supported platforms.
These are just a few experimental Chrome Flags that will make your life so much easier, and I highly recommend you try them out for yourself! If you want to find more Chrome Flags, go to chrome://flags/ in your browser, and you should be able to find a wealth of experimental features that’ll improve your online experience.