Chrome is one of the most popular browsers today and the powering force of millions of Chromebook devices that are designed for casual Internet browsing. As Chromebooks become the answer to remote learning for several schools, the browser becomes an even more integral part of daily life. As with all the tools that you use, the best thing you can do is learn all about the shortcuts that will save you time and hassle.
There are tons of shortcuts on the Chrome browser, and everyone will try to tell you about their favorites, but ultimately, what you need depends on how you’re using the browser. For the sake of this guide, we’re going to stick to some basic, but generally handy, shortcuts that almost all users can benefit from.
You can open a new tab on Chrome by pressing Ctrl + T in the window you’re currently using. If you don’t feel like taking the time to click the “+” on the top bar, this is a quick way to get to new tabs.
For an entirely new Chrome window, press Ctrl + N. If you need to go incognito, you can simply press Ctrl + Shift + N and you’ll get a new incognito window instead of a standard one.
You can access your history from the tab that you’re in by pressing Ctrl + H. This will bring up your browsing history in a new tab within your current Chrome browser window so that you can see where you’ve been or find that page that you lost.
This is a great one for those who are new to Chrome and find themselves in need of help. Simply press F1 and the Chrome Help Center will populate in a new tab. Then, you can find any information that you need to know about browsing on Chrome.
If you prefer caret browsing, you can turn that on by simply pressing the F7 button. If your keyboard has the Fn (function) feature for the F keys, make sure that it’s not on or you’ll change whatever setting is there instead. Caret browsing, for those who aren’t familiar, is a type of navigation or browsing where you utilize the arrow keys on the keyboard to move around websites instead of using a mouse, touchpad, touchscreen, or stylus.
To get your bookmarks open without having to go digging through the menu, simply press Ctrl + Shift + O. This will open the Bookmark Manager in Chrome so that you can access, edit, or delete bookmarks and saved content.
If you’re done browsing on a specific tab and want to close it, you can do that by pressing Ctrl + W or Ctrl + F4. This will only close the tab that you’re in, not the entire Chrome window. If you need to close the window, that’s next.
Closing a Chrome window can be done by clicking the “X” in the upper right corner, or you can use the keyboard shortcut. To close your browser window, press Ctrl + Shift + W or Alt + F4. Then, the entire Chrome window will disappear.
Navigating your browser history is also made easy on Chrome. With these last two shortcuts, you’ll find out that you have quick access to your most recent browsing history. For the previous page that you visited, simply press Alt + [left arrow], and the last page that you visited will open in a tab within your Chrome browser.
Perhaps you want to navigate to the next page of your history. That can be done by pressing Alt + [right arrow]. The page will populate and then when you’re done browsing, you can close it, and it will file itself back in the history appropriately.
As you can see, these shortcuts can all provide a lot of assistance. Google even offers a great support doc that covers all shortcuts for:
They cover everything from windows and Chrome features, to address bar, website shortcuts, and even mouse shortcuts to save all that clicking around.
Anytime you’re using shortcuts, make sure that you are careful about what they do. Save your work so that you don’t lose anything and feel free to keep a quick reference close by to help you learn all the shortcuts until you can memorize them. Of course, there are so many that you might never learn them all—there’s no harm in a cheat sheet, either.
For Mac users, many of the shortcuts are the same or similar, but they use the Command key, or ⌘, plus whatever corresponding letter or key goes with the shortcut. However, as mentioned, you can also find the Mac shortcut list on Chrome’s support document that covers all the different browser shortcuts that can be used.
When you do it well, you can use these browser shortcuts to increase productivity and reduce wasted time browsing and trying to find the pages that you need. Keyboard shortcuts exist for a reason—if you embrace them, they can become part of your daily habits to improve your user experience and your overall efficiency.
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