Google Chrome: how to use it and all its features

Born in 2008 Google Chrome is the world's best-known and most widely used web browser, capable of ensuring fast, dynamic and secure web browsing. Compatible with any fixed or mobile device, the application allows you to take advantage of quick links to your Google account, customizing your web experience according to your needs, with lots of extensions to increase its basic functionality.

Here's how to use Google Chrome to its full potential.

Google Chrome: how it works and how to use it

Google Chrome is a web browser, which is an application that allows you to browse the internet, connecting your PC with web pages and other clients connected to the network. Released for the first time in 2008, today it is the most used system in the world, installed on more than 60% of the devices connected to the internet, followed in second place by Mozilla Firefox, Chrome allows you to take advantage of the integrated services of the Mountain View company, using your Google account to implement various Google platforms and applications such as Drive and Gmail

As well as allowing easy and fast online browsing, Google Chrome provides users with several additional features, including synchronization with YouTube, saving passwords used on the web, storing payment cards, downloading and sharing files, including browsing web pages even in offline mode. Furthermore, by installing certain extensions you can increase Chrome's native functionality, making it a true personal assistant for your online activities.

How to install Google Chrome and system requirements

Before installing Google Chrome on your device you should check the system requirements, however the browser is compatible with almost all operating systems and latest generation electronic devices. For example, it is possible to use Chrome with Windows PCs, from version 7 onwards, with Intel Pentium 4 processors or higher, as long as they can support SSE2 technology. On Mac OS is required at least version X Yosemite 10.10, or for Linux Ubuntu 14.04 64-bit.

As for mobile devices, on iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch you need an iOS operating system from version 11.0 onwards, while on smartphones, tablets and smartwatches works with any Android version after 5.0. Per installare Google Chrome sui dispositivi mobili basta scaricare l’app su Google Play Store, App Store o Windows Store. Sul pc è necessario scaricare il file .exe, eseguirlo, concedere le autorizzazioni e seguire la procedura guidata passo a passo.

Come impostare Google Chrome nella pagina iniziale

Una volta installato il browser è possibile impostare Google Chrome come sistema predefinito, in questo modo ogni volta che si pare la pagina iniziale sarà presente la schermata di ricerca. Per farlo su Windows basta:

  • Entrare nelle impostazioni
  • Aprire la sezione delle applicazioni
  • Cliccare sulla voce Sistema
  • App predefinite
  • Selezionare il browser web presente
  • Optare per Scegli un’app
  • Impostare il programma di Google

Con pc Mac OS bisogna soltanto aprire Chrome > cliccare sui tre puntini > Altro > Impostazioni > Imposta Google Chrome come browser predefinito.

Per cambiare la pagina iniziale basta cliccare sui tre puntini, scendere fino a trovare la sezione Motore di ricerca, utilizzando il menù a tendina per scegliere tra Google, Bing, Yahoo! e DuckDuckGo.

In questa schermata si possono eseguire altre configurazioni interessanti, ad esempio nascondere la barra degli strumenti, impostare lo zoom delle pagine web, personalizzare le dimensioni e il font dei caratteri, continuare all’avvio dalla pagina chiusa o aprirne sempre una nuova.

Come salvare le password con Google Chrome

Una funzionalità piuttosto utile del browser permette di salvare le password con Google Chrome, compilare moduli automaticamente e sincronizzare le credenziali di accesso su dispositivi differenti. Per attivare la sincronizzazione basta salvare le password nel proprio account Google, dopodiché saranno presenti del database personalizzato di Chrome. Per autorizzare il procedimento e automatizzarlo è necessario:

  • Aprire il browser
  • Cliccare sull’immagine del profilo
  • Selezionare la voce Password
  • Attivare l’opzione Chiedi di salvare le password oppure accedere alle impostazioni dal simbolo con i 3 punti, cliccando su Attiva la sincronizzazione

L’operazione permette di memorizzare qualsiasi password, tra cui quelle di accesso ai siti web come amministratore, ad esempio WordPress o Joomla, i codici di login su e-commerce come Amazon o portali di prenotazione come, applicazioni web e servizi di internet banking.

Ad ogni accesso Google Chrome mostrerà un messaggio, chiedendo se si desidera o meno salvare la password, ripetendo la procedura durante tutti i primi login. From the second time on, the credentials will be loaded automatically, so you don't have to remember dozens of different codes.

How to block advertisements, pop-ups and malware in Google Chrome

You can block certain pop-up windows in Google Chrome, which open for example to show annoying advertisements and other services, such as subscription and sharing requests. These windows can be shown or not shown by the browser, in fact to block them you just need to open the settings > click on Advanced at the bottom > Privacy and Security > Content Setup > Popups and Redirects > select Blocked, moving the adjacent selector.

Alternatively you can allow or block pop-ups from some specific websites, just repeat the previous operation but indicate a portal and finalize with Block. In case you are still shown unsolicited pop-ups, you can install Chrome Software Cleaner extension, which allows you on Windows to remove unwanted ads and windows.

With Google Chrome you can also locate any malware, just go to settings > click on Advanced > choose Clean Computer and Find, removing threats with Remove option.

How to delete history from Google Chrome

Web browsers store a lot of data every day, however some information can be deleted from the databases. For example, you can clear history from Google Chrome by removing visited web addresses and tracking cookies. All you need to do is go to the browser's settings > click on Other Tools > Delete Browsing Data > set the time interval > choose the data you want to delete > confirm by clicking Delete Data.

With history cleaning you do not delete extensions, which are installed and integrated into the browser, nor the history of activities related to the Google ecosystem. The latter can be deleted from your Google account by clicking on the Profile icon, Data & Personalization, Tasks & History, My Tasks, tapping on the three dots, selecting Delete Tasks for, choosing Always and then Delete, or locating the individual item and deleting only that, through the Delete by Topic or Product feature.

Google Chrome: How to delete autosaved usernames

When the autosave feature is set, in addition to passwords, the associated usernames are also stored. To delete them you need to click on your personal profile > choose Password > More > Remove, deleting both the security code and the username linked to it.

The operation is almost the same from Android mobile devices, while on iPhone and iPad you need to tap on the gear symbol > select Password > Edit > Saved passwords, choose the website > finalize with Delete.

How to update Google Chrome

During the download and installation of the browser, the latest version is loaded, however, periodic updates are released, more and more advanced, optimized and secure programs. For this reason it is important to update Google Chrome regularly, an operation that is usually done automatically when you turn off or restart your PC or phone.

To do a manual update just click on the three dots in the top right corner, selecting Update Google Chrome and Restart, while the absence of this option means that the procedure has already been done automatically.

How to use microphone and camera with Google Chrome

In recent years voice searches have become increasingly used, preferred especially on mobile devices to text searches. Google Chrome is compatible with this system, both on smartphones and iPhones as well as on PCs, you just need to activate the microphone symbol and communicate a question or a website to be reached. Similarly, you can use the webcam or video camera, a service available on some portals and platforms such as Google Hangouts and Skype.

How to browse privately with Google Chrome

When you visit websites and search the Internet, the browser shows results in line with your past preferences, offering a service optimized according to your needs. However, you can browse incognito with Google Chrome by activating the private mode. Just click on the three dots in the top right corner, select New Incognito Browsing Window, or right-click on the Chrome icon.

This way the browser does not show you personalized results, nor does it save any browsing history, tracking cookies or other data. Of course, you are not invisible or totally anonymous, so websites, public and private network administrators, including your Internet service provider can track your movements or, in case of malfeasance, trace your computer's IP. One of the few options of incognito browsing is the lack of history storage.

How to share location with Google Chrome

A particular feature, using GPS technology, allows you to share your location through Google Chrome, which may not require explicit consent from third parties. To block this option you need to go to your browser settings, click on Advanced, Privacy and Security, Content Settings, Location and enable Ask before logging in, this way you can decide from time to time whether to allow geographical sharing or not.

Best extensions for Google Chrome

Extensions are plugins that allow you to increase the functionality and performance of your web browser, small programs that are not heavy to install and integrate with Google Chrome. Among the best extensions there is Facebook Notifications, with which you can receive notifications from the social network directly in the toolbar, and with Silver Bird those from Twitter. Lazarus allows you to fill out online forms semi-automatically, storing some recurring data and phrases.

Another interesting Google Chrome extension is Google Translator, which lets you translate texts and words with a simple click on the toolbar, or LastPass takes care of password management, improving security when accessing websites and portals. YouTube Options optimizes music streaming on the video sharing platform, hiding comments and eliminating advertisements, Gmail Offline lets you read emails even without a connection, while Disconnect avoids tracking via coockie.

To install an extension just go to Chrome Web Store, the official site where you can download plugins for Google's browser.

Here you can search by the desired functionality, such as offline mode, free, Android compatible or Google Drive, by the rating of other users or by category, choosing from games, shopping, weather, sports, photos and many other classifications. The download of the extension is done in a few moments, you just need to click Add and confirm the operation, verifying for security reasons the license and the author.

How to deactivate Google Chrome

To uninstall Google Chrome, for example to replace it with another web browsing browser, it is advisable to make a backup, saving in the cloud or on disk important programs and data, so that you can use them again with another application. The operation can be done in a few moments from your Google account, downloading the files to Google Drive, DropBox or Microsoft OneDrive. Finally just click Start, select the gear icon, choose Apps, Google Chrome and Uninstall.

With a version older than Windows 10, so 8 or 7, you need to open Uninstall a program, from the main search bar of the operating system, select Google Chrome and proceed to remove and erase browsing data. To disable the browser on Mac OS pc you need to open the Applications folder, hold down the Chrome icon and move it to the Trash, deleting the data via Finder.