How to activate Google Chrome’s secret feature

Google Chrome hides a reading mode that makes browsing websites easier. Here's how to activate it and what it's for

Chrome is a fairly complex web browser: born back in 2008, in almost twelve years it has accumulated more and more complete features and, also for this reason, it is now the most used browser in the world. Some of Chrome's features, however, are "secret": they can be activated with some tricks, which are not found in the official settings menu.

One of these features is the so-called "reader mode", introduced with version 75 of Chrome, which makes this browser much more comfortable if we want to use it to read long texts on the Web. The reader mode also makes the Web page we are visiting much lighter to load and this allows a smoother scrolling. At the same time, however, this reading mode limits in many ways the experience of using more complex and structured Web pages and, also for this reason, is not active by default despite its merits. But how to activate reader mode on Chrome?

What is reader mode on Google Chrome

When we activate reader mode on Google Chrome the page we are visiting changes its appearance profoundly: everything superfluous is eliminated, from advertisements to links to other sections of the site. Only the main content remains, with its images. The background is always white, even if the original page had another color. Also the fonts and the colors of the links are modified to facilitate the reading. Of the fonts, however, we can choose the type (among three options: Serif, Sans-Serif and Monospace) and the size.

How to activate reader mode on Google Chrome

Because it is a secret function, reader mode is activated by a string that you must enter in the address bar: chrome://flags/#enable-reader-mode. Writing this string and pressing enter we are brought to the page of the secret options of Chrome from which we can enable or disable the reader mode. After activating it will appear, in the classic menu with the three dots in the upper right, a new item: "Activate the contents of the page distill". After clicking on this item, instead, a new icon will appear to the right of the URL in the address bar with three horizontal bars that symbolize as many lines of text.

Do you like reader mode? Install Edge

This whole process of activating reader mode is rewarded, for some users, by the comfort of reading in this mode. However, those who particularly enjoy reader mode should consider installing the Microsoft Edge browser, which, unlike Google Chrome, makes "Immersive Reading" mode available directly by clicking on a book-shaped icon at the end of the address bar of Web pages.