Another look under Chrome’s bonnet
In a recent blog post we looked at what web pages are loaded and displayed when you open the Chrome browser. There are some other useful settings that can be changed quite simply, a few of which are discussed below. Remember, that to access “Settings” in Chrome, left-click on the three vertical dots at the top right of the Chrome window and then left-click on the item in the list called “Settings” (natch).
Show the “Home” button
If you have the home button displayed (on the same line as the address bar), then a simple click on it will immediately take you to – where else – your home page. To turn the display on just scroll down the Settings window until you meet the heading “Appearance”, then just slide the switch next to “Show Home Button” to the right.
Show bookmarks bar
Almost directly beneath the above setting is a similar switch that displays or hides the “Bookmarks bar”. When displayed, this is a row of shortcuts (bookmarks) that appear on a line below the address line near the top of the window. This is particularly useful for your most frequently accessed web pages. To add a web page to the bookmarks bar, access the web page, click on the star to the right of the web address, click the triangle to the right of “Folder” and select “bookmarks bar” as the place to display the bookmark. Note that you can change the name of the shortcut – in particular, you can make it shorter so as to allow space for more bookmarks on the bar. You can even remove the name of the shortcut entirely and just display the “favicon” (the icon for that particular web page).
You can increase the initial size of web page contents as they are displayed on your screen by changing the setting against “Page zoom” that is also in the Appearance section of Chrome settings. Note that you can override this at any time by depressing the “Ctrl” key (the control key) and, while the control key is down, tapping on either the “+” or “-” key. If you increase the zoom then it is possible that you will no longer be able to see the full width of the web page. In this case, there will be a scroll bar at the bottom of the window that you can move to display the rest of the width of the window.
There are plenty of other settings you can play with in Chrome, including several for which you need to scroll to the bottom of the settings window and then click on “advanced”. Amongst other things, this will reveal the “Downloads” section. This tells you where any downloaded files are currently being saved. You can change this to any other folder by clicking on “change”, finding the desired folder in the “Explorer” window that opens, and then clicking on the “Select folder” button.
These are directions to change settings specifically in Chrome, but there are similar settings in other browsers that offer the same options.
There’s just one more thing I’d like to take the opportunity to point out, and that is the option near the top of the list of settings, under the heading of “You and Google”, called “Sync and Google services”. If (like me) you are of the opinion that Google probably already knows more about you than is healthy, then I recommend ensuring that all four items under the heading “Other Google services” are switched off – ie the circle is to the left of the “switch” and the switch is grey and not blue.