In this tutorial I will be showing you how to use all of the basic features in Google Chrome. This is ideal for those of you who have just recently installed the browser and aren’t quite sure what is going on or where everything is!
If you haven’t yet installed Google Chrome on your computer, please consult this tutorial: How To Install Google Chrome. If you’ve been thinking about Chrome but haven’t yet decided to use it, please consult this review: A Case For Chrome.
Let’s get started! The first thing you should do immediately after opening Chrome for the first time is sign into your Google Account. You can do this by clicking on the blue “Sign In” button in the upper right corner of your browser. If you already have a Google account, you just need to enter your username and password, if not, you will need to create your account now.
Note: you can use Chrome without a Google account; however, you will find that your browsing experience will be greatly enhanced if you are logged into your account.
Now that you are on the Google homepage, let’s take a look around.
The top few bars of your Chrome browser is where most everything takes place. It's where you control your entire browsing experience. We will start by looking at everything along the top section of the Chrome window, starting from the top and working our way down.
The very top row of your screen is where you can easily manage your open tabs. Each tab basically operates as an independent browser. This means that you can rearrange them by clicking and dragging them around the top bar. You can even pull them outside of the current browser to open them up in a new window.
If there is sound coming from one of the open tabs, a little speaker will show up indicating which tab the sound is coming from. This is really handy, especially when you have a lot of tabs open and you can’t figure out where the sound is coming from!
These buttons are fairly standard across all browsers, but I will explain them anyways in case you need some clarification.
The arrow pointing to the left is the “back” button. This will take you back to the previous pages you have been on, in reverse chronological order. The arrow pointing to the right moves you forwards through your history in chronological order. If you hold either of these buttons down, you will be shown a list of your most recently visited web pages.
By clicking the refresh button you will reload your current web page. This is typically used if a web page seems to be frozen or isn’t working properly. Usually, clicking this button will fix whatever the problem is.
The omnibox is the fancy word for the address/search bar in Chrome. This is actually one of the coolest features of Chrome. Essentially, this bar operates both as a search bar and an address bar.
If you type a search term into the omnibox and press ‘enter’, it will give you the search results for that term. If you enter in a full web address, it will take you to that website. This seems fairly simple, but Google’s predictive technology makes things much more interesting!
As you begin typing, Google will make predictions on what you are typing. It bases these off of a few factors. It looks at the most popular sites and search terms related to the letters you’re typing as well as your most frequently visited sites and search terms. Sometimes it’s almost creepy how good it is at predicting what you are typing.
On the very right of the omnibox is the outline of a star. If you click on this it will save your current webpage into your bookmarks. This allows you to quickly and easily access your favorite webpages with a single click!
Just to the right of your omnibox is where you will see any applications you have installed. If you’ve just began using Chrome you may not have any apps yet, but you can check out the Chrome Webstore to see if there are any you may be interested in.
You can also access all of your installed applications by clicking on the Apps button on the far left side of the bottom row, under the “back” and “forward” buttons.
Options and Settings
The three horizontal parallel lines to the right of your application icons is where you can access your browser options and settings. This is where most of the more in-depth and complicated aspects of the browser are located.
Luckily for us, unless you are interested in really customizing your browser, you probably won’t need to change much in the settings. But, I would encourage you to click around and explore, just to familiarize yourself with all of your options.
The third row is mostly dedicated to your bookmarks (or favorites as they’re called in other browsers). Aside from the “Apps” button on the far left and the “Other Bookmarks” button on the far right, the entire row displays your most easily accessible bookmarks. All you have to do is click on the page title and you will be taken to that page! This is the ideal place to put your favorite websites!
Clicking on the “Other Bookmarks” button on the right will open up a menu containing all of your bookmarks assorted in their proper folders.
That is about all there is to know in terms of Google Chrome’s interface. It's a really streamlined browser and is super easy for anyone to use. Remember, if you would like some more information about Chrome and some other Google products, please check out these posts:
- 11 Essential Google Resources You Need To Be Using
- A Case For Chrome – Why It's The Browser You Should Be Using
- How To Install Google Chrome
If you have any questions regarding Chrome please drop me a comment below. I would also love to hear any thoughts or experiences you have had using Google Chrome personally! Finally, if you would like to stay up to date with my latest tutorials, product reviews, and other interesting posts, please register for my weekly summary here: