Getting the Most out of Google Chrome

February 4, 2011, By Christian Cawley

Following our initial look at Google Chrome you should already have had a play around with the browser and found a few useful tools hidden away in the single settings menu – however this is more than likely only the tip of the iceberg.

We continue our introduction to Google Chrome with a look at managing the list of Most visited websites found in a new tab, before investigating how the browser provides options for managing and protecting your privacy.

Google Chrome privacy settings

Managing Most Visited

On a new tab in Google Chrome the websites that you have visited most often will be displayed. Various options come with this screen allowing you to customise it as you see fit.

By default, thumbnail versions of the sites you have visited most will be displayed, however these can be minimised by clicking the Most Visited link. Also in this view you can rearrange the thumbnails to line them up in whichever way suits you, while they can be unpinned and prevented from appearing under the Most Visited sites. You can also click the X in the corner of the thumbnails (visible when you hover the mouse over them) in order to remove them from the Most Visited view permanently.

If you remove a thumbnail in error, the Restore all removed thumbnails link provides a useful means of restoring it, while the Recently Closed list at the bottom of the browse window will allow you to reopen any tabs that you wish to revisit.

Privacy in Google Chrome – Incognito mode

There are various privacy options in Google Chrome, most notably Incognito mode. This is accessible via Customise > New incognito window or pressing CTRL+SHIFT+N.

Using this option allows you to browse in private, meaning that any pages viewed won’t be logged in your browser history and cookies for these sites will not be retained. This is useful for a bit of private shopping in the run up to Christmas, for example, although note that any files that you download while using Incognito mode will be retained. Similarly if you add a bookmark while in this mode the page will still be accessible via the Bookmark manager.

Note that Incognito mode will not protect you from government agencies, ISPs, institutions or employers retaining a record of the pages you visit – it will only prevent these pages being recorded within the browser history.

Any extensions that you have installed will be disabled in Incognito mode, so you might lose out on any functionality you have added to Google Chrome.

Privacy Settings in Google Chrome

Actual privacy settings in Google Chrome can be found via Customise > Options. You may use Personal Stuff > Passwords to choose whether or not the browser should offer to save passwords, and a list of saved password accounts will be displayed via Show saved passwords. Meanwhile in the Under the Bonnet tab you can configure various options under Privacy (such as Enable phishing and malware protection) and use Clear browsing data… to discard your browsing history, cookies, temporary internet files (cache) and more, by period.

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