A Look At New Google Chrome Browser Flags

Martin Brinkmann
Oct 26, 2011
Updated • Dec 15, 2012
Google Chrome

Ghacks readers know that the chrome://flags page leads to a list of experimental features in the Chrome browser. These features are not yet ready for prime time. Adventurous Chrome users can enable select features to change the behavior of the web browser in core areas. A big warning paragraph warns users that these "experimental features may change, break, or disappear at any time".

Depending on your personal preferences, you may want to enable none or some of the experiments in Google Chrome. The list of available settings is large, which is why I will look at only a handful of experiments that have been added to the flags listing in recent time.

Chrome browser flags

  • Smooth Scrolling - Chrome users up until now had to install extensions like Smooth Scroller if they experienced scrolling issues in the Chrome web browser. With the Smooth Scrolling flag, they now can enable the feature natively.
  • Lazy Background Pages - All extension background pages are loaded when the browser starts. This setting changes the default behavior so that they are loaded when needed.
  • New Apps Install Bubble - When you install a new application in Chrome a new tab page is opened automatically. This can be irritating if you install many apps in the browser. This new flag changes the behavior by showing a bubble pointing at the new tab page instead.

chrome apps installation

  • Enable NTP bookmark features - The new tab page in Chrome currently only lists the most visited sites and apps in its interface. This setting enables a Bookmark page on the new tab page.


  • Enable syncing open tabs, syncing search engines - The two options can be used to sync both all open tabs and all custom search engines with all connected Chrome browsers.
  • Enable shortcuts in the omnibox - Remembers autocomplete results and offers those the next time the same search term is typed in the Chrome address box

Chrome users find several useful experiments on the flags page that can change the behavior of the Chrome browser noticeable. Are you a Chrome user? If so, are you making use of experimental features in the web browser? (thanks Vineeth)


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  1. ragmyn said on October 28, 2011 at 9:27 am

    Lazy Background Pages disables few extensions viz. Adblock, Adblock and Better Gmail UI, and fasterfox is not functioning well

  2. BobbyPhoenix said on October 26, 2011 at 6:03 pm

    Yes that is what I get too. I like it much better. I download a ton of stuff from pics to random bits here and there, and it always annoyed me that I had to keep clicking that “X” to close the bar. I send all my downloads to a central file, and then sort later if I need to. If you need a download right away you can either click to always ask where to download, and send it to desktop, or simply click the wrench after downloading, and then the download menu which gives you access to all your downloads like the bar would of had.

    1. Peter Bockenhauer said on October 26, 2011 at 8:00 pm

      I agree, having to click the “X” all the time has been a pain. I’m a recent (permanent… we will see) convert from Firefox. I always used the Download Statusbar add-on and I loved how it would display the same as Chrome at the bottom but you could have it disappear when the download was complete.

      However, now with the new flag in place to not display the download bar… I just downloaded an .exe and looked in my downloads folder and it wasn’t there, then only to realized that I needed to go into the downloads page to allow the download.

      Guess I will keep the downloads bar for now and just deal with it. :/

  3. BobbyPhoenix said on October 26, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    The best one of all is the new downloads UI. No more huge bar at the bottom of the browser. Yay!

    1. Peter Bockenhauer said on October 26, 2011 at 5:31 pm

      By new UI, do they mean removing the downloads bar entirely? That’s what I get. Files download just fine, but the bar now doesn’t display at all and no other notification or UI is displayed.

      1. Martin Brinkmann said on October 26, 2011 at 5:52 pm

        I noticed this as well. Download bar was gone, no alternative displayed. That’s why I did not mention it.

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