10 Google Chrome Keyboard Shortcuts

Tue, Sep 9, 2008, by Jaison


Google Chrome is the latest browser product from Google. Retire Mr Mouse and be independent with your keyboard with these excellent Google Chrome keyboard shortcuts.

Here are a few keyboard shortcuts which is applicable for Google Chrome only.

Google does it again

After getting tremendous response with the article on the Google search tips and tricks article I got many requests asking about Google Chrome browser and some of the tips related to the browser. So here is my answer to those. Some really useful google chrome keyboard shortcuts. 

1. Play with Google Chrome Bookmarks

Sometimes you need to make a note of a page which you like or which you would like to visit at a later point of time. Almost all the brosers provide the “bookmark this” option for the same. Chrome also allows you to do the same thing. Towards the left of your address bar, there is a star symbol which allows you to bookmark a site. If you need to see the websites in your bookmark list, google chrome allows you to view it using a short cut. The Ctrl+B keyboard shortcut allows you to toggle between the bookmark bar on and off. When you use this the first time, a small bar will appear below your URL address bar which has a list of your bookmarked sites. If you repeat the shortcut again, the bar will disappear.

2. A task manager only for Google Chrome

You might know the windows task manager you call every time your system hangs or when you want to check the system resource utility etc. Well, Google chrome comes with its own task manager. To invoke this task manager, you will have to use the keyboard shortcut “Shift+Escape”. This will open up a small window with the task details. For each tab you have opened, it will tell you the memory utilized, the cpu time utilised and the network utilised. Now, if you are a real nerd, then you are going to love this. Google has got a link in its Task manager which will allow you to have a closer and more detailed look at the task manager. I leave that for you to ponder.

3. Be the invisible man using the “incognito Mode”

There will be times when you have to browse in stealth or invisible mode, for example, to plan surprises like gifts or birthdays, Google Chrome offers the incognito browsing mode.  The web pages that you open and files downloaded while you are incognito won’t be logged in your browsing and download histories. All  new cookies are deleted after the incognito window is closed. One can browse normally and in incognito mode at the same time by using separate windows. Ctrl+Shift+N opens a new window in “Incognito Mode.”

Useful Global browser keyboard shortcuts applicable to Google Chrome

4. Jump to your address bar

Sometimes while browsing, you need to go to the address bar to type a new website. Usually people use their mouse to point to the addrss bar, click it to hightlight it and then type in the new website url which you need to visit. Well if you use this next shortcut, you will never use the mouse for that again. The keyboard shortcut “Ctrl+L” will allow you to jump to the address bar no matter where you are.  This way you can save a few milli seconds, but while browsing, every second counts. This keyboard shortcut has made my life easier as i am too old to use the point and click option.

5. “Google it” using Google chrome

Well, this was quite obvious when google came up with the new browser. It has done a neat little trick which allows you to do a google search without going to google home page. This shortcut allows you to do just that, ie do a google search without going to the www.google.com home page. Ctrl+K allows you to do a google search from chrome. Just like the “jump to address bar” shortcut, this short cut takes you to the address bar. But it does one extra thing. That is to put a question mark (?) in the begining. Now if you enter a key word and press enter, instead of searching for a website, chrome treats that as a google search key word and displays the google search results for the same. Try it out,  you will love it.

6. Open or close a new Tab

Ok, dont shout at me. I know that most people already know that the short cut i am talking about is “Ctrl+T“. But without this shortcut, this list will not be complete. This was one of the first shortcuts which caught my imagination when tabbed browsing was first introduced. I dont know who introduced tabbed browsing first but i had my first experience with firefox. Prior to that i used the Ctrl+N for opening a new page. But i found it difficult to keep track of related pages. But ever since tabbed browsing was introduced, you can logically group all the tags and keep it together. You can even drag and rearrange the tabs. 

So, how do you close a tab when you are done with it. Dont even think of putting your hand over that mouse. In chrome (or in many other tabbed browsers) you can do it by Ctrl+W shortcut. It will close the tab which you are currently in and move the control over to the tab which is immediatly lef to it. If it is the only tab which is open, then this shortcut will close the chrome window itself.

7. OOps i did it again. I have to type in the url of the tab which I accidentally closed just now. right?

Wrong. We all make mistakes. And before i knew that there was a shortcut to open the last tab which you closed, i really wished there was one. Most of the time i reach a page through a google serach and i dont necessarily remember the URL or the links which led me to the site which i just closed. So this shortkey was a real blessing for me. Ctrl+Shift+T opens the last closed tab while you were browsing. Remember that it is only applicable when you have not closed the main google chrome window. If you have closed the main window, this shortcut key cannot help you.

8. Cycle through the open tabs

Ok, this one is also pretty familiar to you guys right? Ctrl+Tab will cycle through the open tabs which you have in chrome. Geeks, you can move on to the next one if you want. Let me tell my “new to tabbed browsing readers” a thing or two about this short cut. If you have opened 20 tabs and finding it difficult to locate one particular tab in those 20, you dont need to point and click your mouse on each tab and check  it out. You can use this short cut instead. You will have to press your Ctrl button and while you are pressing it, you will have to press the tab button multiple times. Each time you press the button, it will take you to a tab which is open under your main chrome window. The order is from left to right and when it reaches the last tab, it jumps back to the first tab again. If you want to reverse this effect, you will have to press Ctrl+Shift+tab which will allow you to cycle from right to left.

9. From sequential to direct access. Go directly to the Nth tab

If there are 10 tabs open and if you want to go to the “N” th tab (where n is a number between 1 to 9) then you can do it by using the Ctrl+ 1 through 9. For example if you want to go to the 5th tab, then you will press Ctrl+5. You cannot press Ctrl+0 or any number greater than 9. It will not simply work. I dont use it much often. But different people have got different styles of browsing. You can use this if you find this suiting your style of browsing.

10. Size does matter

Sometimes you will reach a website or a blog which is using a very small font type which is imposible to read without a microscope. In such cases, the following shortcuts will come handy. If you want to increase the font size of the text in the website, use Ctrl +++ . If you want to reduce the size, then use Ctrl —. That is right, the plus sign (+) will increase the font size and the minus sign(-) will decrease the font size when used with the control key. If you want to restore the page font size to the default as it was when it was created, you can use Ctrl + 0.

Hope these keyboard shortcuts will enhance your browsing. If you have any shortcuts which you found really useful and want to share, you can share it through the comments section. Please make sure that you pass on this website to anyone who you feel does not know about the wonderful world of tabbed browsing.

NB, for those who are interested, here is my latest article on Dropbox Is Dropbox secure? Is Dropbox safe? I hope that you can devote 2 minutes of your time to read this really useful article. I recommend you to install this great software, trust me you will not regret it.

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27 Comments For This Post
  1. Brian Says:

    Very usefull stuff. Thanks a ton for that. Which one do you think is the better browser? Chrome or firefox?

  2. Jubin Says:

    Well written and useful article. I knew a few of them, but some of them were new to me. Thanks a lot

  3. Elastic Says:

    I love google chrome. I loved it even more when i tried your tips.

  4. Firefox rules Says:

    I do not find any strong reason to switch over to Chrome from firefox. Firefox has even come up with a google chrome package. I think you should check it out. But some of the features of chrome are really awesome like invisible browsing. I really hope that firefox will soon make those changes. Thanks for taking the time to compile this useful article.

  5. valli Says:

    Useful article.

  6. Gustav Says:

    I liked the Ctrl + Shift + N the most. it is very useful

  7. Irina Says:

    Thank you for some useful shortcuts. But, since menu bar is invisible in Chrome, you have to memorize them all.
    Besides, I couldn’t find anywhere shortcuts for reaching bookmarks.
    Yes, Chrome has some nice futures, but avoiding mouse clicks is crucial for me (hand problem).
    So I am not ready to switch over to it from Firefox.

  8. Sourav Says:

    Awesome….great shortcuts

  9. sangharsh soumein satpathy Says:

    thx a ton.It will surely help me to switch myself from firefox

  10. lupad Says:

    thanks a thousand


  11. Ravi A Says:

    Out of the google chrome broser shortcuts mentioned above, i will be using the following.

    Shortcut to Google Chrome Bookmarks Ctrl+B
    Shortcut to Task manager only for Google Chrome Shift+Escape
    Shortcut to Incognito Mode or Invisible mode ing google chrome Ctrl+Shift+N
    Shortcut to Jump to your address bar in google chrome Ctrl+L
    Shortcut to “Google it” using Google chrome Ctrl+K
    Shortcut to Open or close a new Tab in google chrome Ctrl + T and Ctrl + W
    Shortcut to Open previously closed tab in google chrome accidently Ctrl+Shift+T
    Shortcut to Cycle through the open tabs in google chrome Ctrl+Tab

  12. Robert Mark Bram Says:

    This was useful – but not very comprehensive. Here is Google’s own list: http://www.google.com/support/chrome/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=95743

  13. Jaison Says:

    Hi Guys,

    Thanks for all your comments and suggestions. Just wanted to let you know that i am writing more useful articles like this in my personal blog http://digital-panther.blogspot.com/. Check it out when you have time.


  14. Jaison Says:

    Check out this article on the new search revolution from Microsoft. Will Bing search from microsoft be a google killer?

  15. Jaison Says:

    I love shortcuts. Here is a shortcut technique available for windows vista, windows xp and other Windows. Check this link http://digital-panther.blogspot.com/2009/05/windows-vista-shortcut-keys-how-to.html which has a video tutorial.

  16. Jaison Says:

    If you liked this one, you will love this link which i am going to recommend here. My latest article on 10 Best firefox addons was published recently. Check it out at http://www.webupon.com/Browsers/10-Plus-Best-Firefox-Addons.807457

  17. imran1011 Says:

    so so so very helpful thanks a lot!

  18. mrjack Says:

    Very useful ! Thanks.

  19. Jaison Says:

    Here is my latest article on search engine optimization. How to optimize your website or article to get to the top of google search results. http://webupon.com/search-engines/search-engine-tactics-new-insights/

  20. weeeeeeee Says:

    hi i just found one

    ctrl + p = print the page you are on

    i just stumbled on it looking for other shortcuts

  21. weeeeeeee Says:

    hi i found more

    ctrl + e = google search
    ctrl + u = ALL info on this page
    ctrl + r = restart page
    ctrl + v = paste any writing you copied or cut
    or cut
    ctrl + s = save web page
    ctrl + f = look for letter or word in page
    ctrl + h = open history of google chrome
    ctrl + j = open page of downloads
    ctrl + o = open any of your saved data

    from dinodude232

    add me on dino run

  22. ohaaaa. Says:

    pressing Function 6 is an even easier alternative to #4.

  23. rohit Says:

    Thank you, I was deprtly serching for “How to reduce size” my scroll isn’t working & u helpd me.

  24. Nivas Says:

    Really useful for beginners.. Nice..

  25. Jesus Says:

    private browsing only disguises your search and disables the history storage function on your personal browser. It does not disable tracking of search terms or storage by google (if you search through them) it does not hide or disguise your ip address. The company who installed your internet has access to all that information and so does the search engine that you use. For truly secure and private surfing you must use a proxy, i.e. tor browser/button.

  26. Blackbird Says:

    Great stuff buddy… Thanks a ton

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