Chrome is a pretty simple browser on the outside, but there are tons of pages built in for advanced settings, tweaks, tests, and more. All of these pages are hidden behind the chrome:// prefix—here’s a look at some of the best.
Before we get into that, however, it’s probably a good idea to explain how these chrome:// pages work. You enter
chrome:// into the omnibox, followed by the page you want to access—think of it like a web page, but instead of
http:// being the prefix, it’s
So, for example, for the first option we’re going to look at—
chrome://about—you’ll just enter exactly that into Chrome’s omnibox like so:
And that’s all there is to it. You can do this for any of Chrome’s internal pages.
Chrome://About: All of Chrome’s Internal Pages in One Place
The most useful of all the chrome:// pages is probably
chrome://about, because it shows all of Chrome’s other internal pages in an easy to parse (and click!) list.
As you look through the list, you’ll find that a lot of these link to specific pieces of Chrome’s settings menu—like
chrome://chrome, which takes you to Chrome’s update page. Or
chrome://newtab, all of which open those respective pages.
If you’re just learning about chrome:// pages, this is a good place to start exploring and learning the ins and outs of these hidden internal pages.
Chrome://Flags: Experimental Features and More
This is probably the most popular of all the chrome:// pages, because it’s where Google hides experimental features—things that are in the works, but not yet ready for prime time. These let you explore beta features with a simple toggle, so if issues arise you easily can revert back to the stable setting.
There are all sorts of hidden features here, just keep in mind that these are still works in progress. That means they may break other parts of Chrome or cause instability issues. They could also be removed at any point if Google decides to kill the whole idea.
Still, it’s cool to explore.
Chrome://System: Get Detailed Build Information
If you’re looking for everything there is to know about your Chromebook, the
chrome://system page is where it’s at. You’ll find everything from software and firmware versions to details about all the hardware on the system. There’s a lot of great info here, especially if you like to tinker.
And while it’s more useful on Chromebooks, you can still plug the address into your desktop Chrome browser and get some interesting system details.
Chrome://Net-Internals: Realtime Network Diagnostics
There’s a lot going on here, and most of it won’t be useful to average users. But if you’re looking for some advanced details about Chrome’s network usage, this is where you’ll find them.
Chrome://Inspect: DevTools At Your Disposal
If you want a little insight of what Chrome is doing behind the scenes, the
chrome://inspectpage is a neat tool for that. Like the chrome://net-internals page, it’s clearly geared towards developers, but if you want a deeper look at what Chrome has going on in the background, this is a good page to start digging through.
Access All of Chrome’s Hidden Features with a Simple Extension: HiddenChrome
While you can see all of Chrome’s hidden pages on
chrome://about, there’s a nicer and more convenient way to do this: with a handy extension called HiddenChrome. It puts all of Chrome’s pages into a nice, tidy, organized list.
You’ll find developer tools, a quick link to the flags page, internal diagnostics, logs, source code, and all sorts of other goodies here. If you’re a Chrome power user (or have the aspirations), this is a great tool to have installed.
It’s free in the Chrome Web Store, but there’s a $0.99 Pro version if you find it useful.