Chrome Reading Mode

In Chrome's address bar, type "chrome://flags" and press Enter. Search for "Reader Mode" on the Experiments page, set "Enable Reader Mode" to "Enabled," and click "Relaunch" to activate it. Open a web page you want to view in reader mode and click the Reader Mode icon at the right side of the address bar to activate it.

Most web browsers have a built-in “Reader Mode” that converts web pages into a more reader-friendly view. Strangely, Google Chrome does not have this feature—unless you know how to find it. We’ll show you where it is.

Google Chrome has included a hidden Reader Mode since all the way back to version 75. However, it’s never been upgraded to a stable, standard feature. Even Microsoft Edge—which is also based on Chromium—has a Reader Mode. So let’s enable it in Chrome.

Update, 3/28/23: Google has announced a new type of “Reader Mode” that works in a sidebar for Chrome 114. This new feature is separate from Chrome’s hidden Reader Mode, which is still available as a hidden flag and transforms an entire web page into a reading view.
Update, 5/26/23: Google has quietly removed Chrome’s hidden “Reader Mode” flag. Chrome’s new “Reading Mode,” which shows a reader mode in a sidebar, is now the only option unless you want to install a browser extension.

How to Enable Chrome’s Reader Mode

First, we’ll need to enable a Chrome feature flag. Open the Chrome browser on your computer, type chrome://flags in the address bar, and hit Enter.

go the the chrome flags page

Search for “Reader Mode” in the text box at the top and enable the flag titled “Enable Reader Mode.”

Enable the Reading Mode flag.

After enabling the flag, click the “Relaunch” button at the bottom of the screen to apply the changes.

relaunch chrome

Now, when you visit a webpage that has a lot of text, you’ll see a little book icon on the right side of the address bar. Click it to switch to Reader Mode.

You can also click menu > Enter Reader Mode to activate it.

You’re now looking at a much simpler, less cluttered view of the webpage. Images still appear, but ads and some other items are removed. To adjust the view, click the “A” icon in the top right.

Adjust the Reading Mode theme.

From here you can change the font, text size, and background color.

Reading Mode theme options.

That’s all there is to it! You can now minimize distractions while reading long articles in Chrome. It’s strange that Google has kept this a hidden feature for years, but at least you know how to enable it yourself.

RELATED: How to Enable Google Chrome Flags to Test Beta Features

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Joe Fedewa is a Staff Writer at How-To Geek. He has been covering consumer technology for over a decade and previously worked as Managing Editor at XDA-Developers. Joe loves all things technology and is also an avid DIYer at heart. He has written thousands of articles, hundreds of tutorials, and dozens of reviews.
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