Google’s Chrome browser is probably the best on the market right now because it’s extremely fast, easy to use, and highly customizable. While most of us use Chrome every day, we don’t pay much attention to browser settings and options.
The default settings should improve your web experience, but they also allow third-party companies and trackers to access your data online. So if you want to protect your privacy or just want to change some content settings, here’s what you need to know.
Access to content settings
Make sure you have the latest version of Chrome. Otherwise, you can download the latest version by visiting the Google Chrome download site. It may also be sufficient to close and restart the Chrome browser.
- Open your Chrome browser and click on the three dots at the top right of the tab. A drop-down menu will open.
- Now click on Settings at the bottom of the menu.
- In category Privacy and Security, find Site settings and click on it. The tab will open Site settings, where you can tinker with Chrome’s content options.
Change your site settings
There are a lot of settings to tweak, so we’ll cover what each one does and how to tweak them.
Cookies and site data
Sites create files called cookies when you visit them. These small files allow you to have a more comfortable web experience by storing your browsing information.
Cookies allow sites to keep your accounts active, store website settings, and deliver local content to you. If you delete cookies, the sites will log you out of your accounts and also restore stored settings.
- To delete cookies, click on Cookies and site data.
- Then scroll down and click on See all cookies and site data.
- Now click on Delete all. If you want to delete cookies individually, you can click on the trash can icon next to the chosen website.
Cookies in Google Chrome: how to activate and manage them on Android and desktop
- Follow the steps listed above to get to the Site Settings page, you can also type ” chrome: // parameters / content “In the search bar and press enter.
- Now click on Position.
- By default, Chrome will ask you when a site wants to see your location. To tell the site where you are, choose To permit.
- To prevent websites from accessing your location, you can turn it off by pressing Ask before you log in.
Camera and microphone
Some websites like Google Hangouts or Skype require you to use your camera or microphone, and you can allow or block them when prompted.
- To prevent websites from accessing your camera or microphone, you can disable it by tapping Ask before you log in.
Some websites will access your device’s motion detection features (light or proximity sensors). With the default setting, the feature is allowed for sites, but it is recommended that you turn it off to protect your privacy.
By default, Chrome notifies you when a site, app, or extension wants to notify you. You can change it as you like. If you don’t want to be notified, try using incognito mode.
With the default setting, this option is enabled, which means that Chrome will show all images on a website. You should only disable this option if your internet connection is very weak or slow and you cannot download images quickly.
Pop-ups and redirects
By default, Google Chrome prevents pop-ups from appearing on the screen. It is strongly recommended to leave this option enabled. If the pop-ups keep appearing, your computer is probably infected with malware.
Chrome does not offer an option to block all ads on websites, but it will block them on sites where they are intrusive or deceptive. It is recommended to keep it that way, and if you want to block ads completely, you can find some popular extensions that do that in the Chrome web store.
Synchronization in the background
This option allows websites to continue sending and receiving data in the background even when you close them. You should keep this option enabled as it will make your web experience smoother.
If you want to prevent websites from playing sounds, you can turn this option off.
The default setting requires sites to ask for permission to download multiple files, but you can turn it off if you’re concerned about malware.
Access to the plug-in without sandbox
You can switch between blocking plugins for all websites and sites that require permission. The option enabled is recommended.
Protocol handlers manage links and URLs with some models. Keep this enabled.
Musical Instrument Digital Interface or MIDI is a protocol designed to record and play music on digital synthesizers. Keep this enabled.
The default zoom level on Chrome is 100%. You can manually adjust the magnification of a website page using Ctrl and “+” or “-“.
Keep it enabled to allow sites to request permission when they want to access USB devices. If you don’t want to allow any access, turn it off.
You can turn it off if you want to prevent sites from modifying files or folders on your device.
Chrome automatically opens PDF files in the browser. Activate this option if you want to download them instead.
By default, Chrome plays copyrighted content. If you’d rather have your browser not do this by default, just turn the setting off.
With the default setting, you will be asked when a site wants to see text and images copied to the clipboard.
Keep it enabled to allow sites to install payment handlers. If you don’t want sites to install payment handlers, turn it off.
If you have Windows 10, check out our article on how to make Gmail your default client.
The default content settings on Chrome are usually what you want, but some of them need to be changed to suit your preferences. Keep experimenting with the options until you find the ones that work for you.