December 17, 2019

Hidden Features of Google Chrome Your students Can Use in the Classroom Every Day

GoGuardian Team
A man stands in the GoGuardian office

Like your favorite superhero or super-heroine, Google Chrome has hidden powers. That’s right. Just as Clark Kent isn’t what he seems, neither is your Chrome browser. Unfortunately, unless you’re a tech whiz, these powers are not immediately accessible to the layperson.

Luckily for you, at GoGuardian, we pride ourselves in making the most cutting edge technology easy to use and accessible—whether you're a teacher, parent, or student. Here are a few secret features of Google Chrome that will make the average browsing experience “faster than a speeding bullet.”

The Power to Pin

Chrome's address bar doesn't do much at a glance. Type in a URL, and you're taken to a web site. But it can do a lot more if you know how to use it. Did you know that you can pin frequently used tabs by right clicking on a tab and hitting ‘pin tab’? The benefits of pinned tabs extend beyond easy access; because you can’t close pin tabs, you won’t have to worry about accidentally hitting that X button in the corner of the tab.

To start using this great organizational feature, all you have to do is to right-click on a tab in Google Chrome and select the "Pin Tab" option. You can do this for all of your web apps that you keep open all day. This will anchor all them on the left, and then you can then order the pinned tabs whichever way you prefer. Keep in mind that once you close the window, the pinned tabs are don’t return when a new window is opened.

Re-Open Tabs

Accidentally closed a tab? Thankfully Chrome has the power to bring these tabs back. Simply right-click on another open tab and select "Reopen Closed Tab" or press Control-Shift-T (Command-Shift-T on a Mac), and Chrome will reopen any recently closed tabs. If you closed an entire window with all your pinned tabs, open or click on a new Chrome window and select "Reopen Closed Window.” Control-Shift-T (or Command-Shift-T) will also reopen a closed window if that was the last thing you closed.

Switch Through Tabs Using Key Commands

If you ever need to read something quickly on another tab, hold down the Control key (Command on Macs) and any number for a shortcut to switch tabs in Chrome. Each number is associated with a different tab, starting with “1” as the first tab on the left and moving incrementally through 9 tabs as you move to the right. This secret feature will allow you to move between tabs, and keep your flow and laser focus. The numbers 9 and 0 will land on the last tab in your browser regardless of the number of tabs you have, so if you have more than 9 tabs open, this feature won’t work for the tabs between 8 and the last one.

Translate Anything

Ever wish you were a polyglot and could speak several languages ? Chrome already has a built-in Google Translate for entire webpages. But if you just want information on a select phrase or passage, you can get it with just two clicks. First, install the official Google Translate extension. Then you can highlight any unfamiliar text (that's one click) and click the little Google Translate icon that sits in the top-right side of your browser screen. Voila!  You can now translate anything from Bulgarian to Thai!

Quick Calculator

When it comes to problem-solving on the fly, mental math doesn’t always do the trick. Fortunately, the omnibox (the field where you type the URLS for any websites you visit) can easily transform into a portable math whiz. To turn Chrome's omnibox into a calculator, just type in a simple math problem instead of a URL—but don't press enter. The answer will appear in the drop-down below the omnibox.

While these secret features will bring your browsing experience to the next level, there are many more superpowers to Chrome that don’t meet the eye. Like all technology, the more familiarity you have with it, the more you’ll discover (you didn’t hear it from us, but there’s also a secret dinosaur game). By using these Chrome shortcuts and GoGuardian technology, we hope you will feel as tech savvy in your classrooms as Bruce Wayne does in his Batcave.

Leave us a comment below if you discover any new hidden features, tricks, and shortcuts on your browser or devices!