How to install Chrome Ubuntu

Google Chrome is the world’s most popular web browser. If you’re an Ubuntu user, chances are, you’ve likely wondered to yourself, “how do I get Chrome installed?” Well, wonder no longer! In this guide, we’ll show you how to install Chrome on Ubuntu!

Before we begin

Before we begin, there’s something we need to go over. In this guide, we’ll focus on the various ways that Ubuntu users can get the Google Chrome browser up and running. However, this guide isn’t just for Ubuntu users.

If you’re using an operating system like Elementary OS, Zorin OS, Peppermint, Linux Mint, or other Ubuntu derivatives, the instructions covered in this guide will also apply to you. 

So, if you’re interested in installing Google Chrome on your Linux PC and you use an operating system based on Ubuntu, this tutorial is for you. Please do follow along below!

Method 1 – Install Chrome Ubuntu version Ubuntu Software Center

Most Ubuntu users rely on the Ubuntu software center to install software, as the command-line, while useful, is intimidating. If you want to get Chrome on your Ubuntu PC and want to do it through the Ubuntu Software Center, here’s how to do it.

First, head over to the Google Chrome download page. On this page, you’ll see several different download options available for Linux users. Look for the blue “Download Chrome” button and select it with your mouse.

After selecting the blue “Download Chrome” button, a pop-up window will appear. In this pop-up menu, you’ll see “Get Chrome for Linux,” followed by two download options. As an Ubuntu user, you must select “64 bit .deb (For Debian/Ubuntu).”

Once you’ve selected “64 bit .deb (For Debian/Ubuntu)” with your mouse, a DEB package will begin to download to your computer. Allow it to download. It should only take a few seconds to complete.

When the download process is done, open up the Linux file manager, and click on your “Downloads” directory. Then, right-click on the Google Chrome DEB package with the mouse.

In the right-click menu for the Google Chrome DEB package, select the “Open With” menu, and choose “Software Install.” By choosing “Software Install,” Ubuntu will open up the Google Chrome DEB package into Ubuntu Software Center.

Once the Google Chrome DEB package is open in Ubuntu Software Center, select the app’s install button to install Google Chrome!

Method 2 – Install Chrome Ubuntu terminal

If you’re on Ubuntu and want to get Google Chrome working but prefer the command-line to the Ubuntu Software Center, you’re in luck! Google has an official Google Chrome software repository for Ubuntu.

The repo is pretty useful. It provides continuous updates to the browser and also makes it very easy to install Chrome. Here’s how to get it working.

First, open up a terminal window on the Ubuntu desktop by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T on the keyboard. Or, search for “Terminal” in the Ubuntu app menu to get it open. Once the terminal is ready to use, execute the wget command, and download the Google Chrome repo key file.

wget https://dl.google.com/linux/linux_signing_key.pub

After downloading the Google Chrome repo key onto your computer, you will need to add it to your system. This key tells Ubuntu it is safe to install software from the Chrome repo, so this step is essential! Please do not skip it!

sudo apt-key add linux_signing_key.pub

Once the repo key is added to your Ubuntu Linux PC, you’ll need to use the touch command to create a new file in the /etc/apt/sources.list.d/ directory. This folder is where users are instructed to add custom repos on Ubuntu.

Using the touch command, create a new google-chrome.list file in the /etc/apt/sources.list.d/ folder.

sudo touch /etc/apt/sources.list.d/google-chrome.list

After creating the new file, open it up in the Nano text editor for editing purposes. To open up the new google-chrome.list file, execute the command below in a terminal.

sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list.d/google-chrome.list

With the file open for editing purposes, paste in this line of code at the text file’s top. 

## Google Chrome Official Ubuntu Software Repo ##

Next, press the Enter key on the keyboard to create a new line under the code you’ve just put in the file. Then, paste in this second line of code into the file.

deb [arch=amd64] http://dl.google.com/linux/chrome/deb/ stable main

After both lines of code are in the google-chrome.list file, it should look exactly like the example below. If it does not, you must re-enter both lines.

## Google Chrome Official Ubuntu Software Repo ##

deb [arch=amd64] http://dl.google.com/linux/chrome/deb/ stable main

Once both code lines have been added, save the edits in Nano by pressing Ctrl + O. Then, exit Nano with Ctrl + X. When out of Nano, run the apt update command to refresh Ubuntu’s software sources.

sudo apt update

Finally, install Google Chrome on your Ubuntu PC from the terminal by executing the apt install command below.

sudo apt install google-chrome-stable

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How to delete a Chrome profile

Chrome supports multiple profiles. These profiles allow users to create separate, independent instances of Chrome that are synced with different Google accounts, maintain their own browsing history, and have their own catalog of installed extensions, among other things.

A Chrome profile is ideal if you want to keep work and home browsing separate but it also helps to keep different projects connected to different Gmail accounts separate. 

Creating a Chrome profile is easy, and so is removing or deleting one when you no longer need it. 

Delete Chrome profile

To delete a Chrome profile, follow these steps.

  1. Open Chrome (any profile).
  2. Click the profile icon at the top right.
  3. In the menu that opens, click the cogwheel button next to Other people.

  1. In the window that opens, click the more options button at the top right of the profile you want to delete.
  2. Select the ‘Remove this person’ option.
  3. You will see a warning telling you the history, passwords, bookmarks, and autofill data will be deleted as well.
  4. Click Remove this person.
  5. The Chrome profile will be deleted.

Recover Chrome profile

Recovering a Chrome profile from Chrome is only possible if you set up Chrome sync prior to deleting the profile. If Chrome Sync was set up, you can create a new profile, and use the same Google account to sync all your data back.

If Chrome sync was never set up for the profile, recovering a Chrome profile might only be possible through a recovery app that runs on the desktop. You can point it to the folder that Chrome profiles are saved in, and see what it can recover. Beyond that, there is little that can be done.

The folder for the profile will not be deleted. You can find it in the folder where all Chrome profiles are saved to but there will of course be some files that are missing i.e., files that save your bookmarks and browsing history, etc. 

Conclusion

If you think you’ll want to recover a Chrome profile that hasn’t been synced via Chrome sync, it’s a good idea to back up the profile folder first. If you’re not sure where the profile folder for a profile is, you can check the Chrome://version page to find it. The profile folder is saved with a number and not the name that is set for it in Chrome so it will be hard to identify once the profile itself has been deleted. You will have to be proactive about recovering a deleted profile if you don’t use sync for it.

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How to collapse/expand tab groups in Chrome

Tabbed browsing changed the way users browse the internet. With tabs, users are able to switch between different pages they have open without having to switch between windows.

Tabbed browsing has been great but lots of users open one too many tabs, and often they’re opened across multiple windows. Tab management in modern browsers is often a challenge not just in terms of keeping things organized but also when it comes to managing system resources.

Collapse/expand tab groups in Chrome

Chrome introduced Tab groups a while back. At the time, this feature was simply a visual method for grouping tabs. Tabs within a group were bundled together via a color-coded border. 

Tab groups are still an experimental feature and the visual is nice for keeping track of related tabs but if you want to be able to manage tab groups, you should enable the collapsing and expanding tab groups.

Enable collapse/expand tab groups

In order to collapse/expand tab groups, you must have tab groups enabled. These steps cover both enabling tab groups and enabling the collapse feature for them.

  1. Open Chrome.
  2. Enter the following in the URL bar and tap Enter.
chrome://flags
  1. Look for the following two flags using the search bar.
Tab groups
Tab groups collapse
  1. Open the dropdown next to each flag, and select Enabled.
  2. Relaunch Chrome.

  1. Once Chrome relaunches, open a few tabs.
  2. Right-click a tab and select Add tab to group.
  3. Give the group a name.
  4. Add at least two tabs to a group.
  5. Click the tab group name to collapse the tabs in it.
  6. Click the tab group name again to expand the tabs.

Offload collapsed tabs in Chrome

Collapsed tabs are easy to expand and, depending on how you browse and work, you may need the tabs to be readily available at all times. However, if you’re okay with the tabs in a group reloading when the group is expanded, you should enable tab freezing.

  1. Open Chrome.
  2. Enter the following in the URL bar and tap Enter.
chrome://flags
  1. Look for a flag called Tab Groups Collapse Freezing.
  2. Open the dropdown next to it and select Enabled.
  3. Relaunch Chrome.
  4. When you collapse a tab group, the tabs will be offloaded.

Why offload tabs?

If you’re wondering why tabs need to be offloaded, it has to do with freeing up system resources. Chrome takes a massive toll on the system resources and reducing the number of open tabs is the only way to keep Chrome under control. It will allow the browser itself to run more smoothly. Be warned that you may lose unsubmitted form data this way.

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How to open multiple Chrome windows on iPad

The iPad, ever since it transitioned away from iOS and began running iPadOS has moved towards supporting better multitasking on the device. If you look at how the device behaved in its early years and compare it to its present features, it’s obvious that the device’s features have been built around how users use it.

Among the many multitasking features that were added in iPadOS, there is a feature to pin two apps side-by-side. A third app can be used via Slide Over. iPadOS has removed many restrictions that apps were subject to in older versions of iOS.

Multiple Chrome windows on iPad

Chrome has only recently added multiple-window support for its iPad version. That means, in order to open multiple Chrome windows on the iPad, you must update the app to version 87.

Once you’ve updated Chrome, follow the steps below to open multiple Chrome windows.

  1. Open Chrome on your iPad.
  2. Tap the more options button at the top right.
  3. Tap New Window.
  4. The new window will open and it will be pinned next to the current one.
  5. Repeat for as many windows as you’d like to open.

Open links in new a new window

If you’re using Chrome and want to open a link in a new window, you can do so without going through the Chrome menu.

  1. Navigate to a webpage with a link.
  2. Press and hold on the link.
  3. From the menu, select Open in New Window.
  4. If you do not have another window, the link will open in a new window that will be pinned next to the current one.
  5. If you already have two Chrome windows open, the newly created window will open separately.

Close a Chrome window

Chrome windows don’t have a close button and unlike the desktop version of the app, closing all tabs in a Chrome window will not close the window itself.

To close a Chrome window, follow these steps.

  1. On your iPad, swipe up from the bottom edge of the screen and stop at the center.
  2. You will see the app switcher.
  3. The app switcher will show each Chrome window that is open.
  4. Flick away the window you want to close.

Note: if you have two Chrome windows pinned side by side, remove one window and then close it from the app switcher.

If your iPad model is one that has a home button, you can double-press it to view the app switcher. 

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How to change Chrome profile name

Chrome has support for multiple profiles. What differentiates one profile from the other is the Google account that is (or isn’t) connected to a profile. 

Users can create a new Chrome profile and sync it with their Google account, or they can skip adding an account and keep everything local. What a user cannot do is create a profile that has no name.

Change Chrome profile name

The Chrome profile name is set when it’s created and users can’t proceed without it. The data for each profile is kept separate so it stands to reason that the name is incredibly important.

While a profile name is important, it isn’t set in stone. A profile name is a user-friendly way for users to identify their profiles when they switch between them. Chrome allocates numbers e.g. Profile1, Profile2, Profile3 etc to identify a profile and its folder. 

What all this means is, you can change the Chrome profile name.

  1. Open Chrome.
  2. Click the profile icon at the top right.
  3. From the list of profiles, select the profile you want to rename. If it’s the current profile, you can skip steps 2 and 3.
  4. On the Chrome window of the profile, click the more options button at the top right.
  5. Select Settings.
  6. On the You and Google section at the top, click Chrome Name and Picture.

  1. Click inside the name field.
  2. Change/edit the name.
  3. Go back or close the browser window.
  4. Restart Chrome.
  5. The profile name will be updated.

Change Chrome profile picture

While the above option claims to let you change the Chrome profile picture, it does so in a limited way. You can select a picture from presets but you cannot select a picture from your desktop.

To set a custom profile picture in Chrome;

  1. Sign in to your Gmail account.
  2. Change the Gmail account profile picture to the one you want to use in Chrome.
  3. Open Chrome.
  4. Go to Chrome’s settings. 
  5. If sync is On, turn it Off.
  6. Once the sync has been turned off, turn it on again.
  7. The profile picture will be updated immediately. 

Note: unless you enable Chrome sync on Chrome, you cannot set a custom profile picture. The new profile picture can sometimes take a little time to sync to Chrome.

Conclusion

Chrome, for some odd reason, doesn’t offer much in terms of profile customization. It’s a browser so there isn’t much of a profile a user will want to maintain but it is still very restrictive. 

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