How to change the language in Chrome

Browsers, much like operating systems on desktops and mobiles, support multiple languages. Some browsers may only support a handful of common languages while others may support more. Chrome is unique in that it’s a Google product and Google also owns Android which is a mobile operating system available in lots of different languages. In fact, language support on Android is much better than it is on iOS and Google can leverage it for its desktop browser. Here’s how you can change the language in Chrome on your desktop.

Change the language in Chrome

Open Chrome and click the more options button at the top right. It’s the one that has three dots. From the menu that opens, select Settings.

On the Settings page, scroll to the very end and click ‘Advanced’ to reveal the advanced settings. Once the advanced settings have been revealed, scroll down to the languages section. Here, you will see the language that’s currently in use. Click the arrow next to it. The option will expand and reveal an ‘Add language’ button. Click it.

Use the search bar to look for the language that you want to add.

Chrome can support multiple languages so you’re free to add as many as you like however, the browser doesn’t offer full support for all languages. To prioritize one language over the other, click the more options next to a language and select the Move up option.

For some languages, though admittedly not all of them, you will also see an option ‘Display Google Chrome in this language’. When you select this option, the UI of the browser will change so that it is displayed in this language. For languages that the option is greyed out for, it means that Chrome doesn’t support the UI in that language. There isn’t anything you can do about this. Google will have to add support for this language. The GUI language is basically which language the various buttons and labels appear in, in the browser.

It is odd that Chrome on the desktop does not have as vast language support as Android does. Android’s entire interface can switch over to some of the languages we tested this out with but Chrome does not have that same level of support.

Languages are respected by various websites that you visit e.g., if you select a language and a certain website supports it, you will be able to see the website in that language.

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How to force a dark mode for websites in Chrome

Dark mode has become necessary considering how much time we spend in front of a screen. We have blue light filters but they’re not the same as a dark mode. System wide dark modes are now a feature on macOS, Windows 10, iOS 13, and Android 10, and quite a few apps now support it as well. The only place where it’s still missing is the internet. Websites still do not have a dark mode. You can force a dark mode for websites in Chrome with the latest update of the browser. Here’s how.

Force dark mode for websites

Chrome 78 was released a few days ago and it’s brought a few new end-user oriented features with it. There’s the new Colors and theme customization option for theming Chrome, and there’s the new dark mode for websites. It has to be enabled though.

Open a new tab in Chrome and enter the following. Tap Enter.

Chrome://flags

This will take you to the Chrome flags page. Use the search bar to look for a flag called Force Dark Mode for Web Contents. Open the dropdown next to it, and select the Enabled option from the menu. Relaunch Chrome.

When you visit a website, regardless of which one it is, a dark mode will be applied and it’s not bad at all. White backgrounds, which you will find plenty online, are changed to a dark grey. The text on the dark grey background is white but not a sharp one. For buttons and links, the results are a bit mixed. Links that normally appear blue are tinted orange but buttons aren’t as easy to re-color. Some links might not change color as well. Images that are white though aren’t going to be changed since that’s just not possible.

The feature works really well but since it’s in its early stages, it’s basic. This means it’s missing an option to toggle the dark mode On/Off. The dark mode, as good as it is, isn’t useful all the time. During the day, you might want to view websites in their regular themes. There is also no whitelisting or blacklisting option for websites.

Chrome extensions that add a dark mode to websites have existed for a long time. The idea isn’t new or novel, and in terms of features, many extensions have more than what Chrome has to offer. The difference is that they rarely worked better than Chrome’s forced dark mode for websites. It’s really very good and you need to give it a try. It even works for media players. Check it out on YouTube.

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How to customize ‘Colors and themes’ on the New Tab Page in Chrome

Chrome 78 has been released. It has a few new features that end users will likely be interested in. One of the new features is the option to change the color and theme of Chrome. This is a stock feature but it isn’t enabled for all users. Here’s how you can enable and customize ‘Colors and themes’ on the New Tab Page in Chrome.

Enable Colors and Themes customization

Make sure you’ve updated to Chrome 78. It is the latest version of the browser at the time of writing. Open a new tab and in the URL bar, enter the following. Tap Enter.

chrome://flags

You will land on the Chrome Flags page. Look for the following flags and enable them all from the dropdown next to each one. Once you’ve enabled the flags, relaunch Chrome.

  1. NTP customization menu version 2
  2. Chrome Colors menu
  3. Custom color picker for Chrome Colors menu

Customize ‘Colors and themes’

After you relaunch Chrome, Open a new tab, and click the Customize button at the bottom right. A small window will open in Chrome. This is the new customization menu which has the Colors and themes options. Go to this tab and you will see twenty-three preset color themes that you can apply to Chrome. Pick the one you like and it will be applied.

You can also create a custom theme. Click the very first color theme icon on the tab and a color picker will open. Select any color of your choice and the theme will be applied.

Chrome themes look pretty good, regardless of which color you pick. The browser doesn’t paint the entire window with just one uniform color. It adds a lighter color around the URL bar, and inside, the bar stays an easy to read dark grey with grey text. The color of the URL bar will change based on the color theme you’ve set on your desktop. Both macOS and Windows 10 have a dark and a light mode.

The one major advantage of this new feature is that the new tab page can be a different color, one that doesn’t blind you. If you like to use the light theme in Chrome, you’re stuck with a white new tab page. There are ways to get rid of it but they don’t work as well as this native option will.

You can change the look of Chrome so that it compliments your desktop background and the accent color on your OS.

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How to get download complete notifications in Chrome

When you’re downloading a file in Chrome, the Chrome icon in the taskbar, or Dock if you’re on macOS, will indicate download progress. This indicator is silent for the most part; it doesn’t do anything once the download is complete. If you’d like more obvious, hard to ignore, download complete notifications in Chrome, you can try one of two things.

Chrome native notifications flag

This is an old method and by old, we mean it worked one year ago. You should give it a try first since it’s a native option. Open Chrome and in the URL bar, enter the following, and tap the Enter key.

chrome://flags

On the Chrome Flags page, look for the Enable native notifications flag, and enable it from the dropdown. Relaunch Chrome, and check if you get a desktop notification when a download completes. Make sure that you’ve allowed Chrome to show notifications on your desktop. This is a setting that you will have to check from your OS’ own notification settings.

Download Notifier

In case the above method doesn’t work, you’re going to have to use an extension to get download complete notifications in Chrome. Install Download Notifier from the Chrome Web Store. When you install the extension, it takes you to its options page where you can enable audio alerts for a completed download, and also disable the downloads bar in Chrome, if you want.

You can leave both these options unchecked. The extension will work just fine without them enabled. Whenever a download completes in Chrome, you will see a desktop notification telling you the download is complete. This notification is going to be interactive. It will have two buttons; one for opening the file that was just downloaded, and one for opening the folder that it was downloaded to.

You can dismiss the notification, or it will go away on its own after a while. When you do not interact with the notification, it goes to the Action Center (on Windows 10) or the Notification Center (on macOS). From there, you can interact with the notification if you want to i.e., you can open the downloaded file, or you can open the folder it was downloaded to.

Again, Chrome will need permission to show you desktop notifications and these permissions must be granted through your operating system’s notification settings. If after enabling Chrome notifications for the desktop, you also start getting notifications from various websites e.g., Facebook, or Twitter, you will have to disable notifications for them from their respective site settings. You can go to these settings by visiting the website and clicking the padlock icon in the URL bar.

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How to get Edge Tab Set Aside in Chrome

Microsoft is in the process of rebuilding Edge. It’s now entirely based on Chromium which means it has the same features that Chrome does. You can install Chrome extensions to it, as well as Chrome themes. The original Edge had some useful features one of which was to set tabs aside. Unfortunately, the Chromium based Edge won’t have it since Chrome doesn’t have it out of the box. You can get the Edge Tabs Set Aside feature in Chrome with an extension called Tabs Aside.

Tabs Set Aside in Chrome

Install Tabs Aside from the Chrome Web Store. The extension will add an icon next to the URL bar. Click it, and you’ll see a plus button at the bottom right. Click it and give your saved tabs i.e., session a name. When you click the plus button, the extension will also show you a list of all tabs that are open across different Chrome windows.

After you give the session a name, select the tabs that you want to set aside, and click the Done button.

To recall the tabs you’ve set aside, click the extension’s icon again. The popup will list all the sessions that you’ve saved to it and next to the session name is an ‘Open All’ option. If you click the session name, it will expand to show you the tabs saved to it. You can selectively open these tabs. If you want to open them all, there’s a button to do just that.

To remove a session, click the close button next to it.

Tabs Aside doesn’t have much by way of settings yet. This is a fairly new extension and it’s under active development. That said, you can enable animations for it if you want. They’re disabled by default because they will require more system resources. Chrome already tends to use quite a bit of RAM and adding extensions increases the strain on system resources which is why animations are disabled to reduce any unnecessary burden they might add. If you have system resources to spare, go ahead and enable animations.

Since this is a Chrome extension, you can use it in the new Chromium Edge as well to get the Tabs Set Aside feature that Edge originally had.

The extension does improve on the original Edge feature. It allows users to select which tabs are set aside, and it doesn’t automatically remove a saved session when a user opens it.

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