How to enable Windows spell checker in Chrome

Spell check as a feature is available on most desktop and mobile platforms. In some cases, apps that are multi-purpose and exceptionally popular will add their own spell checker. Chrome has one and it’s pretty good considering it uses the same AI that is used on Android.

Chrome runs on all three major desktop operating systems; Windows, macOS, and Linux and its spell checker works just as well across all three. That said, if you’re not satisfied with Chrome’s built-in spell checker, you can use the Windows spell checker in Chrome instead. You can also use both the Windows spell checker and Chrome’s own spell checker.

Windows spell checker in Chrome

Make sure you’re running Chrome 77 or later.

  1. Open Chrome and enter the following in the URL bar. Tap Enter.
  1. On the Chrome flags page, enter ‘Use the Windows OS spell checker’ in the search bar, and tap Enter.
  2. Open the dropdown next to the flag, and select Enabled.
  3. Relaunch Chrome.
  4. Chrome will now use the Windows spell checker.
  5. Open the Settings app.
  6. Go to Devices>Typing.
  7. Turn on ‘Autocorrect misspelled words as I type’, and turn on ‘Highlight misspelled words’.

Hybrid spell checker in Chrome

The Windows spell checker may not always be the best. In some cases, it may work well for some languages but as well for others. In that case, you can have Chrome use the Windows spell checker when it can but revert to the Chrome spell checer tool if the Windows tool isn’t available for a language.

  1. Make sure you’ve already enabled the Windows spell checker in Chrome by following the steps in the previous section.
  2. Open Chrome and in the URL bar, enter the following and tap Enter.
  1. Look for a flag called Use hybrid spell checking on Windows. Open the dropdown next to it, and select Enabled.
  2. Relaunch Chrome.
  3. The hybrid spell checker is now enabled in Chrome.

How hybrid spell check works

Hybrid spell check will not let you jump between the Windows spell checker and the Hunspell engine that Chrome uses. The Chrome engine will only kick in if you’re using a language that the Windows spell checker tool doesn’t support. You cannot switch spell checking tools on the fly but enabling or disabling the Windows spell checker is easy.


The Chrome spell check tool isn’t bad but if you write a lot of documents on your desktop and the Windows spell checker tool comes in handy, then it already knows quite a bit about your typing habits. Enabling it in Chrome can give you a better experience simply because it knows you better.

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How to view the Chrome cache on Windows 10

Chrome used to have two dedicated URLs that you could visit from inside Chrome to view its cache. Those two URLs have been removed leaving users with no easy way to view the Chrome cache. The URLs were removed due to a bug and they don’t seem likely to make a comeback. If you want to view the Chrome cache in a simple format, you will need a third-party app called ChromeCacheView.

Chrome cache on Windows 10

Download and run ChromeCacheView. Before you can use it though, you need to know where your Chrome profile folder is. You have to select the Cache folder inside the profile folder in order to view the cache. The cache is, of course, kept separate for each profile.

Find Chrome profile folder

Open Chrome in the profile that you want to view the cache for. In the URL bar, enter the following.


Look for the ‘Profile path’ field and copy the path to your clipboard.

View Chrome cache

Run ChromeCacheView. Go to File>Select cache folder.

In the window that opens, enter the path that you copied. The path that the app detects automatically doesn’t always work, and neither does clicking the ‘Chrome Cache Folder’ button.

After you select the cache folder, you can add filters to the items that will be shown from the cache. For example, you can limit it to show files from the last 10 or 20 days. Likewise, you can limit the files that are shown to a certain size, or to a certain date and time. Click OK, and the files will be loaded.

Open Chrome cache files

Chrome cache files can all be accessed from File Explorer and as such, you can open them like any other file provided you have the right app to view them. The ChromeCacheView tool makes it easier to find and open them.

To open a file, right-click it in the app and select the ‘Open Selected Cache File’ option from the context menu.

If the file is a type that you haven’t set a default app for, you will see the Windows 10 app picker menu that allows you to select a recommended app or pick one installed on your system.

The key to accessing the Chrome cache is knowing where the cache folder is. ChromeCacheView allows you to filter the files so that it is easier for you to find one e.g., a file cached from a particular website or a file cached on a particular date.

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How to highlight the active tab in Chrome

Chrome lets you customize the color of its UI. You can do so freely and it’s a quick way to create a Chrome theme. The customization tool in Chrome allows you to pick one color, and then shades of it are used for the tabs’ bar. It looks good aesthetically but often the active tab is hard to distinguish from the ones in the background tab.

If you’re not particularly attached to a theme, and just want to highlight the active tab in Chrome so that it is much easier to identify, you should use the Black & White theme.

Highlight active tab

The Black & White theme is a Chrome theme (i.e. Google theme) and it is, for the most part, a dark theme featuring black on the tabs’ bar and on the new tab page. For the active tab, it features a nice white color which is easy to distinguish from the black of the background tabs.

Install the Black & White theme from the Chrome Web store. It will modify the look of the browser as soon as it is installed.

This is just one of many themes that you can install to highlight the active tab in Chrome. You can go through the other themes available in the Chrome Web store, some of which are high contrast themes and created for this very purpose.

If the themes that are available don’t do the job, or you’re still attached to the particular color your current theme uses, you can always create your own theme. We mentioned earlier that they are fairly easy to create.

You can create a theme that uses the same color as your current one but have it use either a darker or lighter color for the active tab. The theme won’t install the same way as a theme from the Chrome Web store but it will work the same way.

Changing themes is fairly easy in Chrome but you can only have one theme installed at a time which means if you like to have different themes for morning and evening, you’re going to have to install and uninstall them every day. Keep this in mind when you’re making the theme so that it isn’t too bright to use at night. One trick you can use is, instead of highlighting a tab with a different color, you can highlight the color that the title of the tab is displayed in. The color can be set so that it contrasts against the color of the tab.

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How to dismiss promo messages on the Chrome New Tab Page

The New Tab page is a page that we all access often, regardless of which browser we use. For the most part, the new tab page of browsers is somewhat similar; the page gives you access to frequently visited websites, and some give you the news. Since so many people visit this page, it seems to be a good place to serve messages or ads.

Chrome shows promotional ads or messages on the new tab page when it has a new Google doodle. Normally, the message is related to the doodle but Chrome has been showing messages for tools that might be helpful during the COVID-19 lockdown. The problem with these messages is that they cannot be dismissed. Here’s how you can dismiss them.

Dismiss Chrome New Tab page messages

Open Chrome and in the URL bar, enter the following.


Tap enter and you’ll be taken to the Chrome flags page. In the search bar on this page, enter ‘promo’ and you will see a flag called “Dismiss promos on the New Tab Page”. Open the dropdown next to it and select ‘Enabled’ from the options. Click the Relaunch button at the bottom to relaunch Chrome.

Once Chrome has been relaunched, open a new tab and look for the promotional message on it. The message is still going to be there but now it will have a close button. Click it and the message will be gone.

The flag that you’ve just enabled will not stop the messages from appearing however, once you dismiss a message, it won’t appear again. You may get a new message if Google pushes one to Chrome and that too will have to be dismissed.

We’ve tried this with the messages that have been appearing on the new tab page lately and it works. It is possible that it will also work when Chrome is showing you the day’s Google Doodle. In fact, if you find the Google Doodle distracting, you can block it entirely.

Once a promotional message has been dismissed, it is unlikely that you will see it again unless Google pushes it to all users. Keep that in mind before you dismiss a message. If you think you might need to access the link again, bookmark it before you dismiss it.

The promotional messages at this time are for services that can be useful if you have to work remotely or you need to collaborate with people so it’s not that Chrome is spamming you.

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How to fix ‘this file is not commonly downloaded and may be dangerous’ error in Chrome

Chrome has a built-in anti-virus that scans files that you download. Sometimes, when you’re downloading a seemingly harmless file, Chrome will block it saying the file is not commonly downloaded and may be dangerous. This mostly happens with scripts, executables, and zipped files. Here’s how you can fix it.

When you choose to ignore Chrome’s warning,  you run the risk of downloading a malicious file. The file won’t run automatically once it is downloaded but remember that it could be malicious.

Fix ‘file is not commonly downloaded and may be dangerous’

The file is blocked once it’s downloaded and you see a ‘Discard’ button next to it on the Downloads bar. Click the dropdown arrow next to it and select the ‘Keep’ option. This will save the file to your local disk.

The next thing to do is to scan it. Chrome often reports false-positives so you can either use a desktop anti-virus or you can scan the app with VirusTotal.

If VirusTotal or your desktop anti-virus also flags the file as dangerous, it is a very bad idea to still run it. If you used VirusTotal, you will have to manually delete the file yourself. If you scanned it with a desktop antivirus app, it likely deleted it for you or quarantined it. If the file has been quarantined, you should remove it from your system.


If you still suspect the file is getting a false positive i.e., it is being flagged as malicious when it shouldn’t be, you can do one of two things. First, check that you’re downloading the app from the right place. For example, if you’re trying to download VLC player and it gets flagged, make sure you are getting it from the official  VLC player website and not from an online repository.

The second thing you can do is you can get in touch with the developer and let them know their app is being flagged. This of course won’t do much immediately. You will have to wait for the developer to respond and it is possible they choose not to do anything about it. In that case, you will need to find a different app that does the same job. It’s not easy but it is better than infecting your system.

If you’re thinking of risking the file even though Chrome, VirusTotal, and a desktop anti-virus app have all flagged it, try to run it in a sandbox to minimize the damage it will do.

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