Google Chrome: the Power User Options

Contributing Editor

Here’s a quick tip for web developers and power users running Google Chrome. Enter the following URL in your address bar:

chrome://about

The resulting page lists several powerful information and debugging facilities which aren’t normally available from the interface. Some are extremely geeky and will only be of interest to Chrome developers but there are a few options for the rest of us…

Google Chrome Power Optionschrome://flags

You may know about this page already. It allows you to enable and disable experimental and power functions such as Native Client (NaCl), side tabs, a frame rate counter, GPU Accelerated Canvas, third-party cookies, HTML5 form validation, and pre-loading.

Of particular interest to web developers is “User-specified DNS server address”. This will eventually allow you to override the IP address for a specific domain, e.g. http://mydomain.com/ will point to 127.0.0.1. It’s not fully implemented yet but, once it’s there, it’ll reduce the need to edit your hosts file.

Google Chrome Power Optionschrome://cache

A list of all the files in Chrome’s cache. You can click any file, although its of limited use since the content is shown in hexadecimal.

chrome://appcache-internals

The files stored by the offline application cache. The panel permits you to clear existing data.

chrome://quota-internals

Information about disk usage and quota management.

chrome://net-internals

If you need to know what’s being download when, from where and what by, this is the panel to view. There are plenty of options for the most demanding developer!

chrome://dns

This panel displays the hostnames where DNS records are pre-fetched when Chrome starts.

Google Chrome Power Optionschrome://memory

If Chrome is not running as well as you’d expect, this panel will help you find that rogue extension or plugin.

chrome://sessions

Information about current sessions and magic lists (whatever they are?) I’m not convinced this panel is fully operational — or perhaps Chrome doesn’t report Google-owned domains?

chrome://workers

This panel shows information about HTML5 shared web workers.

Google Chrome Power Optionschrome://gpu-internals

If you’re building high-action HTML5 games, this panel shows information about hardware acceleration and provides a useful profiling application.

chrome://plugins

This is the place to go if you’re fed up with Flash, Quicktime, Java, Silverlight, Google Talk or Chrome’s update system.

chrome://crashes

If crash reporting is enabled, this page will list the most recent crash reports.

chrome://version

Finally, this page displays a range of useful information such as your user agent string, the executable path, your profile path and the Chrome, webkit and Flash version numbers.

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  • kaf

    Very cool.

  • Ganesh

    Is it possible to search local files from Chrome addressbar?

  • Rico

    None of these work on the Google Chrome I’m running.

    6.0.472.63 (59945) Built on Debian 6.0.

    • http://www.optimalworks.net/ Craig Buckler

      I think that’s a little out of date. Chrome 15 is out!