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Google Chrome: How to get more out of the popular browser

For many users, Google Chrome is the gateway to the Internet. The browser offers many functions and customization options. We explain which settings are really important.

The browser is the gateway to the Internet, whether mobile or on the computer. On offer are Firefox, Chrome, Opera, MicrosoftEdge and others. also has its own browser version.

Most people get online with Google's Chrome browser. The installation is done quickly. But many users are overwhelmed with the subtleties of the software. Which settings should one pay attention to? How can you increase your privacy? We'll give you some guidance on Chrome's menu.

Block unwanted processes

Browsers can sometimes also be misused to spy on the user, execute unwanted scripts on the computer or even smuggle malware onto the computer. However, the risks can be minimized by stopping unwanted processes such as cookies, JavaScript, Flash, pop-ups or location tracking in the browser settings.

The case of the Windows malware "Nodersok" shows how JavaScript can be misused to spread malware. More about it here.

To do this, go to "Data protection and security" in the settings. Scroll down until you see "Website Settings". There you will find the individual processes and their status. Some of them are automatically blocked by the browser. Others have to ask the user for permission before they can run. Others are allowed by default.

You should take a closer look at the following processes as they are considered potentially dangerous:

  • Cookies: Small files record usage data about you.
  • place: The website wants to know your location.
  • JavaScript: The programming language is required by various Internet applications, but can be given extensive access rights to the operating system.
  • Flash: Used to play videos, but is considered a gateway for viruses or Trojans.
  • Pop-ups and redirects: Sometimes small windows unintentionally pop up on dubious pages, which you can block here.
  • advertising: Here you can block intrusive or misleading advertisements.

You can block these processes, but you have to be prepared for the fact that some pages no longer work as intended. Even benign sites open pop-ups or require JavaScript.

The rule of thumb here is: If you want to be on the safe side, you should first turn off all potentially dangerous processes. If that leads to restrictions, you can set them to "Ask before access", then you have control over them.

Change search engine

Google likes to use the Chrome browser to promote its own services and collect data. So when you enter search keywords in the address list, the Google automatism reports immediately. The first consideration should therefore be: do you leave it at the default setting with Google as the default search engine or do you prefer a competitor?

Hiring a different search engine is easy:

First go to the Chrome settings by clicking on the three dots in the top right corner and then on "Settings". Alternatively, you can also use the address bar chrome: // settings enter.

Then click on "Search engine" in the navigation menu on the left. At the top there is usually Google as "Search engine used in the address bar".

Go to "Manage Search Engines". There you will find a few of the most popular search engines listed. To set one of them as the new standard, click on the three dots to the right of the link.

You have the choice between DuckDuckGo, Bing, Yahoo or Ecosia, among others. This article gives an overview of alternative search engines.

You can even make the search on your new standard. The next time you search in Chrome, matching articles will be displayed on our site.

Set homepage

Directly under the menu item "Search engine" you will find the item "At the start". There you can choose between three options: An empty tab is opened, the pages you opened last are restored, or you can select a page that should open every time the browser is started.

For example, to make your homepage, click on the point next to "Open certain page or pages". Then you can go to the option "Add new page", where you only have to enter the URL of the website. Alternatively, you can also open several pages or use your currently open page as the start page. Pages can also be removed from the list by clicking on the three dots and then on "Remove".

Create and manage bookmarks

If you find an interesting page and want to visit it again later, you can set a bookmark. This is particularly easy with Chrome: One click on the star on the right in the address bar and it's done.

All your bookmarks can then be found in the bookmark manager. There you can also sort your bookmarks into folders. You can find the manager by clicking on the three items in the menu at the top right. In it, point to Bookmarks, then click Bookmark Manager.

Here you will find two main folders: "Bookmarks Bar" and "Other Bookmarks". In the bookmarks bar you put all bookmarks that you want to be displayed right below the address bar. You can save pages that you call up less frequently under "Other bookmarks". These are displayed as a drop-down menu on the right-hand side of the bookmarks bar.

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