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10 frustrating Google Chrome irritations and how to fix them

Brad Chacos | Jan. 27, 2017
Stop accidental tab closures, update extensions, enable guest browsing, and more.

Chrome may be the most-used browser in the world, but that doesn’t mean it’s perfect. Far from it. Despite receiving over 50 updates over the years, Google’s browser still harbors several rough edges and idiosyncrasies that can make for a less than optimal online experience.

A lot of articles show you how to fiddle with the browser in exotic ways. Not this one. Here, we’ll show you how to make Chrome less annoying—and that sweet, serene sanity is worth more than a thousand experimental features.

Stop accidental closures

Let’s start with something easy. It’s 2017 and Chrome still has no baked-in protection against closing all of your tabs without warning if you accidentally exit the browser.

Chrome should offer a native prompt whenever you’re about to close multiple tabs simultaneously, at least as an advanced option—a feature competing browsers provide. But in the meantime, just pin this website by opening it, then right-clicking on the tab and selecting Pin tab. It’ll shrink and take up an unobtrusive amount of space to the far left of your tabs, but more importantly, any time you try to close Chrome a prompt will appear and ask if you really want to leave the site—protecting your precious tabs from the void. Simply select Leave to close Chrome or Stay to keep everything open. Hallelujah.

Block annoying data requests

Chrome asks permission before it allows websites to access your location or push you notifications. That’s a good thing! But it gets awfully annoying, awfully fast as you wander across the vast expanse of the web, especially if your answer is a uniform “lolnope.” Fortunately you can tell Chrome to quit bugging you with these prompts by automatically declining the requests.

chrome notifications and location IDG

The Content Settings you’re looking for.

Click the three vertical dots in Chrome’s upper right-hand corner to open the browser’s options, then select Settings. Click Show advanced settings at the bottom, then the Content settings button in the Privacy section. You’re looking for the Location and Notifications options in the menu that appears. Simply select the Do not allow any site to show notifications option to ban those pesky prompts.

The Do not allow any site to track your physical location option does the same for location prompts, but be warned that some websites may not behave as intended if you don’t share your whereabouts. If you want to blacklist the prompts but allow specific sites access, both the Location and Notification sections feature a Manage Exceptions button that allow you to whitelist handpicked pages.

 

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