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8 great productivity tips for Chrome

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In your workday, you probably spend more time using your browser than any other application. And you probably waste more time using your browser than you do any other application as well. Inefficient web browsing is one of the biggest productivity-sappers there is.

If you’re a Google Chrome user, help is on the way. We’ve got tips that will help you make your time browsing the web far more productive — everything from opening your most important sites automatically every time you start Chrome, to organizing important sites into tab groups so you can get back to them more easily, to tapping into Chrome’s many hidden powers.

These tips were written for Chrome in Windows, but most work in macOS, Linux, and, naturally, Chrome OS as well. Some also work in the Chrome mobile apps.

So fire up Chrome and let’s begin.

1. Organize your browsing with tab groups

If, like plenty of people, you keep multiple tabs open in Chrome as you’re browsing the web and doing research, you know how hard it is to find the tab with the exact information you want. Chrome has an answer for that: tab groups help you keep everything organized so you can get to the site you want with only a few clicks. The feature lets you group web sites into different categories — for example, one about a product launch and another for economic research. Rather than seeing dozens or more open tabs, you only see your groups. You can then open a group and see the site you want right away. It’s a little bit like Microsoft Edge’s Collections feature.

To use it, right-click a tab for a website you want to put into a group. Select Add tab to new group, then type in a name for the group and choose a color. Create as many groups as you want in this way.

To put a tab into an existing group, right-click the tab, select Add tab to group, and select the group to which you want to add the tab. To remove a tab from a group, right-click it and select Remove from group.

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Adding a tab to a Chrome tab group. (Click image to enlarge it.)

To collapse all the tabs in a group, click the group name. To display them again, click the group name again. To ungroup all the tabs in a group, right-click it and select Ungroup. And to delete the group entirely and close the tabs in it, right-click the group and select Close group.

If you’re a big emoji fan, you can use emojis in any group name. When creating a new group, right-click in the text box that lets you name it and select Emoji, then pick the emoji you want to use. (You can combine text and emoji in a group name.) You can also add an emoji after you’ve already created the group by right-clicking in the text box and selecting Emoji.

2. Send a link to highlighted text on a web page

If you find yourself wanting to share text from a web page with others, you’ll appreciate this tip: It lets you quickly send a link to someone that sends them straight to the text you want them to read, provided they use Chrome as well.

To do it, highlight the text you want to share, then right-click it and select Copy link to highlight. That creates the link and puts it into your clipboard. Copy the link from your clipboard and send it to someone. When they click on it, they’ll be sent to the section of the web page with the text you want to share — and the text will be highlighted in yellow.

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Here’s how to share text from a web page with someone else. (Click image to enlarge it.)

3. Sync Chrome across devices

If you use Chrome on multiple devices, here’s one of the easiest and most useful ways to boost your productivity: turn on sync. Without sync turned on, Chrome on each device is an island unto itself. Your bookmarks, history, passwords, credit card information, extensions, settings, and more remain separate on each device. You’ll have to spend a substantial amount of time creating all that duplicate information among them all — and then keeping them all updated.

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