There’s something to be said about just using a browser and using a browser proficiently. Google Chrome on Windows and Mac doesn’t keep that too far out of reach with its plethora of different keyboard shortcuts you can learn. Here are the basics.

What are keyboard shortcuts in Google Chrome?

Just about every single application on your desktop or laptop has keyboard shortcuts; it’s one of the main forms of navigation that has stuck around since the earlier days of personal computers. In essence, a keyboard shortcut allows you to press a combination of keys in order to perform an action. For instance, you’re likely familiar with Ctrl + s or Cmd + s to save something you’re working on.

Now, something that’s interesting about web browsers – especially Chrome – is that depending on what site you’re visiting, basic shortcuts like the one listed above won’t work in the way you might think.

In web browsers, websites are allowed to define their own keyboard shortcuts. This means that hitting Ctrl + S on one website is different from hitting it on another, and neither usually affects Google Chrome on Windows or Mac. For example, if you were to hit Ctrl + s in Google Docs, your page would be manually saved. However, on a photo editing website, you might find that hitting Ctrl + s would open File Explorer or Finder for you to save your work. Because of this, Chrome has a special subset of keyboard shortcuts.

Basic Google Chrome keyboard shortcuts on Windows and Mac

While there are a lot of shortcuts available for Google Chrome, you won’t need to know every single one of them. There are basic shortcuts that help you navigate your way around the browser or access certain features and won’t implode your brain every time you try to remember them.

Navigation

One of the main things you might want to learn shortcuts for is navigating around Google Chrome. These shortcuts are generally pretty easy to remember and don’t often include more than a couple of keys.

Purpose Windows Mac
Open a new window Ctrl + n Cmd + n
Open a new incognito window Ctrl + Shift + n Cmd + Shift + n
Open a new tab Ctrl + t Cmd + t
Open your homepage Alt + Home N/A
Close the current tab Ctrl + w Cmd + w
Close the current window Alt + Shift + w Cmd + Shift + w
Quit Chrome Alt + f then x Cmd + q

Chrome features

Google Chrome feature shortcuts on Mac and Windows are pretty useful, especially if you have a lot of downloads or generally look back at your history to revisit sites.

Purpose Windows Mac
Open the Chrome menu Alt + f N/A
Toggle the Bookmarks bar Ctrl + Shift + b Cmd + Shift + b
Open Bookmarks manager Ctrl + Shift + o Cmd + Option + b
Open History Ctrl + h Cmd + y
Open Downloads Ctrl + j Cmd + Shift + j
Chrome Task Manager Shift + Esc N/A
Open the Find bar to search the page Ctrl + f or F3 Cmd + f
Clear Browsing Data Ctrl + Shift + Delete Cmd + Shift + Delete
Log in as a different user Crl + Shift + i Cmd + Shift + m

Webpage and Address Bar shortcuts

This last table combines a couple of different categories and pick out the best ones you can learn how to use immediately. Address Bar shortcuts are any shortcuts you use to define something in the bar at the top of the page; some of these shortcuts allow you to do immediate Google searches.

Webpage shortcuts let you complete actions using the webpage. For instance, you can set a Bookmark using shortcuts and even refresh the page right from your keyboard. Here are Address Bar and Webpage shortcuts for Google Chrome on Windows and Mac:

Purpose WIndows Mac
Add “www.” and “.com” to a site name Type site name + Ctrl + Enter Type a site name + Control + Enter
Add “www.” and “.com” to a site name and open in a new tab N/A Type a site name + Shift + Control + Enter
Open a new tab and search Type a search term + Alt + Enter N/A
Jump to Address Bar Ctrl + l Cmd + l
Open print options (only if the printer is hooked up) Ctrl + p Cmd + p
Reload the current page F5 or Ctrl + r Cmd + Shift + r
Delete autocomplete suggestions Down arrow to highlight the suggestion and Shift + Delete Down arrow to highlight the suggestion and Shift + fn + Delete
Save the webpage as a bookmark Ctrl + d Cmd + d
Make everything on the page bigger Ctrl plus + Cmd plus +
Make everything on the page smaller Ctrl plus – Cmd plus –
Return to the default size Ctrl + 0 Cmd + 0
Scroll horizontally Shift + scroll mouse wheel N/A

That’s it! Well, those are the basics. By themselves, it’s already a lot to remember, so hit Ctrl + d and check back every once in a while to refresh your memory and use new shortcuts. There’s no need to remember all of them, only the ones you think you’ll use most often, such as saving bookmarks, reloading your page, or even scrolling horizontally.

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