8 Secret Google Chrome Tricks You Probably Didn't Know About

The fact that most of our favorite pieces of technology have some hidden secrets isn't exactly… well, secret. But you guys? Out of all of the secret sneaky tricks for various websites and programs I've discovered recently… these secret Google Chrome tricks are probably the sneakiest. I mean, there's a dinosaur hiding in Chrome. True story.

Given Google's fondness for pranks, Easter eggs, and general cleverness, it's perhaps to be expected that the company's browser program would have a whole bunch of fun things tucked away inside it. Until now, however, I hadn't realized exactly how many secrets Chrome holds. It's really quite astonishing. Some of the tricks are incredibly useful, while others are just bizarrely entertaining (like the dinosaur, for instance) — but either way, they're all sorts of awesome. If I just totally destroyed your productivity for the day… I'm sorry. But maybe not that sorry.

The eight tricks and tips seen here merely scratch the surface of all Chrome has to offer, so if you want to know more, all you have to do is perform a quick search. I'd recommend you use Google for this particular exploration for obvious reasons; if you feel like bucking the trend, though, you can always go with Bing or whatever. Got any favorite tricks to add to the list?

1. To Access The Hidden T-Rex Dinosaur Game:

Fun fact: There's a game hidden in Chrome's “unable to connect to the Internet” page. It features a T-Rex desperately trying to escape from some sort of nightmarish desert without running into any cacti on his way out. To find him, all you need to do is disconnect from the Internet (the easiest method is just to toggle the Wi-Fi off on your computer), then try to load a page. When the “unable to connect to the Internet” message pops up — y'know, the one with the dinosaur on it? — just hit the space bar. The dino will start running, and away you go.

2. To Use the Omibox as a Calculator:

First things first: What's an omnibox? It's the field in which you type the URLs for any websites you want to visit. To turn Chrome's omnibox into a calculator, just type in a simple math problem instead of a URL — but don't press enter. The answer will appear in the drop-down below the omnibox.

3. To Use the Omnibox as a Unit Converter:

This trick works in pretty much the exact same way as the omnibox-as-calculator one. Want to know how many hours 203 minutes add up to? Type “203 minutes =” into the omnibox, and again, don't press enter. The answer (3.38333 hours) will show up in the drop-down. Alas, I do not believe that measuring in love is an option in this case.

4. To Access Chrome's Experimental Features:

Type “chrome://flags” into the omnibox. It will bring up all the features that aren't officially approved for Chrome yet — although consider yourselves warned. As the page itself notes:

These experimental features may change, break or disappear at any time. We make absolutely no gaurantees about what may happen if you turn one of these experiments on, and your browser may even spontaneously combust. Jokes aside, your browser may delete all your data, or your security and privacy could be compromised in unexpected ways. Any experiments you enable will be enabled for all users of this browser. Please proceed with caution.

If you're willing to take that risk, though, you can enable things like secure password generation (that is, Chrome will generate super difficult to hack passwords for you) and Automatic Spelling Correction (although why you want to give the horrors of auto-correct control over your computer is beyond me).

5. To Use Chrome as an Alarm:

First, download the Omnibox Timer extension. Once you've got it installed, all you need to do is type “tm” into the omnibox to activate it, followed by your alarm requirements — “20m call mom,” for example, if you want to remind yourself to call your mom in 20 minutes.

6. To Get the TL;DR Version of Long Pages:

There's an extension for that. Simply called TLDR, it uses some sort of fancy algorithm to distill lengthy articles down to their main points. Talk about a time saver.

7. To Make Gmail Your Default "Mail To" Link Client:

This? Oh man. I am so excited about this one, because I absolutely HATE the fact that clicking on any “mail to” links opens up Outlook (which I do not, nor ever have, used). Going here, clicking the grey diamonds at the far right of the omnibox, and selecting “allow” will make any “mail to” link open up a Gmail window. Yesssss. (Or YAAAAS, if you prefer).

8. To Turn Chrome into a Notepad:

Type “data:text/html, <html contenteditable>” into the omnibar. It'll bring up what looks like a blank page—but if you click on that giant, white expanse and start typing, voila. Notepad. Oh, and this one isn't limited to Chrome, by the way; according to Lifehacker, it works with any modern browser, so give it a shot in Firefox, Opera, or whatever your browser of choice is, too.

Images: Giphy (7); Rebloggy