Increasingly, Google is allowing more and more to be done from the top portion of your browser with each update. We’ve recently seen the addition of tab groups and expect tab search and the new reading list to hit the stable channel in the next few updates. It seems Google has kept yet another productivity boost behind a flag in the latest stable Chrome 86 build and you only need two flags to turn it on and start using it.
Chrome’s new Quick Actions are as simple as they sound: with a few key words typed into the omnibar (the URL bar), users will have shortcuts to frequently-used Chrome settings. Once enabled, you can perform certain actions in Chrome by just typing. Here are a few examples:
- Clear browsing data – type ‘clear cache’ or ‘delete history’ or ‘wipe cookies’
- Update Chrome – type ‘update browser’ or ‘update Google Chrome’
- Open Incognito Window – type ‘incognito’ or ‘launch incognito mode’
- Manage Payment Methods – type ‘update card info’ or ‘edit credit card’
- Manage Passwords – type ‘edit passwords’ or ‘update credentials’
- Translate Page – type ‘translate this page’ or ‘translate this’
How to turn on Chrome Quick Actions
To get this working, you simply need to enable two flags: chrome://#omnibox-pedal-suggestions and chrome://#omnibox-suggestion-button-row. After you flip these two flags on and restart, you’ll be able to type any of the above suggestions into your URL bar and see a small, pill-shaped button appear with the suggested action.
The list of commands thus far is basic, but I could see Google continuing to add more and more options to this list so that even more is possible right from the URL bar. For Chromebooks, I’d love to see these same Chrome Quick Actions be a part of the search bar in the app tray. We already have the ability to see Chrome OS settings in this manner, so Chrome browser settings shouldn’t be too much of an ask. With this working well already in Chrome 86, we’d imagine it won’t be long before Google simply rolls this feature out without the need of a flag, so be on the lookout for it.