10 Amazing Browser Features You’ve Never Heard Of

Ready to supercharge your browsing? Check out our top 10 browser features you might have missed, including 3 bonus tricks not included in our infographic.

the nerd's guide to hacking your browser

3d mode1. Firefox 3D mode

One of the coolest features any browser, ever. Firefox 3D mode (a.k.a superman mode) allows you to rotate, zoom, and see the page structure of any site in full, awfully impressive 3D. It’s kind of like being a superhero, but a little more attainable.

Here’s how it’s done:

A) Go to Tools > Web Developer > Inspector
B) When the Inspector toolbar pops up, press the cube in the upper right

cube

You can now explore the page in 3D, see how page elements are put together, and even rotate the page around and view from the back.

2. Firefox: Limit RAM Usage

Sick of Firefox using up too much memory? So is everyone else.

A) Type about:config into the URL bar
B) Enter browser.cache.disk.capacity

firefox hanging

C) Double-click, and set the value to a lower number

(15,000 or so for machines with 512MB-1GB of ram), higher for more powerful machines

4.  Stop Pesky Auto-playing Videos

We’ve all experienced the sheer madness of auto-play videos: you’re silently browsing the web, minding your own business, when BAM – you hear the sound of a loud, powerfully annoying ad coming from one of your tabs. The problem is: how do you know which tab?! And once you find the tab, where has this lovely and reputable advertiser hidden the pause button?

Firefox and Chrome both allow you to disable auto-playing videos on all websites – you just have to click to play videos in the future. Here’s how it’s done:

Google Chrome

google click to play

A) Type chrome://settings/content into the URL bar
B) Under Plugins select Click to Play
C) Press Done

 

Firefox

firefox click to play

A) Type about:config into the URL bar
B) Enter plugins.click_to_play into search bar
C) Right-click it and select Toggle

And you’re done! Now all videos need your permission to play (which looks like this):

click to activate

5. Opera’s Turbo Mode

Turbo Mode is an awfully underused feature from Opera – it allows you to load lower-quality images for each page, which drastically speeds up loading times. It’s great for times where you really need to get info fast, or if you’re dealing with a poor internet connection.

turbo

 

6. Firefox Auto-complete (a.k.a. Jedi Mind-Read Mode)

This is a clever shortcut that keeps you from ever having to type http:// or .com. Here’s how it works:

  1. Type in the URL you’d like to visit without any Http:// or TLD (e.g. platowebdesign)
  2. Press Ctrl+Enter

You’ll be magically transported to the page! Works for other domain extensions too:

  1. .com= Ctrl+Enter
  2. .net = Shift+Enter
  3. .org = Ctrl+Shift+Enter

7. Turn your URL bar into a magic search machine

Try something out for me, will you? Go to Amazon and  right click the search bar. Then, select Add to Keyword Search – stay with me here, this will make sense in a second. Enter the keyword “amazon”.

Now go to your Firefox search bar and do a search for “amazon [your favorite product to search for]”. Press enter, and boom, you’ll be taken immediately to Amazon’s search results page.

You can implement this for as many sites as you’d like – it works great for IMDB!

amazon page

3 Bonus Features not included in our infographic:

8. Auto-Generate Passwords in Chrome Canary

If your strongest password is “cats6789” – you might want to use Google Chrome Canary’s password generator. Next time you’re filling out a form that asks for a password, click on the keys button to the right of the Password field, and voilà, you have a wonderfully randomized password.

9. Chrome’s “Pin Tab” Feature

There are certain tabs you never want to close – like your email, news page, or this video of cats dancing to Turn Down for What, by Lil Jon.

That’s why Chrome created the Pin Tab feature. When you have a tab you’d like permanently open, just Right-Click on the Tab, and select Pin Tab. Now you have a static copy.

10. Chrome’s Built-in Task Manager

Let’s face it: some of your tabs are (eventually) going to crash.

In case of emergencies, Chrome offers a nice built-in task manager that allows you to close crashing tabs or plugins one by one (while leaving the browser intact!).

Access it by going to Tools > Task Manager, or by pressing Shift+Esc.

Did we miss a great browser trick? Tell us about it!

 

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Casey Ark

Casey Ark is the CEO of Plato Web Design, a custom web design and marketing agency. His writing has been featured in The Washington Post, Entrepreneur, Business Insider, Newsday, The Tampa Bay Times, and The Cleveland Plain Dealer.

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