Google Chrome is getting a secret Reader mode; this is how to access it

Google Chrome is getting a secret Reader mode; this is how to access it
Patrick Devaney

Patrick Devaney

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Web browsers are like windows to the online world. Through them, we see and access all the information that the internet has to offer. Unfortunately, however, the internet is also filled with distractions and ads, which means reading all the web has to offer isn’t as simple as it should be. This is why browsers like Firefox, Edge, and Safari have dedicated Reader modes. The main job of a Reader mode is to cut out all the clutter that comes along on every web page. Now, after years of waiting, Google is adding a Reader mode to Chrome on desktop, too.

Chrome’s Reader mode has been spotted in the Chrome Canary build, the experimental browser Google uses to test new features

Google Chrome in a book

It isn’t really known why Google has waited so long to bring a Reader mode to Chrome for desktop. Google first introduced a Reader mode to Chrome on mobile back in March 2018. If you’re unfamiliar with the Chrome mobile Reader mode, it is called Simplified View and we’ll show you to use it. It now looks like Google is introducing a similar feature to Chrome on desktop (at least, that is what the Chrome Canary code indicates).

Google Chrome Canary Download now

First spotted by ZDNet, Chrome Canary users can use the new Reader mode right now. To activate the Reader mode, you first need to make sure you’re using the latest version of Chrome Canary, which is Canary V75. Then, all you have to do is enter “chrome://flags/#enable-reader-mode” into the omnibox, turn on the feature and then restart the browser. You then activate the feature by right-clicking on the page and hitting “Distill page.”

Image via: ZDNet

It looks as though Google is keeping the feature pretty basic, though, as there isn’t much to it, unlike the advanced Reader mode you can find on Firefox. The feature is available on Chrome Canary now, but there is still no news about when the feature will land on the regular version of Chrome that most users have on their PCs at home.

How to enable the Reader mode on Chrome for Android

Google Chrome mobile simplified view

If you would like to know how to access the feature on Google Chrome on your mobile, you’ll be pleased to know that you can do it right now. The feature is called Simplified View, and this is how to enable it.

  1. Open Chrome on your Android smartphone and hit the three dots icon in the top-right of the screen.
  2. Tap Settings and then scroll down until you find Accessibility and then click it.Google Chrome on mobile accessibility menu
  3. Hit the Simplified view for web pages at the bottom of the screen and then get back to browsing the web.

Once you’ve done this, whenever you navigate to a new web page, an option will appear at the bottom of the page offering you the chance to load the page with a simplified view. Hitting this option will take out all the ads and hyperlinks and leave you with just the text, making it all much easier to read.

Patrick Devaney

Patrick Devaney

Patrick Devaney is a news reporter for Softonic, keeping readers up to date on everything affecting their favorite apps and programs. His beat includes social media apps and sites like Facebook, Instagram, Reddit, Twitter, YouTube, and Snapchat. Patrick also covers antivirus and security issues, web browsers, the full Google suite of apps and programs, and operating systems like Windows, iOS, and Android.

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