10 Google Chrome Tips and Tricks

I use Google Chrome every single day so I’m always excited to learn and share tips and tricks! In this blog, I hope to share some ideas for Chrome that you may find extremely useful!

Today’s topics: Utlizing your Omnibox, searching Drive and Gmail from within your Omnibox, pinning tabs, creating Groups for your tabs, reopening a closed tab, muting tabs, two of my favorite Chrome Flags, the new QR code generator, and video play settings!

Utilize Your Omnibox

The Omnibox is the address bar where you type in the URLs. But, it can do more than many users realize! The Omnibox works just like the Google search bar so you may type in questions such as “What is the weather”, type in math problems, or even set a timer!


Search Google Drive or Gmail from Onmibox

I like to set up my Omnibox to search my Drive and Gmail. Here’s how:

  1. Right-click in your Omnibox and select “Manage Search Engines” or go into your Settings.
  2. Add Gmail and/or Drive as search engines by copying and pasting the following URLs

Type in the keyword you will use to activate the search Omnibox. Note: The keywords are case sensitive.

Create keywords to activate the search

Now, when you access the Omnibox and type in the keyword it will start the search and locate items that match your search in your Drive or Gmail! I love it!

You may actually search any site as long as you add it as a search engine.

Pin Tabs

If you pin your tabs you can make sure you won’t easily exit out of them. All you do is right-click on the tab and select “Pin”. Now the tab will appear as a smaller version in Chrome. To unpin, simply right-click and select “unpin”.

Right-click and select “Pin”

Tab Groups

The tab Groups feature allows users to right click on a tab and then add the tab to a Group. Once established, Groups may be expanded and collapsed. In this example, I added a tab to a new group titled “Joli’s Websites”.

Right Click on a Tab and Select Add Tab to New Group

Next, I color coded the Group by selecting the color purple.

Color Code Groups

Lastly, I added other websites to the Group by right-clicking and selecting “Add Tab to Group”.

Add websites to Groups as needed

You may then collapse and expand the group of tabs as needed.

Reopen your last closed Tab

Whoops! You accidentally closed a tab. No worries! If you are using a Chromebook press Control+Shift+T. If you are using a Mac try Command+Shift+T.

Control+Shift+T reopens last closed Tab.

Mute Tabs

If I’m helping a students in a Goole Meet and another student is recording in another tab they may end up recording me. To solve this, show students how to mute a site open in a tab. If you mute the tab,it will remain open but the background noise will be eliminated. Simply right-click on the tab and select “Mute” and do the same to unmute.

Right-click and select “mute site”.


If you are looking to speed up your browser and enhancing your overall Chrome experience, you may want to check out Google’s Flags. Flags are still in development mode and experimental so there is a note of caution informing you to enable Flags at your own risk before. If you want to check Flags you may find them here.

Hover Cards

One Flag I have enjoyed is the Hover Card which provides you with thumbnail images of the tabs in your browser. To enable Hover Cards visit chrome://flags/#tab-hover-cards and enable the setting. Then, relaunch Chrome! I find this very useful as I gain access to a quick thumbnail images of the website.

Enable Hover Card Images
Example of a Hover Card for a Tab

OmniBox Google Drive Suggestions

If you have already set Google as your default search engines, you may now enable on #omnibox-drive-suggestions to search your Google Drive for items matching the keyword you type in the omnibox.

In this example, you will notice that I start to type in Valentine, Google will locate items in my drive that may match what I am searching for.

Screenshot of Omnibox Searching My Drive

QR Code Generator

QR codes are scannable barcodes that allow users to access information quickly. In my last blog, I discussed the new QR code generator in Google Chrome along with 20 integration ideas! Make sure to checkout the blog here!

New QR code reader in Chrome

Video Play Settings

Did you know you have video play settings built into Chrome? When you have a video playing you will notice the music notes appear in your brower. Click on the notes and you will have access to video play settings!

Video Play Settings

What are your favorite Chrome tips? I’d love to hear from you!

Google Chrome Has a New QR Code Generator! Tutorial and 20 Integration Ideas

What is a QR code?

QR codes are scannable barcodes that allow users to gain access to information quickly. Users may use their device’s camera (if scanning QR codes are supported) or download different QR code apps and extensions such as The QR Code Extension to either scan or create codes. The QR codes may link to videos, websites, games, documents, slideshows, and more!

Google has made it easy for teachers to create QR codes as there is now a QR code generator built into Google Chrome! Once users are at the desired destination, they may click on the generator (located in the Omnibox) and immediately have access to download a QR code.

Screenshot: Chrome QR Code generator

How may educators use QR codes in education?

You may be wondering how educators may use these codes during their instruction. Over the years, I have used QR codes quite frequently. Whether you use the QR code generator in Chrome or generate codes using other popular edtech apps such as Seesaw and Flipgrid, there most certainly are dozens of ways to enhance your instruction with QR codes!

Here are 20 ideas for using QR codes in the classroom:

  1. Self-publishing: Allow students to publish and share their work by creating QR Codes. The codes may link to slide-decks, movies, published writing, artwork and more!
  2. Share Thinking: Allow students to share their thoughts, questions, and connections by posting QR codes along with published work. For example, if students display their artwork they may share their artist statement via QR code! Or, they may posts QR codes linking to audio comments, questions and connections.
  3. Access Read Alouds: Generate QR codes linking to students, staff, and authors sharing read alouds.
  4. Resource lists: Create a QR code for students to place in their folders or agendas so they may quickly access important sites and documents.Or, have students generate QR codes to resources they used during research projects.
  5. Revisiting Anchor Charts: Display QR codes showcasing important anchor charts students may need to revisit throughout the year.
  6. Book Reviews: Place QR codes on books or display in the classroom or school Library. The codes may provide quick access to student and staff book reviews and recommendations.
  7. Displaying Exemplars: Share examples of different exemplars for students to explore prior to starting a project. Or, after projects have been completed.
  8. Scavenger Hunts: Post QR codes around the building for students to participate in a scavenger hunt!
  9. News: Create a bulletin board with QR codes providing quick access to important school information and news updates.
  10. Tutorials: Empower students by allowing them to create their own tutorials for other students to reference via QR codes. And, of course teachers may share their tutorials too!
  11. Quick Access to Assignment: Generate QR codes students students may quickly access assignments.
  12. Pre-filled Forms: Use QR codes to link to Forms such as surveys, exit tickets and digital hall-passes.
  13. Presentations: Add the QR code onto your presentation slide so students and staff may quickly access your resource.
  14. Differentiate Instruction: Provide different QR codes for different flexible groups to access assignments, games and resources.
  15. Self-correcting stations: Allow students to self-correct by creating solutions and sharing via QR codes.
  16. Double-dose of Directions: Do your students often forget the directions to the assignments? Use QR codes to add audio or video directions to worksheets and rotation stations!
  17. Portfolios- Students may quickly generate QR codes to add completed work to their portfolios. Students may take photographs and videos of experiments, posters, and other non-digital activities and upload the files to their Drive. Now, they may create the QR codes!
  18. Digital Contact Card: Share a digital contact card with students and parents by printing out QR codes with links to your contact information.
  19. Newsletters/Yearbooks- Add QR codes to the hardcopies of your newsletters or yearbooks to quickly access videos and presentations you wish to share.
  20. Clever Badges- Ok. This has nothing to do with Google Chrome. But I had to mention how the Clever app makes it so easy for even our youngest learners to login to their devices and different websites simply by using QR codes.

How are you using QR codes in your classroom?

I’d love to hear your ideas!!