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How to Use Google Chrome’s Hidden Reader Mode

by Geek Insider Staff

The constant barrage of ads popping up every time you try to view website content is sometimes annoying. Luckily, the Firefox browser noticed this issue beforehand and stood above Google Chrome by providing an inbuilt reader mode. Most Chrome users have relied on third-party extensions that come with additional shortcomings. If you use these extensions to get reader mode, it’s time to disable them since Chrome now has an inbuilt reader mode. Read on to locate and enable inbuilt reader mode on Chrome.

Instead of having an active reader mode feature by default, Chrome requires manually enabling the feature via the “Flags” page. Here’s the breakdown of the entire process.

Update Google Chrome

The first step is to ensure you run the Google Chrome version 75 and later since the reader mode feature is not available in earlier versions of Google Chrome browsers. To update your browser;

  1. Tap the three dots on the top corner

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  1. Locate and tap “Help” and
  2. Select “About Google Chrome”

Google Chrome will search and install available updates automatically. Now you can proceed with activating the hidden Reader mode.

Enable The Hidden Reader Mode

Step 2. Type “chrome://flags” in your Google Chrome’s new tab and tap “Enter.” This step will take you to Chrome’s “Flags” page, which carries most features that Google doesn’t deem fit to appear in the existing lineup features.

Step 3. Locate the “Enable Reader Mode” feature

Step 4. Click on the Flag beside the Reader Mode feature to change from “Default” to “Enabled.”

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A more direct alternative to enable the feature is to type “chrome://flags/#enable-reader-mode” on the Chrome address bar and hit “Enter.”

Now the Chrome reader mode is activated, but you’ll need to exit the browser and log on again.

Step 5. Go to the website with the pop-ups and ads you were looking to avoid and click on the overflow menu represented by three dots at the top right corner.

Step 6. Click on the “Distill” option.

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Now you can view the stripped-down site with ads automatically blocked to provide peace of mind while reading. Note that all the images in the blog or article will still appear in the reader mode, and you can customize the site appearance by clicking the “A” option at the top. Here, you can change font size and color for better readability. If you want to resume the original site version, simply hit the back arrow at the top left, and the original page will appear.

It is worth noting that certain sites might deny you access to their content if your browser automatically blocks pop-up windows and ads featured on their site. Nonetheless, the hidden reader mode on Google Chrome is the best option to avoid the insistence of numerous sites that you view dozens of ads just to access a video or read one article. Besides, you no longer need third-party installations to read blogs or news comfortably.

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