The Top 10 Keyboard Shortcuts for Google Chrome

Although internet access is through phones and tablets, half of web traffic is still through devices like PCs and laptops. These devices are ideal for heavy browsing and research and have keyboards, so it is possible to take advantage of keyboard shortcuts whilst working online.

Keyboard shortcuts are efficient and time-saving. When you are not constantly reaching for the mouse and instead using shortcuts, there will be a boost to your productivity. For instance, selecting all of the text in a document can be achieved by using the key combination of Ctrl + A.  Key combinations also more accurate than even the best mouse when it comes to precise actions like highlighting text or selecting cells in a spreadsheet.

Using keyboard shortcuts can also have measurable health benefits, reducing the risk of  RSI (Repetitive Syndrome Injury) and ULD (Upper Limb Disorders), which repetitive tasks like mouse use can cause.

Google Chrome is, by a long way, the most popular internet browser. Although it’s share is falling, as of June 2020, it still accounted for 65 to 69% of all web-browsing. With that in mind, we here at Infero have put together the most useful Chrome shortcuts to boost your productivity when browsing.

(NB: Many of the shortcuts below use the Control Key. In Windows, this will be labelled Ctrl and on Macs it will have the symbol )

1.  Open a New Tab

  • On Windows: Ctrl + T
  • On Mac: ⌘ + T

It is easy enough to open a new tab by pressing the + button at the top of the browser, but if you get into the habit of using this shortcut, you will never look back.

2. Close Active Tab

  • On Windows: Ctrl + W
  • On Mac: ⌘ + W

Instead of mouse  clicking the small X to close individual tabs on Chrome, simply press Ctrl + W instead. This closes the tab that’s current active (i.e. the one being seen on your screen).

3. Open Last Closed Tab

  • On Windows: Ctrl + Shift + T
  • On Mac: ⌘ + Shift + T

This is possibly the most useful shortcut as it enables you to open the last browser tab you closed – great when you have accidentally closed a tab. It is possible to use this more than once, to re-open multiple closed tabs in the order they were closed. (This feature does not work in Incognito Mode – see below).

4. Enable Incognito Mode

  • On Windows: Ctrl + Shift + N
  • On Mac: ⌘ + Shift + N

Incognito Mode allows private browsing and does not leave a record of your browsing history, useful on shared workstations. Chrome is also blocked from saving cookies, temporary Internet files that contain your IP address, login details, and other browsing information.

5. Minimize the Active Window

  • On Windows: Ctrl + M
  • On Mac: ⌘ + M

If you have multiple windows open instead of tabs, you can minimize the active open window by pressing Ctrl + M. Useful if you have browser windows stacked on top of one another.

6. Jump Between Next & Previous Tabs

  • On Windows: Ctrl + PgDn (Next open tab) or Ctrl + PgUp (Previous open tab)
  • On Mac: ⌘ + Option + Right arrow (Next open tab) and ⌘ + Option + Left arrow (Previous open tab)

If you have multiple tabs open in Chrome, instead of clicking each one to check what is on it , use this shortcut to cycle through all tabs, either forward or backward.

7.  Open the Bookmarks Manager

  • On Windows: Ctrl + B
  • On Mac: ⌘ + Option + B

This opens the Bookmarks Manager on Chrome and allows you to organise your bookmarks. From here you can open and delete individual bookmarks, create bookmark folders, and move bookmarks into different folders.

8. Open Downloads Page

  • On Windows: Ctrl + J
  • On Mac: ⌘ + Option + L

This shortcut allows you to see the files you downloaded using Chrome. It also allows access to downloaded files directly through the browser rather than using File Explorer.

9. Clear Browsing Data

10. Snap Cursor to the Search Bar

  • On Windows: Ctrl + L
  • On Mac: ⌘ + L

This shortcut does exactly what it says on the tine and moves your cursor to the search bar, so that you can Google something or type in a URL.

As a bonus, here are some basic Navigation shortcuts that will work in ALL browsers:

Keyboard ShortcutAction
Ctrl + F5Refresh and reset the browser cache for the current page.
Alt + Left ArrowBack
Alt + Right ArrowForward
Alt + HomeReturn to Homepage
F6Select the address bar (Alt+D and Ctrl+L also works here)
F11Fullscreen mode, exit fullscreen mode
HomeScroll to top of page
EndScroll to bottom of page
SpacebarScroll down
Shift+ SpacebarScroll up
Page Down / UpScroll down / up
Ctrl + CCopy selected text
Ctrl + XCut (copy and delete original) text
Ctrl + VPaste copied text

Using these shortcuts will save time, have health benefits and improve your productivity. You don’t have to use them all, but try a few and see how they work for you. You may find that you start to use your mouse less and less.

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