What are some good internet hacks?

These are more of web browser hacks than internet hacks.

1. Start Chrome with pinned tab(s):

You can go to Settings and select what URLs to open when you fire-up your browser. However, they open as normal tabs, and that can be annoying at times. If you use Windows, you can make Chrome open those tabs pinned.
Right-click on the icon you use to start Chrome (this could be a desktop shortcut or the start menu entry) and click on Properties.
Go to the Shortcut tab.
In the Target field, you’ll see the location of chrome.exe in quotes, like this: “C:\Users\Ashwin\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe”
After the last quote, type this: --pinned-tab-count=x
Replace ‘x’ with the number of pinned tabs you wish to open, say 2. Be sure to leave a blank space between the last quotation mark and --pinned-tab-count=2.
Leave another blank space, and start typing the URLs you wish to open in those pinned tabs, each URL separated by a space. So finally, everything should look like this:
“C:\Users\Ashwin\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe" --pinned-tab-count=2 http://www.quora.com http://www.twitter.com
Once you’re done, click on Apply and then OK.

Now when you start Chrome using that icon, it’ll start with those two websites pinned.

Pro tip: Use this to start a pinned tab for your browser’s in-built notepad feature, using the URL

data:text/html, <html contenteditable>

Also, if you use Chrome apps like Hangouts, Google Docs, etc., you could set another tab to open http://chrome://apps/

2. Quickly complete a URL in the omnibox:

When you start typing out a website, the first few suggestions are Google search suggestions, and unless you have bookmarked the site, the URL itself comes 3–4 suggestions under.

So here’s a neat little time-saver: just type out the first few letters of the URL, and once you get the correct search suggestion (say facebook), just press Ctrl+Enter. This will put a ‘www.’ and a ‘.com’ around facebook, and will start loading the page.

3. Save space on the bookmarks bar

I’m pretty sure you can identify most websites by their logo/icon. Now if you love bookmarking your favourite websites on your bookmarks bar (I don’t know why you wouldn’t), but are running out of space on your bookmarks bar, you’d observe that a small arrow appears at the right-most edge, indicating that your bookmarks bar has overflown.

So instead of deleting some of your bookmarks, do the following: right-click a bookmark ->Edit. Leave the ‘Name’ field blank, and click Save. Boom! Your bookmark is instantly smaller in size! This will let you cram a lot more bookmarks than you normally could. Also, the next time you create a bookmark, again, leave the name field blank, so you don’t have to come back to edit it.

4. Another Bookmark hack

Say you are researching a topic and bookmark a few pages on that topic. When you create a bookmark, it lets you save it either in the bookmarks bar, Other bookmarks folder, or your own custom folder. So create a new bookmark folder for the topic you’re researching, and save all bookmarks into that folder. Now the next time you need to get back to researching that topic, you can open all those bookmarked websites at once by right clicking on the folder and clicking Open all Bookmarks.

5. Keyboard Shortcuts

There are many, but you’ll only really need these:

Ctrl+T - New Tab

Ctrl+Tab - Toggle to next tab

Ctrl+Shift+Tab - Toggle to previous tab

Alt+D - Focus on the address bar (omnibox in Chrome)

Ctrl + Click - Open link in new tab. If you have a mouse, you can middle click for the same.

Ctrl+W - Close current tab.

6. Use Pocket

I cannot stress enough about how useful Pocket is. If you come across any interesting article on the Internet, and would like to finish reading it during your transit to work, just click on the handy pocket button on your browser, and that page becomes accessible on all your devices that has pocket installed in it. And the best part is, all those saved pages are available offline. All you have to do is install the Pocket extension in your browser, which will then create a “Save to Pocket” button you can click whenever you come across an interesting article. There’s an official app for iPhone and Android users, so you can access all your saved pages on your phones and tablets, and Windows Phone users can download a 3rd party app called Owl Reader, which works just as flawlessly.

Edit: If you would like to access the saved pages on your computer offline, just install the Pocket app (different from the Pocket extension) from the Chrome Web Store, and all your pages will be downloaded for offline viewing.

7. A few handy extensions

Chrome is a RAM hungry browser. That being said, if your computer can handle it, extensions can make your life a lot easier. Here are a few that I find handy:

Grammarly: Checks for grammatical errors in the sentences you type, not just spelling errors.

AdBlockPlus: Blocks ads on a web page. Useful especially if you spend a lot of time on YouTube.

LastPass: Password manager that’s easy to understand and use, no BS. Protects everything with a master password.

Mega: 50GB of free cloud storage. Available on all platforms. Desktop app can sync with any folders on your computer, much like how Dropbox works. Allows audio and video streaming from cloud.

8. Your browser is a swiss army knife

The modern Internet browser can do more than just browse the Internet. Your browser can open PDF documents, play locally stored video and audio files, and open pictures. Just right-click on a file, Open With -> Google Chrome.

And that’s just the browser itself. Once you install plugins/extensions, the possibilities are endless. Go to the Chrome app store and browse for different apps to suit your needs. There’s apps for photo and document editing, music, video, and even coding, if you’re into that kind of stuff. All of these apps work offline, and sync seamlessly once you get back online.

Also, if you’ve set up certain apps to display notifications, you can set Chrome to run in the background, so that you continue receiving those notifications even after you close Chrome. You can also set Chrome to open in the background at start-up, so you’ll receive notifs even before you start Chrome.

If you’ve seen a Chromebook, it’s basically a laptop with the Chrome browser running on it. You expand its capabilities by installing apps and extensions, just like how you would on a phone or a tablet.

9. A clever Gmail Hack

If you use Gmail, chances are that you provide your Gmail ID while registering in various websites. Gmail has this handy feature, where, say your e-mail address is ‘xyz@gmail.com’, if you add a ‘+’ after xyz and type anything after that, everything after the ‘+’ would be ignored, and the mail will still be sent to your inbox.

How the heck is that useful you ask? Well, say you need to register at some random website (say LolaKutty.com). You suspect that LolaKutty.com may share your e-mail with marketing companies, who will then bombard your inbox with spam. So instead of providing your email address as xyz@gmail.com, you type in xyz+lolakutty@gmail.com, and any mail from that website will still be sent to your inbox (since anything after ‘+’ gets ignored, in this case lolakutty). So if the website indeed shares your email to marketing companies, it gets shared as ‘xyz+lolakutty@gmail.com’, so once you start receiving those pesky spam marketing messages, just check the recipient, and if it’s ‘xyz+lolakutty@gmail.com’, you know exactly where the marketing companies got your email address from.

As an added bonus, it gives you an extra layer of security if you use this feature in social networking websites and cloud services. Say you registered on facebook as xyz+facebook@gmail.com. If a malicious hacker gets hold of your e-mail address, he/she would know your email address as xyz@gmail.com, and not xyz+facebook@gmail.com, making it much more difficult to hack into your account.

Note: Websites are becoming more aware of this feature being used, so it might not work on some websites. If a website prevents you from using this feature, they’re probably hiding something, and you should think twice before registering.

10. Use a temporary E-mail address

There are many services out there that provide you with a temporary email address. I personally use guerrilla mail, as I find it easy to use. It’s useful when you need to register in a website just to download a file. The inbox will be active as long as you keep the guerrilla mail tab open, so in case the website asks you to check your mail to complete registration, you can still do that.

Again, many websites don’t allow such addresses during registration, but it’s still worth a shot.


  1. I can't find the content creation optimization feature? Grammarly does help me feel positive my content is okay but not confident that it will be on the first page.


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