Tech Tips

How to turn on secret reading mode in Chrome desktop browser admin

Popular browsers like Safari and Firebox include a reading mode on desktop, but unfortunately this feature is not found on Google Chrome’s desktop version. While it is possible to enable reading mode in Android version by simply accessing flags page, desktop users can’t find this setting. The good news is that there is a way to enable the secret or hidden reading mode in Chrome browser in your desktop. In Chrome, this option is also called Distill page.

Once Distill page feature is enabled in Chrome, only the main content of a webpage including the image on the center part is displayed. The remaining elements such as ads, sidebars and pop-ups are removed, which allows you to read a webpage easier and without disruptions. This mode allows you to focus on the most relevant content when you are using Google Chrome on your computer. When you enable Chrome’s hidden reading mode, you can see the main content such as text, images and links of the webpage. It works in a similar way as the reading mode in Chrome’s mobile version.

One thing to keep in mind is that it is not possible to undo the webpage, which means that you won’t see the option to disable the reading mode for that particular webpage. Refreshing the tab is not enough, which is why you have to close the webpage and open it again so that you can see it in normal mode. Below you will find the steps to enable reading mode in Chrome.

Enabling secret reading mode in Chrome browser for desktop

  1. Right click on the desktop shortcut of Chrome and select Properties. If you don’t see the desktop shortcut, you will be able to create it.
  2. Go to Shortcut tab in Google Chrome Properties. In Target field, copy and paste this path: “C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe” –enable-dom-distiller
  3. Chrome application path can be found in Target field, all you need to do is to add – enabled dom-distiller as well.
  4. Select Apply and then OK.
  5. You may see a confirmation box that requires administration permission to change these settings. If you see it, press Continue.
  6. Now close Google Chrome completely. Even after all its windows are closed, it will be running in the system tray. You need to access desktop system tray by right-clicking on Chrome icon, the press the Exit option.
  7. Open Google Chrome and then launch a webpage.
  8. Select the three vertical dots icon (menu icon) that are on the top left side of Google Chrome. Then you will see a new Distill page. Click it and the webpage will reload or refresh automatically and you will see it in clutter free reading mode.
  9. You will be able to see the main content of webpage in the middle part and the remaining elements won’t be displayed.

Although it would have been better to have the reading mode included in the desktop version of Chrome, the above steps will allow you to enjoy webpages without clutter. It is likely that the reading mode comes with future Chrome updates, but by now you can use this trick to get distractions out of the way and focus on the content that really matters.

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