Three Handy Uses for Chrome Beyond Web Browsing

By David Nield on at

You probably think of Chrome simply as a web browser but it has a few more tricks up its sleeve than you might have realised. Here are three of our favourite alternative uses for the software, which to a large extent work the same in Mozilla Firefox too.

1.) Play Music and Video

Three Handy Uses for Chrome Beyond Web Browsing

Chrome can play plenty of common audio and video formats; simply drag the file into a blank tab and it starts playing. You don’t get much in the way of options but there are playback controls, a volume slider and the option to go full-screen in a click. If you don’t want to load up a bulky, feature-packed media player then a Chrome tab is a useful alternative.

2.) View Text and PDF Files

Three Handy Uses for Chrome Beyond Web Browsing

PDF files and text files are another group of formats that Chrome handles well. Notepad opens in a snap, of course, but Adobe Reader is less lightweight so getting your files viewable in Chrome can come in handy. As before, just drag the file into an empty tab. In the case of PDFs you get options for zooming in and out, printing the document or saving it.

3.) Browse Your System

Three Handy Uses for Chrome Beyond Web Browsing

Did you know you can also use Chrome as a rudimentary file browser? There may not be many situations where you need to do this in Chrome rather than the default operating system shell but you never know when a backup is going to be required. Type C:\ into the address bar (or file:/// on a Mac) to get started—you can open up supported files types via this method too.

[Header image: Alexander Supertramp/]

This article originally appeared on Field Guide, Gizmodo's blog on how to get the best out of your tech