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How to turn on Google Chrome’s secret Reader Mode

Prefer a more simplified look when browsing the web? Here’s how to enable Reader Mode on Google Chrome.

google chrome logo on purple background for google search
Image: KnowTechie

On the surface, Google Chrome doesn’t appear to have a Reader Mode. But if you dig in, you’ll find that the feature does exist within Chrome’s features.

Reader Mode displays pages in a simplified view for easy reading. The tool works best with articles and other similar content, providing a more digestible format.

Why Google feels the need to bury the feature is unclear. But locating the appropriate settings is straightforward once you know where to look. Here’s how to enable Google Chrome reader mode.

Enable Google Chrome’s hidden reader mode on desktop

google chrome reader mode main
Image: KnowTechie

If you prefer to read news and articles in a more simplified format, here’s how to enable Reader Mode in Chrome on desktop:

  1. Launch Google Chrome and type chrome://flags in the address barchrome flags address

  2. Type Reader Mode in the flags search boxsearch reader mode chrome flags

  3. Click the dropdown that says Default and switch to Enabledenable reader mode chrome

  4. Click the Relaunch button at the bottom of the page to relaunch Chrome with reader mode enabledrelaunch google chrome for flags

READ MORE: How to stop Chrome from saving history on Windows and Mac

Whenever Reader Mode is available, the icon will appear on the right of the address bar (shown above). All you need to do is click the button, and the page will transform for easy reading.

Enable Google Chrome’s hidden reader mode on mobile

viewing simplified pages on chrome app
Image: KnowTechie

READ MORE: How to view and edit saved passwords in Google Chrome

For those of us who prefer to digest content through our smartphones, here’s how to enable Reader Mode in the Chrome mobile app:

  1. Launch Google Chrome and tap the More menu
browser mobile app
Image: KnowTechie
  1. Go to Settings > Accessibility
accessibility settings on browser
Image: KnowTechie
  1. Tick Simplified view for web pages
chrome reader mode on app
Image: KnowTechie

Whenever you visit a compatible page, a prompt will appear asking if you want to switch to a simplified view (shown above). Tapping View when prompted activates the feature.

Why does Google hide its Reader Mode in Chrome?

Locating Reader Mode on most popular browsers doesn’t involve an epic quest into the settings. For some reason, however, Google has decided to hide the feature.

Why? Because sometimes epic settings quests are fun. But once you know where to find it, Chrome’s Reader Mode lets you see a more simplified version of a webpage.

And with easy prompts on both desktop and mobile versions of Chrome, Reader Mode is easy to use after its initial setup.

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