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Home / Tips and Tricks / 10 hidden gestures for Google Chrome on iPhone

10 hidden gestures for Google Chrome on iPhone

The Chrome app icon on an iPhone home screen.
BigTunaOnline / Shutterstock.com

Google Chrome is a great alternative to Safari on iPhone. You can even set Chrome as your iPhone̵

7;s default web browser. Chrome is packed with hidden tricks, so here are the touch gestures you should know.

Swipe down to close, reload, and open tabs

Chrome has a handy shortcut to quickly close the current tab, reload the open webpage, or open a new tab. Just touch your screen and swipe down with your finger. By default, the focus on the “Reload” shortcut is displayed in the center of the screen. (If you are in the middle of a web page, you need to scroll back to the top of the page first.)

To close the tab, move your finger to the right to put the focus on ‘Close Tab’. To open a new tab, move your finger to the left to put the focus on “Open Tab.” Release your finger to start the selected action.

You can do this in one smooth motion. For example, to close the current tab, touch the screen and move your finger down, to the right, and quickly release. Chrome will close the tab. (If you’re in the middle of a webpage, you can scroll back to the top and keep scrolling to access the actions, all in one swipe.)

RELATED: How to Make Chrome the Default Web Browser on iPhone and iPad

Swipe down to access more actions in Chrome for iPhone

Swipe the location bar to switch between tabs

Chrome has a very fast way to switch tabs. You don’t have to tap the Switch Tabs icon on the toolbar at the bottom of the app.

Instead, you can simply swipe left or right on the toolbar (the URL bar) at the top of the Chrome app. This will switch to the tab to the left or right of your current tab, depending on the direction you swipe. Keep swiping to switch between tabs.

If you are viewing a new tab page that does not have a visible toolbar, you can still swipe left or right in the area at the top of the screen where the toolbar will appear.

Swipe left or right on the Chrome toolbar

Drag and drop to rearrange tabs

To take better advantage of the swipe to switch tabs, you can move your open tabs. To do this, tap the ‘Switch between tabs’ icon at the bottom of the Chrome app to see all your open tabs. (It looks like a rounded square with a number in it.)

Tap and hold a tab thumbnail. After a while, Chrome will gray out the other tabs. You can move the thumbnail of the tab to any location on the screen. Release your finger when you are done.

When you swipe between tabs from the toolbar, tabs are above other tabs in this list on the left, while tabs are below other tabs on the right.

Hold and drag thumbnails into Chrome's tab switcher

Long press to search in new tab

You can tap the “+” button at the bottom of the Chrome interface to quickly open a new tab. However, you will find more options if you long press the “+” button.

Tap “New Search” to open a new tab where the search field is focused so you can start typing immediately, or tap “Search Incognito” to do the same with a new Incognito tab. To search by voice or scan a QR code, tap the options “Search by voice” or “Scan QR code” here.

If you copied text in Chrome or another app, you will also see the option ‘Search for copied text’. This will immediately open a new tab and look for the text on your iPhone’s clipboard. There is no need to open a tab and manually paste text into the search bar.

Long press the

Long press to open or close incognito tabs

To find these tab management options, long press the “Switch Tabs” button on the toolbar. Here, you can tap “New Incognito Tab” to quickly open an Incognito tab for private browsing, or you can tap “Close Tab” to close the current tab.

There is also an option “New Tab” in this menu. It will open a new tab, just like tapping the “+” button on the bottom toolbar.

Long press the sign button

Swipe left or right to go back and forth

This feature can also be found in Safari on the iPhone, so you may already be familiar with it. However, you can move back and forth with gestures instead of tapping the Back and Forward arrow keys on the toolbar.

To go back, touch the left side of your screen and swipe right to the center of your screen.

To move forward, touch the right side of your screen and swipe left towards the center of your screen.

Swipe left or right from either edge of your iPhone screen.

Quickly go back or forward to a specific page

It can be annoying to tap the “Back” or “Forward” buttons over and over to find a page you were just viewing. There is an easier way to scroll back or forward through the history of a tab.

To do this, long press the “Back” or “Forward” arrow keys on the bottom toolbar. You will then see a list of the pages in your Previous and Next history, and you can tap a page to go directly to it.

Long press the arrow keys

Swipe to switch screens in the tab switch

You don’t have to tap the three small icons at the top of the Tab Switcher view to switch between your Incognito tabs, normal Chrome tabs, and recent tab views.

To switch between the different tabs, you can swipe left or right anywhere on the Tab Switcher screen. It’s much easier, and you never have to adjust your grip to tap those little targets at the top of your iPhone’s screen.

Swipe left or right on the thumbnail screen of the Chrome tab

Pinch a video for full screen mode

On many (but not all) websites, you can use a pinch gesture to quickly go to full screen mode while watching a video. While a video is playing, touch it with two fingers and move them apart. Chrome plays the video in full screen.

You can also exit full screen mode by doing the opposite gesture – touching the video with two fingers and moving closer together – or by swiping the video down.

Pinch out on a video

Open a menu item in one smooth motion

Instead of tapping the menu button and then tapping the option you want, you can tap the menu button with your finger. The menu button appears. Move your finger up until the desired menu option is selected and release your finger to activate it.

This also works in Chrome’s other long-press menus. For example, if you long press the “+” button, you can move your finger up and then release to activate a menu option in one movement.

Long press the menu button and move your finger up

One more thing: Chrome’s menu is longer than it appears at first glance. You can drag up or down in the menu to find additional options.

Chrome has several other features that are useful, including the ability to sync with Chrome bookmarks, open tabs, and history. It is very useful if you also use Chrome on your Windows, Mac, Linux or Chrome OS desktop or laptop.

If you’re a fan of Chrome on desktop, you should definitely check out Chrome on iPhone, especially since Chrome can now replace Safari as your default browser. Chrome is also available for iPad.

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