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How to disable a Chrome keyboard shortcut

Chrome, like any other browser, has keyboard shortcuts for common features. The Ctrl+D keyboard shortcut lets you bookmark the current page, Ctrl+H opens the History page, Ctrl+J opens Downloads, etc. Not all pages can be accessed via a keyboard shortcut which means Chrome doesn’t monopolize too many of them. That said, you can disable a Chrome keyboard shortcut if you find it’s intrusive or it interferes with a web app that you use. Here’s how.

Disable Chrome keyboard shortcut

To disable a keyboard shortcut in Chrome, you need to install an extension called Shortkeys. The extension can configure new shortcuts in Chrome but more importantly it can disable any shortcut that you want.

Once you’ve installed the extension, click its icon and select Options from the context menu. On the extension’s options window, click the Add button.

In the Keyboard shortcut field, enter the Chrome keyboard shortcut that you want to disable. For example, if you want to disable the Ctrl+D keyboard shortcut which bookmarks the current tab, enter that in this field. In the Behavior field, open the dropdown and scroll through the list of options until you find the Other section. Under this section, there’s an option called ‘Do Nothing’. Select it. With a Chrome keyboard shortcut, selecting this option will come with a warning.

The extension tells you that the keyboard shortcut will be disabled on all pages except Chrome’s internal pages. This includes the new tab page, the history page, the downloads page, etc. For all other pages though, the keyboard shortcut will be disabled.

Click Save and visit any website of your choice. So long as you’re not on a Chrome internal page, the keyboard shortcut will no longer work. You can use this extension to disable as many keyboard shortcuts as you want.

As to why this doesn’t work for internal Chrome pages, it’s not a limitation of the extension. It has to do with Chrome. Chrome doesn’t allow extensions to run on its internal page as a security measure. If extensions were allowed to run on an internal page, and one turned out to be malicious, not only could it hijack your browser, it could also prevent you from resetting the browser. That’s why it’s necessary to prevent extensions from running on internal pages which results in these limitations.

Even if you were to install an extension that can modify the new tab page, the extension will still not work on the new tab page.

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