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How to download and install Google Chrome browser

Google Chrome is the number one modern desktop browser. It has the highest number of users/market shares. In comparison, competitors like Firefox and Opera control only a small fraction of the browser market. 

Despite how popular Google Chrome is, it does not come pre-installed on Windows or macOS. Both operating systems have their own stock browsers. That said, the browser is available for Windows, macOS, and Linux. Users can easily install it for free.

Google Chrome browser

Download Google Chrome browser

In order to download Google Chrome, you need to use a browser. Both Windows 10 and macOS come with a stock browser that you can use to download Chrome.

On Windows 10,

  1. Open Microsoft Edge.
  2. Visit the Chrome download page.
  3. Click Download Chrome.
  4. Once the file downloads, run it.
  5. The installer will download more files, and install the browser.

On macOS,

  1. Open Safari.
  2. Visit the Chrome download page.
  3. Click Download Chrome.
  4. Select the processor that your Mac has i.e., Intel or M1.
  5. Once the file downloads, open it.
  6. Chrome will be installed (grant it additional permission as you go along).

Set Google Chrome as default browser

If you plan on using Google Chrome as your default browser, you will have to change the default browser on your desktop. Make sure you’ve correctly installed Chrome and then follow the steps below.

On Windows 10;

  1. Open the Settings app with the Win+I keyboard shortcut.
  2. Go to Apps.
  3. Select the Default Apps tab.
  4. Click the default browser button.
  5. Select Chrome.

On macOS;

  1. Open System Preferences.
  2. Go to General.
  3. Open the Default web browser dropdown.
  4. Select Google Chrome.

Set up Google Chrome for use

Google Chrome can be used for browsing as soon as you install it. There are no additional changes that have to be made. Setting the browser as the default browser is optional and only done for convenience. 

When you first open Google Chrome, it will ask you to sign in with a Google Account. Doing so will allow you to sync your information such as form data, history, bookmarks, extensions, etc, to all other instances of Chrome installed on other computers that you have. It will also allow you to send links from one browser to another e.g., from Chrome installed on a Windows PC to Chrome installed on a Mac.

You can skip signing in and use Google Chrome without an account. 

Google Chrome release channels

When users download Google Chrome, they download the main/stable version. Chrome has two other versions that users can download. These are experimental or beta versions that are a few versions ahead of the main/stable version.

  • Google Chrome Beta: You can download the beta version of Chrome here for Windows and here for macOS.
  • Google Chromium: You can download Chromium here.
  • Google Chrome Canary: This version is not recommended for use as it features nightly builds however, you can still install it if you want. Download it here.

Update Google Chrome

Google Chrome will regularly check for updates and download them however, you can manually check for an update whenever you want.

  1. Open Google Chrome.
  2. Click the more options button (three dots button) at the top right.
  3. Go to Help>About Google Chrome.
  4. On the About page, wait for Chrome to check for updates.
  5. If an update is available, it will be downloaded.
  6. Relaunch the browser to install the update.

Check Google Chrome version

To check the Google Chrome version;

  1. Open Google Chrome.
  2. Click the more options button (three dots button) at the top right.
  3. Go to Help>About Google Chrome.
  4. The version number will be listed at the top.

Google Chrome features

Google Chrome is not the first browser to introduce tabbed browsing. Plenty of browsers have tabbed browsing but Chrome was initially able to manage it exceptionally well with each tab sandboxed as its own process. In addition to better, optimized browsing, Chrome has the following features;

  • Profiles: Users can create multiple Chrome profiles. Each profile is separate from the other with its own user data.
  • Extensions: The Chrome Web Store has a fairly large library of extensions that you can install to modify how the browser works and additional features.
  • Built-in protection: Chrome will alert users when they’re about to visit a website that isn’t secure, known for distributing malicious content, or is potentially dangerous. It also alerts users if a file they’re downloading may be dangerous. 
  • Download manager: Chrome has a standard download manager that can pause and resume downloads. 
  • Casting: Google Chrome is built to work with the Google Chromecast. If you own a Chromecast device, you can cast to it from the browser without installing additional extensions. 
  • Tab grouping: Users can create groups of tabs they have open in a window to keep everything organized.
  • Name windows: Users can give Chrome windows individual names that make it easier to identify a window from the multi-tasking view on a desktop operating system.
  • Mobile versions: Google Chrome has functional and feature rich mobile versions. Chrome mobile is available for both iOS and Android and has many of the same features that its desktop counterpart has.

Google Chrome shortcoming

Google Chrome is a popular browser but overtime, it has started to consume more and more RAM. It used to be light on system resources however that has changed over the years. if you have one too many tabs and windows open, the browser may hang, slow the rest of your system down and even crash.

Conclusion

Chrome is a great browser because of the engine that it is built on. It’s what makes the browser so fast and capable of handling complex browser apps. Many modern browsers, such as Safari, Edge, and Opera use the same engine because of its speed and efficiency. The browser has its shortcomings but there is little else that can match it despite that. 

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