The address bar icons in Chrome can change how you browse the internet. They hide important information and reveal them only when you start using them.
These icons and their functions can prevent your information from being stolen, help you access your favorite sites in one click, or watch YouTube videos without messing about on the site.
1. Secure Browsing Icon
Not all icons have survived the test of time like the green padlock, or the white page icon, but keep an eye on the ones in use to make sure you’re browsing the internet safely.
The first icon which suggests security is the Grey padlock icon that you’ll see to the left of the URL of this post.
When a website has a security certificate from its domain host and Google trusts that certificate it will display this grey padlock. You will also notice the site uses HTTPS instead of HTTP, signifying it is secured.
The padlock icon suggests that on this specific site all your passwords or credit card information will be stored privately and securely.
Clicking on this icon will give you a snapshot of the validity of the certificate, the number of cookies in use, and the site settings.
You can even click on any one of these options to get more information.
2. Not Secure Site Icons
Sites that are not fully secure and still use HTTP are shown up by the Grey circle with an exclamation point inside.
This means that the site is not using a private connection as it does not have a security certificate. But this icon is only a warning that the information you send through the site could be seen or modified by another person.
You can try deleting the HTTP part of the URL and changing it to HTTPS to see if there is a version of the site that is more secure.
The last icon you’ll notice next to the URL is a Triangle with an exclamation point inside. It will even say “Not Secure” or “Dangerous” next to the triangle.
You should avoid browsing these sites altogether if you notice this icon. It can be a site with an expired security certificate or malicious code. Someone will definitely be able to see the private information you send through this site.
Dangerous sites will have a full-page warning before letting you enter because it has been flagged as unsafe by Google’s Safe Browsing.
3. Popup Blocker Icon
There are few elements more annoying when browsing the internet than popups offering you various “deals” and “offers” while you are browsing. Google has an inbuilt blocker to help reduce the number of popups you experience while browsing.
Anytime Google takes action against a popup you’ll see this icon display on the right side of your address bar for a couple of seconds next to the star icon. It can get tricky if it blocks a popup that you actually do want to see.
For example, the pop-up blocker can stop you from downloading your balance statement if the download link is displayed via a pop-up notification on Chrome.
Using the Popup Icon
Click the icon for the blocked pop-up and select the option to allow it. You can also choose to always allow popups from the site by adding them to Chrome’s exception list.
If you don’t catch the icon when it appears you can click on the three dots at the far right of your Google Chrome screen and click on Settings.
Click on Privacy and Settings on the left-hand side and then click on the section that says Site Settings.
Scroll down till your see Pop-ups and redirects and click on this section.
Copy and paste the URL under Allow and Chrome won’t block pop-ups from the site in the future. You can also manage all blocked or allowed sites from here.
4. Bookmark Icon
On the far right of your address bar, you’ll notice a star icon and when you hover your mouse over it you’ll see a prompt to Bookmark This Tab. Bookmarking tabs is one of the fastest and most efficient ways to access the sites that you repeatedly visit when you are browsing the web.
When you click on the star it will ask you to name the site (it has a default name already entered) and where you want to save the bookmark.
If you’re just starting to bookmark you can go ahead and add it to the bookmarks bar and you’ll immediately see it underneath your address bar.
Clicking on that site will immediately open it in your browser. But if you plan on saving many bookmarks you’ll want to start creating folders where you can store many of the same types of sites inside.
If you want to bookmark a lot of news sites then you can create a folder named “News” and once you click the star you can find the folder from the dropdown options.
In order to create the News folders click on the More… option. Then you’ll want to click the New Folder option in the bottom right and you’ll see your new folder pop up and it will give you the option to name it.
You can always delete the folders or bookmarks by right-clicking on the folder or bookmark and clicking delete.
5. YouTube Control Icon
Have you noticed that anytime you open YouTube in a new tab in your browser you’re able to hear it playing no matter what tab you are in?
You actually have the ability to control the play, pause, next, previous, and picture-in-picture settings from any tab in your browser. Once you open YouTube and start playing a video go to a different tab while the video is still playing.
To the right of the address bar and all your Chrome extensions will be an icon that has three lines and a music note.
Clicking on the icon will bring up your play, pause, previous, next, and picture-in-picture options. You can also click the “X” at the top right to get rid of the icon altogether.
This makes it easy when you’re listening to your favorite music while working and you can pause it anytime you need to skip to the next video without always having to navigate back to YouTube.
6. Language Icon
When visiting a site that isn’t in the same language that has been set up in your Chrome settings you’ll immediately be prompted to translate the site to your native tongue.
But if you happen to miss that prompt you can still change the language of the site using the language icon to the left of the bookmark icon.
The icon is hard to describe but has the Google letter “G” on it. Clicking on this icon will give you a set of options that allows you to translate the page as you see fit.
The first and easiest option will be to translate to the same language that is the default on your Chrome settings. You can even checkmark the box below that will always translate any website that is in the current language to your default language.
Clicking on the three dots will provide even more options on how you want pages in this language to be translated in the future.
Keep an Eye on a Browser’s Icons
Having a good grasp of all the icons that show up on your address bar will make navigating and browsing the internet easier for future use.
Being able to know if your information is secure or being able to save your favorite sites for easy access can save you a lot of headaches and time.