You probably think of Chrome as a web browser—and so you should—but it has a few more tricks up its sleeve than you might have realized. Here are three of our favorite alternative uses for the software, which to a large extent work the same in Mozilla Firefox too.

1. Play music and video

Chrome can play plenty of common audio and video formats—simply drag the file into a blank tab and it starts playing. You don’t get much in the way of options but there are playback controls, a volume slider and the option to go full-screen in a click. If you don’t want to load up a bulky, feature-packed media player then a Chrome tab is a useful alternative.

2. View text and PDF files


PDF files and text files are another group of formats that Chrome handles well. Notepad opens in a snap, of course, but Adobe Reader is less lightweight so getting your files viewable in Chrome can come in handy. As before, just drag the file into an empty tab. In the case of PDFs you get options for zooming in and out, printing the document or saving it.

3. Browse your system


Did you know you can also use Chrome as a rudimentary file browser? There may not be many situations where you need to do this in Chrome rather than the default operating system shell but you never know when a backup is going to be required. Type C:\ into the address bar (or file:/// on a Mac) to get started—you can open up supported files types via this method too.

[Header image: Alexander Supertramp/]

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