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In some ways, it's safer than ever to be online — especially if you use Chrome. With continued security research and seamless automatic updates, your browsing experience is always getting better and more secure. But recently you may have noticed something seems amiss. Online criminals have been increasing their use of malicious software that can silently hijack your browser settings. This has become a top issue in the Chrome help forums; we're listening and are here to help.

Bad guys trick you into installing and running this kind of software by bundling it with something you might want, like a free screensaver, a video plugin or—ironically—a supposed security update. These malicious programs disguise themselves so you won’t know they’re there and they may change your homepage or inject ads into the sites you browse. Worse, they block your ability to change your settings back and make themselves hard to uninstall, keeping you trapped in an undesired state.

We're taking steps to help, including adding a "reset browser settings" button in the last Chrome update, which lets you easily return your Chrome to a factory-fresh state. You can find this in the “Advanced Settings” section of Chrome settings.

 


In the current Canary build of Chrome, we’ll automatically block downloads of malware that we detect. If you see this message in the download tray at the bottom of your screen, you can click “Dismiss” knowing Chrome is working to keep you safe.

 

This is in addition to the 10,000 new websites we flag per day with Safe Browsing, which also detects and blocks malicious downloads, to keep more than 1 billion web users safe across multiple browsers that use this technology. Keeping you secure is a top priority, which is why we’re working on additional means to stop malicious software installs as well.

Update: 11/1/13: Updated to mention that Safe Browsing already detects and blocks malware.

Linus Upson, Vice President

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As someone who has helped numerous family members get online for the first time, I know how rewarding it can be. I enjoy sitting down with my daughter, watching her eyes light up at new favorites we find together on the web. Like many of you, I also find it important to keep family members protected from websites that may be inappropriate. To help those who may need some guidance browsing the web, we’re kicking off a beta channel preview of a new feature called supervised users.

Let’s say you’ve recently purchased the new HP Chromebook 11 and want to share it with your son. He’ll be able to use your Chromebook as a supervised user. This means once you’ve created a supervised user for him on your Chromebook, you’ll be able to visit chrome.com/manage to review a history of web pages he has visited, determine sites that you want to allow or block, and manage permissions for any blocked websites he has requested to view.


We hope this new feature helps you share Chromebooks with everyone in your family. Additionally, you can try an early version of supervised users on Chrome beta for Windows, Mac and Linux, too. This is just the beginning — we’d love to get your feedback on features you’d like to see. If you’re on the beta channel, supervised users will begin rolling out this week. Give it a try, and let us know what you think!

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On April 8, 2014, after more than a decade of powering many of the world’s computers, Windows XP will officially retire. Like all technologies that come to their end-of-life, the XP operating system and most of its desktop applications will no longer receive updates and security patches. Since unpatched browser bugs are often used by malware to infect computers, we’re extending support for Chrome on Windows XP, and will continue to provide regular updates and security patches until at least April 2015.

We recognize that hundreds of millions of users, including a good chunk of current Chrome users, still rely on XP. Moreover, many organizations still run dozens or even hundreds of applications on XP and may have trouble migrating. Our goal is to support Chrome for XP users during this transition process. Most importantly, Chrome on XP will still be automatically updated with the latest security fixes to protect against malware and phishing attacks.

If you’re an IT administrator and your employees depend on web applications built for older browsers, you can use Legacy Browser Support to set Chrome as the primary browser and limit the usage of the unsupported, legacy browser to only specific web apps. See Chrome for Business to learn more about how to deploy and manage Chrome for an organization.

Mark Larson, Director of Engineering and Superintendent of Public Safety, Google Chrome 

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Following their announcement at IDF, we’re delighted to officially welcome the Acer C720 as the latest addition to the Chromebook family. Featuring Intel’s latest Haswell processor and a battery that lasts all day, the C720 is an ideal balance of power and portability.


The C720 is available online at Best Buy and Amazon for $249.99 in the U.S., with devices arriving in stores soon. The C720 will also be available in Germany, UK, France, Netherlands, Sweden and Finland. We’re also happy to see that Acer is bringing their Chromebooks to India for the first time, available at Flipkart.



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We need our computers to be as fast and mobile as we are. We want to work across multiple screens—often at the same time. We want the latest and greatest software and we want to be able to get to our stuff from wherever we are. Chromebooks offer all of that, making computers that are simpler, more secure and more affordable, for everyone.

Earlier today, HP introduced the HP Chromebook 11. Designed and built in partnership with our friends at HP, it has all of the speed, simplicity and security benefits you'd expect from a Chromebook, and some unique design elements that address many of the challenges people face with computers today.


First, a laptop should be light and mobile. So the new Chromebook is really thin with no extra fluff. It weighs in at just over two pounds—one of the lightest laptops on the market. There are also no sharp edges so nothing digs into your wrists while you type. And when you’re traveling, you don’t need to throw an extra charger into your bag. The HP Chromebook 11 is powered by a micro-USB charger, which can also be used to juice up your Android phone or tablet.

Second, a computer should look good—something you’re proud to take out at a coffee shop. So the new Chromebook has a sleek, distinctive and super simple look. The fanless design means it doesn’t need any grills for venting. And it comes in a variety of colors to match your mood (or your wardrobe).

And there are a bunch of other things that we hope will make your computing experience even more awesome:
  • Brilliant display. Often when folks gather around a screen, everyone tries to gently nudge the computer in their own direction so they can see better. No more nudging. The new Chromebook's screen has a 176-degree viewing angles so you can see even when looking at it almost completely sideways. And the super bright display brings all of your favorite photos, shows and videos to life.
  • Light but sturdy. We wanted the Chromebook to hold up well against everyday bumps and bruises. So it has a magnesium frame that makes it incredibly sturdy. You can hold it from a single corner without it bending or flexing.
  • Finely-tuned speakers. Many computers have speakers on the bottom, which is great if you have ears in your lap. Instead, the speakers on the new Chromebook are under the keyboard, which means the sound is crisp, clear and pointed up towards your ears.
  • Goodies built-in. And, of course, many Google apps come built-in, including 100GB of Google Drive cloud storage (free for two years) and a 60-day free trial of Google Play Music All Access.

This Chromebook is crafted with the same obsessive attention to detail as the Chromebook Pixel. But we worked hard with HP to keep the price low: the new HP Chromebook 11 is available for just $279.

Look for it starting today at Best Buy, Amazon, Google Play and HP Shopping in the U.S., as well as at Currys, PC World and many other retailers in the U.K. It will be available in other countries that sell Chromebooks in time for the holidays.

So if you’ve been looking for a computer that makes it easier to get stuff done (and look good doing it), we hope you give the new HP Chromebook 11 a try—or add it to your gift list this holiday season. We designed it to make computing faster, simpler and more secure, for everyone.

Posted by Caesar Sengupta, VP, Product Management

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Have you ever wished your phone or tablet’s browser could immediately open a website you visit often? With the Beta release of Chrome for Android rolling out today, it’s now easier to create shortcuts on your homescreen to do exactly that. When visiting a website you’d like to save, simply select “Add to homescreen” from the toolbar menu.


Anytime you’d like to open the saved website, you can just tap its icon on your homescreen. For certain websites, the shortcut will now open in a full-screen experience and appear as a separate app in the app switcher.

Some Beta users on Android will also begin to see variations on their New Tab page, like the one below:


We’ve tested this New Tab page with a search bar on desktop and now want to bring the benefits, including a faster load time, to mobile as well. While you can search straight from the Omnibox in Chrome, we realized many users continue to visit their search engine’s homepage before searching, so we wanted to make it faster for those users to search. We’re always thinking about how to save milliseconds from every search you perform, and we hope this new feature will save you time on-the-go.

You can start trying out these Chrome Beta features later today.

Posted by Newton Allen & Ted Choc, Software Engineers & New Tab Architects

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Hulu has added Chromecast support to their Hulu Plus app—just in time for the fall television season. Now you can easily enjoy your favorite shows, such as “Modern Family,” “New Girl” and “Parks and Recreation,” on your big-screen TV by casting from Hulu Plus on your mobile phone or tablet. It’s the same intuitive, remote-free experience you’ve come to enjoy with the other Chromecast-supported apps, and is as simple as pressing the Cast button which will now appear in the app.



Chromecast, which we launched in July, is designed to be small, affordable ($35) and the simplest way to watch online video on your TV. It’s been exciting to receive such positive feedback from many of you (thank you!)—and to see Chromecast currently listed as the #1 best seller on Amazon in Electronics.

To start casting your favorite Hulu Plus content from your Android phone, tablet or iPad (support for iPhone coming very soon), just check that you have the latest version of the Hulu Plus app for Android or iOS that’s rolling out today. And if you don't already own a Chromecast device, they’re in stock and available on Google Play, Amazon, BestBuy.com or at your local Best Buy store.

Posted by Shanna Prevé, Head of Content Partnerships for Chromecast and TV junkie


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If you use Chrome, you might notice we’re always making small adjustments to simplify and streamline your browsing experience. Starting this week, all Chrome users will be able to search by image and Chrome for Android users get some new gestures to quickly navigate open tabs and access the menu.

Right-click on an image to use it as a Google search 

In Chrome for Android, you’ll be able to:
  • Swipe horizontally across the top toolbar to quickly switch tabs.
  • Drag vertically down from the toolbar to enter into the tab switcher view. 
  • Drag down from the menu to open the menu and select the item you want without having to lift your finger.

Swipe your way between tabs and into the menu

These updates to Chrome for desktop and Android will be rolling out to all users over the next few days, so if you don't see them yet, you will soon. Happy browsing!

Posted by Kibeom Kim, Software Engineer and Swift Swiper