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So, you're trying to download a free screensaver or game or something else you really want. But later you find out that game came bundled with a malicious program that's trying to hijack your browser settings. You're not the only one having this problem—in fact, it's an issue that’s continuing to grow at an alarming rate. You should always be in charge of your own Chrome settings. To help keep your browser settings under your control we added a “reset browser settings” button to Chrome’s settings page in October.

Despite this, settings hijacking remains our number one user complaint. To make sure the reset option reaches everyone who might need it, Chrome will be prompting Windows users whose settings appear to have been changed if they’d like to restore their browser settings back to factory default. If you’ve been affected by settings hijacking and would like to restore your settings, just click “Reset” on the prompt below when it appears.



Note that this will disable any extensions, apps and themes you have installed. If you’d like to reactivate any of your extensions after the reset, you can find and re-enable them by looking in the Chrome menu under “More tools > Extensions.” Apps are automatically re-enabled the next time you use them.

Some hijackers are especially pernicious and have left behind processes that are meant to undermine user control of settings, so you may find that you’re hijacked again after a short period of time. If that happens you can find additional help uninstalling such programs in the Chrome help forum—and remember even if you don’t see the prompt, you can always restore Chrome to a fresh state by clicking the reset button in your Chrome settings.

Linus Upson, Vice President of Engineering

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Think back: you’ve just dumped a bin of LEGO® bricks onto the floor with a satisfying crash, and you have the whole day ahead of you to build whatever you want. There’s something pretty amazing about being able to piece together your ideas with just a collection of colorful bricks.

Well, we think the creative freedom of LEGO bricks shouldn’t be limited to plastic bins—which is the idea behind Build with Chrome, a collaboration between Chrome and the LEGO Group that brought these colorful bricks to the web using WebGL, a 3D graphics technology. It was originally built by a team in Australia as an experiment, and now we’re opening it up to everybody. So now you can publish your wacky creations to any plot of land in the world.
We’ve added a few new features to make it easier to build and explore this digital world of LEGO creations. To start, you can now sign in with a Google+ account to help find stuff that people in your circles have created. A new categorization system for completed Builds will help you sort and filter for specific types of structures.

To hone your engineering skills and prepare for the upcoming “THE LEGO® MOVIE ,” you can explore the Build Academy, a series of short tutorials and challenges featuring characters and structures from the film.

If it feels more natural to use your hands—rather than a mouse—you can build your creations using a touchscreen on your phone or tablet with Chrome for Android support for WebGL on devices with high-end graphics capabilities.

As big fans of LEGO, we’re excited to see what you come up with to fill this new world. Share your creations on Google+ and we’ll reshare the most inventive ones.

Posted by Adrian Soghoian, Product Marketing Manager and Beginning Builder

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More and more, we’re using our phones and tablets to discover great web content from all over the world. Today, a few new features in Chrome for Mobile make it easier for you to find and consume this content on the go.

Data compression for Android and iOS

In the U.S. alone, more than a fifth of adult smartphone users now do most of their online browsing on their mobile device.1 Around the world, we’re seeing a similar trend towards more mobile browsing. That’s why we’ll be rolling out a new feature on Chrome for Mobile to help you reduce data usage and save money on your mobile plan. When enabled, Chrome’s data compression and bandwidth management can reduce data usage by up to 50% while browsing the web on Chrome for Android and iOS. This feature also enables Chrome’s Safe Browsing technology which helps protect you from malicious webpages.

To start saving data and turn on an even more secure browsing experience, visit “Settings” > “Bandwidth management” > “Reduce data usage.” Then simply turn the toggle to “On.” From this menu, you’ll also be able to track how much bandwidth you save each month as you browse on Chrome.

Translate for iOS

Parlez-vous fran├žais? Not to worry. We heard your requests and will be introducing Google Translate in Chrome for iOS in the coming days. With this update, you can now translate webpages in Chrome with the click of a button on your iPhone and iPad, just as you’re used to on Chrome for desktop and Android. To translate a page into your phone or tablet’s native language, just look for the translation bar and select “Translate.”

Application shortcuts on Android

Lastly, this upcoming release of Chrome for Android will allow you to create shortcuts to your favorite websites right from your homescreen for faster and easier access to the web. When visiting a site you’d like to save, simply select “Add to homescreen” from the toolbar menu.
Then anytime you’d like to open the saved website, just tap its icon on your homescreen. For certain websites, the shortcut will open in a full-screen experience and appear as a separate app in the Android app switcher.

To try out these features on your Android and iOS devices, download the latest releases of Chrome for Mobile coming soon to the Play Store and App Store. These updates will be rolling out over the next few days.

Posted by Matt Welsh, Software Engineer & Data Squasher Extraordinaire


1Source: Pew Internet Cell Internet Use 2013 report.

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November’s Chrome beta introduced improvements to help make your browsing quieter, safer and sleeker. In the latest Chrome release we’re making these available to everyone:
  • You can now track down noisy tabs: You can now visually scan your tabs for a speaker icon to quickly find the ones singing in the background. You’ll also be able to see which tabs are currently using your webcam or are being cast to your TV.
Playing audio

Using your webcam
Casting to your TV
  • Safe Browsing's malware warning has gotten stronger: If you see this message in the download tray at the bottom of your screen, you can click “Dismiss” knowing that Chrome is working to keep you safe.
  • Try out supervised users for your family members: You can now use a beta preview of supervised users to help family members who may need some guidance browsing the web. Once you create a supervised user, you can visit chrome.com/manage to review their browsing activity and determine site restrictions.
  • Chrome on Windows 8 “Metro” mode gets a new look: Manage multiple Chrome windows and quickly get to your favorite Chrome Apps with an integrated app launcher.  On the desktop, we’ve updated the default styling of UI elements like form controls and scrollbars to match the sleek design of the new Chrome Metro interface.
Yuri Wiitala, Software Engineer and Tenacious Tab Tracker

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In the past year, the way we use computers continued to evolve. Around the world, more than 2.4 billion laptops, tablets and smartphones were purchased — that’s over 4,500 devices per minute — and over one-third of people worldwide now have consistent access to the web, helping us work, play, learn and connect with each other.

Chromebooks were designed for this new way of computing, and their popularity over 2013 reflects these trends. Two of the three best-selling laptops on Amazon this holiday season and 21% of all commercial notebooks sold through the channel were Chromebooks. Today, eight top computer manufacturers are building Chrome devices, with thousands of retail locations selling Chromebooks, and resellers like CDW are offering them to businesses, schools and governments.

Whichever Chromebook you have, Chrome OS stays fresh. New updates like the supervised users feature beta preview, make it easier to share Chromebooks with everyone in your family, including those who may need guidance browsing the web. Quickoffice is also now built into every Chromebook allowing you to work with Microsoft Office files offline, while Docs, Sheets and Slides all work offline as well - so you can keep working without an internet connection. In the education market, Lenovo and Dell introduced education focused Chromebooks, adding to a family of devices verified to meet Smarter Balanced and PARCC assessment requirements with software from AIR and Pearson Testnav8.

With 2014 in swing, there’s plenty more in store. Starting at the Consumer Electronics Show, several of our partners welcomed new additions:

  • Toshiba introduced their first Chromebook, a 13.3-inch device based on the Haswell microarchitecture, balancing performance, portability and affordability.
  • LG Electronics introduced the first Chromebase, a 21.5-inch All-In-One unit, combining the simplicity of Chrome OS with an elegant, integrated hardware package.
  • Acer announced a moonstone white version of it’s popular Acer C720 Touchscreen Chromebook line. 

As the way we use computers continues to evolve, the need for a faster, simpler and safer computer grows. With the continued support of our users and partners, we’re looking forward to an even bigger 2014.

Posted by Caesar Sengupta, VP, Product Management