Run Chrome with flags[How to add command line switches to Google Chrome]

How to add command line switches to Google Chrome or Chromium

by Lee Mathews 

Adding command line switches to Google Chrome


We've published a lot of posts about features in Google Chrome and Chromium which require you to addcommand line switches to activate them.

So how exactly do you do that? Watch the video above, and refer to the notes below -- it's a simple process!
  1. Locate your Chrome or Chromium shortcut. There should be one on your desktop and one in your start menu - either one will work!
  2. Click the shortcut with your right mouse button and choose properties.
  3. Find the target box (it will be highlighted when the properties screen appears).
  4. Left click at the end of the line (after chrome.exe).
  5. Press space.
  6. Add your command line switch. The result looks like this:
    C:\Users\LeeM\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe --bookmark-menu

  7. If you want to add more than one, separate each switch with a space. The result looks like this:
    C:\Users\LeeM\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe --bookmark-menu --enable-phantom-tabs
  8. --allow-running-insecure-content

################################################################################################################################

A list of useful Google Chrome command line switches

Chrome supports hundreds of different command line switches that may add features to the browser, change how features work, or remove features from it.

Some switches are only useful to developers, as they enable them to test certain features in Chrome, while others have practical uses that users of the web browser will appreciate as well.

The following list highlights important Chrome command line switches for users of the browser.

Before that, I'd like to walk you through the configuration process that explains how you can add one or multiple command line switches to the Chrome browser.

Note: The guide explains how this is done on Windows only.

Adding command line switches to Chrome

chrome command line switches

You have two main options to do so. First, you can open the Windows command line, change the directory to the Chrome directory, and run commands using chrome.exe  followed by the commands that you want to run. An example would be the following command executed in the Chrome application directory on the system.

chrome.exe --reset-variation-state

The easiest way to do so is the following way:

  • Tap on the Windows-key, type cmd and hit enter.
  • Use CD to change the directory to your Chrome profile directory.
  • If you are running Windows XP, it is %USERPROFILE%\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Chrome\Application
  • If you are running Windows Vista or newer, it is%LOCALAPPDATA%\Google\Chrome\Application
  • Type chrome.exe followed by the space-key, and then the command line switches you want to run. Note that they always begin with two dashes.

This is great for testing purposes, but if you like a certain command and want to run it at all times, you may want to make those changes permanent so that they are automatically used whenever you load Chrome.

If you are starting Google Chrome from a shortcut, placed on the desktop, taskbar or start menu, then you can easily add command line switches to it.  Just right-click the shortcut, locate Google Chrome there, right-click on it and select Properties.

The Shortcut tab should open up automatically. It displays the load path of the browser in the target field. At the end of the field, after the closing ", add a space, and then the command line switches you want to use.

Add another space between each command line switch if you want to use multiple ones.

chrome command line

Useful Chrome command line switches

CommandDescription
    • --allow-running-insecure-content
--ash-force-desktopForces uses of the desktop version of Chrome
--disable-3d-apisDisables 3D Apis, including WebGL and Pepper 3D
--disable-accelerated-videoDisables GPU accelerated video
--disable-background-modeBackground apps won't continue to run when Chrome exits.
--disable-gpuDisables hardware acceleration using the GPU
--disable-pluginsPrevents all plugins from running
--disable-plugins-discoveryDisables the discovery of missing plugins
--disable-preconnectDisables speculative TCP/IP preconnections
--disable-translateDisables the Google Translate feature
--dns-prefetch-disableDisable DNS prefetching
--enable-kiosk-modeKiosk Mode for Chrome OS
 --incognitoLaunches Chrome directly in Incognito private browsing mode
--media-cache-sizeDisk space used by media cache in bytes
--multi-profilesEnable multiple profiles in Chrome
--new-profile-managementEnable the new profile management in Chrome
--no-experimentsRun Chrome without experiments set in chrome://flags
--no-pingsNo hyperlink auditing pings
--no-referrersUse Chrome without sending referrers
--purge-memory-buttonAdd purge memory button to Chrome
--reset-variation-stateChange the field trials that the browser is currently signed up for
--restore-last-sessionRestore the last session on run
--ssl-version-minSpecify the minimum SSL version accepted
--start-maximizedStarts the Chrome window maximized.
--window-positionSpecify the initial window position using --window-position=x,y
--window-sizeSpecify the initial window size using --window-position=x,y


Comments