How To Turn On Secret Reading Mode In Chrome Desktop Browser

Firefox, Safari, and other browsers come with native reading mode feature on desktop. But, this is not the case with Google Chrome desktop browser. It does support enabling reading mode in Android version by accessing flags page. For desktop, there is no such setting. Still, with a very simple trick, you can turn on the secret or hidden reading mode in desktop Chrome browser. This feature is also known as ‘Distill Page‘ option of Chrome browser.

When Distill page feature is enabled in Chrome browser, it shows only the main content of a webpage including the images on the center part. Rest of the stuff like ads, sidebars, pop-ups etc are removed from the webpage. This helps in reading a webpage easily without any distraction. So, it won’t be wrong if I say it is a distraction free reading mode of Google Chrome on PC.

Let’s see what happens after enabling Chrome’s hidden reading mode. As you can see in the image below, that is the original webpage without reading mode.

original webpage with all content

Now see the screenshot below with reading mode activated in Chrome browser. All webpage content will visible on the center part with main content (including text, links, and images). It looks similar to Chrome’ mobile version reading mode.

webpage with reading mode enabled in chrome browser

You can’t undo the webpage. That means there is no option to turn off reading mode for the same webpage. Even refreshing the tab doesn’t help. So, in that case, you need to close the webpage and re-open it to view webpage in normal mode.

If you are ready to activate reading mode in Chrome, then check the steps below.

Steps To Turn On Secret Reading Mode In Desktop Chrome Browser:

1). Right-click on the desktop shortcut of Chrome and tap on Properties. If desktop shortcut is not available, then you can create it.

open properties of chrome

2). in Google Chrome Properties, go to Shortcut tab. In Target field, copy and paste the following path.

"C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe" --enable-dom-distiller

add --enable-dom-distiller in target path of chrome

Chrome application path is already available in Target field, you just need to add –enabled dom-distiller additionally.

3). Tap on Apply and OK.

A confirmation box might open that you will need to provide administrator permission to change these settings. In that case, you can press Continue button.

4). Close Google Chrome completely. Even after closing its all windows, it will be running in the system tray. So, you need to access desktop system tray, right-click on Chrome icon, and press Exit option.

5). Launch Google Chrome and then open a webpage.

6). Click on three vertical dots icon (menu icon) available on top left side of Google Chrome and then a new ‘Distill page‘ option will visible. Click Distill page option

click distill page option

The webpage will reload or refresh automatically and visible in clutter free reading mode.

All the main content of webpage will visible in the center part and rest of the elements will remain hidden.

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Final Thoughts:

Chrome should have come with straightforward feature to enable reading mode. May be, it’s gonna come soon in upcoming updates. For now, this trick to turn on clutter free reading mode in desktop Chrome is useful. Hope this will help you guys.