24 June 2011

Changes to internal pages in Google Chrome

Internal pages, or about: pages, have a long history in browsers, as well as a wide range of uses, from the functional to Easter-egg-like – with about:Mozilla probably being the most famous. Chrome has also used them extensively, mostly for functional purposes. Starting with version 14, currently in the Canary and dev channels, switches the URI scheme from the common about: to the specific chrome:// that already powers the more visible settings, history, download pages and recently even the task manager. That includes the page that centralizes them, so now instead of heading to about:about, users will have to use the harder to remember – and type – chrome://chrome-urls. Fortunately about:about redirects here, for now at least.

List of About pages (stable version)

List of Chrome URLs
(Canary v. 14.0.802.0)

Along with the new structure, the browser introduced a brand new page dedicated to the Flash plugin, chrome://flash. It displays mostly troubleshooting information, from the version and location of the Flash plugin to the recent crashes experienced by it. For the average user it’s a nice and easy way to check if the Flash plugin used by the other browsers is up to date, because Chrome lists here both the bundled and the manually installed Flash on the system. As you can see below, the Adobe-maintained plugin is a couple of minor versions behind, thanks to the auto-update mechanism in Chrome.

About Flash

Google Chrome 14.0.802.0 (canary)
OS Windows 7 SP1
Flash plugin 10,3,181,34 C:\Users\user\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome SxS\Application\14.0.802.0\gcswf32.dll
Flash plugin 10,3,181,26 C:\Windows\system32\Macromed\Flash\NPSWF32.dll (not used)

Though only marginally related to the internal pages, I noticed another update that adds two more flags, both related to syncing: “Disable pre- and auto-login” and “Enable syncing typed URLs”. While I’m not quite sure what the first one does, the second adds a new option to the Chrome sync dialog, syncing the history of typed URLs over all your Chrome installations.

Disable pre- and auto-login
Disable pre-login to services when sync is enabled. Also disable infobar on login pages which help automate the login process. Pre- and auto-login are always disabled if sync is disabled.
Enable syncing typed URLs.
Enable typed URLs in the sync options. This allows syncing your typed URL history to other clients to assist in omnibox auto-completion.


  1. My assumption is that pre/auto-login is the same thing that Android 3.1 does to automatically authenticate with google.com in the browser. This will probably be available for any website to take advantage of so twitter.com for example would automatically login once the password is stored assuming they supported it.

  2. Yeah, I also suspected something like that, however I don't have an Android device & I don't sync passwords in Chrome, so I don't have any experience in this area. It would be a very nice feature, especially on mobile. I think LastPass also has something like that, but with a bookmarklet.

    P.S. thanks for sharing my post on Twitter! :)