Adjusting Chrome settings to enhance your online privacy

In this guide you'll learn how to configure your Chrome browser settings to harden your online privacy.

Last modified
20th October 2021
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Warning: Chrome is a Google product and as such embeds many mechanisms that might share data with Google. One such mechanism automatically links your browser to your Google account when you sign in on any Google service (e.g. Gmail). Consider using Firefox or a Chrome-based alternative (e.g. Vivaldi, Opera, Brave...) to avoid this. Alternatively you can disable some of these behaviours in the settings by following this guide.

Changing settings in Chrome menu

To access the settings, click on the three-dot menu on the upper right and then press Settings (Fig. 1), or type chrome://settings/ in the URL bar and press Enter.

Fig. 1: Chrome settings menu

You and Google

Chrome includes several features meant to improve your browsing experience that require you to share data with Google. You can disable these options by going to the Settings page, and clicking on You and Google > Sync and Google Services. Another thing you might want to do is disable Autocomplete searches and URLs, Make searches and browsing better, and Allow Chromium sign-in to prevent this data from being sent to Google's servers (Fig. 2).

Fig. 2: Sync settings

Privacy and security

On the Settings page, click on Privacy and security. In this page you can change some settings to protect yourself from online trackers.

Cookies and other site data

Do Not Track (DNT) is a signal that your browser can send when browsing the web to express to websites that you do not want to be tracked. Not all websites respect this but you might want to enable it nonetheless. For more protection, refer to our guide on installing an ad-blocker.
To enable DNT, click cookies and other site data and enable Send a "Do Not Track" request with your browsing traffic. You can also disable "Preload pages for faster browsing and searching".


Enable Standard protection on the Safe Browsing settings (You may want to use enhanced protection but be aware that this requires additional data to be sent to Google). Then, click the arrow on the right to open the advanced settings panel. To prevent additional data from being sent to Google, disable Help improve security on the web for everyone (Fig. 3).

Fig. 3: Security settings
Site settings

On the permissions section, you can enable Ask before accessing on all permissions to ensure that website won't access your microphone or location without your knowledge. If you want sites to be unable to send and receive data after you closed a tab or window, disable Background sync (note that this may affect your browsing).
Finally, you can scroll to the bottom of the page and click on Additional content settings. Here you'll find an option to disable Ads that have been deemed intrusive or misleading by Google. While this is a simple option to enable, we suggest considering third party adblocker such as uBlock Origin or Privacy Badger to avoid letting Google decide which ads are problematic and block all ads.

Fig. 4: Permission settings

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