How to read articles in Chrome with NO clutter

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Have you ever tried to read a serious article online, and you were just constantly distracted by the sidebars, the ads, and all the other “clutter” on the screen? Chrome has a secret “reader” mode to get rid of all that so you can focus on the content.



Most people don’t know about this option because it’s not all that easy to get to it in Chrome. In fact, Google still considers it to be “experimental” so that’s why it’s not yet on the regular Chrome menu. But you can put it there.

But first, you need to get Chrome version 75 or above. The good news is, if you use Chrome, you probably already have the current version. To check it, click the Options button (the 3 dots in the top right), then go to Help, then click on About Google Chrome. That screen will tell you what version you have, and even offer to update it for you if needed. As I write this, the current version is 76 dot something dot something. As long as you have 75 or higher you’re okay.

Chrome version


Now, you need to go up to the address bar in Chrome, and type this in and then hit Enter:

Chrome setting

Note that it’s all lower case, and there are no spaces between any letters or characters.

When you hit Enter, you’ll see a page full of settings, including one called Enable Reader Mode. For that one, you just click the drop-down menu and choose Enabled:

Enable Reader Mode

You have now added a new item to your Chrome Options. If you click the Options button again (3 dots), you’ll see a new item there, called Distill:



Next time you’re on a web page and you’re trying to read an article, but there’s too much “web page clutter” that’s distracting you, click the Distill button and see what happens. Peaceful reading returns!

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Sandy Bergstrom Mesmer
August 19th, 2019