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(Pocket-lint) - Google Chrome on the desktop is finally getting a Reader mode -- and you can already start testing it.

Google's browser has offered a Reader mode for a few years on its Android version. The desktop version of Chrome never received the feature, however, even though browsers like Safari and Firefox have followed suit and quickly adopted reading-friendly modes. That’s all about to change now, though, as a new update to Chrome on desktop is officially bringing the Reader mode.


To be clear, Reader mode is simply an option that makes articles easier to read online, by stripping ads and other background content from the page. It leaves only the article and relevant pictures. It can be a huge help on websites where each paragraph is separated by an intrusive ad. Since Google is in the ad business, it’s not surprising this feature has taken so long to arrive.

ZDNet first noticed the feature in the latest Canary build of Chrome. It was hiding in plain sight, signaling its arrival to the desktop. It looks like, after enabling the feature, Chrome users will see a “Distill page” button in the dropdown setting menu, which activates the simplified view of the webpage they’re reading. It seems like Google is going to keep its version pretty bare-boned.

To access an experimental version of the feature now in Chrome Canary v75, type chrome://flags/#enable-reader-mode in the URL bar in Chrome. Then, turn it on, and restart your browser. Let us know how you get on with it in the comments below.

Writing by Maggie Tillman.