How to Enable Reader Mode on Chrome

Working for Chrome versions above 89 on desktop and mobile

Reader Mode is a lesser known new feature in chrome that allows you to view some pages in a simpler view that has items such as ads and extra buttons removed. I have found it tricky to figure out how to actually enable and use this new reader mode in the latest chrome versions, so I thought I would put together a quick tutorial with screenshots on how to enable reader mode for both desktop and mobile.

Desktop:

All you need to do to enable reader mode is to open a new tab in chrome and go to chrome://flags/#enable-reader-mode. Enable Reader Mode will originally be set as default, but you should go ahead and change it to enabled. I also tried the option “Enabled available in settings”, but was unable to get reader mode to work with it, so I would suggest just setting the option to enabled.

The next step is to find a website that allows for reader mode to be used, since not all websites will work. I found specific news articles such as this one from BBC as a good place to start. When a site is able to be read in reader mode a book icon will show up in the toolbar by the favorites star in the upper right. Clicking on that icon will toggle the website to be rendered in reader mode. To return to the original webpage you can simple click the back arrow you would typically use to navigate back.

Mobile:

To enable reader mode in mobile, open the chrome app and go to settings (three vertical dots in the upper right). From there you click on accessibility and then finally check the box for the option Simplified view for web pages.

The next step is to find a website that allows for reader mode to be used, since not all websites will work as with the desktop version. Going to the same BBC news article will show a notification at the bottom of the screen Show simplified view. Clicking on this will open up the webpage in the simplified reader mode. You can return the original page, but navigating back.

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