How To Preview Links in Google Chrome (Desktop and Android)
We interact with all sorts of links on almost every web page, some are useful, some are not, and some can even be dangerous. However, you still have to open the link to find out what’s inside to see whether it was useful or a waste of time.
This can be really annoying, especially when a link opens in the same tab and moves you away from the current page you were viewing. If you don’t like fully opening links, then maybe a way to quickly preview a link can help you.
If you can quickly see what’s inside a link without opening it in a tab, you can save lots of time and possibly save yourself from inappropriate content.
In today’s post, I am going to show you how you can preview URLs in the Chrome desktop and Android app.
Preview links in Chrome desktop app
On the desktop, you’ll have to use a Chrome extension that can add the functionality to preview links. There are a bunch of Chrome extensions for this purpose and each uses a different way to preview links. I personally find the Preview Chrome extension to be best for this purpose as it offers a full-page preview with an easier way to dismiss the preview.
There is no prior setup needed to use the extension. Just install the extension and whenever you want to preview a link, hold the Alt key and left-click on the link. This will open a small window with the link’s content inside.
The window is scrollable and you can interact with the content inside (like opening more links). However, as soon as you will move the mouse cursor away from this small window, it will immediately close. You can’t keep this window open and do something else as it will always close when you move the cursor away.
If you don’t like the Preview extension, then you can also give ezLinkPreview a try. This one shows a tiny “EZ” button next to the link when you hover and you can click on it to open a large preview right on top of the current page. You can close the preview by clicking on the cross button in the right corner.
Preview links in Chrome Android app
On the Chrome Android app, you can preview links without using any third-party tools. Chrome has recently introduced a built-in feature to preview links without opening them. Below you’ll find the instructions on how to use this feature.
Go to any link on a web page and tap-and-hold on it until a menu pops up. Here select the “Preview page” option from the list.
A preview will open up and show at the very bottom of the screen. You can either tap on it or swipe upwards from the bottom to fully open the preview.
The preview shows all the content of the page and you can even open other links inside it, but it will work on top of the current page. If you want to close it, just hit the cross (X) button at the top-right corner and it will close. There is also a button to open the previewed page in a new tab.
Ability to preview links definitely makes web browsing more productive as you won’t have to load full pages and move between tabs. It is also really good for focusing on the current page rather than juggling between pages. If you have questions, let us know in the comments below.