How to Enable Chrome Reader Mode

Lose the ads and other distractions with reading mode

What to Know

  • This feature is no longer available under chrome://flags. Instead, use distill page to enable reader mode in Chrome for Windows.
  • Right-click the Chrome shortcut, right-click Google Chrome, and select Properties. Add -enable-dom-distiller to the end of the Target field.
  • To use distill page, go to a web page and select Distill page from the upper-right menu. The page displays in reader mode.

This article explains how to use Chrome's built-in reader mode: distill page. Distill page strips distracting elements from a web page, leaving only clean text to read. It's a hidden feature that you can enable on Chrome for Windows.

How to Set up Distill Page (Chrome Reader Mode) for Windows

Here's a look at how to enable distill page, plus some Chrome extensions that will give you the same functionality as distill page, regardless of which type of device or operating system you use.

This feature is no longer available under chrome://flags. Instead, use distill page to enable reader mode in Chrome for Windows.

Keep in mind that you can always use an extension to get the same functionality as distill page, regardless of which operating system you use (Windows, macOS, etc.). In some cases, you may find it easier to install an extension instead of manually updating Chrome to enable distill mode.

  1. Before starting, make a backup by right-clicking the Chrome application in the Programs menu, then copying and pasting the application to another location.

    If you wish, you can keep two copies of the Chrome icon. For example, one with distill page enabled, and one without.

  2. Right-click on your Chrome shortcut to reveal Chrome options.

    Right click Chrome icon
  3. Next, right-click on Google Chrome to reveal the Properties menu. Then, select Properties.

    Properties in Chrome options menu
  4. In the Properties window, add -enable-dom-distiller to the end of Target field. For example, the Target field should read:

    “C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe” –enable-dom-distiller

    Filling in the Target field
  5. When you've finished updating the target field, click OK. Then close and reopen Chrome for the setting to take effect.

  6. Distill page should now be a visible option in the Chrome menu (click the three vertical dots in the upper-right corner of your browser to reveal the menu).

    Distill page in menu

How to Use Distill Page (Chrome Reader Mode)

To use distill page, go to the web page you wish to read. Then, select Distill page from the top right menu. The page should display in reader mode, i.e. only text, with no unwanted elements. To go back to the original page, hit the back button.

Note that distill page works best on pages that have a lot of text content. If you apply distill page to a website that's mostly images or videos, you might not get the results you're after.

How to Enable Chrome Reader Mode on a Mac

If you're looking to enable reader mode under chrome://flags, this experimental feature is no longer available. Instead, use a Chrome extension to enable reader mode.

If you're a Mac user (or just prefer to use an extension), there are several extensions that will allow you to view pages in reader mode. These extensions are designed to remove distracting and unnecessary elements from a webpage, giving you a better reading experience on any device.

  • Reader View: Strips away distracting elements like images and buttons, and changes a webpage's text size, contrast, and layout for better readability.
  • Just Read: Removes ads, pop-ups, comments, and more. It also allows you to use dark and light themes (good for hard to read websites), as well as apply your own custom styling to web pages.
  • DOM Distiller Reading Mode: Removes things like images, sidebars, pop-ups, and other distracting elements from a webpage.
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