If you find that ads, sidebars, and pop-ups make webpages harder to read, try Chrome's built-in reader mode: distill page. Distill page strips distracting elements from a webpage, leaving only clean text to read. It's a hidden feature that you can enable on Chrome for Windows.
Don't use chrome://flags to set reader mode
This feature is no longer available under chrome://flags. Instead, use distill page to enable reader mode in Chrome for Windows. Alternatively, you can use an extension to enable reader mode in all versions of Chrome.
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.
If you have a Mac, skip to the next section for some extensions you can use to enjoy the same functionality as using distill page.
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.
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.
Right-click on your Chrome shortcut to reveal Chrome options.
Next, right-click on Google Chrome to reveal the Properties menu. Then, select Properties.
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
When you've finished updating the target field, click OK. Then close and reopen Chrome for the setting to take effect.
Distill page should now be a visible option in the Chrome menu (click the three vertical dots in the upper right hand corner of your browser to reveal the menu).
How to Use Distill Page (Chrome Reader Mode)
To use distill page, go to the webpage 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.