Having regard to COVID-19, Google postponed Chrome 81 ‘s release to ensure browser stability, while missing version 82 and pushing up the next update. Chrome 83 is now rolling out with passed-over release features and a huge focus on security / privacy.
Tab groups are officially launching on Mac , Windows , Linux and Chrome OS with this release, but the company notes a gradual rollout.
Google partnered with Microsoft to modernize the appearance of checkboxes, text fields, buttons, menu and other controls on the form. By increasing the size of onscreen targets, this improves accessibility and touch interaction.
This new look — already available on Microsoft Edge — rolls out first with Chrome 83 to Mac , Windows , Linux and Chrome OS. Android support arrives later this year.
A redesign of “Privacy and Security” settings sees “Cookies and Other Site Data” highly elevated to be easier to handle. Users are presented with four easy-to-explain options:
- Allow all cookies
- Block third-party cookies in Incognito
- Block third-party cookies
- Block all cookies (not recommended)
Until then it is divided into two parts by a revamp of Site Settings. The first addresses location, camera, microphone, alerts, and other website-sensitive preferences, while a new section lists recent activity of permissions. This revamp, as well as other security features, will begin to roll out with Chrome 83.
A similar change in Incognito sees Chrome 83 block cookies from third parties by default. However, users will be given the option to enable site by site. A new “head” icon in the address bar opens a panel that notes how many cookies have been blocked, while the Incognito New Tab Page has a toggle to allow / disable third party cookies.
A new, multi-faceted security check in Settings ensures that you are running Chrome’s latest version, and that no saved passwords have been leaked. This will also work to ensure that you don’t have any harmful extensions with a prompt to uninstall when needed.
Within the main browser and PWA windows, Chrome 83 will feature a redesigned extensions menu that is labelled with a “puzzle” icon. Focused on privacy, tapping will view a list of extensions and what data is accessible. You can still pin them to the right side of the address bar, as before.
Google is launching Enhanced Safe Browsing to make Chrome scan for dangerous sites and downloads. There are now account-level integrations with Gmail and Drive to “protect you based on a holistic view of threats you find on the web and attacks on your Google Account.” This feature will provide personalized notifications for phishing sites, file downloads, and cross-product alerts over the next year.
“Standard Protection” is still available-along with the complete disabling of Safe Browsing, while the “Enhanced Protection” opt-in requires that “data browsing be sent to Google.”
Google has begun trialing DNS-over-HTTPS (DoH) with version 79 to avoid user monitoring and malicious redirects to phishing pages. Secure DNS for the remaining users launches in Chrome 83.
Google does not migrate users to its own 18.104.22.168 DNS provider but then auto-upgrades them to the DoH service (if available) of their current DNS provider. By default it will be disabled for managed devices running Chrome OS and users of other enterprise desktop browsers.
Google plans to remove Adobe Flash from Chrome this December completely after version 76 removed the obsolete plug-in by default in July last year. Chrome 83 will display a alert as sites ask users to activate the Flash Player for the change that is to come.
Google is now focusing on mixed content downloads with version 81 autoprograding HTTP images to HTTPS on secure pages. Chrome 83 begins to alert users of macOS, Windows , Linux, and Chrome OS when they access an EXE, APK, or other HTTP executable on an HTTPS link. This message “[file] can not be securely downloaded” is found in the downloads bar.
Building on the latest tablet mode for Chrome OS, there’s a new tab strip UI that will group related pages together.
In the last few releases, Google has been focused on rising CPU and power usage. Chrome will detect when another browser window is covered to suspend work painting pixels, thereby preserving resources when not viewing a page. This builds on Chrome ‘s freezing tabs — except for recording and playing audio / video — that have been in the background for over five minutes. This feature will begin to roll out in version 83.
Earlier this year , Google announced its Chrome Apps killing in light of the rise of modern web technologies. With version 83, consumers won’t be able to support Chrome apps on Mac , Windows or Linux anymore.