Google Chrome 78 Released

Google Chrome 78 Released

Google announced the release of Chrome 78 on October 22, 2019, for users of Windows, macOS, Linux, Chrome OS, iOS, and Android. The update includes 37 security fixes and some notable new features.

Some of those new features include a customizable New Tab page, Force Dark Mode for Web Contents, Tab Hover Cards, Password Leak Detection tool integration, a DNS-over-HTTPS trial, and removal of the XSS Auditor. As indicated individually below, Google did not enable some of the features by default.

Tab Hover Cards

Perhaps the most useful new feature is the Tab Hover Card. For tab-heavy Chrome users, often the tab descriptions become undecipherably scrunched. Hover your cursor over any tab no matter how small to reveal the tab’s title and web address in a tooltip panel.

Tab Hover Card example

The option to add an image preview of the page to the hover card also exists: chrome://flags/#tab-hover-card-images

Tab Hover Card with image example

Microsoft Edge included a similar tab preview feature when it launched that I ended up disabling after a while. If the Tab Hover Cards prove more detrimental than useful, disable them by visiting chrome://flags/#tab-hover-cards.

Force Dark Mode for Web Contents

If dark mode is your thing, Chrome 78 includes a Force Dark Mode for Web Contents feature. It automatically renders all web content with a dark theme whether the site’s publisher enabled a dark theme or not. As one would expect, Google thankfully did not enable this feature by default. Dark moders need to visit chrome://flags/#enable-force-dark to turn it on.

force dark theme in web contents example

Google added a new customization menu to the New Tab page, but it too is not enabled by default yet. Chrome users who want to customize their background wallpaper, select new themes, control the appearance of their New Tab page must enable these two flags:


Finally, the Password Leak Detection tool checks your saved passwords for leaks against public data breaches. The caveats are you need to 1) turn it on by visiting chrome://flags/#password-leak-detection, and 2) sync your stored passwords with your Google account, for it to work.

Chrome 78 includes a test of DNS-over-HTTPS (DoH) protocol. Read Experimenting with same-provider DNS-over-HTTPS upgrade if you want to learn more.

References for the October 22, 2019, release of Google Chrome 78

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