Is it possible to enable the "Reader View" of Chrome for Android, when Chrome doesn't offer it?

On iOS, Safari leaves the choice entirely to the user, who has to click a button – which is good, as Chrome's popup-bar is a bit distracting, and especially because it means that the user is free to enable it on any website.

In Firefox, the button isn't always offered, but display of the Reader mode can be forced with about:reader?url=URL, which can easily be turned into a bookmarklet.

But for Chrome, I couldn't find any option of forcing Reader View yet, and more often than not it isn't offered on the very articles, where it would help the most, such as those with bad color choices and overly obstrusive ads.

  • Enter the URL chrome://flags, search #reader-mode-heuristics and change it from default to whatever is convenient to you.
    – Firelord
    Nov 27 '19 at 22:52
  • 1
    @Firelord While it works, it is overkill. As long as I don't set it to "always", some pages where it would be needed don't offer it. But on every other page it is a nuisance. Of course, if there is no other option, I have to live with it and occasionally open the articles in Firefox...
    – kdb
    Nov 28 '19 at 8:57

Technically, it is possible to request on-demand reader view (also known as "simplified view") on Chrome for Android.

Chrome uses DOM Distiller to determine if a page is worth to be simplified, then simplify and render it as a new page if requested.

There are a few ways to load a URL in reader view:

  1. (Manual) from chrome://dom-distiller, a debug page that allows a user to input a URL and force load it in simplified mode.

  2. (Possible idea for automation) a unique URL for every simplified page, which can be directly accessed from the address bar.



    • UUID: Universally unique identifier. By default, it uses UUIDv4 (random), but any UUID works, including nil UUID (00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000)
    • HASH: SHA-256 of URL
    • URL: target URL (optionally, percent-encoded for safety).

    Example URL for this page:


Additional reading:

  • "chrome://dom-distiller" doesn't seem to be a thing anymore (tested with Chrome for Android v92 stable).
    – Tom
    Aug 22 '21 at 19:48

You can make it appear on every webpage by enabling it in chrome://flags/#reader-mode-heuristics

so, enable it when you need it, and disable when you're done as it would appear on every page.


They just seem to have moved and renamed it.

You can now find it under Settings | Accessibility | Simplified view for web pages

(thanks to enquirer at reddit for pointing me in that direction)

  • 2
    Welcome to Android Enthusiasts Stack Exchange! While this might help other readers who never see a prompt for simplified view anymore, I'm afraid this doesn't help the asker, since as stated by its description: "Offer to show articles in simplified view, when supported". However, as the asker has mentioned, some websites are not compliant with the requirement and thus the prompt will never appear...
    – Andrew T.
    Dec 20 '19 at 17:50

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