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5 Reasons To Try Google Chrome Canary

canary-tileDeveloper, beta or stable – deciding which Chrome channel to use depends largely on your tolerance of bugs and strength of desire to try the latest features and improvements. 

But there is a way to get the best of both worlds: a perfectly rock-solid stable experience and access to the latest features.

Say hello to the Canary channel.

Canary – Curbing Curiosity

Unlike the beta and dev channels, Google Chrome Canary installs separately – alongside the regular version of Chrome. It doesn’t change, modify of affect any files; nothing is shared between them.

This means that you can keep a stable version of Chrome for your regular day-to-day work, but also have a safe way – playground – to toy around with the latest features, changes and flags.

One caveat being that some settings altered on Canary will sync – but only if you sign in.

5 Reasons To Try Chrome Canary

  1. It’s safe – it doesn’t affect regular Chrome
  2. It’s fun – you get to try the latest features earlier
  3. It auto-updates – unlike Chromium snapshots, Canary is updated almost daily
  4. It’s useful – developers can work with newer Chrome features & APIs sooner
  5. It’s proper Chrome – all of Chrome’s features are present, including Flash and PDF reader

Download Chrome Canary

Google provide official Canary builds for Windows and Mac (sorry Linux users) and, once downloaded, it installs just like regular Chrome.

Canary uses a different coloured icon to that of regular Chrome, helping ensure that you don’t accidentally start the wrong one. This means you can pin it to your start screen, task bar or dock without creating confusion!

Download Google Chrome Canary for Windows or Mac

  • ShaffafAhmed

    it sucks that its not available for linux !

    • Casey Grzecka

      See the Dev channels in the Linux section here: it is pretty much the same thing :-)

      • No, it isn’t. Dev channels on Linux are suffering from huge and frequent memory leaks, so it’s not suitable for daily use, but it can’t be installed alongside regular Chrome.
        And in Canary, there are many, many more features than in Dev channel.

        • Casey Grzecka

          Good point. It tends to crash when I open too many tabs, but I do run it along side of the sable Chromium Release.

          As for features, is there a place that lists the differences between the dev channel and Canary?

          • Christopher Mason

            Canary is a later version than dev, and tends to include more experimental features.

          • Sadly, there is no list, or at least I don’t know where to find it. But if you have a device with windows, you can find it out, because on windows you can install both unstable and canary and test the features (or at least visible features, those features in APIs and other under the hood things cannot be found that easily)

            But you gave me an idea, I can always run stable Chrome alongside unstable Chromium, which will fix my problem

    • And I can’t seem to get it to run in WINE :(
      If you want to be ‘on the bleeding edge of the web’ as Canary puts it, you’ll have to use Firefox Nightly instead (which can be run alongside Stable/Beta/Aurora)…but their PPA is normally about a month behind so you have to install new versions manually :/

    • Ian

      But you can download Chrome nightly for Linux:

    • Just download into the Dev Channel of Chrome. Just that.

  • Brandon Watkins

    So I can’t use this on my chromebook? That sucks. Is there anyway I can use flash on a chromebook?

      • Brandon Watkins

        @ads20000:disqus sweet that worked perfectly! is there any support for Adobe reader? then I’ll finally be able to do my online math class!

        • No support for Adobe Reader, it’s Chrome! It doesn’t like offline much :P If you really want lots of offline apps you’d be better off installing Ubuntu onto it (which also can’t use Canary sadly, but does have the offline PDF viewer Evince!). You have to open the PDF online and it should open in Chrome’s PDF viewer. You can also install pdf.js here: which is an open-source PDF viewer made by Mozilla packaged for Chrome…

          • Brandon Watkins

            Haha, yeah I know but all the highschool online classes are old web code. No HTML5 code. Thanks for your help!

          • If it’s a .pdf, then I suspect no matter how old it is it should work in Chrome’s PDF viewer or Mozilla’s pdf.js or Evince (on Ubuntu). It doesn’t need to have HTML5 to run in those programs…

      • Or just type in the search box of the Chrome Web Store “PDF.js”, choose the PDF reader whith PDF.js logo and voilá: PDF reader added.

  • MaitreyaVyas
  • I just use the Cromium snapshots in Windows due the awkward Google Update is lagging my Windows PC. The Canary Branch is similar to the Chromium nightly snapshot, but includes the Chrome Plugins that comes in the official builds.

    For the Linux Users, yo can try the dev branch. It’s similar to the Canary branch.

  • Михаил Деревянных

    LInuxxxx…. Черт

  • ke7ofi

    Is more similar to Aurora or Nightly (regarding degree of stability and progress in update schedule)?

  • श्री अानन्द कुबेर

    doesn’t work well with fb; looking 4 another one after having tried chromium (besides chrome)

    • Erick

      These builds are not made regular use (like facebook). It’s developed to test new features.

    • Try using Opera Stable? Opera is based on the Chromium project after Opera 15.

  • Leigh Adams

    I’m running it on my Chromebook Pixel after side load Chromeos onto an SD card on my Pixel. I followed this link and it works like a charm Thanks very much to the developers.

  • pdfbt40

    Not much use if its not default browser though.

    • MycrofD

      it should have the capability to be made default

      • Miro Ketola

        It can be made default pretty easily. Just select all in default programs for Chrome canary.


    : I had the goofiest dang thing happen to me today…It was regarding the browser on my lap top.
    My lap top is running Windows 8.1 64 bit and my browser is Google Chrome.
    I was running the 32 bit version up until today when I kept getting error messages after I got notifications that there was an update available. I attempted a number of times to install the update but kept getting the same error message. Apparently, 32 bit Chrome is no longer compatible with my 64 bit OS.
    After a number of attempts to download Chrome 32, attempting to bypass my Administrator privileges and getting “Installation Failed” error messages I decided to do some searching. I was having a heck of a time finding a 64 bit version of Chrome, so I attempted to download Mozilla Firefox and it seemed to take as long to load as Internet Explorer….
    So I checked Google Search one more time and I stumbled upon a 64 bit version
    Of Chrome called, “Google Chrome Canary”

    YAY!!! It installed quickly, picked up all the extensions I had installed on the old version, imported my bookmarks and I now have an even FASTER version of Chrome. and it’s update-able!!!!

    This browser ROCKS!!!

  • Chris915

    I’m using Canary because my “stable” version of Chrome is very slow at tab switching… Canary works perfect.

    • Muhd Faezin (Tiago – Rio 2)

      Agree :)

      Me too :)

      I am also using Chrome Canary

      • Chris915

        I found out that the slow tab switching is caused if you have too many bookmarks in your bookmarks bar… I removed most of my bookmarks from the bar and now tab switching is extremely fast. :)

        • I’ve got 55 in my bookmarks bar and it switches really fast. An I5 4444 and 12 gbs of RAM probably don’t hurt.

  • Frank Jackson

    What the heck did you guys do with the sizing and link underlining? Everything looks smaller by default and I now have to zoom to 110% to get a somewhat normal view of my web app. Someone that oversees this team, fire the project manager! *angry torch mob*

  • I was running the Dev Channel version of Chrome (so I could access the ‘Cast entire screen’ Chromecast function that they removed from standard version of Chrome), but then found the Dev Channel version of Chrome wouldn’t run some of our core apps such as Infusionsoft. So thanks for the tip re running standard Chrome in parallel with the Canary version. I’ll see how that goes. When I removed the Dev Channel version and then reinstalled the standard version of Chrome (having just installed the Canary version) I got this error message: Hopefully that won’t cause me any issues, as we find that the Google Profile aspect of Chrome is one of the best efficiencies it gives us across multiple devices in different locations.

  • Steve Hi

    I’m using Chrome Canary because regular Chrome wouldn’t open at all. This was the only solution I could find. I’m glad I did, just wish I could make it my default browser.

    • Leonidas Sokoridas

      It’s not a problem to make canary your default browser but I guess you’ve find how to do meanwhile

      • Aphrodite Karageorgiou

        Το δικό μου chrome σταμάτησε να ανοίγει από χθες. Το απεγκατέστησα και το ξανακατέβασα , κατέβασα το google cleanup tool και πάλι τίποτα. Τώρα αναγκαστικά χρησιμοποιώ το canary. Aλλά δεν μπορώ να βρω τους παλιούς μου σελιδοδείκτες…

        • Leonidas Sokoridas

          Fysika den tous briskis…horis Google account den ginete tipota

    • RagagaMC

      Same here!

    • Liquid_Grit

      Yeah, what is up with that? Me too.

    • Mustafa Ehsan Aloko

      You can do that easily. Just it wouldn’t work if you try it via Canary’s settings. In Mac you can set your default browser by going to “System Preferences > General > Default Web Browser”. Canary will show up in select box, then you can select it. Will work like a charm.

    • Bunnyslippers

      If you’re running an earlier Mac OS, such as Snow Leopard, you won’t find this setting in System Preferences. Instead, it’s in Safari preferences (believe it or not). Open Safari > Preferences > General. “Default Web Browser” is the first item in the list.

    • Leonidas Sokoridas

      You can….

  • Canary is AMAZING.

  • obiedo

    I can’t find an official site / community with information about it anywhere!

    Where can I go to read about the latest added features and/or discuss bugs?

  • I’m partial to the Open-Source Chromium builds; the external Adobe PPAPI Flash Plug-In is believe it or not more Stable. But, Chrome Canary is only a smidge above the Chromium builds. But, Chromium works fine with me. (“chrome.exe” maybe quarantined as a Virus; that is FALSE, just let it run/whitelist it through your Antivirus program)

  • Michael Moore

    Is this compatable with Alcatel 7046t ?

  • Run so smooth no lack…

  • Crankcase

    Why not have a facility to import passwords and suchlike from the pathetically useless and bug-riddled Chrome? Considering people appear to be more satisfied with Canary, why not also let it be the default browser? It’s not rocket science.