How Do I Use Chrome as a Web Server?


Heather Bennett

How Do I Use Chrome as a Web Server?

Chrome, the popular web browser developed by Google, has a lesser-known feature that allows you to use it as a web server. This means you can host your own website locally on your computer without the need for external hosting services. In this tutorial, we will explore how to enable and use the built-in web server in Chrome.

Enabling Chrome’s Web Server

If you want to use Chrome as a web server, you first need to enable the feature:

  • Step 1: Open Chrome and enter “chrome://flags” in the address bar.
  • Step 2: Search for “Enable-panels” and click on “Enable” under “Experimental Web Platform features”.
  • Step 3: Relaunch Chrome for the changes to take effect.

Congratulations! You have successfully enabled Chrome’s built-in web server. Now, let’s dive into how to use it.

Serving Files with Chrome’s Web Server

The next step is to serve your website files using Chrome as the web server. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Step 1: Create a new folder on your computer where you will store your website files. For example, let’s call it “my-website”.
  • Step 2: Move all your website files (HTML, CSS, JavaScript, images) into the “my-website” folder.
  • Step 3: Open Chrome and enter “chrome://settings” in the address bar.
  • Step 4: Scroll down and click on “Advanced”.
  • Step 5: Under “Privacy and security”, click on “Site settings”.
  • Step 6: Scroll down and click on “Additional content settings”.
  • Step 7: Click on “Protocol handlers”.
  • Step 8: Add a new protocol handler with the following details:
    Protocol: “web-server”
    Domain: “localhost:8000”
    Handler: “C:\Program Files\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe” –user-data-dir=”%UserProfile%\web-server” –no-first-run –no-default-browser-check –no-default-browser-check –disable-web-security –allow-file-access-from-files
    Note: Make sure to adjust the Chrome installation path if necessary.

You are now ready to serve your website files using Chrome’s web server. Let’s proceed to the final steps.

Serving Your Website with Chrome’s Web Server

To serve your website files, follow these steps:

  • Step 1: Open a terminal or command prompt.
  • Step 2: Navigate to your “my-website” folder using the command line.
  • Step 3: Start the web server by entering the following command:
    $ python -m SimpleHTTPServer

That’s it! Your website is now being served by Chrome’s web server.

You can access it by opening Chrome and entering “web-server://localhost:8000” in the address bar. Replace “localhost:8000” with your custom domain if you specified one during the protocol handler setup.

Additional Tips

– The web server runs on port 8000 by default, but you can specify a different port number if needed.

– Remember to keep Chrome open while serving your website files.

– If you make changes to your website files, refresh the page in Chrome to see the updates.

– Be cautious when serving files from your computer as it may pose security risks if accessed by others on your local network.


Using Chrome as a web server is a convenient way to host and test websites locally without relying on external hosting services. By following the steps outlined in this tutorial, you can easily enable and use Chrome’s built-in web server to serve your website files. Happy coding!

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