Open Chrome DevTools

Sofia Emelianova
Sofia Emelianova

There are many ways to open Chrome DevTools. Choose your favorite way from this comprehensive reference.

You can access DevTools using Chrome UI or keyboard:

Additionally, learn how to auto-open DevTools for every new tab.

Open DevTools from Chrome menus

If you prefer UI, you can access DevTools from drop-down menus in Chrome.

Open the Elements panel to inspect the DOM or CSS

To inspect, right-click an element on a page and select Inspect.

The Inspect option in a drop-down menu in Chrome.

DevTools opens the Elements panel and selects the element in the DOM tree. In the Styles pane, you can see CSS rules applied to the selected element.

An element selected in the Elements panel.

Open the last panel you used from Chrome's main menu

To open the last DevTools panel, click the Three-dot menu. button to the right of the address bar and select More Tools > Developer Tools.

The Developer Tools option selected from the three-dot menu.

Alternatively, you can open the last panel with a shortcut. See the next section to learn more.

Open panels with shortcuts: Elements, Console, or your last panel

If you prefer keyboard, press a shortcut in Chrome depending on your operating system:

OS Elements Console Your last panel
Windows or Linux Ctrl + Shift + C Ctrl + Shift + J F12
Ctrl + Shift + I
Mac Cmd + Option + C Cmd + Option + J Fn + F12
Cmd + Option + I

Here's an easy way to memorize the shortcuts:

  • C stands for CSS.
  • J for JavaScript.
  • I designates your choice.

The C shortcut opens the Elements panel in Inspect. inspector mode. This mode shows you helpful tooltips when you hover over elements on a page. You can also click any element to view its CSS in the Elements > Styles pane.

The Elements panel in inspector mode with a tooltip.

For the full list of DevTools shortcuts, see Keyboard shortcuts.

Auto-open DevTools on every new tab

Run Chrome from the command line and pass the --auto-open-devtools-for-tabs flag:

  1. Quit any running Chrome instance.

  2. Run your favorite terminal or command line application.

  3. Depending on your operating system, run the following command:

  • MacOS:

    open -a "Google Chrome" --args --auto-open-devtools-for-tabs
  • Windows:

    start chrome --auto-open-devtools-for-tabs
  • Linux:

    google-chrome --auto-open-devtools-for-tabs

DevTools will automatically open for every new tab until you close Chrome.

What's next?

Next, watch the following video to learn some useful shortcuts and settings for quicker DevTools navigation.

For a more hands-on learning experience, see how to customize DevTools.