Chrome OS Dev now alerts you when you need to log into an open WiFi network

chrome-os-captive-portalWe often join open WiFi networks only to find out the internet is not working. This usually means you have to take an extra step to access the internet. Most devices alert you when such is the case, and now you can add Chromebooks to the list of devices that do this.

The latest Chrome OS Dev update brings a feature that alerts you when a network is behind a captive portal (you need to log in to access the internet). This process is usually simple. You usually just have to access a website and activate internet access, but it gets complicated when you don’t know what’s going on.

How to activate captive portal alerts

Like with many other features in Chrome OS Dev, you have to access the flags and activate this. Here’s how you do it:

  • Open a Chrome window.
  • Type in hrome://flags/#network-portal-notification in the Omnibar (URL bar).
  • Enable the Network Portal Notification flag and restart the browser.

This should have you ready to go. Test it next time you join a network with a captive portal. Do remember this may not be perfect, though. Chrome OS Dev offers experimental features (like this one) and the experience is not always perfect.

This is an important feature, so we hope it comes to Chrome OS Beta and Stable channels soon. Check it out and let us know how it works for you!

[via François Beaufort]