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Enable Chrome Accessibility Experiment

NOTE: This is no longer an experiment! You can use the accessibility inspector in Chrome Devtools now, including a fantastic color contrast inspection tool. Read more: https://developers.google.com/web/updates/2018/01/devtools#a11y


Just like any good element inspector helps you debug styles, accessibility inspection in the browser can help you debug HTML and ARIA exposed for assistive technologies such as screen readers. There's a similar tool in Safari (and reportedly one in Edge) but I like the Chrome one best.

As an internal Chrome experiment, this tool differs from the Accessibility Developer Tools extension in that it has privileged Accessibility API access and reports more information as a result. You can still use the audit feature in the Chrome Accessibility Developer Tools, or you could use the aXe Chrome extension. :)

To enable the accessibility inspector in Chrome stable:

  1. Go to chrome://flags/#enable-devtools-experiments to enable Devtools experiments Chrome flags with Developer Tools Experiments enabled
  2. Open developer tools, go to Settings (Devtools menu or Chrome customization menu) Chrome devtools settings
  3. In Settings, go to Experiments and enable "Accessibility Inspection" Settings Experiments
  4. Restart developer tools.
  5. In the element inspector, a new "Accessibility" tab has been added to "Styles". Use it to inspect accessibility nodes to see an element's computed name, role, etc. Accessibility inspection of Soundcloud search field
@danielmatthew
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danielmatthew commented Jul 20, 2016

this tool differs from the Accessibility Developer Tools extension in that it has privileged Accessibility API access and reports more information as a result

I was just about to ask this.

Thanks for this 👍

@jorgecas99
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jorgecas99 commented Feb 14, 2017

Many developers including myself have long coded without accessibility in mind. thank you for sharing, this is a great way to stay on top of it so it's not forgotten!

@hirejohnsalcedo
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hirejohnsalcedo commented Mar 27, 2017

@marcysutton Thank you for sharing this. By the way, you may also directly link to chrome://flags/#enable-devtools-experiments instead of just chrome://flags to more easily find the settings.

Also, in Step 3, for others who would initially do it the way I did. Instead of opening Google Chrome's settings, open the settings inside the developer tools accessed by pressingF12 F1.

Best regards!

@selfthinker
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selfthinker commented Nov 20, 2017

I needed to restart Chrome after the first step (enabling DevTools experiments). Or else the "Experiments" tab was missing from the settings, so I couldn't do step 3 without restarting.

@primerproyecto
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primerproyecto commented Jan 30, 2018

Thank you. Gracias

@backwardok
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backwardok commented Feb 13, 2018

@marcysutton looks like this now comes out of the box in Chrome! 🎉 https://developers.google.com/web/updates/2018/01/devtools#a11y

@killerplay970
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killerplay970 commented Mar 31, 2018

chrome://flags/#enable-devtools-experiments

@wilsolutions
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wilsolutions commented Jun 25, 2018

Wow! That's really handy êh! +100000 for sharing =D

@evolutionxbox
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evolutionxbox commented Sep 7, 2018

This seems to have been removed in Chrome v69:

image

It may have been moved to the audits panel, but that doesn't seem to be useful.

@MarcusMorba
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MarcusMorba commented Feb 6, 2019

YES. Thats Chrome 72 OS X.
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@marcysutton
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marcysutton commented Apr 10, 2019

Hi everyone, the Audits tab is different–that runs axe-core as part of Lighthouse for accessibility checks. The functionality in this gist is now in Chrome Devtools proper: https://developers.google.com/web/updates/2018/01/devtools#a11y

@Lilkedus
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Lilkedus commented Sep 18, 2020

Hey everyone, so I was trying to enable devtools experimental in chrome flags and when I type it in or when I click on a link which directs me to that specific setting, I can't find it. All the articles I read on how to enable this setting, all use a mac as their system so I was wondering is this a mac thing, or is this for windows as well? And if it's not a mac thing then how do I fix this problem
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