Published Oct 28, 2023 ⦁ 6 min read

Supercharge Debugging with Dev Tools on Chrome


Chrome DevTools are a powerful set of web developer tools built directly into Chrome. With DevTools, developers can supercharge their debugging workflows by inspecting, monitoring, and understanding exactly what's happening under the hood on a website. There's no need for any additional setup or extensions - just open Chrome and you're ready to leverage the full power of DevTools for frontend JavaScript, backend APIs, site performance, page layouts, and more.

Platforms like DevHunt allow developers to easily list and promote their tools. Integrating DevTools can help debug and optimize these listed developer tools for an improved user experience.

In this article, we'll provide an overview of key DevTools features that can help you debug like a pro. We'll cover using the debugger to step through JavaScript execution, monitoring network requests to improve performance, inspecting and editing page elements to troubleshoot layout issues, and profiling runtime to find and fix performance bottlenecks. With tips and examples for practical debugging scenarios, you'll learn how to harness DevTools to build better, faster web apps and developer tools. Let's dive in!

Debugging JavaScript

The DevTools debugger is invaluable for debugging JavaScript code. Set breakpoints to pause execution, step through code line-by-line, inspect scopes and call stacks, monitor variables, and utilize the console to test snippets and log diagnostics.

Setting Breakpoints

  • Breakpoints allow pausing execution at specific lines of JavaScript source code. This lets you inspect program state at that moment.

  • For example, you could set a breakpoint in a React component's render() method to inspect its props and state when rendered.

  • You can set conditional breakpoints that only trigger when certain criteria are met, like when a variable changes value.

  • Strategically target breakpoints at key points like event handlers, API calls, or areas suspected to contain bugs.

  • Breakpoints don't modify code - they are non-destructive markers that can also be disabled temporarily without deleting.

Stepping Through Code

  • Use Step Over, Step Into, and Step Out buttons to control code execution. Step Over executes the current line without descending into functions. Step Into drills down into function calls. Step Out runs the rest of the function and exits.

  • Inspect variable scopes, call stacks, and closures when paused. The Scope pane shows local, closure, and global scopes.

  • Keyboard shortcuts like F10, F11 and Shift+F11 make stepping efficient. Press F8 for conditional breakpoints.

  • Control flow tools like Continue, Disable Breakpoints, and Pause on Exceptions are also available.

  • For example, you could step through a buggy React component method line-by-line to pinpoint where state is being mutated incorrectly.

Inspecting Network Activity

The Network panel tracks all HTTP requests initiated by the page, helping locate network bottlenecks. Filter, inspect, and monitor requests to improve performance.

For developer tools listed on DevHunt, profiling network requests can uncover optimization opportunities to speed up page loads.

Analyzing Requests

  • Inspect request and response headers, parameters, cookies, payload bodies, and timing. Errors like 404 or 503 are flagged.

  • Click a request to view additional details side-by-side, like response bodies formatted as JSON for API calls.

  • Track down failed requests more easily by filtering for status codes like 400 or 500.

  • Preserve request logs across page loads or export data to analyze in other tools.

Improving Performance

  • Waterfall charts visualize resource loading over time to pinpoint slow requests. Optimizing images and caching assets can help.

  • Auditing by file type like XHR/fetch, CSS, JS, fonts, etc. helps prioritize optimizations for the largest improvements.

  • Compare network activity across different test runs side-by-side to measure performance gains.

  • Network throttling simulates slow connections like 3G to identify loading issues under real-world conditions.

  • For example, you could profile and improve the network requests when loading your tool's documentation pages on DevHunt.

Troubleshooting Layouts

Inspect and modify page DOM elements, review computed CSS, and debug responsive issues directly within DevTools for rapid layout iteration.

Testing responsive behavior in Device Mode helps ensure developer tools listed on DevHunt render well across devices and browsers.

Editing Pages

  • Live-edit DOM elements to immediately see visual changes. Modify attributes, swap classes, edit text content, and force element states.

  • View the visual CSS cascade applied to an element including inherited rules. Toggle properties on/off to isolate their effects.

  • Useful shortcuts like $ to select elements and Control/Command+F to search the DOM tree speed up workflows.

Responsive Design

  • Emulate various device sizes and browsers using the Device Mode toolbar. Debug issues occurring only on certain breakpoints or browsers.

  • The Device Frame toggles visible chrome around the page contents to mimic real mobile devices.

  • Force touch simulation events like "touchend" for interactive debugging.

  • Overlay a resizable grid on top of the page to properly align elements. Measure DOM elements and spacing.

  • For example, you could debug a responsive layout issue in your DevHunt-listed tool only appearing on mobile.

Profiling Performance

Identify and eliminate performance bottlenecks using DevTools' advanced profiling capabilities for JavaScript, page load times, rendering, memory, and more.

DevHunt provides performance metrics developers can correlate with their own JavaScript profiling.

Load Performance

  • The Performance panel captures detailed runtime performance data over page load and user interactions.

  • Waterfall charts visualize critical request chains and priority areas for optimization like initial server response latency.

  • Compare metrics like DOMContentLoaded and Load across runs to quantify improvements from optimizations.

JavaScript Profiling

  • Record where CPU time is being spent during page interactions to find slow functions and detangle complex call stacks with sampling profiling.

  • Flame charts provide a visualization of hot code paths. Focus optimization efforts on frequently executed functions.

  • For example, you could profile your tool's JavaScript to identify and optimize inefficient methods impacting DevHunt page performance.

  • Memory profiling can uncover leaks by capturing heap snapshots over time. The Allocations tool tracks object allocation by line.


Chrome DevTools provide a robust set of web developer tools for debugging and optimizing sites and developer tools listed on platforms like DevHunt. Built right into Chrome, DevTools enable inspecting and understanding exactly how your pages are loading, processing JavaScript, calculating layouts, and rendering content. Using the debugger, network panel, console, and other features covered in this guide, you can leverage DevTools to build higher quality web apps and developer tools faster. Master Chrome DevTools to debug like a pro and take your project to the next level!