Google Chrome Thin Scroll Bar

Martin Brinkmann
May 25, 2011
Updated • Apr 28, 2015
Google Chrome, Google Chrome extensions

There is only that much that you can cut from a browser's interface. You got the header area with the title-, address and tabbar and the footer with a status bar. Especially Google with its Chrome browser and Mozilla with Firefox have started to cut down on the interface. The latest trend is to display the address bar only if the user needs it, and hide it all the other time.

Why are developers cutting down on the browser's chrome? Because of the growing tablet and netbook markets. These devices come with smaller screen resolutions which means that users benefit from additional space to display website contents. Some additional pixels can mean the difference between having to scroll vertically or horizontally, or not.

An interface element that has not received any attention yet from developers is the scroll bar.

The Google Chrome extension Thin Scroll Bar is a third party extension for Google's Chrome browser that tries to change that. The extension changes the width and design of the scrollbar in the Google browser so that it uses less screen space.

You may know that scroll bars can be displayed both on the right side of the browser window and at the bottom depending on the width and height of the active website in relation to the width and height of the browser window.

Take a look at the following screenshot which shows how the scrollbars may look like after you install the extension.

google chrome thin scroll bar

The scroll bars are barely visible on the screenshot. Some users may feel that they are too small now in the browser. There is unfortunately no option currently to change the width of the scroll bar to customize the width and height of it.

It is likely that the developer will add that option in a future release.

Thin Scroll Bar is nevertheless a great add-on for the Chrome browser, especially for users who run the browser in small windows or on small computer screens.

The Chrome extension can be installed directly from the Google Chrome web store.

software image
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Software Name
Thin Scroll Bar
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  1. Esta said on December 7, 2011 at 11:30 pm

    Is there a way to disable the thin scroll bar? I prefer the larger one.

    1. mr.smith said on December 5, 2013 at 9:10 pm

      I agree with Esta. I hate these tiny scrollbars. I want my OS scrollbar back.

  2. ilev said on May 26, 2011 at 11:42 am

    Both Chrome and Firefox are to do away with the URL bar .

    According to Mozilla :

    The location bar has to go. It has many problems. For one, it’s always visible and constantly takes up a large amount of space. Secondly, it’s hard to read, since people don’t really understand URLs. Moreover, it’s modal: it has a mode for displaying the current page’s location and a mode for entering your next destination. It’s not always immediately obvious which mode you’re in and what the current text is indicating, and switching modes is not easy either….

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on May 26, 2011 at 11:57 am

      So it is basically a dumbing down for the masses? I do not think it is a good idea to remove the urlbar completely, it is important for security reasons for instance. As long as they make it an optional feature I do not have a problem with them removing the bar. If it is permanent and without option I switch immediately.

      1. odio said on May 31, 2011 at 5:18 am

        with Stylish Add-On gets much more easier.

      2. odio said on May 27, 2011 at 4:41 am

        dont liked any i found, also im not very good with userstyles

      3. odio said on May 26, 2011 at 4:59 pm

        i agree with you.
        but i dont like how the things going on “lesschrome HD”, its annoying.

        plus, do you know any add onte like Thin Scroll Bar for firefox?

      4. Martin Brinkmann said on May 26, 2011 at 5:12 pm
  3. Ralph said on May 26, 2011 at 10:11 am

    It is also very spammy.
    I ended up with this scrollbar, tipped by someone in the commentsection:

  4. jason said on May 26, 2011 at 6:08 am

    i think a browser lose their meaning if even the address bar need to be’s time to turn to avant browser .

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on May 26, 2011 at 8:59 am

      I can understand why Google wants that, but Mozilla? Google’s plan is to be the one and only hub for everything, and for that, you only need to have that one address hard coded into the browser.

  5. eltranced said on May 25, 2011 at 10:47 pm

    having to run extension in memory is a bit excessive
    people in google forum have figured out how to just use a css code

  6. MartinDK said on May 25, 2011 at 6:33 pm

    Any idea of the performance impact this will have?
    Although it’s a nice feature, this is one of the first things that I would uninstall again if Chrome starts getting slow and needs to have the fat trimmed.

    I keenly remember your articles about many extensions slowing down Firefox (even though a single extension on its own may be ever so innocent). The slowness was exactly what drove me from Firefox to Chrome, so I’m very weary of this.

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