How to disable Google Chrome's Action box + icon

Martin Brinkmann
Sep 11, 2012
Google Chrome

If you are running Chrome Canary, and maybe other versions of the web browser as well, you may have noticed the + icon that Google has added to the browser's address bar. If you do, you also may have noticed that the classic star icon, used to add a bookmark to the browser, has been removed at the same time.

The bookmark star has been replaced by the rather blunt plus (+) icon that Google calls Action Box. The reason for this is that it displays multiple actions when clicked on. It first lets you bookmark the page, and second share the page. Chrome stable users can enable the Action Box in the chrome://flags experimental feature listing. A restart of the web browser is required afterwards. I could not get the plus icon to display its contents though.

share this page

Clicking on the Share this page entry displays a popup highlighting Chrome extensions that you can use to share websites that you find interesting. This did not work at the time of writing in Chrome Canary, as no popup was displayed on the screen. The feature did work in the latest Chrome Dev version though.

chrome sharing services

A click on add to Chrome installs the extension right away in the browser bypassing the Chrome Web Store. The more suggestions link opens a custom store page highlighting all sharing extensions that work with the feature. Available extensions include, Twitter, Flattr, Gmail, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Google+, Reddit and AddThis. Bookmarked pages are still displaying the yellow star icon in the browser's address bar.

If you want the old bookmarking icon back in the browser's address bar, for instance if you do not use the sharing feature and want bookmarks to be accessible with a single click, then you need to do the following:

  • Type chrome://flags in the browser's address bar and hit enter
  • Locate the Action box entry here. The easiest way to do that is to tap on F3 to bring up the on page search.
  • Google has switched the status of the flag. In Chrome 23 and on, the Action Box is enabled by default. Click on enable to disable the Action Box feature.
  • Restart the browser.

This turns it off in the browser, at least for now. It is not clear if the Action Box flag will remain in the browser, or if Google will remove it at one point in time.

It is interesting to note that Google is not the only browser developer that is adding social sharing features to the browser natively. Mozilla too is working on integrating social sharing and features to the Firefox web browser.


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  1. B. Moore said on September 11, 2012 at 9:36 pm

    The latest Chrome Dev (Version 23.0.1262.0 dev-m) has the stupid button.

  2. cezi said on September 11, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    How to make similiar action for the same problem in Opera 12.x = remove add to speed dial option -and have only 1click bookmarking -or asking in what folder to bookmark ?

  3. Bud Chatelain said on September 11, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    Apparently lean and fast browsers are unpopular now.

  4. EuroSkept1C said on September 11, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    Yesterday I updated my Chromium, but I don’t see it being enabled. This is the version I currently use: 23.0.1263.0 (Developer Build 155915)

    Good to know, nevertheless. When they will enable it, I’ll disable it.

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