Add a background wallpaper to Google Search

Martin Brinkmann
Feb 20, 2013
Updated • May 7, 2013
Google Chrome, Google Chrome extensions

Google some months ago announced that it would remove a feature from its search interface that allowed users to add custom background wallpapers to the main search page.

While purely cosmetic in nature, it enabled users to add a tiny bit of customization to Google's front page. As of November 16, 2012, this feature is no longer available and users need to look for third party solutions to add the option to display background images on Google's homepage again.

One of those options at your disposal is Custom Google Background for the Google Chrome web browser.

The web browser extension enables you to add a custom wallpaper to Google Search just like you were able before. Apart from that, it is also offering a couple of extra features that may be interesting to some users.

google search background wallpaper screenshot

Once you have installed the extension in Google Chrome,  you need to open the options of Custom Google Background to select a wallpaper that you want to use there.

The extension makes available the following three options:

  • Upload an image from your computer.
  • Use a web address instead that is displaying an image.
  • Search and use a picture from the 500px website.

The first image is automatically selected as the background wallpaper which you can check right away by visiting the Google homepage. Note that you can add multiple wallpapers to the extension which you can then switch between with a single click in the settings. Here you can also disable the background functionality again if the need arises.

google background wallpaper screenshot

I already mentioned that the extension makes available a couple of additional options that some Google users may find useful. If you look at the screenshot above, you may already notice some of the enhancements.  The following options are at your disposal:

  • Hide Google logo
  • Hide Search button
  • Hide Lucky button
  • Hide Footer
  • Hide Promotion
  • Stealth Modus

Most features should be self-explanatory. Stealth-modus adds transparency to the search form so that the wallpaper shines through.


If you miss the background image on Google Search and want it back, and use Google Chrome as your browser, then this is the extension to use for that. It is versatile enough in terms of image sources as you can load them from the local system or Internet, and the options it makes available on top may be useful as well to some Google users. In fact, some users may want to use the extension just for that purpose.


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  1. indy said on March 6, 2013 at 11:50 am

    I am getting an unable to unzip error message from the Chrome/Extension store. I am unable to save directly to my desktop.

  2. Peter (NL) said on February 21, 2013 at 5:35 am

    I presume that this Chrome extension only works when (keeping) logged in to your Google account ?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on February 21, 2013 at 5:47 am

      No it works all the time.

  3. Julia said on February 20, 2013 at 8:15 pm

    Who on earth is wasting time with sth like that?

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