How to manage apps in Google Chrome

Martin Brinkmann
Apr 29, 2013
Updated • May 4, 2013
Google Chrome

I'm running two versions of the Chrome web browser on my Windows 7 Pro PC. The stable version of the browser and the cutting edge Canary version.

The stable version of Google Chrome displays the eight most visited sites on the new tab page and an option to switch to the apps page to display the installed apps as well. The Canary version displays only the four most visited websites and no option to switch to the list of installed apps.

After installing the DriveConverter app today in the browser I noticed that I could not really access the apps that easily anymore in the browser. Take a look at the following two screenshots to see what I mean:

First the new tab page in the stable version of Google Chrome, and thereafter the new tab page in Chrome Canary.

old google chrome new tab page with apps link

chrome canary tab page

So how do you open apps in Google Chrome Canary if they are not displayed anywhere in the browser? You have two options that are both pretty straightforward provided that you know them.

You can add the apps link back to the new tab page. Right-click on the bookmarks bar at the top of the page and select Show apps shortcut from the context menu. The apps link is displayed at the leftmost position on the bookmarks bar afterwards. A click opens the internal apps page that lists all the apps that you have installed in the Chrome browser.

The second option is to open the page directly. Just type in chrome://apps/ in the browser's address bar and hit the enter key to load it. You can bookmark that page and add it to your bookmarks bar or bookmarks. Note that the first option described above adds the apps page to the bookmarks automatically so that you may not have to do that manually again.

Why is access to the apps listing important? Because it offers more than starting apps in Chrome. Here you can remove apps again from the Chrome web browser (apps are not displayed in the extensions manager) and also configure how they open up when you click on them (regular tab, pinned tab, window, full screen).

chrome apps

Chrome Canary often includes features that Google continues to work on and it is possible that the company will modify the behavior before it lands in beta and stable channels of the browser. It is still good to know how to open the apps page directly without having to rely on links in the browser to do so.

Update: You can also disable the Enable Instant extended API feature of the browser to return to the old new tab page. Here is how you do that:

  • Type chrome://flags in the browser's address bar.
  • Search for Enable Instant extended API and switch its status to disabled.
  • Restart the browser.

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  1. Fahmy Corporation (FREE Software) said on April 29, 2013 at 9:02 pm

    You can use “Extension Manager (aka switcher)” to manage apps in “Google Chrome” :

  2. Peter (NL) said on April 29, 2013 at 6:46 am

    Grrrr, I am wondering why browser developers each time change good-working ‘things’.
    I like the current Chrome’s New Tab page, so why should they change it again ?

    I’d like to see that Google would make by default a nice bookmarks-button (and underlying drop down menu), like Mozilla Firefox do (still) have.

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