Google Chrome engineers are working on a new customization feature that may introduce options to Chrome to set custom background images in the browser.
The feature is hidden behind a flag currently in Chrome Canary and anything but stable at this point in time. Still, it may make its way into Chrome Stable at one point in time so that it warrants a closer look.
Setting custom background images for the New Tab page of browsers is not a new feature. Chromium-based browsers Vivaldi and Opera support the functionality, and browsers like Firefox supported the feature through extensions for a long time as well.
Google hides the functionality behind a flag currently. You need Chrome Canary for that and even if you have the browser may notice that the option becomes available only occasionally and not reliably. Considering that Chrome Canary is a development build, things like this should be expected.
First thing you need to make sure of is that you run the most recent version of Google Chrome Canary. Next thing you do is enable the experimental flag to unlock the new customize background feature in Google Chrome.
You may see a new settings icon on the New Tab page after the restart. Use Ctrl-T to open a New Tab page in Google Chrome and try to locate it in the lower right corner of the page.
It may not be there right away but if it is, click on the icon to display the available options. I ran into another brick wall on a system due to the experimental nature of the feature.
The icon would not display the menu on click whereas it worked fine on another system. Chrome displays one or two options when you click on the menu icon.
The "chrome wallpapers" option is available all the time. It loads the available wallpapers that you can select one from.
If you have set a wallpaper previously, you get a "restore default background" option as well to remove the background and go back to the classic Chrome New Tab page wallpaper.
Wallpapers are divided into collections; you can pick landscape, art, texture, or plain color wallpapers using the menu.
Just click on any collection to get a thumbnail listing of all available wallpaper images. You can select any and click on done to apply it to the background of the New Tab page in Google Chrome.
At one time, I had an option to have Chrome switch between wallpapers of the collection as well. What you cannot do right now is load a custom image from the local system to make it the background in Chrome.
I'm not a huge fan of background images on the New Tab page because these images tend to add noise to the page which may decrease readability or elements on the page. The current implementation in Chrome does not modify elements in any way which may result in text display issues. I'm pretty sure that Google will take care of these issues before (if) the feature lands in Chrome Stable.
Now You: Do you like browser customization options like this one?
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.