Google Chrome's New Tab Page may soon get a customization boost - gHacks Tech News

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Google Chrome's New Tab Page may soon get a customization boost

Google Chrome users may soon get additional customization options to change the default functionality and layout of the browser's New Tab Page.

Chrome users who want to modify the New Tab Page currently don't find many options to do so. The best option for many is to download a New Tab Page extension to customize what is displayed on the page.

Google has been working on New Tab Page customization improvements for a while. Recent modifications are now available in Chrome Canary, the cutting edge version of the Chrome browser.

The changes are not fully implemented at this point but they provide an outlook of things to come. The options are hidden behind experimental flags at the time; users who want to follow their development need to enable them in Chrome Canary:

  1. Load chrome://flags/#ntp-customization-menu-v2 in the Chrome address bar and set the flag to Enabled.
  2. Load chrome://flags/#chrome-colors in the Chrome address bar and set the flag to Enabled.
  3. Restart the Chrome browser.

Chrome customization menu

google chrome new tab page customize 2019

Open the New Tab Page after the restart and activate the customize option on that page to open the redesigned customization menu.

The Shortcuts section is not fully functional yet but it highlights Google's intention clearly. Chrome users get options to select the type of shortcuts that they would like to see on the New Tab Page.

  • My shortcuts -- The shortcuts are displayed based on the frequency of visits and selected by Chrome.
  • Most visited sites --Shortcuts are curated by the user.

The wording of both options seems confusing but it is a development version and Google is probably going to address this before release.

The third and final option is to hide any shortcuts on the New Tab Page.

Chrome Colors

google chrome new tab page 2019 changes

The Color and Theme section of the customize page is not active yet either. The option shows a blank page when you select it currently.

My best guess is that you will be able to change color and theme of the New Tab Page once the change lands in Chrome.

Background is still available to select a custom image for the New Tab Page using a local or Google provided image. An option to set no background image is provided as well.

Closing Words

It is unclear when these changes will land in Chrome Stable. There is still a chance that some or all will be dropped; but that is true for all experiments that Google adds to the browser using the chrome://flags page.

The customization options that Chrome offers currently are inferior to those offered by other browsers such as Mozilla Firefox, Opera, or the Vivaldi browser.

Now You: Which elements do you consider essential on a New Tab Page?

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Google Chrome's New Tab Page may soon get a customization boost
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Google Chrome's New Tab Page may soon get a customization boost
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Google Chrome users may soon get additional customization options to change the default functionality and layout of the browser's New Tab Page.
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Comments

  1. Lord-Lestat said on May 26, 2019 at 1:25 pm
    Reply

    Now isn’t that interesting and enlightening…

    Google has been successfully lobbying towards Mozilla that simplicity and speed and the removal of all customization features is what is important, Mozilla has fallen for this crap… and now where Mozilla is slowly deconstructing their browser, it looks like Google is slowly going the other way around.

    This is also a nice plan to intentionally sabotage the competition – Make them swallow your own concept and adopt parts of their old one.

    Well done Google, that kind of a successful malice has to be applauded – as it shows again the clear nativity which Mozilla has shown while interacting and being sponsored by Google :D

    1. Anonymous said on May 27, 2019 at 12:59 am
      Reply

      Exactly my thoughts.

  2. chesscanoe said on May 26, 2019 at 4:29 pm
    Reply

    Using Chrome Version 75.0.3770.52 (Official Build) beta (64-bit) under Win 10 1903. I already show my custom background, and can click the words Gmail and Images, as well as my Google atavar. A 3×3 icon for Google Apps is also available at the top.
    Below that is a Google search area which I never use, as I prefer the address bar which knows the site I probably want by entering just a letter or two. Below that are shortcuts based on some weird algorithm I don’t understand, so I do not use that either. I have the New Tab page always zoomed at 250% so I only see what I use.

    1. nonW00t said on May 26, 2019 at 9:57 pm
      Reply

      “Below that is a Google search area which I never use” — Can’t anyway, trying to type there just zaps you to the address bar for years. lol But yeh, probably meant never click there.

  3. Allen said on May 26, 2019 at 5:30 pm
    Reply

    I don’t think Google understands the difference between a New Tab page and a Home page. For a New Tab page I want as little as possible on the page–no logos, no images, nothing of no actual use (bookmarks/links can be useful). At least I can disable the animated logos.

    I tried out a background image [just for fun]… the image loads after the page, as in, it’s delayed–which is just annoying.

    1. ULBoom said on May 26, 2019 at 7:22 pm
      Reply

      Exactly! I don’t understand why most users wouldn’t want the same page that opens with the browser to open with a new tab.

      Of course, those with specific needs will have exceptions but do most users even know they don’t have to accept what google says they want?

  4. Xibula said on May 26, 2019 at 6:27 pm
    Reply

    chrome is the best browser out there

    1. YouNameIt said on May 26, 2019 at 7:53 pm
      Reply

      Unless you use Firefox or Opera or Vivaldi or…

    2. Anonee said on May 27, 2019 at 12:58 am
      Reply

      @Xibula, well.. actually, Safari on macOS is the best browser out there.
      However, the extensions support for Safari sucks ass, so Chrome definitely wins on that, making it the 2nd best browser.

    3. Global Police State said on May 27, 2019 at 1:57 am
      Reply

      *Chromium

      No matter how good Chrome is, having everything you do online spied on and eventually released to foreign governments and potentially stolen by hackers isn’t worth the 10% speed advantage in 10% of sites. Once you install a google service on your device it is marked with an “advertising ID” which is matched to your known IPs and Alphabet accounts (not just google, but youtube, android, uploads, shopping, etc) so that they can continue to track you even if you are not using Chrome at the time.

    4. HGDown said on May 27, 2019 at 10:37 am
      Reply

      Don’t bother with the haters and privacy freaks Xibula, Chrome is the best, that’s why almost everybody is using Chrome.

  5. ULBoom said on May 26, 2019 at 7:18 pm
    Reply

    “Google has been working on New Tab Page customization improvements for a while.”

    Meanwhile, for years extensions have existed to do the same thing better, giving what the user wants, not what Google wants.

    I’ve been using New Tab Redirect which allows any page you want to load in a new tab. My home page, DuckDuckGo is what is loaded. There are quite a few NTR style extensions.

    Neither of Google’s options above are of any interest to me, just Google regurgitating history.

  6. ppp said on May 28, 2019 at 10:51 am
    Reply

    I have found that to get the best New Tab page experience without any extensions is to add -incognito to Chrome start flags.

  7. Gregory Gilbert said on July 2, 2019 at 4:53 pm
    Reply

    Doesn’t work no more.

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