Top 10 New Tab Extensions for Chrome

Best New Tab Extensions for Chrome

In 2007, Opera introduced a feature that changed the way browsers were used, the Speed Dial. These thumbnail-based browser bookmarks allow you to browse your favorite quickly. But that isn’t the only way to customize your browser. Here are some must-have new tab extensions for Chrome.

Access your favorite sites quickly with these Chrome new tab extensions

  • Group Speed Dial - Add shortcuts with thumbnails of web pages.
  • NelliTab - Access your bookmarks faster by creating quick dials from specific folders.
  • Toby -  Manage your tabs and backup your sessions easily.
  • Toolbar Dial - Create shortcuts from your bookmarks folders.
  • Tabliss - Spruce up your new tab page with cool wallpapers and useful widgets.
  • Mue - Get random quotes, refresh the wallpaper, and add widgets to every tab.
  • nightTab - Customize your new tab page the way you want to.
  • Yet Another Speed Dial - A simple, no-nonsense way to access your favorite sites.
  • Renewed Tab - Add widgets for various things and move them around.
  • New Tab Draft - Take notes from a new tab page.

List of the top 10 new tab extensions for Chrome to personalize your browser

What makes these extensions stand out over the rest? Let's dig in and find out more about these new tab extensions.

Group Speed Dial

Group Speed Dial Chrome Extension

Group Speed Dial main features & specifications summary

  • Rating: 4.5/5
  • Browser compatibility: Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Brave, Vivaldi, Opera, Safari
  • Pricing: Free
  • Features:  Quick dials, customizable background

Group Speed Dial Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Free
  • User-friendly
  • Speed dials and groups (pages)
  • Rearrange dials
  • Supports custom wallpapers, solid color background
  • Very customizable
  • Backup/Restore settings

Cons

  • Not Open Source
  • Cloud dials require an account
  • Some features are exclusive to the premium version

The remake of a legacy Firefox add-on, Group Speed Dial was born shortly after Firefox Quantum was released, and was also ported to Chrome. The extension displays a thumbnail preview of the web page that a dial is assigned to. You can refresh the dial to generate the latest view of the site. Click the add-ons button on the toolbar, or use the browser's menu, while you're on a site to Add the page to a dial. Drad and drop speed dials to rearrange them. Use groups (tabs/pages) to organize your shortcuts. To add a bit of flavor, use a custom wallpaper or online image, or a solid color background. Group Speed Dial has an option that sets a new wallpaper everyday, using the Bing Wallpaper of the Day API.

The built-in backup and restore option in the add-on is invaluable, as you can save your dials and settings locally to a file and use it with Chrome/Firefox. Group Speed Dial has a few features that are exclusive for Premium subscribers. Optionally, you can sign up for an account, for using the Cloud Dial feature, that backups your settings to the cloud. You don't need an account for using the extension.Firefox users who want an open source alternative may take a look at Quick Dial, Humble New Tab Page or one of the other add-ons we recommend here.

We have a review of Group Speed Dial that talks more about the add-on's features.

Download the Group Speed Dial Chrome Extension here.

NelliTab

NelliTab Chrome Extension

NelliTab main features & specifications summary

  • Rating: 4.4/5
  • Browser compatibility: Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Brave, Vivaldi, Opera
  • Pricing: Free (open source)
  • Features: Bookmarks-based speed dials, Customizable background

NelliTab Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Free (Open Source)
  • Lot of customization options
  • Creates speed dials for bookmarks folders, history and downloads
  • Backup/Restore

Cons

  • Cannot add specific speed dials directly
  • Doesn’t fetch favicons for all sites

Forget creating speed dials for websites manually. The NelliTab extension lets you select your bookmarks folders, top sites, and downloads. It then places dials for these sites in a folder-like widget.  You may drag and drop shortcuts between the folders, to organize your dials. The new tab add-on uses a solid color background by default, though you can switch to different themes, or create your own. The add-on offers a lot of customization options that you can use to edit the font, icon view, etc. NelliTab has a backup and restore tool that saves your settings to a JSON file.

Read more about NelliTab in our previous coverage.

Download the NelliTab Chrome Extension here.

Toby

Toby Chrome Extension

Toby main features & specifications summary

  • Rating: 4.2/5
  • Browser compatibility: Chrome, Edge, Brave, Vivaldi, Opera, Firefox (soon)
  • Pricing: Freemium
  • Features: Tab Management, Export Tabs

Toby Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Save all tabs in the session in one-click
  • Create collection
  • Open all tabs from saved session
  • Sort tabs by name, time,
  • Export tabs to Text URL list, HTML or JSON
  • Keyboard Shortcuts
  • Freemium

Cons

  • Not open source
  • Some options are locked behind a paywall

This isn't a speed dial extension, if you have used OneTab, and want something similar for your new tab page, Toby is the extension you’re looking for. To quickly save your tabs, use the browser’s context menu or right click on Toby’s icon on the toolbar and select the Save Session option.  Or open a new tab to access the plugin’s interface, and drag tabs from the sidebar to create a collection. You may restore all tabs with a single-click, or click on them individually.

Label your tabs with tags to organize them. Use the search bar to find tabs quickly. Toby lets you export your tab collections to a text file with links, or a HTML or a JSON file. To import your saved tabs, click the account button, and select the Import option.

Signing up for a Toby account allows you to access the saved tabs from other computers, this can be useful for people with multiple systems. But the add-on can be used without an account too, the only caveat is that you can’t create custom collections (Spaces) or add notes. Toby used to have a Firefox version, but the add-on was removed from the AMO. The official website says that it is coming soon to Firefox and iOS.

Download the Toby Chrome Extension here.

Toolbar Dial

Toolbar Dial Chrome Extension

Toolbar Dial main features & specifications summary

  • Rating: 4.1/5
  • Browser compatibility: Chrome, Edge, Brave, Vivaldi, Opera, Firefox
  • Pricing: Free (Open Source)
  • Features: Bookmarks-based speed dials, User-friendly

Toolbar Dial Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Free (Open Source)
  • User-friendly
  • Custom background wallpaper, color

Cons

  • Customization Options are too basic

Toolbar Dial creates quick dials for websites in your selected bookmarks folder. The extension is a lot simpler to use compared to NelliTab, at the same time it offers fewer customization options. You can configure Toolbar Dial to use a solid color background, use abstract patterns, artistic, or nature images that the add-on ships with. Or, use the custom option to pick a color or wallpaper of your choice.

Set the number of columns for the dials to be displayed in, choose whether tabs should open in a new tab, and whether the shortcuts should display the name of the site instead of the URL. That’s basically it, Toolbar Dial offers a clean experience with minimal options.

Take a look at our review of Toolbar Dial, for more information.

Download the Toolbar Dial Chrome Extension here.

Tabliss

Tabliss Chrome Extension

Tabliss main features & specifications summary

  • Rating: 4.5/5
  • Browser compatibility: Chrome, Edge, Brave, Vivaldi, Opera, Firefox
  • Pricing: Free (Open Source)
  • Features: Widgets, Wallpaper Changer

Tabliss Pros &  Cons

Pros

  • Free (Open Source)
  • Minimalistic
  • Highly customizable
  • Changes background wallpaper
  • Quicklinks (speed dials)
  • Widgets
  • Keyboard Shortcuts

Cons

  • Some settings are complicated

Tabliss brings the minimalistic approach and looks more like a lock screen than your average new tab extension. By default, it ships with a clock widget, and displays a greeting based on the time of the day. The add-on changes the background wallpaper once in a while, and you can choose various sources to get the image from, or use your own photos. Don't like the images? Switch to a solid color or gradient as the background.

The extension can do more, click the gear cog icon in the top left corner to start customizing your experience. Tabliss supports widgets using which you can add quick links (speed dials), enable a search box, to-do lists, display the weather, get NBA Scores or even use a custom CSS code. If you are a Momentum user, you may want to switch to this open source alternative.

Learn more about Tabliss by reading our review of it.

Download the Tabliss Chrome Extension here.

Mue

Mue Chrome Extension

Mue main features & specifications summary

  • Rating: 4.4/5
  • Browser compatibility: Chrome, Edge, Brave, Vivaldi, Opera, Firefox
  • Pricing: Free (Open Source)
  • Features: Widgets, Wallpaper Changer, Photo packs

Mue Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Free (Open source)
  • Privacy friendly options
  • Customizable
  • Widgets
  • Changes the wallpaper randomly

Cons

  • Takes some getting used to

Mue is similar to new tab extensions like Momentum and Tabliss, but offers more features. In addition to displaying widgets for the clock, greeting, quotes, and changing the wallpaper from time-to-time, Mue allows you to take Notes. You can enable bookmarks via quick links for your favorite websites. The extension's best feature is its Marketplace, this allows you to download various photo packs, quote packs, to customize the new tab further.

Mue is a bit more privacy-friendly than its competition, as it has an offline mode that you can toggle to opt-out of the network related services, but this disables features like weather updates, online backgrounds and quotes, marketplace, quick links, etc. The extension supports DuckDuckGo image proxy, which when enabled will use the privacy-friendly site instead of Google's to fetch the icons for the dials and backgrounds.

We reviewed an earlier version of Mue, you may refer to it for more information.

Download the Mue Chrome Extension here.

NightTab

NightTab Chrome Extension

NightTab main features & specifications summary

  • Rating: 4.5/5
  • Browser compatibility: Chrome, Edge, Brave, Vivaldi, Opera, Firefox
  • Pricing: Free (Open Source)
  • Features: Very customizable, Colorful Dials

NightTab Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Free (Open Source)
  • User-friendly
  • Speed dials and groups
  • Supports custom wallpapers, solid color background
  • Highly customizable
  • Backup/Restore settings
  • Rearrange dials

Cons

  • The settings maybe overwhelming for beginners

NightTab is a colorful new tab extension for Chrome. It groups dials together like a folder. Enter the edit mode to organize your shortcuts, and move the bookmarks manually. Prefer using a background wallpaper? You can set a local image from the settings, or use a URL for an online picture. If you like to tweak the appearance, you will be happy with NightTab, it has loads of customization options to modify the primary and accent colors, the header, and the entire layout. And should things go awry or you're resetting the browser, you can always export your setting to a JSON file, with the backup and import tool.

Have you read our article about NightTab?

Download the NightTab Chrome Extension here.

Yet Another Speed Dial

Yet Another Speed Dial Chrome Extension

Yet Another Speed Dial main features & specifications summary

  • Rating: 4.4/5
  • Browser compatibility: Chrome, Edge, Brave, Vivaldi, Opera, Firefox
  • Pricing: Free (Open Source)
  • Features: Minimalstic, user-friendly

Yet Another Speed Dial Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Free (Open Source)
  • No network related options (except thumbnail generation)
  • User-friendly
  • Folders for dials
  • Click-and-drag to rearrange speed dials
  • Supports custom wallpapers, solid color background

Cons

  • Has very few customization options
  • Cannot import/export settings

Yet another speed dial has a clean interface, it doesn't come with preset dials, but you can get started quickly using one of 3 ways to add shortcuts. Click the + button on the interface to manually add a site, or visit a web page and use the right-click menu to select Add to Speed Dial, or create a Speed Dial folder in your bookmarks to add them in one go. Organize your shortcuts by placing them in folders. Modify the backdrop's color or use a custom wallpaper to spruce things up. It allows you to set the maximum number of columns, edit the text color. The only extra widget you get is a clock, but you can toggle it for an even more minimalistic experience.

Our review of Yet Another Speed Dial takes a closer look at the add-on's features.

Download the Yet Another Speed Dial Chrome Extension here.

Renewed Tab

Renewed Tab Chrome Extension

Renewed Tab main features & specifications summary

  • Rating: 4.5/5
  • Browser compatibility: Chrome, Edge, Brave, Vivaldi, Opera, Firefox
  • Pricing: Free (Open Source)
  • Features: Customizable, Widgets, Wallpapers

Renewed Tab Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Free (Open Source)
  • Highly customizable
  • Widgets (can be moved around)
  • Bookmarks
  • RSS Feeds, Links, Buttons
  • To-do lists, Weather, Backgrounds, Quotes, etc

Cons

  • Default widgets may not be useful

The third extension of its kind in this list, Renewed Tab manages to stand apart from the other two with a vast number of customizations. Not a fan of speed dials? Use your bookmarks folder instead. For an even more minimal approach, use the Links or Button widgets. The RSS widget lets you choose an RSS XML or ATOM feed, and lists the headlines from the site in a mini-scrolling widget. Other useful widgets in Renewed Tab include a clock, currencies, daily goal, HTML, iFrame, Image, Quotes, etc. The extension even supports Web Comic via Atom/RSS feeds, XKCD anyone? Customize your new tab page with random backdrops, select a source for the images, and set the timer when the extension should change the wallpaper.

Even though it is fairly new, Renewed Tab has a polished interface, and is more customizable than Tabliss and Mue. In fact, it is the only extension (of its kind) in the list that allows you to reposition your widgets. I recommend editing the default widgets, as it has a few that you may not find useful like the age widget, and the developer's social accounts. You may replace them with your own links.

Download the Renewed Tab Chrome Extension here.

New Tab Draft

New Tab Draft Chrome Extension

New Tab Draft main features & specifications summary

  • Rating: 4.3/5
  • Browser compatibility: Chrome, Edge, Brave, Vivaldi, Opera, Firefox
  • Pricing: Free (Open Source)
  • Features: Take notes in a new tab

New Tab Draft Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Supports Emojis
  • Pin Notes
  • Displays Quotes
  • Dark Mode
  • Save as TXT
  • Auto Backup
  • Import/Export to JSON

Cons

  • Not Open Source
  • No formatting options

New Tab Draft can be handy for those looking to add a bit to their productivity. Instead of bookmarks and favorite sites, you get a Notepad-like interface whenever you open a new tab. You can use it to jot down your thoughts, take notes, paste links or contents of a web page, for future use. Pin your important notes, like a sticky note at the top of the list. The add-on does not support images, but if you want to save web clippings, I think Google Keep may be a more appropriate option.

But unlike those cloud-based add-ons, New Tab Draft is an offline tool, and your notes are saved locally in the browser's storage. You can save the notes in a text file if you want to, with a single-click. If you're worried about losing your data, you can toggle the Auto Backup option, to make New Tab Draft save your notes in the Chrome download folder, once a day or a few days. The extension allows you to Import/Export the contents to a JSON file. The extension displays a quote, whenever you create a new note. You may disable the option if you don't like it. New Tab Draft has a nice dark mode theme that you can switch to, from the settings panel. If you want an open source alternative, Tab Notes is still a pretty good add-on, though it hasn’t been updated in a year.  Firefox users may want to try the TextNotes add-on.

Download the New Tab Draft Chrome Extension here.

Popular Chrome New Tab extensions that didn't make it to our recommended list

Infinity New Tab and Infinity New Tab Pro

Pros

  • Nice UI
  • Free
  • Easy-to-use
  • Customizable backgrounds

Cons

  • Sidebar is bloated with shortcuts for many sites
  • Some default speed dials can track you
  • Questionable privacy policy
  • Collects telemetry

Infinity New Tab comes with quite a few speed dials pre-enabled, and you can add more. The extension is user-friendly has options to change the background, download the wallpaper, and set custom dials.

Why Infinity New Tab was not included in our recommendations?

There are two add-ons from Infinity New Tab with the same name, they're identical in functionality. The only difference between the two seems to be the privacy policy, Infinity New Tab Pro's policy is in English, while the regular one's is in English and Chinese. Speaking of the privacy policy, it is sure to raise some eyebrows. It contains a clause for Icon click CPS advertisement:

Some of the default icons we provide may generate advertising revenue after clicking to jump, including: Amazon, Ebay, Booking, Aliexpress, Taobao, JD.COM, Ctrip. I checked the URLs of the default speed dials and found these: (Don't open these links)

https://i.infinitynewtab.com/amazon/ and https://www.ebay.com?mkcid=1&mkrid=711-53200-19255-0&siteid=0&campid=5338095340&customid=infinity&toolid=10001&mkevt=1

While it's good that the privacy policy discloses the use of affiliate URLs, it doesn't mention that Infinity New Tab is tracking you. That Amazon URL for example is routed through the developer's server, so your privacy is at risk.

FVD Speed Dial

Pros

  • Cool 3D dials
  • Easy to use
  • Customizable

Cons

  • Sponsored bookmarks, Ads
  • Requires too many permissions
  • Privacy policy is not good (Web beacons are used to track usage)

FVD Speed Dial is one of the most popular extensions for browsers. It displays speed-dials in a 3D-like view, which looks cool. Though it has some dials and a wallpaper by default, the experience is customizable, so you can switch the background, add your own dials.

Why we don't recommend FVD Speed Dial?

Just because something looks nice, doesn't mean it is good. FVD Speed Dial has a rather poor privacy policy, which mentions that the extension tracks users using web beacons. There are sponsored bookmarks aka advertised dials as well, though these can be removed.

Frequently asked questions about best Chrome Security Extensions

Can I install more than one of these extensions?

Most of these add-ons take over the new tab page, so it’s not advisable to use more than 1 of these extensions. Toby is an exception, as it can be accessed via the browser’s context menu and toolbar button.

Do any of these extensions have ads? Can I use them without signing up for an account?

None of the add-ons that we recommend have ads. You can use all of them for free, without any registration whatsoever.

Can I use these extensions with Firefox?

With the exception of Toby and New Tab Draft, all the other add-ons are available for Firefox. We have mentioned alternative add-ons for the two missing ones in their corresponding section.

Bottom line/conclusion

If you want the best speed dial extension for Chrome, I recommend Group Speed Dial or Yet Another Speed Dial. NightTab is great for extensive customization. But if widgets are your priority, Tabliss and Renewed Tab offer the best experience.

Summary
Personalize your new tab page with these Chrome extensions
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Personalize your new tab page with these Chrome extensions
Description
Bored with your new tab page? Use these Chrome extensions to customize them to your heart's content.
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Ghacks Technology News
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Comments

  1. Juraj said on September 2, 2021 at 11:43 am
    Reply

    Author of “Group Speed Dial” here. Thank you @Ashwin for mentioning my addon :).
    I’ve started building it in November 2016 (feels like yesterday) shortly after I’ve released my very first addon Scroll Anywhere.

    At that time I was using “Speed Dial” by “Josep del Rio” and it was about to stop working in a few months with the Firefox 57 release.

    So I thought to myself: “Hmmm… speed dial is actually a simple web page with images with some names wrapped in a link that points to a page… how hard can it be to implement it?” :D.
    I’ve estimated 4 months including the server! Now, 5 years later I’m still working on it most of my time :D. And I have a big plans for it so cheers to the next 5 productive years!

    Enjoy! I hope it will make your life easier :).

    1. Ashwin said on September 2, 2021 at 2:26 pm
      Reply

      Thanks for your comment Juraj :)

      That’s awesome. We were both fans of the same add-on.

      I ditched Firefox for the first time since trying the browser (version 3.x I think), because Josep Del Rio’s add-on stopped working on Firefox Quantum. So, I switched to Waterfox.

      A few days later, I came across Group Speed Dial on reddit, and your add-on brought me to Firefox. I have not switched browsers since.

      Try Googling “Mozilla Firefox 57 with Quantum engine”, you will find an article I wrote on another site, which mentions your extension as the replacement for the legacy add-on.

      Appreciate your work with the add-on. Kudos :)

  2. Pootch said on September 2, 2021 at 1:34 pm
    Reply

    Great post!
    I prefere NelliTab, but I will check out Tabliss & nightTab as well.

  3. DComedian said on September 2, 2021 at 3:26 pm
    Reply

    I’m a big fan of Group Speed Dial, and I particularly like that it’s easy to export/import dials (including self-created thumbnails) to other browsers

  4. MeH said on September 4, 2021 at 10:45 pm
    Reply

    We know that installed browser extensions/add-ons have access to all data of every site users visit. And that’s why installing malicious extensions is quite dangerous as bad actors can have access to anything one does via a web browser from URLs to emails to passwords.

    Now my question is: Do extensions have access to all site data even if they are disabled?!
    I think they shouldn’t but if someone knows the answer for sure, I would be happy to be enlightened.

    I have two browsers (Edge and Brave) since it’s recommended to separate various tasks (eg. work and personal things). And I always disable the extensions I don’t need to improve browser performance and my security since I do some sensitive tasks with my browsers.

    PS It was a turning point to replace crappy Firefox with Brave ;)

    1. rubenwardy said on September 18, 2021 at 9:05 pm
      Reply

      > We know that installed browser extensions/add-ons have access to all data of every site users visit

      This isn’t true. They need to be granted the permission to read the history – Firefox and Chrome both support the ability to do this at runtime. My extension, Renewed Tab, doesn’t ask for any permissions by default, other than the ability to store data. It doesn’t request the history permission, but does request the Top Sites permission if you place the Top Sites widget. Lots of the other extensions are like this too

      > Now my question is: Do extensions have access to all site data even if they are disabled?!

      They don’t – disabling completely removes any ability for them to run code.

      > I have two browsers (Edge and Brave) since it’s recommended to separate various tasks (eg. work and personal things).

      A lot of browsers support profiles, allowing different logins, histories, and add-ons for different contexts. The UI for this in Firefox is a bit hidden, but there’s add-ons to make it easier. I’ve heard that Brave has an upfront UI for it

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