You can now enable Google Chrome's new design in the stable version

Aug 29, 2023
Google Chrome

Google has introduced its Chrome 2023 Refresh in the latest stable version of its browser. The redesigned interface is not enabled by default, we will show you how to do that.

To recap, the Mountain View company had introduced the Chrome 2023 Refresh in an update for the Canary channel, via Google Labs. The new interface is based on Google's Material You design language, it isn't a major overhaul per se, rather it has subtle improvements to the UI to match modern design standards across various operating systems. 2 months later, these improvements have finally been shipped with the stable version (spotted by Windows Latest).

Google Chrome 2023 Refresh profile menu

As Onur reported in his article, the changes in the new interface include rounded corners (edges) for many visual elements such as menus, address bar, etc. The Search box (Omnibox) has a Tune icon, that you can click to view information about the current web page, such as the security of the connection, and cookies and site data. Even the profile menu in Chrome has been redesigned.

Google Chrome 2023 Refresh new menu design

I noticed a few more changes in the current version. The Settings menu is now slightly larger, and displays an icon next to each option. There are some new options in the menu, such as the profile manager. The bookmarks menu includes a way to access your reading list.

Chrome's new design includes a button for Translate, which, as the name suggests, will translate the current web page that you are on. The option to cast has been removed from the menu, it is now available under a new menu called Save and Share. The other settings that you may access from this menu include save page as, create shortcut, copy link, send to device, and create a QR code. The Edit menu options have also been removed and merged under the Find and Edit section. You may also notice an animation effect when you mouse over the options, menus, tabs, etc.

Here is a comparison of the old vs the new interfaces.

Google Chrome old vs 2023 refresh design


You will need to have Google Chrome 116 installed on your computer, to try the following steps.

How to enable Google Chrome's new design in the stable version

1. Go to chrome://flags

2. Search for refresh, and you should see a couple of options named Chrome Refresh 2023 and Chrome WebUI Refresh 2023.

3. Both options are set to the default value, which is disabled. You need to click on the drop-down menu next to each option, and change it to Enabled.

4. Click on the Relaunch button that appears at the bottom of the window to restart the browser.

How to enable Google Chrome's new design in the stable version

The Google Chrome 2023 Refresh is available across Windows, macOS, Linux, ChromeOS, Fuchsia, and Lacros.  So when will this become the default interface in the browser? Back in May 2023, Google had revealed its plans to replace Chrome's HTTPS lock icon with the tune icon for security reason. The company had mentioned that the change would happen along with the redesigned interface that would ship in September. The next major update, Chrome 117, has been scheduled for September 12th. So it is very likely that we will see an announcement from the Search Giant in the coming weeks, to educate users about the changes in the new design.

You can now enable Google Chrome's new design in the stable version
Article Name
You can now enable Google Chrome's new design in the stable version
We show you how to enable Google Chrome's new design in the stable version. Say hello to the Chrome 2023 Refresh.
Ghacks Technology News

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  1. Milkington said on January 9, 2024 at 9:07 am

    Hello guys! How to enable this 2023 refresh theme on brave? I looked for the flags and it wasn’t there. The only flags with the word “refresh” are: Chrome WebUI Refresh 2023, Chrome Refresh 2023 New Tab Button, and Chrome Refresh 2023 Top Chrome Font Style. Brave version is Thanks!

  2. Peter Immel said on September 4, 2023 at 11:04 pm

    chrome://flags -> “Chrome Refresh 2023” -> Disabled = best decision ever.

    That “new” design gave me headaches!! It adds a big gap left and right of EVERY open tab -.- No, thanks! :-D

  3. chesscanoe said on August 30, 2023 at 1:37 pm

    Wonderful to enable Chrome Version 116.0.5845.141 (Official Build) (64-bit) with this subtle clever improvement.

  4. James said on August 29, 2023 at 11:24 pm

    Now with even more rounder corners! Who asked for that? All these useless visual changes but still no vertical tabs in 2023.

  5. CloseAI said on August 29, 2023 at 10:48 pm

    More unattractive, ineffective rounded-corner crap. Please fire all UI designers who employ this mess.

  6. John G. said on August 29, 2023 at 5:21 pm

    @Constantine, I noticed this also, however it’s probably that it’s paused for a short time only. Thanks @Ashwin for the article! :]

  7. Constantine said on August 29, 2023 at 3:17 pm

    This works only in the Stable but not in the Canary or Beta versions. For some reason, Google seems to have “paused” the new look in the new Canary versions of Chrome. So, even though we can enjoy it in the Stable version now, this won’t probably be the case when the new Stable version arrives.

    1. John G. said on August 29, 2023 at 5:14 pm

      @Constantine, I noticed this also, probably it’s paused. Thanks @Ashwin for the article! :]

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