How to disable the new Google Chrome 2023 design temporarily

Martin Brinkmann
Nov 11, 2023
Google Chrome

Google is rolling out the Chrome 2023 design refresh to more and more users. You may notice that the design is more colorful and that you can select different themes that range from "that's bold and mighty bright" to the classic white grayish look.

Chrome users who still don't see the new theme may enable the Google Chrome 2023 design refresh, if they want to, even in Chrome Stable.

Still, there are differences to the old design. Google Chrome's new design is based on the design language Material You. Apart from the ability to switch between different color palettes, Chrome users may notice that everything is a bit bigger and wider.

google chrome new design

You can change the theme by opening a new tab page in Chrome and selecting the Customize option that the browser displays there now.

Just switch to another of the 16 themes that Chrome supports. Users who prefer less bright colors may want to select a theme from the first row. The first one, gray and white, resembles the old look and feel of Chrome the most.

chrome customize theme

Chrome users who want to go back to the old design of the web browser can do so, at least temporarily.

Google Chrome uses a flag to determine if the old or new design is enabled. This flag is still available, but it will be removed in the future by Google. It may take a few Chrome releases, but eventually, this option will be removed from the browser in the future.

How to restore Chrome's classic design in 2023

chrome old design

Here are step-by-step instructions to go back to the classic Chrome design:

  1. Load chrome://flags/#chrome-refresh-2023  in the browser's address bar. This opens the experimental flags page and the right flag that determines whether the design is enabled or not.
  2. Set the status of the flag Chrome Refresh 2023 to Disabled.
  3. Restart Google Chrome.

Chrome is displayed in the classic layout after the restart. This method works right now, but it will be removed by Google eventually. You will notice the removal when Chrome launches in the 2023 design again.

Users who want to enable the 2023 design can do so by setting the flag to Enabled and restarting the Chrome web browser.

Now You: what is your take on Chrome's 2023 design refresh?

How to disable the new Google Chrome 2023 design temporarily
Article Name
How to disable the new Google Chrome 2023 design temporarily
Find out how to go back to the classic design of the Google Chrome web browser in 2023 temporarily.
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  1. Anonymous said on December 14, 2023 at 4:47 am

    Thank you so much. I really hate those imposed new designs without our permissions. Just leave things as they are for gods sake. This new design was absolutely awful! What are they thinking??

  2. bruh said on November 13, 2023 at 12:03 pm

    Ohh, I saw this on someone’s PC and I thought “god that looks fucking awful, what kind of theme is that?”, and now I see it’s the new layout? That sucks.

    Maybe I should bring in my userchrome customisations and switch to firefox for my work PC, because chrome is getting uglier by the day.

    These companies (microsoft, google, apple, etc) are doing a wonderful job at showing just how shit the current flat/fluent design style is. What a garbage trend that I hope one day will end – but I know it won’t end, unfortunately, because it is x100 easier to produce than the realistic/aero design of the early 2000s.

    I would argue with anyone to the ends of the earth about this, the current “design” trends are utter crap. But clearly they’re not done making things worse, this latest redesign proves there’s still lots of work to be done making everything look as stupid as possible.

  3. chesscanoe said on November 12, 2023 at 1:29 pm

    After playing with the 16 options for several days, the brown option works best for me. IMO you cannot really make a “permanent” choice until you actually see the consequence of your choice as you use the browser.

  4. Scroogled said on November 11, 2023 at 7:43 pm

    Thankfully, we can turn off this awful new layout. Was it designed with younger children in mind? Looks immature and unprofessional. Why do the UI elements have so much rounded edges and padding? This team deserves to be sacked for their awful design.

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