Starting in Chrome 69, the browser features significant changes to the user interface. These include a 'Material Design Refresh' theme with rounded tabs, the removal of the 'Secure' text badge for HTTPS web sites replaced by a Lock icon, and a reworked new tab page. If you are not happy with the New Tab page, you can restore its classic look.
In Chrome 69, developers made the New Tab page more customizable, so users can quickly add custom shortcuts and change the page background image natively without installing third-party extensions. However, the new page displays web site shortcuts as favicons. Previously, the browser was showing them as thumbnails.
Some users are not happy with this change. Thankfully, it is still possible to restore the classic New Tab page.
Note that the reworked New Tab page does have some major improvements too besides background customization and custom shortcuts. For example, sites that you have removed from the New tab page no longer return to it. The browser remembers which sites you don't want re-appearing there. But if you want to go back to the earlier behavior, read on.
Google Chrome comes with a number of useful options which are experimental. They are not supposed to be used by regular users but enthusiasts and testers can easily turn them on. These experimental features can significantly improve the user experience of the Chrome browser by enabling additional functionality. To enable or disable an experimental feature, you can use hidden options called 'flags'. Often, flags can be used to revert new features and restore the classic look and feel of the browser for some period of time.
There is a special flag which allows restoring the classic New Tab page. Here is how it can be done.
To restore the classic New Tab page in Google Chrome, do the following.
- Open the Google Chrome browser and type the following text into the address bar:
This will open the flags page directly with the relevant setting.
- Set the option is named New Tab Page Material Design UI. Set it to Disabled using the drop down list next to the flag's name.
- Restart Google Chrome by closing it manually or you can also use the Relaunch button which will appear at the very bottom of the page.
- The classic look of the New Tab page will be restored.
Also, see how to add 8 thumbnails to the new tab page in Google Chrome.
Articles of interest:
- Disable New Rounded UI in Chrome 69
- Enable Native Titlebar in Google Chrome in Windows 10
- Enable Picture-in-Picture mode in Google Chrome
- Enable Material Design Refresh in Google Chrome
- Enable Emoji Picker in Google Chrome 68 and above
- Enable Lazy Loading in Google Chrome
- Permanently Mute Site in Google Chrome
- Customize New Tab Page in Google Chrome
- Disable Not Secure Badge for HTTP Web Sites in Google Chrome