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Disable New Rounded UI in Chrome 69

The team behind the popular Google Chrome browser today released a new version of the app. Chrome 69 comes with a number of new features and improvements, including a refined look for the user interface, that is called 'Material Design Refresh'. If you don't like how it looks, you can revert the appearance of the browser to the previous version of the UI.

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.

There is a special flag which allows changing the style for the top frame of the browser's window. You can use it to restore classic look of Google Chrome.

To disable the new rounded UI in Chrome 69, do the following.

  1. Open the Google Chrome browser and type the following text into the address bar:
    chrome://flags/#top-chrome-md

    This will open the flags page directly with the relevant setting.

  2. The setting is called "Material Design in the browser's top chrome". It allows you to pick the desired interface appearance from a drop down list. Set it to 'Normal'.
  3. 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.
  4. The classic look of the browser will be restored.

Before

After

Other possible values for the mention flag are:

  • Default
  • Normal - for clamshell/flip devices
  • Hybrid (formerly Touch) - for touch screen devices
  • Auto - allows the browser decide.
  • Touchable - new unified interface for touch screen devices.
  • Refresh - Material Design Refresh
  • Touchable Refresh - Material Design Refresh with extra padding.

You can choose any style you like. Setting the flag to the 'Default' option will restore the modern appearance of Google Chrome.

That's it.

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18 thoughts on “Disable New Rounded UI in Chrome 69

  1. scorp13

    It is not clear why such changes are not optional. It is obvious that such a cardinal change in design can not please everyone – people’s are very different.

    Reply
  2. No to meaningless changes!

    Thank you so much!! The new UI is awful… If I wasn’t able to revert it to the former UI I would have uninstalled Chrome.

    Reply
  3. Szymon

    Thank you, Sergey! This new rounded UI made me a headache. Now I can use my favorite browser without any issues back again :)

    Reply
  4. Josh

    Thanks for this post, worked great. However, there’s another you should mention – in that same area, there’s an option for “Close buttons on inactive tabs” ( chrome://flags/#close-buttons-inactive-tabs ), something I have literally been needing in Chrome for years, and which last I searched there was a post from 2011 where some Chrome dev said it would not be implemented. This is huge – one of my two last issues with Chrome…

    Reply
  5. Frustrated

    Yep, they dropped “Normal”. Damn kids that always like to redesign things in an artsy-fartsy non-usable fashion. Screw them.

    Reply

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