Enable Material Design Refresh in Google Chrome

Starting with version 68, Google Chrome includes a new version of the Material Design UI that is not enabled by default. In this article, we will see how to activate it.


The new version can be seen in the current development version of the browser, where it is enabled by default. You may have spotted it while reading the article Enable Picture-in-Picture mode in Google Chrome.

Google Chrome Picture In Picture Controls

If you like the new appearance, you can enable it right now. It can be activated with a special flag.

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 activating the new 'Refresh' style for the top frame of the browser's window. Let's see how it can be done.

To enable Material Design Refresh in Google Chrome, do the following.

  1. 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.

  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 'Refresh'.Google Chrome Enable Material Design Refresh
  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.Google Chrome Relaunch Button

Google Chrome will look as follows.

Google Chrome Enabled Material Design Refresh

Other possible values for the mention flag are:

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

That's it.

Feel free to share your impressions about this new design in the comments.


5 thoughts on “Enable Material Design Refresh in Google Chrome

  1. Gay Martin

    Looks like crap.

  2. Bry

    The irony. Chrome trying to look more like Firefox.
    It is horrible and latest about 2 minutes before I had to change it back.
    I hope this doesn’t stick as the default style.

    1. MiroslavRD

      Yeah, Material Design Refresh is worse than Firefox Quantum by Mozi- I mean EAzilla. (challenge everything)

  3. Rain

    Absolutely hate it. Tried the fix to revert it back to the old look, didn’t work. Uninstalled it. Now I’m using Edge which is just as repulsive. Don’t like Firefox either. Oh well, could benefit from spending less (no) time online anyway.

  4. MiroslavRD

    They trapped us in the material refresh

    You know what. I’m going to install a old version of Chrome


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *