After a recent Google Chrome update, the download panel appears from the top in a bubble, similar to the user interface of Firefox. But many users want to restore the classic download panel that appears at the bottom of the window.
The Chrome 2023 redesign brought many changes to the browser. You will notice more rounder corners, touch-friendly wider menus, and a lot of other visual updates. Icons in the main menu, more interactive address bar, and color effects for tabs are among them.
One the changes is the download bubble instead of the classic download bar. The bubble appears at the top in the toolbar, while old download panel was popping up at the bottom. While the updated UI plays well with the new style of the browser, it makes the user to re-train their muscle memory.
ℹ️ The new download UI is in use starting in Chrome 115.
Once you start downloading a file, your habits will make you move the mouse pointer down, and only after that you will realize that nothing is there anymore. Moving the cursor back to top is not convenient and very annoying. That's why many users want to restore the classic download panel in Google Chrome.
Luckily, it is very easy to do. Developers of the browser kept a special option on the built-in chrome://flags page. Before proceeding, I advise you to update your browser to the latest version. For that, open the menu, select Help > About Google Chrome, and you are good to go. If there are any updates, Chrome will install them.
Restore Classic Download Panel in Chrome
To restore the download panel at the bottom of the window in Chrome, do the following.
- Close Google Chrome if you have it running.
- Right-click its desktop shortcut, and select Properties from the menu.
- In the next dialog, on the Shortcut tab, click in the Target text box.
- Add a space after chrome.exe, and then type or paste the following argument:
--disable-features=DownloadBubble. You will get
- Click Apply and OK to save the modification. Click on Continue if you see the Access denied prompt.
- Now, launch Google Chrome using the modified shortcut. Voila, you now have the classic download panel!
In older versions prior to 119.0.6045.124, Chrome had a flag to disable the new download bubble. If by a chance you are running an older version of the browser, follow these instructions.
Disable the new Chrome download bubble with a flag
- In Google Chrome, open a new tab.
- Type chrome://flags in the address bar, and hit the Enter key.
- On the Experiments page that opens, type "Enable download bubble" into the search box to find the eponymous flag. Also, you can use the direct flag URL
- Select Disabled from the drop-down menu for the Enable download bubble option.
- Relaunch the browser when prompted, and you are done.
From now on, when you download a flag, Chrome will use the classic download panel at the screen bottom. Clicking on the file name will open it in an associated app. Nothing will change to the functionality of the browser.
Sadly, Chrome developers have removed the flag in recent versions of the app. They keep such flags to make feature changes less painful for users, and give them more time to get use to the new UI.
If you find that the above mentioned methods doesn't work any longer for you, don't hesitate to share your Chrome version. I'll update the tutorial to include an alternative solution (if available).
The download bubble is not the only user interface change Chrome has recently received. To match the style of Windows 11, the browser supports the Mica effect for the titlebar. Also, a new reader mode is in the works that allows viewing the regular website in a tab and its simplified version in the sidebar.
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