Google doodles mark important historic dates, people in history, and current events. Some doodles are static while others are quick little animations. In some cases, e.g., during the Soccer or Cricket World Cup, or the Olympics, theses doodles are small games that you can play. If you don’t like the doodles, or you end up playing them instead of working, you can choose to hide Google Doodles on the Chrome New Tab Page.
Hide Google Doodles
It’s fairly easy to hide Google doodles from the Chrome New Tab Page. You can do it by disabling a flag. Open a new tab and enter the following in the URL bar;
On the Chrome flags page, search for ‘doodles’ in the search bar. You will find a flag called “Enable doodles on the local NTP” and it will be set to Default. Open the dropdown next to this flag and select the ‘Disabled’ option.
Relaunch Chrome and open a new tab page. The Google Doodle with be gone and instead be replaced with the usual Google logo.
Google doodles are normally just images, static or animated. In some cases though, they can include a by-line. Disabling the flag will disable/hide the Google doodle but the by-line will still be present at the very bottom of the New Tab Page. There doesn’t seem to be a way to disable it but it is far less distracting than the doodle itself. For one, you can’t play it and end up wasting time, and it’s at the very bottom of the page and much easier to ignore.
There are some extensions in the Chrome Web Store that claim to be able to hide the Google doodle from the New Tab Page but they didn’t seem to work. Given a choice between an extension and disabling a flag, it’s better to go with the flag option. Extensions, while great, tend to slow Chrome down and also cause it to use more RAM.
This is a Chrome specific setting. If you visit the Google home page, or go to a Google search results page, the doodle will still appear on both pages. If you’re too tempted by it, it’s best to just type searches in the URL bar in Chrome, or use the search field on the New Tab page. There is unfortunately no escaping the doodle on the search results page but it’s smaller and off to the side so it’s far less visible.