The new tab page in Chrome has always had a speed dial; it’s a set of websites that users visit most often and it gives users a quick way to open them. The speed dial used to populate based on a user’s browsing history which meant they could update if the user changed which websites they were visiting most often. Chrome recently added the ability to set the speed dial/website shortcuts yourself which means they won’t change based on browsing history. It’s useful but if you don’t like the feature, you can hide the website shortcuts from the Chrome new tab page.
Hide website shortcuts from Chrome NTP
Open Chrome and a new tab. Click the Customize button at the bottom right. In the window that opens, go to the Shortcuts tab. At the bottom, you will see a switch called ‘Hide shortcuts’. Turn it On.
When you open a new tab page, the shortcuts are all going to be hidden. The search bar will still be there. The shortcuts have just been hidden though. If you turn the switch back Off, your shortcuts will return as they were. You won’t have to add them all over again.
Chrome has added a lot of customization options for the new tab page. Most of the new customization options you see now used to only be possible with extensions.
The Shortcuts tab in the Customize pop-up has one other option; ‘Most visited sites’. If you select this instead of turning shortcuts off, you will change how speed dial behaves on the new tab page. Most Visited Sites will switch from the custom sites you’ve set manually and they will populate based on your browsing history.
You should know that this is one of the settings that are synced with Chrome sync. If you’re only interested in hiding the website shortcuts from a particular Chrome installation, you should either disable Chrome sync from it or turn off ‘Settings’ under the sync options. You can also try using different accounts on the Chrome installations that you want to have different settings for but this is an option you should only use if you don’t need other data like bookmarks and browsing history to be synced between all your Chrome instances.
The website shortcuts offer quick access to websites but a lot of users prefer a clean interface that they can use to search for something. Chrome’s history will still allow you to enter part of a URL and have it autofill the rest. It’s not as fast as the speed dial but it works with the keyboard and maybe a better option for some.