Google has recently revamped its New Tab page yet again in the latest stable release of Chrome, and many users are less than thrilled with the change. There has been a flood of negative feedback, and quite honestly, I didn’t fancy the change much either. The new New Tab page puts a large Google logo and search box in the center of the screen, with some of your most frequently visited sites below it. While it may be Google’s way of babysitting novice users who don’t know they can search by typing directly into the browser’s address bar, the change seem frustrating to those of us who relied on the page for accessing our Chrome apps, recently closed tabs and tabs from our other synced devices –all features removed from the updated New Tab page. Fortunately, JR Raphael of Computerworld has shared a handy tip that allows you to restore Chrome’s old New Tab page easily via the browser’s experimental flags. Read on for our step by step guide.
The screenshot below demonstrates the new New Tab page, carrying a search box that welcomes users in the new Google Chrome release. Though the address bar field itself acts as the search field as well – a trend initiated by Chrome itself, and adopted by almost all popular desktop and mobile browsers nowadays including Firefox, Opera, Safari, Dolphin etc. Therefore, Google’s implementation of search within the new tab can be simply considered redundant. Furthermore quoting what JR explains, accessing the bookmarks and tabs syncing features of Chrome between desktop and mobile is ever more difficult now.
To restore the previous New Tab page, you will need to make use of the Experimental Devtools Console of Chrome. To do so, type the following in the address bar:
Hit the enter key and you will be taken to the page shown in the screenshot below. This console allows you to enable or disable some of the features that are hidden in the main settings interface. Though as mentioned on this page, the options shown here are still experimental, and might not work as expected.
Next, hit Ctrl + F on your keyboard, followed by typing the following in the search field:
Enable Instant Extended API
Doing so will highlight this setting on the page, helping you find it quickly. Now just change its setting from ‘Default’ or ‘Enabled’ (whichever is already set) to ‘Disabled’.
Chrome will then prompt you that the changes will only come into effect upon restarting the browser, which can be done by clicking the ‘Relaunch Now’ at the end of that page.
And that is it – you’ll now be back to the old New Tab page.
Found the tip useful? Don’t forget to share your thoughts in the comments sections below!