How to switch back to Chrome’s old ‘New Tab’ page

chrome-new-tab-page-sadThe latest release of Chrome has a revamped “New Tab” page that includes Google’s Doodle and other features of Google search right on any new tab you open. It also moved the recently closed tabs to the Chrome menu, and apps menu to the Apps icon in the bookmarks bar.

This was an awful design change for a few reasons.

It’s not just the obnoxious most visited pages tab that’s annoying in the new “new tab” page. It’s also a redundant search bar and the fact “recent tabs” are hidden away. Having fewer thumbnails mean users need to dive into their bookmarks more often to get to frequently used sites.

In addition, having the search box on the page is redundant, because the address field at the top of each page on Chrome also serves as a search field, known as the Omnibox. To make matters worse, when you start typing a search into the field above the thumbnails, it disappears and you find yourself typing in the Omnibox anyway!

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 rely 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, with thanks to this tip from JR Raphael at Computer World, there is an easy way to restore the old tab page in Chrome.

  1. Type chrome://flags into your address bar to open Chrome’s experimental page.
  2. Use Ctrl+F to search for “Enable Instant Extended API”.
  3. Change the value from “Default” to “Disabled”.
  4. Click the Relaunch Now button that shows up at the bottom of the window.

When open a new tab page now in Chrome you are greeted by the old tab page again in the web browser.