A Guide to Customizing the New Tab Page in Google Chrome

Browsers have come a long way and evolved with time to make their interfaces contained, easy to use and have enhanced features. But the default new tab page in all the browsers doesn’t seem to reflect that. I mean, it’s either blank or will have a thumbnail of recently visited sites… but that gets boring after a while.

Take Chrome’s new tab page for instance. It has got a sliding interface for apps installed from Chrome store and most visited websites and this does help us enhance browsing experience. But then you might have wished to do more with the new tab. This is exactly what we’ll talk about today. We’ll talk about ways to customize Chrome’s new tab page and also invite opinions from you in the comments to suggest more such methods. Let us begin.

Cool Tip: Did you know that F3 pulls out a beautiful Find Bar on Chrome? It is a quick way to look for some text on a web page.

Open Specific Website

So far all browsers let you customize the homepage to open a specific website when you launch your browser. However, I haven’t come across a similar offering on new tabs. Though there are other options that you can play with, you might just be missing this feature.

New-Tab-Extension

No issues, there is an extension for Chrome named Replace New Tab Page which can emulate such a behavior for your new tabs. Install the extension and read our detailed article (shows how to do it on Firefox as well) to learn the use and setup.

Create Thumbnail Bookmarks

Speed Dial (UPDATE: This tool is not available anymore. Use Speed Dial 2 instead.) is a bookmarking extension for Chrome. The good thing it brings along is that it lets you map your bookmarks as visual thumbnails. It overrides the original tab behavior and allows more than 8 thumbnails. The interface also shows a bookmarks toolbar imitating the default one. At the bottom it has a recently visited bar that stacks recent items.

Speed-Dial-Interface

To add a new thumbnail bookmark you may click on any empty dial. The next splash will ask you to define a Title, URL and Logo of which only URL is mandatory.

Add-a-Thumbnail

Alternatively, for any current page you may follow the Speed Dial Icon on towards the end of the address bar. Choose the option Add Current Page to see its thumbnail appear.

Add-Current-Page

There are a couple of options to set on the extension. You may choose the row-column size, select a theme or background and check/uncheck interface elements.

Speed-Dial-Options

Customize Chrome’s Original New Tab Interface

The new tab interface has an Apps bar and a Most Visited bar towards the bottom. A user may toggle between them as per requirements. Now, if you wish you may add more bars to it and create a map of bookmarks. For instance I have a Favorite section created for all my bookmarks.

Create-New-Bar

To create a new bar, drag any link to the area and you will find that an additional apps bar appears. Next, double click on the text and rename your interface.

Conclusion

These are pretty decent ways to spice up new tab behavior on Chrome. If you have knowledge about something similar and useful, do let us know in the comments section. Tell us if you would like to see similar stuff for Firefox.

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