How to Customize the Google Chrome New Tab Page Without Extensions

Ben Stegner 25-09-2018

Is your new tab page looking a little bland? Chrome’s default new tab page is essentially a copy of Google’s homepage, reskinned with whatever Chrome theme you’ve selected.


Aside from a search bar and links to your most-visited sites, this page doesn’t offer much functionality. With the latest release of Chrome, Google now allows you to customize this.

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Customizing Google Chrome’s New Tab Page

Open a new tab in Chrome by clicking the Plus button at the top, or using the shortcut Ctrl + T.

In the middle of the page, you’ll see icons representing your most-visited pages. Click the three-dot button that appears over one to edit its name or URL. You can also choose Remove if you don’t need it.

Click the Plus button to add a new shortcut. Just like when adding a new bookmark, provide a name and URL for it.


In the bottom-right corner, you’ll see a small gear icon. Click this, and you can change the page’s background. Select Chrome backgrounds to choose from a variety of images from Google, or you can Upload an image of your own.


If you choose Google’s backgrounds, you can browse through a variety of categories and select the image you like best. Once you pick one, it will instantly become the background for all new tabs.


You might wonder what the point of this is when you can install a variety of extensions to change the new tab page. As it turns out, this is much better for security. Browser extensions are notorious for leaking your private information. Even trustworthy extensions are often sold to spammers, who cram them full of shady behavior.

You’re best off sticking to Google’s customizations here instead of using another extension that you shouldn’t have installed anyway 10 Chrome Extensions You Should Uninstall Right Now It's hard to keep track of which extensions have been caught abusing their privileges, but you should definitely uninstall these 10 as soon as possible. Read More . For the little amount of time you spend on this page, this should be all you need. And speaking of Google’s customizations, it’s a good idea to add custom search engines in Chrome Custom Search Engines in Google Chrome: Essential Tips and Tricks You can create custom search engines to search any website from Chrome's address bar. Here's how you can make that happen. Read More to speed up your workflow.

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    June 6, 2019 at 4:33 am

    ALL Google did was screw up the page and nothing is the way I want it! Another reason to use Opera I guess since they are so arrogant they won't fix what they screw up

  2. Alan Jones
    May 3, 2019 at 12:53 pm

    Doesn't work, added new shortcuts but the next time I open a new tab page they have gone, replaced annoyingly by chrome store which i never use.

  3. billy
    March 13, 2019 at 9:52 pm

    Doesn't work with the url //chrome:apps unfortunately.