Google recently rolled out an update to the Chrome web browser designed to put search front and center. Instead of seeing a page with a list of web apps every time you load a new browser tab, the new design features a Google Search box with thumbnail icons for your favorite sites below it.
In order to access your list of Chrome Web Apps, you need to hit an app launcher icon. I suppose some folks might like the new design, but I found it took more clicks to get things done, since I routinely fire up my browser every day and hit icons for Gmail, Feedly, and a few other sites that I leave open through the day.
Fortunately it’s pretty easy to go back to the classic design.
Update: As of the launch of Chrome 33, Google no longer makes it quite so easy… fortunately there are third party browser extensions that can help.
Here’s how to do it:
1. Type “chrome://flags/” into the URL bar in the web browser (without the quotes).
2. Scroll down until you find a section marked “Enable Instant Extended API.” You can also hit CTRL+F to open a search box and just type the word “Extended” to find that flag more quickly.
3. Use the drop-down box to change the value from Default or Enabled to Disabled.
4. Tap the Relaunch Chrome button, or just shut down and restart the browser.
The next time Chrome starts, you should see the old view, with separate sections for Apps and Most Visited.