Google introduced an updated “new tab” page for its Chrome web browser a while back, replacing the list of apps and browser abs a big search bar thumbnail icons for frequently visited sites.

It seems kind of silly since Chrome already has a big search bar: it’s the URL bar at the top of the page. Unfortunately the trick we suggested in October for bringing back the old “new tab” page no longer works on Chrome 33 and later.

But there’s another  workaround… kind of.

Chrome new tab page What we’re going to do is set Chrome to show a list of your Chrome web apps every time you open a new tab. This doesn’t bring back all the features of the old view, but it’s close enough for me… and maybe for you too.

1. Visit the Chrome Web Store and find the extension called New Tab Redirect!

2. Click the Install button and select “add” from the pop-up menu.

3. When the extension is finished installing, you’ll get a welcome message. Tap the right-arrow until you get to the last page where there’s a link that says “Set your Options!”

4. Click that link.

5. On the following page click the button that says “Apps” or just enter “chrome://apps/” (without quotes) in the text box.

6. Hit the save button.

That’s it. Now whenever you open a new browser tab it’ll take you your list of apps.

Don’t like the way it looks? There are plenty of other apps and extensions in the Chrome web store that can change the appearance of your new tab page.


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22 replies on “How to get Google Chrome’s old “new tab” page back (kind of)”

  1. thanks I forgot what name of page was. When I resynced to sign into chrome Redirect extensions was just gone. I went to store to add but forgot the name of page to redirect to. Teresa

  2. no one understands! its either just apps, or just bookmarks
    i have too much stuff and i need both, but everything is either new tab redirect or just the crappy new page

  3. It doesn’t work for me. My new tab is set on and I can figure out how to change it 🙁

  4. Hi. I’m the developer of New Tab Redirect. Thanks for writing about the extension.

    I am working on version 3.0 which provides a new tab apps page. Some screenshots from a few days ago are available here:

    I’ve had to add 4 new permissions in order to display everything in a way similar to the old new tab page. There’s still some things Chrome doesn’t expose (like website thumbnails), so I’ve settled on favicon and links for bookmarks and top sites. The display preferences (bottom right corner) allow you to hide the bookmarks and top sites. You can also change the number displayed: bookmarks from 5-40 links and top sites from 5-20.

    I plan to be done testing and tweaking the interface by the middle of next week.

    I’ve just made my beta tester Google Group public if anyone wants to try these features now:

    1. what i dont understand is why you removed the ability for people to keep the old new tabs page that they liked and forced the new one on them

      1. Hi. That wasn’t me. It was removed from Chrome. I don’t work for Google or contribute to Chrome. I have never removed functionality from my extension.

        1. the only thing im really after is the ability to have the old option where at the bottom right of the screen there was a pop open tab for “recently closed tabs” that showed the 10 or so most recently closed pages, is there any way to do this on new tab redirect because ive tried and cant figure anything out

          1. Chrome moved that feature from the new tab page into the menu in the top right corner. If you’d like to open multiple recent tabs at once or view tabs from other devices, you can find it at chrome://history. Because the browser offers this in so many places, I don’t plan to reproduce the feature for right now.

            Also, you can use cntrl-shift-t (command-shift-t in Mac) to open recently closed tabs in reverse order of how they were closed.

  5. Thanks the thing I was looking for was the option to move my recent tabs back to the bottom page instead of clicking on the sidebar but looks like Google doesn’t care about user preferences alas

  6. Check out “new metrotab 0.9.15” extension from Chrome store. Works very well; offers life feed tabs; is very customizable.

  7. Excellent! This has been bugging me ever since I last updated Chrome.

    Edit: After using this for an hour, I’m turning it off. While it’s nice to have the apps show up each time I open a new tab, it’s really really obnoxious that when you start typing an address or search, it gets appended to chrome://apps rather than automagically blasting that away. Nobody wants to multi-click in the address bar before typing on a new tab.

    1. I just installed the “Apps in New Tab” extension, and it does what you’re looking for. The apps show on my new tab, and the address bar is empty, ready for typing.

      EDIT: My mistake. It appears the address bar is populated with chrome://apps. However, typing CNTR-L highlights the whole address bar, which is replaced as soon as you type. So it’s one keystroke to start, which isn’t too bad. If you come up with a better fix, please add a reply.

      1. I looked around in the chrome extensions API, and there does not appear to be a way to set text in the address bar without also navigating to the uri represented by the text. That makes sense from a security standpoint, as it prevents a malicious extension from spoofing the uri. Unfortunately, there is also no API function to programmatically highlight all the text in the address bar.

        Oh well, once they finally release the app launcher for Linux, I’ll just access my apps that way.

        1. You’re right, there’s no functionality to highlight the address bar. Because of the way I designed New Tab Redirect (load the replacement page, get the user’s URL, redirect to that URL), the feature to empty the address bar and focus already happens before the extension performs the redirect. After the redirect, the browser acts just as it would if you were to type the URL into the address bar.

          As I mentioned in my post a day ago ( ), I’m planning to release a more fully functional ‘redirect.html’ (which I’m renaming to ‘main.html’), which allows you to choose *not* to redirect and just show a custom apps page. You’ll have an optional bookmarks bar, although it doesn’t automatically show if your in-browser bookmarks bar is hidden. You’ll also have a slide-out panel of top sites. I very much prefer how I’ve done the presentation of the apps to Chrome’s chrome://apps page.

  8. Where is the recently closed list at the lower right hand side? No? This extension is useless without that!

      1. hes not asking where to view recently closed tabs

        hes asking how to restore the old new tabs pages “recenctly closed tabs” tab on the bottom right corner

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