Google Chrome’s new tab page (NTP) is a sacred space. It’s where you go as a starting point for a Google Search (unless you’re using a Chromebook) and where you quickly access recent websites. Aside from that, it’s become understood that this space is not to be messed with in any way, shape, or form. Unfortunately, Google has added a few new modules here that many find unnecessary or useless at least, and at most distracting and obnoxious. While I do truly love these NTP modules, I can understand why others dislike Google’s attempts at turning it into the next Google. Let’s discuss how you can customize everything about the NTP so it feels like home.
By clicking the plus icon to create a new tab at the top of your Chrome browser, you’ll be met with the familiar Google Search bar in the center of the page. Scrolling down will reveal the new shopping, recipes, Drive, and tasks modules below your shortcuts if you have them. Just look to the bottom right of the page where you’ll find a ‘customize’ button marked with a pencil icon. If you didn’t already know, you can change the NTP background color or image here using the ‘Background’ option found in the box that appears (see below).
Aside from that, you can decide whether or not you want shortcuts to recently accessed websites to appear under your search bar. For those of you who get annoyed that you have to constantly remove these one by one, you’re welcome. There’s also a ‘Color and theme’ option that allows you to change your browser’s entire color scheme. Previously, you’d have to visit the Chrome Web Store’s ‘Themes’ section by yourself to find one. It’s worth noting, however, that the Web Store does feature more of a selection, but if you’re just interested in themes that are simple and authored by Google itself, applying one here is perfect.
Alright, let’s move on to those modules, shall we? Selecting the ‘Cards’ option from the left-hand sidebar will show you the image above. You have the option of hiding them entirely if that’s what you came here for. Select ‘Hide all cards’ and then choose the blue ‘Done’ button at the bottom right of the dialogue box. If you want, you can also manually hide these on a per-card basis. Simply toggle the blue switch next to ‘Shopping suggestions’, ‘Recipe ideas’, ‘Your carts’, ‘Get discounts’, and or ‘Drive files’ before clicking ‘Done’ again. Once you leave that box, your new tab page will be much more to your liking!
I don’t for one second believe that Google is finished cluttering the NTP with content from your Google account, and knowing how to rid yourself of it may be valuable, so I wanted to add such a tutorial to our How-to series, despite its simplicity. The tech giant is set on integrating Google Shopping into practically everything as of late, and with the addition of Drive and Tasks modules, I think it’s just trying to give you new ways to be productive, but depending on who you ask, it should wait for the user to seek out that data, not shove it in their face. Let me know your thoughts on the modules in the comments below and also tell me what other tutorials you’d like to see!