Restoring Apps page in Google Chrome for home and new tabs

Google ChromeGoogle Chrome has updated and you’ve lost your big buttons to GoogleMail (GMail), Google Drive and YouTube. Fear not, there is a quick solution to restore your Apps buttons as your home page and an extension to sort out your new tab.

Google Chrome in September 2013 with the new Google logo and search box centre stage

For some strange reason, Google felt it necessary to add the search box bang centre on their default page when loading Chrome afresh. This is quite odd, since most people who use Chrome will be familiar with the fact you can use the URL bar itself as a search box. Still, it gives Google a chance to show off their ‘flattened’ logo design.

To restore the Apps page on load

Apps page restored on Google Chrome

  1. Open the Chrome options menu (three bars icon, top right).
  2. Select Settings.
  3. Under ‘On start-up’ click the Set pages link.
  4. In the ‘Add a new page’ box, enter chrome://apps/
  5. Click OK.
  6. Ensure Open a specific page or set of pages is selected.
  7. Close Chrome.
  8. Reopen to find sanity restored.

To set the Apps page for new tabs

  1. Go to the Chrome Extensions Store.
  2. Search for ‘Any New Tab’ using the search box top left.
  3. Click the +Free button for the extension ‘Any New Tab by gnuu.org’. At the time of writing, this extension doesn’t require any special permissions which impact on your privacy.
  4. Click Add on the popup that appears.
  5. Open the Chrome options menu (three bars icon, top right).
  6. Select Tools > Extensions.
  7. Ensure the Any New Tab extension is enabled (checkbox on right).
  8. Click the Options link for Any New Tab.
  9. Enter chrome://apps/ in the box provided in the middle of the screen.
  10. Click Save.
  11. Close the Any New Tab settings tab, extensions tab and store tab. Open a new tab in Google Chrome and your Apps page appears.

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