How to Customize a New Tab Page in Chrome

Set up and change that new tab page to work better for your needs

Google Chrome browser's new tab page on Windows 10.

As it turns out, the new tab page in Chrome is less of a plain background and more of a blank canvas. Not only can you spruce up its looks, you can even customize it’s functionality. Here are two different approaches for how to change the new tab page in Chrome.

Change New Tab Page With Chrome’s Built-in Tools

Chrome gives you ways to do basic aesthetic personalization right out of the box by providing a menu for setting a background image that will appear every time you open a new tab in Chrome. The browser even has you covered in terms of wallpapers, as it ships preloaded with a set of sample background images you can apply to your new tab page. 

To set this up, you need to open a blank new tab. In the new tab, click the gear icon in the lower-right corner to bring up a background selection menu. From here, you can either choose a background bundled with Chrome or pick one from your computer’s hard drive. 

How to Apply a Chrome Background

  1. Open a new tab and select the gear icon in the lower right corner of the page.

  2. Select Chrome backgrounds.

    Google Chrome new tab page with the
  3. Choose an image category.

    Google Chrome new tab page with the background category popup menu open.
  4. Choose an image thumbnail from the category. 

    Google Chrome new tab page with a background image selected in the background image popup menu.
  5. Select Done

  6. After waiting a bit for your chosen background to load, Chrome will drape it behind your shortcuts on your new tab page.

    Google Chrome new tab page with a background image of a rocky shoreline at sunset.
  7. You're done!

How to Use Your Own Image

  1. Open a new tab and select the gear icon in the lower right corner of the page.

  2. Select Upload an image.

  3. Find and select to the image file you want to upload, then select Open.

If at any time you want to reset your background, select the gear icon, then select Restore default background. This will revert the new tab page to the stock blank white new tab page that you get normally. 

Change New Tab Page Using a Chrome Extension

Whereas Chrome’s built-in options only change the background image for new tabs, extensions can change how new tabs work entirely, such as by adding functionality. In the Chrome Web Store, you can find new tab extensions that do everything from removing the website shortcuts to make room for the wallpaper, to adding productivity tools like calendars and to-do lists. 

You shouldn't have more than one new tab extension installed at a time, as this may cause degraded functionality or other errors.

  1. In your browser, navigate to the Chrome Web Store.

  2. Type “new tab” into the search bar and press Enter

    The Chrome Web Store homepage with
  3. Select Extensions on the left side.

    Chrome Web Store search results page for
  4. Select the new tab extension you want and select Add to Chrome.

  5. From this point forward, as long as you have the extension installed and enabled, the extension’s new tab layout will be loaded instead of Chrome’s native one. 

    New tab page on Chrome with a large white menu box over a background of an overhead view of trees and sea.
  6. You're done!

How to Uninstall a New Tab Extension

  1. Right-click the extension's icon to the right of the address bar. 

  2. Select Remove from Chrome.

    A custom new tab page in the Chrome browser with the extension removal popup dialog box open.
  3. Select Remove

  4. Your new tab pages will instantly revert to the blank, stock Chrome new tab page, allowing you to install a new extension or use Chrome’s menus to customize it.