How-To

Don’t Like the Updated Design of Chrome 69 UI? Change it Back

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of Chrome, Google rolled out a redesign of the browser with version 69. If you don’t like the new look, you can change it back.

Google has kept the look of the Chrome browser’s interface has remained relatively consistent over the years. Whenever there is an update, the changes are typically under-the-hood security patches and performance improvements. However, with the recently rolled out Chrome version 69, it’s taken on a noticeable new look. It now has rounded tabs and site icons, rounded address bar, and new color pallet. The company’s pitch is it’s a “jazzed up new look” but many users aren’t impressed. If you’re not happy with this new design, here’s how to change it back to what you’re used to on the desktop.

How to Change the Chrome UI Back

To get started, launch Chrome and enter in the following path into the address bar:

chrome://flags/#top-chrome-md

Now change the “UI Layout for browser’s top chrome” from Default to Normal and relaunch the browser.

That’s all there is to it. Now you don’t need to worry about forcing yourself to accept the new design or finding a different Theme to make the browser more appealing. Without any Theme changes, this is how Chrome looks with the updated interface – rounded address bar and tabs:

After changing the flag to “Normal” as shown above, this is how your browser should look – the way it did before the update:

This new refreshed design is to celebrate the browser’s 10th anniversary. Since Chrome automatically updates in the background, when changes like this occur, it can be quite jarring. When it comes to computing, no one likes change. Especially when it comes to the look and feel of familiar tools like the web browser. But now you will still have all of the other new updates and features included with version 69, but still, retain the classic look that you’re used to.

It’s also worth noting that you might want to try some of the other options in the list for the UI layout. For example, “Touchable” gives you larger tabs and buttons which is obviously nice if you have a touchscreen PC. But if you have poor eyesight or just like the look, it’s something worth trying. You can test each of the options out and see which one works best for you.

How long you’ll be able to do this remains to be seen. Google is constantly updating the browser and some tricks simply don’t work anymore. For example, you used to be able to switch a flag to disable autoplay videos, but that method no longer seems to work on the desktop version.


13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. Kevin Clemmer  

    Looks like Firefox now. Whatever. I’ll never use Chrome again, have returned my Chromebook(s), to somewhere in China I think, gotten rid of my Samsung S8 (Android) and gone with iPhone X (I hate Apple less now than I hate Google) but it’s still newsworthy and I’m glad you guys did this piece. Now I’m switching my Email client after decades, but I’ll have it forwarded for a little.

    • Phil  

      another case of “apple did it, so we will.”except replace ‘apple’ with ‘firefox’. thanx for the change back info

  2. Lew  

    It does NOT replace the icons with the figures that showed before.

    • CB  

      Look for ntp-ui-md and disable. new tab page icons show up in the page

  3. John  

    Brilliant! Really dislike the new design. This worked a treat.

  4. NATE  

    THE TABS ARE SO UGLY!!!!

  5. Dom  

    How did you get that blue on yours?
    Mine on the PC and on my android phone show it has white. It is a Terror to navigate on the phone. x.x

    Switched back to the normal for now. Ty! ^^ Still would like to know how you have blue. xD

    • Eric  

      Try looking in the Chrome Web Store for something like “blue theme”. There will probably be a few choices. (I set mine to a sort of light gray to get at least some contrast without obscuring my extension icons.) Google seems bent on making everything blindingly white-on-white, and it’s horrible on large monitors as well. They are ignoring negative feedback about the all-white themes …

  6. RAYMOND SIROIS  

    Thank you for the info. It is back to how it was before I hit Google update.
    Truly appreciated!

  7. Rob C  

    Thank you soooo much, I can’t stand the new skin.

  8. Nino P  

    Thank you so much. I thought I would have to change my browser again. Those square tips look ugly

  9. Fran  

    Thank you sooo much. I HATE HATE HATE the new and “improved” (HA!) browser tabs. “Improved” tabs are visually very poorly defined. The old ones are CLEARLY visually defined and therefore easier to use.
    At first I thought the cat had danced on the keyboard and changed Chrome. Wasted a lot of time trying to bring back the old tabs before I realized it wasn’t the cat at all, that Google had actually RUINED my tabs on PURPOSE. Without your solution, I would have switched browsers, I’m sure. Thanks again. My laptop is functional once more.

  10. J  

    These tips didn’t work for me. When I go to the Google home page, instead of seeing all my favourite pages as small screens, I now see a list of round buttons with very similar abbreviated descriptions, that force me to stop and ponder which one is the one I want. It’s very annoying and the most backward step I’ve ever seen in a software update!

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