For a very long time, Chrome’s new tab page features Google search box with the most visited sites. Though this has made searching a lot easier, we do not always want to see our most visited sites. An alternate way is to replace the default new tab with any page of your choice.
Consider few scenarios when replacing new tab screen is useful :
#. To open bookmarks manager or apps shortcuts in the new tab
#. You do not want to show most visited sites
#. May be you want to use another search engine(private Google search?)
#. To have unblocked view of your Chrome background or theme
#. You want to make your own new tab page
Remove Google Search and Most Visited Sites from New Tab
A simple Google Chrome extension – New Tab Redirect can do this work for you. The extension redirects you to the page you want, whenever you click on the new tab icon on top.
If you have stocked up all the apps you use in your Google Chrome, then you can set the new tab page to chrome://apps/ and switch to different apps seamlessly.
Once you install the extension, the ‘options’ page will open up where you can enter the URL you want to make as a default destination. You can choose from a list of popular pages or select any Chrome pages from the second list.
After you save your destination from the options, click on the new tab icon to see the desired page loaded instantly, replacing the default Google search box and most viewed site thumbnails. To change the new tab destination again, you will now have to navigate to extensions page > New Tab Redirect > Options.
You can also create your own HTML page and load it with new tab by specifying local file location in the destination box.
Note that this extension does not work well when you have set new tab as homepage. Also, the keyboard cursor won’t be active at address/omni bar. You will have to manually press Ctrl+L to focus on the address bar from the new tab page.
Another drawback we encountered was on restoring tabs. If your chrome has crashed accidently, then you only have a split second to restore your session. As soon as you launch the browser again, it will redirect you to the page you saved. Anyhow, your tabs will be in your history.
New Tab Redirect is free, opensource and works flawlessly. It is good to have extension if you are not satisfied with the default new tab look and functionality.