Chrome update puts search bar front and center

About a month ago we reported on a new feature Google was testing. This update would put a search bar in the front and center of your browser – right in your New Tab page. We thought it would take a little longer for us to see this update rolling out, but today we finally have started seeing it!

chrome update 1

Of course, the update (version 29.0.1547.76 m) comes with the search bar modifications, making it easier for people to find what they need. We know it’s a bit redundant considering the omnibar (address bar) can do Google searches just fine. Is that something your grandparents know, though? Most people I know still go to instead of just searching from the omnibar.

At the end of the day, I feel like the search bar addition does serve a good purpose, but there are certain things about this update I don’t find to be very convenient. In fact, I kinda hate one of the changes. I use the ‘Recently Closed’ feature very often, and it has been taken off the ‘New Tab’ page.

chrome update 3

The Recently Closed tabs are now hidden in the menu button, making it much more inconvenient to use. At that point, I might as well just type in the website in the URL bar! I hate it and want my Recently Closed option back where it was!

Google has also added an ‘Apps’ button to the bookmark bar. As you can see below, it will now be simpler to access all those Chrome apps. IT also seems a bit redundant, though, because now there is an app drawer in the new Google Bar. What are you doing, Google?!

chrome update 2

What do you think? Are you hating this update as much as I am, or am I just being too picky?

  • madmarc87

    No your right this new update blows! Why do we need a search bar in the middle and i loved having my choice of sites on my new tab page! I am going to put the old version back on my laptop and get rid of this POS!

  • Fred Smith

    This update is rubbish, it takes all the useful stuff off the new tab and replaces it with a search box… doesn’t chrome already have one of those or am I missing the point. I agree with madmarc, it blows.

  • guest

    I think I just might uninstall google chrome and go back to Microsoft Internet explorer after they screwed this up. I had to search around for a while to get to my apps speed dials. I feel they went backwards in making it more user friendly.

    The family liked it the way it was.. You could just slide the page back and forth from apps to most used speed dials. Totally makes it hard for my younger children to use and understand. Total FAIL!!!!

    I don’t have the search bar in the middle of my page just my speed dials. That could also be personal settings from being signed in, WHO KNOWS?

  • MartinGM

    This update is ridiculous.
    I now have to sign on each time I open Chrome in order to see my Apps. This takes ages.
    I never start at Google search, and if I wanted to I’d use the omnibar, so that’s something else thrust at me that I just gets in the way.
    My bookmarks bar won’t appear until I press CTRL SHIFT B – something else to do before I start work
    etc etc etc
    Microsoft successfully used the philosophy of “we know better than you do what you want to see” to drive millions away from their captive market of IE, but I am really surprised that Google of all companies would choose the same arrogant tactic !

  • me

    u can fix(remove) the stupid google search box on the new tab page:

    1. type chrome://flags/ in the omibox

    2. disable “Enable Instant Extended API Mac, Windows, Chrome OS” field

    3. relaunch chrome

  • Paula

    I hate this update…..I cannot find my remote desk top and I liked the way I had my new tab set up for me.

  • Frustrating: need to click Apps on bookmark bar when I could just set the new tab to be the App list.

  • d

    the recent tabs arent just more inconvenient to find — hey look they are right next to the history too, whats the point of recent tabs vs history now? — but they also removed the recent tabs ability to recall previous sections. So if you close chrome completely and had 20 tabs open and you want to reopen them too bad! Time to open up that history tab. Way to make a really useful feature — my preferred way of working is to have 20 tabs open and close them off as I am done with them and if I am not I close chrome and restart the next day ready to go — into something that is completely useless.

  • me

    A rubbish update, I will switch to other alternatives. Why do they have to sign me in to the browser every time I open Gmail. I do NOT want personalized search/apps etc.. Respect my privacy and do not sync with least give me the option to control that

  • Candiedbug

    This update is HORRIBLE, GIANT FAIL. Bring back the old tabs page, we already know which sites we visit often, we don’t suffer from Alzheimer’s. Chrome gets worse by the day. Going back to Firefox.

  • MartinGM

    Well, everything is back to normal – well nearly. Did Google back off ? I hope so.
    The only oddity I see remaining is that when I first open Chrome I get TWO tabs with my home page, then another with my Apps. I can live with that – what a relief that the other nonsense is no more.

  • c

    Hate it! My vision is bad and I liked the larger thumbnails of the frequent tabs. This is too in your face for Google, seems like something MS would have pulled. If we’re using Chrome, we pretty much all know where we are, so why the need for the large Google? And their ‘selling’ of it in the update – getting the doodle on every new tab, like that’s a huge benefit.

  • nathaniel essex

    I absolutely HATE the new layout. I won’t be happy until the previous functionality is restored. Goodbye Chrome, hello Firefox.

  • Fred Smith

    I’ve just found all that useful stuff is 1 click fewer in IE – I never thought I would move back to Microsoft 🙁 But Google needs to be taught a lesson so they don’t balls up some of their other products we like.

  • Fred Smith

    Weirdly Microsoft have copied Chrome a lot, but now Chrome is copying the old IE. It is mad, basically it’s either about “make a good product so we get market share” or it’s “we have market share, lets see how we can exploit our users”.

  • Aja

    I HATE IT SO MUCH I JUST CHANGED IT BACK. For one thing, the search bar they added? It doesn’t show up on mine. So I just have this gigantic empty space instead. (Plus it’s totally redundant). Also, I use my recently closed tabs ALL THE TIME, so I hate that they made them harder to get to. Also, the app icon just takes up space on my bookmarks bar, plus it was easier/quicker to get to your apps when you just had scroll sideways (if you were using a trackpad).

    Mostly I’m just upset about the recently closed tabs, though. I seriously use them a ton.

    So yeah. I HATE IT TOO

  • Farrukh Baikabulov

    Yes, Recently Closed should be back/ and if you use 15″ laptop screen the composition of New Tab is also not ideal – before we had icons at the center of page, now those icons are too small and at the bottom of page

  • Farrukh Baikabulov

    I would still use IE sometimes, but in IE, once you zoom a page it zooms ALL webpages and Chrome saves zoom settings for each URL< and since various pages are designed with differing font sizes Chrome has been more convenient

  • Kim Glasson

    Thank You! 🙂

  • ewfuw

    i hate it

  • Ben Jammin

    Guys this tip will actually solve 90% of the gripes listed here! Gets rid of new search box, brings back recently closed, has the sideswipe for apps etc etc .. Thanks so much!!

  • PS

    Awesome tip.. thanks.. the new page was so f% annoying..

  • Jimmy Dee

    Completely agree. Pissed me right off to lose “recently closed”. Actually, i had been hoping for expanded features for “recently closed” and it’s one of the most important features in a browser to me. Firefox did it better, but wasn’t good enough in other areas.

    I never go to anymore because one of the great features of Chrome is that you can just type it in the URL bar and it googles it!!!

    I have no use for apps outside ABP and one or two other specific features.

    This is almost as bad as the Firefox update that made ALL CONTENT at 125% zoom, basically ruining every single picture element on every page of every website by upsampling with Firefox’s TERRIBLE image scaling engine (still no anti-aliasing for PNG????).

    Hopefully Google turns this one back soon.

  • Sequoia46.2

    Use Ctrl+Shift+T to open your last closed tab.

  • OOb

    This is a great update.

  • Fred Smith

    Now I’ve tried IE a bit more, I find quite a few websites look terrible in IE and some don’t load properly! I’m now trying Firefox…

  • Joe

    I hate it. Just when I figured out how to make a clean start page the geniuses at f’ing Google change it again. Time to go back to Firefox I quess.

  • Jess

    how do you get rid of it

  • Kira

    Chrome is messing up more and more with every new update. The font size that cannot be changed, the spacing that is too wide and now this? WHY?

  • Matthew Lipscomb

    I really don’t appreciate that they changed things like my tabs and aps and force me to their start. I want my apps where they were and I don’t want to have to click some dumb ass button!!!!

  • Amanda

    I HATE this update. My Chrome worked so well before, now it takes forever to load! It’s ridiculous! Before this update, I would click the icon to open Chrome, and within 2 seconds my tab page was open and I could click on whichever tab I wanted to open. Now… I open Chrome and wait at least 15 seconds– doesn’t seem like that much, but it is when you’re waiting for your browser to start even functioning. Hate. Hate. Hate!!!

  • Tes Layne

    SO ANNOYING! I freaking know how to use the omnibar, and it pisses me off when I have to switch from the stupid search box TO the omnibar because I’m going to a specific address instead of doing a search. Do some research, Google, before you roll out stupid sh*t like this.


    I hate the new update! 🙁 I want the old chrome back! The themes don’t work anymore and one of my apps is gigantic! How do you remove apps now?

  • Toby

    I hate this change, and I also bemoan the loss of ’12 tabs’ from the list – it used to be able to open multiple at once, now I have to find all of them in the history.

    This is close to enough to make me NOT USE CHROME ANYMORE. PLEASE FIX THIS!!!

  • HATE the update!

    I tried this and it worked for 5 minutes, then Google chrome went all crazy and didn’t work anymore. I finally fixed it, but don’t try this because it’s not worth it!

  • no names

    It sucks the big hairy one. WTF google. Fix it now!!!

  • Svetlin

    Hate update!!!

  • Reg

    The latest ‘upgrade’ has inflicted this back upon us AND removed the ‘disable “Enable Instant Extended API Mac, Windows, Chrome OS” field’ fix by also removing this line from ‘flags’. A redundant google search bar occupying a this of the screen and thumbnails you need reading glasses to see is NOT an uprade

  • Rajeesh

    No, The below mentioned fix is no longer available. The “Enable Instant Extended API” option is unavailable in Chrome://flags/. I agree it such a stupid thought from a scrap head. Why this irritating Search Bar as far we already have Omnibox. Hate Chrome….