A new way to avoid Chrome's new 'New Tab' page

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Chrome New Tab Page

Change isn't always easy. Back in September, Google revamped the "New Tab" page in its Chrome browser -- and a lot of folks weren't too thrilled with the results.

The new "New Tab" page used to be easy enough to avoid: A setting in Chrome's about://flags section let you toggle back to the original "New Tab" setup with a flip of a switch. But this week's latest stable Chrome release removed that setting from the browser.

So what to do? If you're still not a fan of the new "New Tab" page, I have a new workaround that might be just what you need.

This one requires a third-party extension called New Tab Redirect. It's free to use.

All you do is install the extension and then head into its settings (you'll be presented with a link immediately after installation). Click the option to have the extension set the Chrome Apps page as your "New Tab" page. Open a new tab, and voilà: You'll have something pretty darn close to the original "New Tab" setup.

Chrome New Tab Page (Apps)

To be clear, it's not an exact match -- the Apps page is missing elements like your recently closed tabs and synced tabs from other devices -- but it has the same basic look as the original "New Tab" design. If those missing elements are important to you, you might try setting the extension to use the Chrome History page instead; it'll look different and won't show your apps but will show your most recently closed tabs along with your recently used tabs on other devices.

If those options don't do the trick for you, your other choice is to check out one of the more fully featured "New Tab" replacements in the Chrome Web Store. An extension called Currently does a nice job with a minimalist weather-centric start screen. Another one called iChrome gives you a customizable info-packed screen modeled after the old iGoogle design.

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One way or another, you certainly don't have to be stuck with Chrome's new "New Tab" page. You just have to find a new solution that works for you -- and while they may not be perfect, one of these configurations should get the job done.

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