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Friday, September 29, 2023

Google Chrome is getting a major design refresh on Windows 11; how to enable it

The “Chrome Refresh 2023” is a major redesign of Google Chrome for Windows 11, macOS, and other platforms. Canary users are now being given access to Chrome Refresh 2023 via “Google Labs,” a new way to test upcoming features that was previously hidden behind experimental flags.

What, then, is Chrome’s 2023 refresh? Google says they are updating Chrome. Chrome hasn’t undergone a major facelift, so the new design is being called a “refresh” by Google’s developers and internal flags. The user interface has not changed, so none of your preferred options have been relocated.

All of Chrome’s visuals have been updated to reflect Google’s Material design language. There is no need to worry about any major changes to the user interface in Chrome. Google’s kept the same layout, but the right-click menus are bigger, there are more colors, and there’s a subtler dark theme.

Google Chrome Refresh homepage
New Chrome home page | Image via TheWindowsFan.com

Indeed, rounded corners can be found in nearly every room. When using a touch screen device, right-clicking in the browser will now bring up a revamped context menu with rounded corners and extra padding.

When hovering over tabs, Chrome’s visual effects are more obvious than ever. In terms of graphical refinements, icons have been added to the toolbar.

Chrome light theme
Chrome’s updated menu, complete with icons; photo by TheWindowsFan.com.

Changes like these, along with Chrome’s new color customization options, should make using the browser a more aesthetically pleasing experience, as it is clear that the search engine giant is aiming to make the browser more colorful.

Chrome new panel

Officials from Google confirmed users could see the effects of various colors, themes, and configurations in real time.

Chrome profile pop-up
Sign in to Google and access your profile settings (Image: TheWindowsFan.com)

Google is making the browser more suitable for touch screens by making the address bar larger. The color scheme of the profile menu has also been updated.

New Chrome design

With the latest version of Chrome, you’ll also see icons in the main menu again, next to each option like New Tab, New Window, Password Manager, Extensions, Settings, and so on.

How to enable Chrome 2023 design refresh

If you have Chrome Canary installed and haven’t yet clicked the Labs icon, you can now access Chrome Refresh through Google Labs. To complete the new look, activate the toggle and then refresh the browser.

Chrome Labs
Google Chrome’s Experimental Menu

If you can’t find it in Labs but are still interested in giving these modifications a try, here’s what you should do:

  1. To access the experimental flags menu in Chrome Canary, go to chrome://flags.
  2. Use the query “refresh 2023” to activate the #chrome-refresh-2023 and #chrome-webui-refresh-2023 flags. Even if you have access to Labs, you still need to manually enable chrome://flags/#chrome-webui-refresh-2023.
    Enable Chrome Refresh 2023

    Flags let you relaunch Chrome with a customized interface.

  3. Restart your web browser.

If you’ve followed these instructions, you should be able to access the updated Chrome experience.

It’s unclear when other design changes to Chrome’s address bar will be tested, but Google is actively experimenting with them.

Google hasn’t said exactly when the updates will be made available to users, but they should arrive in the near future.

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