How to Remove Thumbnails from Chrome New Tab Page?
Google Chrome is a powerful browser used as a marketing tool by Google. When you open the browser or open a new tab, by default it will show a page with the title as "New Tab". This new tab page shows Google search box, links for many Google products like Gmail and list of thumbnails or favicons of the websites you have recently viewed. This thumbnail history may look good option so that you can easily access the pages. But it will be annoying in many situations like screen sharing or showing your desktop to others. Anyone can clearly see those thumbnails which is a direct intrusion in your privacy.
Can I Remove Those Annoying Thumbnails / Favicons?
The answer depends on the Chrome version you use.
- Google updated the Chrome browser on version 69. Now you will see the circular favicons of recently visited sites on new tab page instead of large rectangle thumbnails. Now that these are called shortcuts which you can remove at your wish and restore them at one click.
- On version lower than 69 Chrome shows bigger rectangular thumbnails on the new tab pages. And there are no default settings to switch of the thumbnails history. Even complete deletion of history will still show empty thumbnail boxes. These boxes will again start showing website preview when you browse sites. But there are some indirect ways that you can use to delete these thumbnails.
First we would recommend you to upgrade to the latest Chrome version so that you can easily remove the favicons on the new tab page.
1. Deleting Favicon Shortcuts [Version 69 or Higher]
Launch Google Chrome and hover your mouse over one of the shortcut favicon image. Click on the three dots button called "Edit Shortcut".
On the popup that appears, click "Remove" button to delete the shortcut icon from the new tab page.
Once you have removed the shortcut icon, it will not appear again. This will help you to remove those annoying favicon images from the new tab pages. However, you need to delete the shortcuts one by one. We don't see any option to delete all the shortcuts in one click.
2. Restoring Deleted Shortcuts [Version 69 or Higher]
After you delete a shortcut, Chrome will offer two options - undo and restore default shortcuts. Undo will only restore the last deleted shortcut while restoring will put back all the annoying favicons.
You can also restore all the shortcuts by clicking on gear icon shown on the lower right corner of the browser. Choose "Restore default shortcuts" to bring back all the history records on your new tab pages.
3. Adding Custom Website Shortcuts [Version 69 or Higher]
You have an additional option to add your own custom shortcuts to new tab pages. Click on the "Add shortcut" button on home or new tab page.
Enter website name, URL and click on "Done" button. This will add the favicon of the entered website on the home and new tab pages. This is an easy way to keep all your favorite websites on the new tab page to access them quickly.
4. Deleting Single Thumbnail [Version 68 or Lower]
Open Chrome and hover your mouse over the thumbnail preview image. You will see an “X” mark on the image with the description as “Don’t show on this page”. Click on the “X” mark to delete the site thumbnail.
Remember, deleting thumbnail will remove the history of the site from the browser.
5. Deleting Entire History [All Versions]
Press “Command + Shift + Delete” on Mac or “Control + Shift + Delete” in Windows. Delete all browsing history.
This will delete all thumbnails from the new tab page. Learn more about clearing browser history in different browsers. However, the thumbnails or favicons will start appearing when you start browsing websites and accumulating the history.
6. Changing Startup Settings [All Versions]
In both of the above methods, there will be still empty thumbnail placeholders shown on new tab page of Chrome version 68 or lower.
On version 69 or higher, you will still see a "Add shortcut" button. Though you can't remove this on new tab page, changing the startup page to a blank page will help to open a blank page when you launch the browser. Go to the command URL “chrome://settings” and scroll down to “On startup” section. Choose the option “Open a specific page or set of pages” and click on “Add a new page. Enter “about:blank” as site URL and click on “Add” button.
The "On startup" section should look like below:
Close all open windows and reopen Chrome. It will show a blank page as a startup page. But clicking on a new tab will again show the page with Google search and site’s thumbnails from history or add shortcut button.
Changing startup page is very useful in Windows in which closing all open browser windows will close the browser. So when you launch Chrome again, it will show a blank page as startup page. But this will not be much useful on Mac. Because closing all windows will not close the browser. It will be still running on the dock and launching again will open a new page tab with history thumbnails or add shortcut button.
7. Open Completely Blank New Tab Page [All Versions]
This is a proper solution to remove all those annoying thumbnails or shortcuts from Google Chrome new tab page completely. But you need to install an extension from Chrome Web Store for that. Go to the store and search for “empty page”. Use filter as “Extensions” to restrict the results to only extension.
There are lots of empty new tab page extensions available in Chrome Web Store. Click on the “Add to Chrome” button and install the “Empty New Tab Page” extension. You will see an empty page whenever you open a new tab or new window.
Remember the extension will also change the startup page as an empty page. But you can go to settings and change the startup page as per your need, if you want different or default startup page.