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The new tab page of the Google Chrome browser offers little options to change layout or contents. The page displays the bookmarks bar, web apps, most visited websites and recently closed sites. Users who want to change the layout need to install extensions to do so. One of the extensions available is New Tab Redirect.
The extension basically allows the Chrome user to change the new tab page to a local or remote location. It is for instance possible to select the homepage of your favorite tech blog Ghacks, Facebook, Google Mail, a custom start page like iGoogle or Netvibes or a local page with custom links as the starting page.
You need to configure the extension after installation. This is done with a click on the Wrench icon in the Chrome interface, and the selection of Tools > Extensions from the context menu.
Locate New Tab Redirect under Extensions and click the Options link to open the extension’s options.
You can enter a location right away and click the Save button to set the new start page. The program suggests original Chrome pages and popular pages that you can add as the new tab page as well. Among them Downloads, memory, version or bookmarks.
Remote urls can be entered right away, local files need to start with the file:// protocol followed by the full file path and file name on the system, for example file://C:\example.html to load example.html whenever a new tab page opens.
Using a local page has the benefit that it is usually faster to load and without bandwidth requirements than a remote page.
Chrome users who want to change the new tab page in Chrome can install the Chrome extension New Tab Redirect directly from the Chrome web apps store.
It is a handy extension for Chrome users who want more customization when it comes to the new tab page of their browser.
The new tab page of the Chrome browser does not display a white page, but links to features or modules of the web browser. It will for instance list the most visited websites, the recently closed websites, the new Google Chrome Apps web store and apps that have been installed from it as well as bookmarks and an add for the new Chrome notebook (which is shown to everyone even though only users from the US can apply to test it).
It got a bit crowded in there, especially with the introduction of the Apps section. Users who do not use the web store or apps may prefer to remove that element from the new tab page of the browser. Other users may prefer to hide the most visited or recently closed site listing instead, or the ad for the Chrome notebook.
Chrome users who want to get rid of one feature or the other need to pay close attention to the page. There are two – light – elements on the new tab page, one next to the module heading which is always visible, and one at the rightmost location on mouse hover.
The left arrow / down arrow at the left of the module name can be used to expand or compress that listing on the new tab page. It reduces the space needed for the module but will not remove it from the new tab page.
The tiny x on the right while hovering on an entry on the other hand allows just that. Just move the mouse over the module that you do not want to see anymore on the new tab page and click it to remove it. But be careful with that, as there does not seem to be an option to restore the new tab page.