Chrome is a pretty flexible browser when it comes to its looks, largely thanks to its powerful theme engine. Natively, though, there aren’t a ton of customizations. However, Google is apparently preparing an update to Chrome which allows users to add a custom background image to new tabs.

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Spotted first by Chrome Story, a new flag has popped up in Chrome which strongly hints at the arrival of a new “background image” option for the new tab page.

New Tab Page Background Selection

Allow selection of a custom background image on the New Tab Page. – Mac, Windows, Linux, Chrome OS


The flag is currently live in the Canary version of Chrome on all platforms, but enabling it doesn’t seem to do anything yet. More than likely, its functionality will show up in a future build of Chrome, along with other recently revealed features. It’s unclear how exactly the feature will work, but the addition of some extra, native customization is certainly welcome.

Chrome Story also notes that, with some other flags that have popped up in recent months, we could be looking at a coming redesign to the new tab page entirely. One of those flags mentions Material Design by name, while another mentions custom links. With I/O starting tomorrow, perhaps we’ll hear more about this…

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