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How to remove thumbnails from Google Chrome

Having your thumbnails on display may be a problem. You can remove the thumbnails from Google Chrome in just a few easy steps.
How to remove thumbnails from Google Chrome

When you launch Google Chrome or when you open up a new tab page, by default, Google shows a page titled New Tab. This Google homepage shows not only the Google search box but also a list of several Google products,  such as Gmail, and a list of thumbnails of pages you’ve recently visited. For many, this thumbnail history is a good idea since it allows them to access their most visited pages easily. However, in many cases, such as when you let others use your browser or when you want to share your screen, those thumbnails can be clear invasion of privacy. While Chrome doesn’t allow you to save websites to the New Tab page like bookmarks, you can make it temporarily display new sites or even other saved sites. There are a few ways to do so. In this article, you’ll learn:

  • How to remove thumbnails from the Chrome start page.
  • How to clear your Google Chrome browser history.
  • How to manually remove thumbnails from the Chrome New Tab page.
  • How to set a custom homepage in Google Chrome.
  • How you can get back the default thumbnails.

How to remove thumbnails from the Google Chrome New Tab page

There are essentially three ways of removing thumbnails from the Google Chrome start page.

Clear your browser history to remove thumbnails in Google Chrome

Chrome removes the site thumbnails automatically when you clear your browser history. To clear your history, follow the steps below:

  1. Click the three vertical dots on the right of your search bar and click on history.
    Remove thumbnails from Google Chrome: Open your browser history
    Remove thumbnails from Google Chrome: Open your browser history
  2. On the left of the history screen, click on the Clear browsing data link.
  3. Next, you’ll see a pop-up with several options. Here, set the time range for which you want to clear your browsing history. To remove all of the thumbnails on the Chrome New Tab page, select All time from the drop down list. If you only want to remove the most recent thumbnails,  select the number of days or weeks you want to clear.
  4. Now, make sure the Browsing History check box is enabled and finally click on Clear data.
    How to clear browser history
    Select your desired time period and click on "Clear Data" to delete your browser history

Manually remove single thumbnails from the Google Chrome start page

It is also possible to remove the thumbnails manually.

  1. Hover over the thumbnail of the site you want to remove, and click on the three vertical dots in the top right corner of the thumbnail.
    Remove thumbnails from Google Chrome: Edit a thumbnail
    Remove thumbnails from Google Chrome: Edit a thumbnail
  2. Click Remove in the Edit shortcut dialog to remove the thumbnail manually from the Chrome New Tab page.
    Remove thumbnails from Google Chrome: Remove a thumbnail manually
    Remove thumbnails from Google Chrome: Remove a thumbnail manually

Set a custom startup page in Google Chrome

It is also possible to hide the thumbnails that show up on the New Tab page by setting a custom startup page. Google Chrome opens the New Tab page by default, but you can change it to a custom startup page such as the Google search homepage. Site thumbnails won’t be displayed.

  1. Click on the vertical dots on the right of your address bar to open the menu and then choose Settings.
    How to choose settings in Chrome
    Click on the dots in Chrome to access the drop-down menu. Then select Settings.
  2. Scroll down to the On startup section and select the Open a specific page or set of pages.
    How to set your desired website on a new tab
    Set the option to open a specific set of pages to open your desired website instead of showing thumbnails
  3. Click on the Add a new page link, then enter the address (URL) of the page you want to open every time you start Chrome or open a new tab, and click Add.
    Remove thumbnails from Google Chrome: Set a new homepage
    Remove thumbnails from Google Chrome: Set a new homepage

After following these steps, the new homepage you chose will open every time you open a new tab, which means the site thumbnails will no longer be displayed.

Use a New Tab redirect Chrome browser extension

You can use a New Tab redirect extension for Google Chrome - there are several New Tab redirect extensions available on the Chrome Web Store. Click the Add to Chrome button for the extension you wish to use.

These  extensions let you redirect the New Tab page to show you the web page of your choice. It is easy to set up these extensions and they are quite customizable, giving you the freedom to choose what you want to see.

Restore site thumbnails in Google Chrome

If you have cleared your browsing history, the thumbnails on the New Tab page in Google Chrome can not be restored. However, when you remove a thumbnail manually, there is a 10-second window in which you can change your mind and restore the thumbnails you removed.

  • Look at the bottom of your browser window and you'll see a message that your shortcut was removed. Click Undo to restore that thumbnail.
  • To reset Google Chrome and make the New Tab page use the default thumbnails, click Restore default shortcuts.
    Restore deleted thumbnails in Google Chrome
    Restore deleted thumbnails in Google Chrome
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