How to Revert Back to the Old Classic Google Chrome Browser Design

  • Google Chrome recently received a major redesign called “Material You” that changed the browser’s look and feel
  • While some users embraced the changes, others preferred the classic Chrome design
  • Fortunately, there’s an easy way to revert to the old Chrome layout with just a few clicks

Google Chrome, the world’s most popular web browser, recently underwent a significant redesign to celebrate its 15th birthday. Dubbed “Material You,” this update brought a fresh new look to the browser’s interface, altering the placement of tabs, menus, and icons.

While some users welcomed the modern aesthetic, others found the changes jarring and disruptive to their browsing experience. If you fall into the latter camp and miss the classic Chrome design, fear not – reverting to the old layout is a straightforward process.

Reverting to the Classic Chrome Design

Follow these simple steps to switch back to the familiar Chrome interface:

  1. Open a new tab in your Chrome browser.
  2. Type the following in the address bar: chrome://flags/#chrome-refresh-2023
  3. This will take you directly to the Chrome Flags menu, where you’ll see the “Chrome Refresh 2023” option.
  4. From the dropdown menu next to “Chrome Refresh 2023,” select “Disabled.”
  5. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click “Relaunch.”

Chrome will now close and reopen, reverting to its classic design. You can navigate through tabs, menus, and icons just as you did before the Material You update.

Embracing Change (or Not)

While this method currently allows users to enjoy the classic Chrome design, there’s no guarantee that Google won’t disable this setting in the future. The company may eventually want to force the redesign on all users, so it’s advisable to monitor updates and be prepared for potential changes to the browser’s customization options.

If you find yourself unable to adapt to the new design, consider exploring alternative web browsers like Mozilla Firefox or Microsoft Edge. Both support Chrome extensions, ensuring a seamless transition.

Customizing Chrome’s Appearance

In addition to reverting to the classic design, Chrome offers various customization options to personalize the browser’s appearance. Here are a few ways to make Chrome your own:

  • Install themes: Chrome’s Web Store offers a wide range of themes to change the browser’s color scheme and background.
  • Adjust font size and style: Increase or decrease the font size, and choose between different font styles for better readability.
  • Enable dark mode: Reduce eye strain by enabling Chrome’s dark mode, which applies a dark color scheme to the browser’s interface.
  • Customize the new tab page: Change the layout, background image, and shortcuts on the new tab page to suit your preferences.

By tailoring Chrome’s appearance to your liking, you can create a browsing experience that feels truly personalized and comfortable.


Why did Google redesign Chrome?

The Material You redesign was part of Google’s efforts to unify the design language across its products and services. The company aimed to provide a more modern and consistent user experience, aligning with the Material Design principles it introduced in 2014.

Will the classic Chrome design option be removed in the future?

It’s possible that Google may eventually remove the option to revert to the classic design, as the company typically phases out older versions of its products over time. However, no official announcement has been made regarding the removal of this option.

Can I switch between the classic and Material You designs?

Yes, you can switch back and forth between the classic and Material You designs by toggling the “Chrome Refresh 2023” flag in the Chrome Flags menu. Simply follow the steps outlined earlier, enabling or disabling the flag as desired.

Will reverting to the classic design affect Chrome’s performance or functionality?

No, reverting to the classic design should not impact Chrome’s performance or functionality. The changes are purely cosmetic and do not affect the underlying browser engine or features.

Can I customize the Material You design?

While the Material You design follows a specific set of design principles, you can still customize certain aspects of the browser’s appearance, such as installing themes, adjusting font sizes, and enabling dark mode.