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How to Switch Back to the Old Chrome Design

Posted by Jim Tanous on September 5, 2018
chrome new look vs old

If you use a regularly updated version of Chrome, you probably noticed a change this week in the way that the browser looks. That’s because Google has just launched its newest version of Chrome, complete with a visual overhaul.

chrome new design

The new Chrome design with rounded corners and a slightly lighter color scheme.


The new look swaps out Chrome’s familiar angles and squares for a softer look, with rounded corners, circular icons, and a slightly lighter color scheme. Thankfully, those who don’t like the new Chrome look can restore the old design, at least for now.

Switch Back to the Old Chrome Design

The setting we need to change to switch back to the old Chrome design is, like most advanced Chrome features, toggled via a Chrome flag. To see and configure these flags, launch Chrome, enter the following in the address bar, and hit Enter/Return:

chrome://flags

Scroll down through the list of options (or use the search box at the top of the page) to locate UI Layout for the browser’s top chrome.
chrome switch old design
Use the drop-down menu to the right of this entry to change it from Default to Normal. Chrome will prompt you to restart the browser. You can do so by clicking the Relaunch Now button or by manually quitting and relaunching the app. Just keep in mind that while Chrome is quite good at remembering and reloading your open websites, it’s not always perfect. So be sure to set any bookmarks and save any data before relaunching the browser just to be on the safe side.

chrome old design

Chrome’s old design with sharper angles and darker colors.


When the browser reloads, you’ll notice that the old Chrome design has now returned. Note, however, that while the look of Chrome has changed, you’ll still be running the newest version of the browser under the hood.
chrome old design switched
Also note that this option may not be available indefinitely, so unless you absolutely hate the new look, you may wish to stick with it so that you’ll be prepared if Google pulls the plug on the old design in the future.

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