How To Get A Blank New Tab In Google Chrome

Earlier this week we explained how to revert back to the old ‘New Tab’ page layout if you don’t like the new tab layout changes in Chrome 15 – this will let you pin websites to the ‘Most Visited’ list again.

But some readers still aren’t satisfied and want a new tab that is just a blank page.

New Chrome users who have recently switched from Firefox or IE often miss how a new tab in their previous browser just opened up a blank new tab – it was called ‘about:blank’ for obvious reasons. Such people don’t want Google’s list of most visited websites to show up – at all.

Others think that the list of your most visited sites is a privacy risk and don’t want it displayed in full view of passersby so everyone can see what you have been up to – especially in the workplace!

Fortunately there is an extension that can force Google Chrome to open a blank new tab, just like Firefox and IE:

Blank New Tab Extension

‘Blank New Tab’ does exactly what it says on the tin – it simply makes any new tabs that you open blank. A bonus is that it automatically positions the focus (mouse cursor) in the address bar/omnibox so it is ready for you to start typing a website name or search.

Install the extension from the Chrome Web Store here. There is no configuration or setting of options required but, from now on, whenever you open a new tab, you will get just a blank new tab instead of your most visited sites.

Note that the tab heading will be ‘chrome://newtab’ which is the Chrome equivalent of ‘about:blank’ in other browsers like Firefox and IE.


The new extension does a simple job well and provides an easier transition for people switching to Chrome from other browsers. It is unfortunate that an extension is required to add back this functionality – many believe it should be either the default behavior or at least provided as a menu option.

5 thoughts on “How To Get A Blank New Tab In Google Chrome”

  1. Hi Robert, interesting idea but it wouldn’t be permanent – has to be done after every Chrome update…

    Things have moved on in the year since this article – I’d now suggest using the New Tab Redirect extension

  2. Tried this on Chrome 16 – this and many similar extensions DO give a blank page but DO NOT do what you describe: “automatically positions the focus (mouse cursor) in the address bar/omnibox ready for you to type a website name”. Without doing that, the extensions are of no use.

    • Hi Chris, perhaps you have (or had) some other tab or omnibar formatting extension installed that conflicts with this one, especially if you have recently tried other extensions purporting to provide this functionality?

      I have just retested on a standard Chrome 16 install on multiple versions of Windows and it DOES automatically focus in the omnibox in all cases – maybe you have heavily customized your version of Chrome or your cursor focus is being misdirected by a different/previous extension…

  3. At last, just swapped from firefox and found Googles new tab ridiculous – a new tab should be blank, for visited sites use bookmarks, that’s what they’re for!

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