How to Remove Thumbnails or Favicons from Google Chrome New Tab Page

Google Chrome is a cross-platform free web browser developed by Google. When allows the user to browse multiple pages. Your search history is saved in Chrome. The New Tab shows thumbnails or favicons of recently viewed web pages. It is a user-friendly option as it lets you browse websites you often visit on a single click. However, it may be a privacy issue for you if someone else has access to your computer or laptop. If you show someone, your desktop, he or she may be able to see what websites you are visiting. Firstly, you need to know what version of Chrome you are using.

Remove Thumbnails or Favicons from Google Chrome

How to check what version of chrome you have?

You can know the version of chrome in three simple steps:

  1. Click on the menu icon in the upper right corner of the screen
  2. Click on About Google Chrome
  3. Google Chrome Browser Version is shown here

How can I remove Thumbnails or Favicons from Google Chrome?

You can remove thumbnails or favicons on Chrome on version 69 and above. While for versions on 68 and below, there is no default setting available to remove thumbnails.  Let us discuss how to remove favicons for versions 69 and above:

How To Remove Thumbnails or Favicons from Google Chrome

The updated version shows the circular favicons on New Tab instead of rectangle thumbnails. These are known as shortcuts. They could be removed easily and restored with your wish.

  1. Deleting Favicon Shortcuts for Chrome version 69 or higher – Open Chrome or the New Tab section. Hover to the favicon shortcut. Click on the three dots and select ‘Edit Shortcut’. Chose ‘Remove’ button to delete the favicon icon from the New Tab page. Now the favicon or the shortcut icon is removed and you won’t have to deal with it every time. But, the only catch is you will have to remove every icon one by one as there are no options to remove them in one go.
  2. How to restore deleted shortcuts for Chrome version 69 or higher – Once you have deleted the shortcut you will be given the option to undo the action. By selecting it you can restore the last deleted shortcut. While restoring will bring all the favicons back. If you want to restore all the shortcuts after some time you can do it by selecting ‘Restore default shortcuts’ from the gear icon on the lower right corner of the browser. It will bring back all the deleted history records.
  3. Adding Custom Website Shortcuts – Chrome provides you with the option to customize your New Tab page. Select ‘Add Short Cut’ button on the new tab page. Enter website name, URL and click ‘Don’. This will add the favicon of the web page on Chrome. This way you can keep the favicons you want and remove which are of no use to you.

Removing favicons on Chrome versions 68 and below – On older versions of Chrome, the shortcuts are shown as rectangular thumbnails. There is no default setting to remove thumbnails history. Even deleting the history completely will let the empty thumbnails show on the new tab. Once you start visiting web pages these boxes will start showing the preview of the websites. But you can opt some indirect ways to delete these thumbnails.

Launch Chrome and hover your mouse to the thumbnail preview that you want to remove. Click on the ‘X’ mark to delete the icon. It will also delete all the history of the web page from the browser.

How to delete entire History for all versions – For Mac, you need to press, “Command + Shift + Delete”. And for Windows, press “Control + Shift + Delete”.

Clear-Browsing-Data-in-Chrome

However, once you start browsing, the thumbnails or favicons will start appearing again with accumulating History.

How to change Startup settings for all Chrome versions?

Deleting History or removing Favicons in versions 68 and below will still let the empty thumbnails to show on the new tab page.

On version 69 and above you will see an ‘Add Shortcut’ button. You cannot remove it from the new tab page. However, you can change the settings to open a Blank Page when you launch the browser. Follow these simple steps to change startup settings for all versions.

  1. Go to Command URL ‘chrome://settings and select, ‘On Startup’.
  2. Select, ‘Open a specific page or set of pages’.
  3. Click ‘Add a new page’
  4. Enter ‘about: blank’ in the site URL section and click on ‘Add’ button.

Add-Blank-Page-as-Startup-URL-in-Chrome

Now launch Chrome again. You will see a blank page as a startup page. But, clicking on a New Tab will again show the web pages’ thumbnails and favicons.

This is not useful for Mac users as closing all the windows will not close the browser. It will keep running on the dock and reopening will show the page tab with history thumbnails and Add Shortcut button.

It is useful for Windows users as closing all the open Tabs will close the browser. And launching it again will open the Blank Page as startup page.

Opening a Completely Blank New Tab Page for all versions of Chrome

You can install an Extension from Chrome Web Store to remove all the annoying Thumbnails and Favicons properly. Follow these simple steps to install the Extension:

  1. Search for ‘Empty Page’ on the Chrome Web Store
  2. Filter the results to the Only Extension
  3. Click on the ‘Add to Chrome’ button and install, ‘Empty New Tab Page’ extension

 

In result, you will see an empty page whenever you open New Tab or Window. It also changes the Startup Page as an empty page. If you want, you can customize your startup page as per your requirements.

Conclusion

Modern browsers provide us with features of saving favorites, bookmarks or history for better user experience. You can easily access web pages by clicking on these thumbnails. Almost every Browser provides with thumbnails. But it may raise some privacy issues. The user must be given the option to select and customize how the browser works for him or her. Chrome version 69 and higher is offered with limited freedom to users. On the other hand, Chrome version 68 and below does not come with freedom. You can use third-party extensions for removing the thumbnails. But we strongly believe that the user must be given the option to select or disable this feature using default browser settings.

 

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