Do you also get annoyed by those shortcuts on Google homepage? I’m sure you do or you wouldn’t be here reading this article!
First things first, let’s get to the basics of those shortcuts on Google’s new tab homepage. When you open Google Chrome or a new tab on it, by default it shows the new tab page with a search bar, some Google apps, favicons of the most frequently visited websites, and trending articles based on your interests.
Just as every coin has two sides, these shortcut favicons have them too. Speaking about the pros, they enable you to quickly access your favorite sites and pages. On the downside, they don’t look good when you have to share your screen with others or when a coworker pops up at your desk out of nowhere.
Clearly, I see it as an invasion of privacy as people can see your most visited sites, maybe something you don’t want them to see. This brings us to the question, is it possible to remove those shortcuts in the first place? Well, let’s find out.
Is it possible to remove shortcuts on Google?
Yes, you can remove those annoying shortcuts on Google Chrome New tab homepage. If you are using the latest Chrome version, anything above version 69, you’re in luck as removing the favicons is possible with the tap of a button. On the said Chrome version, you’ll see the shortcuts as circular favicons which you can remove or restore at will.
On the other hand, Chrome versions below version 69 don’t allow you to remove shortcuts from Google as such from the default settings. If you think clearing history and cookies would help, you’re wrong. However, there are some workarounds to get rid of them. Read on to know how!
How to check the Chrome version?
The first step in removing shortcuts or thumbnails from Google Chrome’s New tab homepage is to check your Chrome version. The newer the version, the easier for you to remove the shortcuts. Here’s how to check the Chrome version on your Android phone.
Open the Chrome app on your Android device
On the top right corner, tap the menu icon
Scroll down and tap About Chrome
Look for the Application version
Here you’ll find the Chrome version in the format Chrome <version number>. Once you note the Chrome version you’re using, you’re good to go on the process of removing shortcuts on the New tab homepage.
2 ways to remove shortcuts on New tab page in Chrome
Following are the ways to remove website shortcuts on Chrome’s New tab homepage depending on the Chrome version you’re using. Before we get started, I suggest you update your Google Chrome app to the latest version so that you can quickly finish the process and enjoy the latest features offered by Chrome.
Follow the below steps to completely remove the shortcuts on Google Chrome on Android:
Open Chrome app
Tap the tab icon near menu to open a new tab
Now, long press a shortcut until you see options
Finally, tap Remove the shortcut
Repeat steps 3 and 4 for all the favicons on the homepage.
Removing Chrome shortcuts of desktop varies for versions above and below version 78. Check out the below methods to do so for both cases.
On Chrome Version 78+
On Chrome versions 78 and above, you can either choose what sites you’d like to have on the New tab homepage or disable the shortcuts once and for all. Here’s how to do that:
Open Chrome application on your desktop and open a new tab
On the lower right corner, click Customize
In the left pane, click Shortcuts
Turn the toggle on for ‘Hide shortcuts’
Finally, click Done
Note: If you want to see shortcuts from history or most visited sites, select either of the two ‘Customize this page’ options.
On Chrome Version 69+
On Chrome version 69+, you don’t get to bulk remove the shortcuts like version 78+. However, you can individually remove them like that on an Android.
Open a new tab on Chrome desktop
Hover over one of the shortcuts and click on the menu icon
Click on Edit shortcut
In the edit window, hit the Remove button to permanently delete the shortcut from the Chrome new tab homepage.
The shortcut will be removed. Repeat the steps 2-4 to remove the other shortcuts.
Restore and add Chrome shortcuts
To restore the default shortcuts, select Restore default shortcuts option after deleting a shortcut.
If you wish to undo the change you made to the shortcut, click Undo and it’ll be back on the homepage.
Another way to restore deleted shortcuts is through the Customize option. Click Customize and select Restore default shortcuts.
To add your own customized shortcut to your favorite website or page, click Add shortcut on the new tab homepage. In the next window, give it a name, add the URL, and hit Done.
How do I get rid of thumbnails on Google Chrome homepage?
Long press the thumbnail or the shortcut and select Remove to remove it from Google Chrome homepage.
Where are my shortcuts on Google homepage?
When you open a new tab in Google Chrome, you’ll see the shortcuts right under the search bar. These are the icons of the most frequently visited websites on Google Chrome.
How do I restore default shortcuts on Chrome?
To restore default shortcuts on Chrome, open a new tab and tap Customize. Next, select Restore default shortcuts.
Get rid of Google homepage shortcuts
Google shortcuts can be annoying and if you feel the same, you aren’t alone. In situations where you have to share your screen with someone, these shortcuts which are there to make things accessible for you, might actually hurt you.
Removing these shortcuts is quite straightforward, both on Android and desktop. As a suggestion, if you’ve been using an outdated Chrome version, you might consider updating it to the latest one for more features.
I hope I brought some value to your Android usage. Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments section below. Until next time, take care and stay safe! Cheers!